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LL.M. Externship Program - Rules and Requirements

Required Hours: In the fall and spring semesters, LL.M. externs must perform and document a minimum of 130 hours of fieldwork during the semester; students may not work more than 13 hours in any given week.  For externships performed during the summer term, LL.M. student externs must perform and document a minimum of 20 hours of fieldwork per week for at least 8 weeks, which should (to the extent possible) roughly coincide with the dates of the law school's summer term (for exact dates, see the academic calendar at law.fordham.edu/registrar).

Enrollment and Credits:  LL.M. externs will be enrolled in the LL.M. Externship Fieldwork course and will receive one academic credit for the fieldwork performed (or two credits during the summer term).  Please note that students who do not hold a J.D. degree from a law school in the U.S. may not count credits earned in the LL.M. Externship Fieldwork course toward the 24-credit minimum required for graduation.  However, students who are admitted to the New York bar or who do not intend to seek admission to the New York bar may seek to have this credit counted toward their graduation requirements by submitting a Waiver Request available at law.fordham.edu/llmforms.  As long as the externship is related to your LL.M. program area of specialization, the credit earned in the LL.M. Externship Fieldwork can be counted toward the Specialization Distribution Course requirement for your program (if applicable). 

A student may not enroll in more than one externship in a single semester.  A student may, if he or she wishes, do a second (or more) externship in a subsequent semester; however, credits earned for subsequent externships will not count toward the 24 credit minimum required for graduation.  Students who are completing a second (or more) externship enroll in the LL.M. Externship Fieldwork for that semester, but do not retake the related seminar course (discussed below). 

Related Classroom Work:  In addition to the LL.M. Externship Fieldwork course, LL.M. externs are required to enroll in a one-credit seminar course.  This course will explore various topics related to law practice, including goal-setting, supervision, legal research, ethical issues in practice, professionalism and, through student presentations, a variety of issues raised in individual fieldwork settings.  Credits earned in the seminar will count toward the 24-credit minimum required for graduation, but will not count toward the Specialization Distribution Course requirement. 

Externship Assignments:  Students should be assigned a variety of meaningful lawyering tasks in their externships.  Such tasks might include the following: legal research, drafting of legal documents, fact investigation, internal audits or investigations, due diligence, interviewing and counseling clients, and negotiating.  LL.M. externs should not, as a general rule, be asked to perform clerical duties such as photocopying, phone coverage, or other non-lawyering, non-compliance tasks.

Supervision at the Host Institution:  The Host Institution is required to assign each LL.M. extern a Placement Supervisor.  The Placement Supervisor should be the primary point of contact for students regarding orientation to the office, assignments, and any other issues that arise.  The Placement Supervisor will also be the main point of contact for the LL.M. Externship Program regarding the students’ placement. 

On-Site Work Required:  Externship work must be performed on site at the office of the Host Institution or offsite alongside one or more attorneys or compliance professionals from the organization (as in the case of meetings, court appearances, etc.).  Work done remotely will not be eligible for externship credit.

Payment:  LL.M. externs may not be paid for their work.  They may, however, be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses, including travel to and from the office.

Pro Bono Requirement:  If your work at the placement would meet the standards of New York State’s Pro Bono Requirement for Bar Admission (Rule 520.16), you may request that your Host Institution certify your work in compliance with Rule 520.16.  The LL.M. Externship Program will not be responsible for certifying such work. 

Reporting Requirements and Important Dates:  In order for students to receive credit for the externship fieldwork, the LL.M. Externship Program must have received the following documents in connection with the fieldwork:

Document Due Date Submitted By
Designation of Placement Supervisor and Acknowledgement of Program Requirements End of First Week of Classes Student (must be signed by Placement Supervisor)
Statement of Goals End of Second Week of Classes Student (must be signed by Placement Supervisor)
Time Sheets First Time Sheets Due Wednesday of the Third Week of Classes (covering the first two weeks of the semester); time sheets due bi-weekly (every other week) on Wednesdays thereafter Student (must be signed by Placement Supervisor)
End of Semester Field Placement Evaluation Last Day of Classes Student
End of Semester Evaluation by Placement Supervisor Before the End of the Final Examination Period (Placement Supervisors will be informed of the exact date for each semester) Placement Supervisor

All forms are available online by clicking on the “Forms” link in the left hand navigation or by going to law.fordham.edu/llm/extern/forms.  Forms may be submitted in person in Room 405 or via email to tfine@law.fordham.edu (or cbasri@fordham.edu for compliance placements).  For documents that are submitted by the student but must be signed by the Placement Supervisor, email submissions can be done in one of two ways: (i) the student can print the form and have it signed then scan the document to a PDF and attach it to an email; or (ii) the student may attach the unsigned document to an email addressed to tfine@law.fordham.edu (or cbasri@fordham.edu for compliance placements) with the Placement Supervisor in cc and the Placement Supervisor can reply to all that he/she approves the form.  In the case of (ii), the email confirmation by the Placement Supervisor will serve as the "signature."  All email submissions should say "Externship Form Submission" in the subject line. 

Guidelines for Host Institutions and Placement Supervisors:  All LL.M. externs are expected to read and understand the Guidelines for Host Institutions and Placement Supervisors in order to have a good sense of what to expect in the externship setting, as well as the expectations the Host Institution and Placement Supervisor may have of you. 

Questions/Contact:  If you have any questions or concerns related to your placement, you should feel free to contact the LL.M. Externship Program at llm@law.fordham.edu.