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Moritz College of Law

Moritz College of Law

Washington, D.C., Summer Program

Washington, D.C., Summer Program

The Externship

Professor Peter Swire will work closely with each student to secure an externship for the summer program. The externship will be for at least 20 hours per week for at least seven weeks. Each intern will have a supervisor where they work, and the supervisor will be required to commit that at least 80 percent of the intern's time will be substantive work.

How to apply for Externships

Getting a good externship is a joint effort of the student and Swire. In light of the experiences in previous summers and Swire's recent work in the government, the program has a good head start on a number of employers who will be willing to consider applicants from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

In your enrollment materials, you will indicate areas of interest as well as any leads you may have for an externship. Swire then often calls individuals directly to try to match you with a possible opening. In past summers, some of these positions were filled in January, while others took until April. In getting the externship, your own efforts are of course important an employer will generally only agree to hire you after interviewing you directly.

For the 20 students anticipated for the summer of 2013, Swire pledges to work hard to get a substantive externship for each student. Although there is no guarantee that the job will be in one of the areas of interest that you initially list, every effort is made to create a satisfying experience. Based on the experience in past summers, we anticipate being able to match each student with a substantive externship.

Will the externship be paid?

The basic approach for the program is that students receive academic credit, not a salary, for the summer. The unpaid nature of most externships makes it much easier for students to get interesting, substantive positions for the summer.

Students in the externship class receive three credits for a mix of academic work (a class presentation and paper) and externship work. As permitted by accreditation standards, the number of hours of class meeting for this three credit course is much lower due to the externship hours worked. In a few cases, students get paid internships and often then do an independent study paper with Swire for credit. In conformance with American Bar Association standards, students can receive up to $100 per week from their employer, considered a reimbursement for expenses, without that being considered as paid work. In compliance with ABA rules, students also are permitted to receive funding from other sources, such as for public interest fellowships, while receiving credit.

What if I find a job on my own in D.C.?

If you find a job or externship in D.C. based on your efforts, without applying to the program first, you may still wish to participate in the program in either of two ways. First, you can contact Swire, explain that you have found a position in D.C., and say you would like to enroll in the program. The likely answer will be yes. Second, you may wish to enroll in one or two of the courses without joining the full program. If so, it will be treated like signing up for any other Moritz course in the summer.

What if I want to back out after enrolling in the Program?

This topic has caused difficulties in past years. Swire has sometimes found jobs for students, who then backed out after the offers had been made. This resulted in problems the program director had worked to create opportunities for students and had reached out personally to people he knew to get jobs. In some instances the employer would no longer consider Moritz applications for future summers.

To address this problem, students who enroll in the program this year will be asked to sign a contract once they are accepted into the program. The contract states the student's clear understanding that he or she is making a moral commitment to remain in the program rather than seeking or taking a job elsewhere. In addition, a student who withdraws from the program in violation of the program rules and the contract will forfeit the initial $300 deposit. The student also will be required to pay a $300 fee to the College that will be due upon enrollment in the next semester of school (usually for the next fall semester). This fee reflects the time and expense for the College in individually placing the student in an externship and in not having that time available to assist other students in placement.

In a small number of instances in past years, students have withdrawn from the program due to health or other significant reasons. The administration has waived the loss of deposit and additional fee in such cases.

This approach reflects a good-faith understanding when a student enrolls in the program. Moritz will work hard to place the student in a substantive externship, with good work experience. In return, students understand that they are asking Moritz to go through time and expense on their behalf to find that externship, and should not seek or accept employment for the summer elsewhere.