Academic Programs

About the Externship Programs

An externship consists of a weekly seminar and a field experience at a public interest or government organization, in-house counsel placement, or a law firm (pro bono only) .

The majority of our programs are part-time: students work 12-20 hrs/wk (earning 3-5 credits) at the field placement. Students may receive more credits for working more hours, with permission from the Office of Clinical Programs.

BU Law also offers one full-time program, the Semester-in-Practice Program, for out-of-area placements. Please see the SiP Program website for more information.

How the Externship Programs Work

BU Law offers five part-time externship programs. Each program accomodates 10-16 students. Applications for the programs are due in April for participation the following academic year. Once students are accepted into an externship program, students then begin searching and applying for placements. Students are expected to conduct their own placement search, although the Office of Clinical Programs offers resources to help students identify good placements based on their individual interests.

Externship Program Offerings

Each program is offered fall and spring, unless otherwise noted.

  • Affordable Housing Externship Program - Students intern at state, local or nonprofit community development organizations, such as the Mass. Dep't of Housing and Community Development, and Cambridge Housing Authority.
  • Community Courts - (spring only) - Students work one day a week with a judge in a community based court.
  • Government Lawyering Externship Program - (fall only) - Placements include the US Attorney's Office, Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, and other federal and state agencies in Boston.
  • Health Law Externship Program - Students work at health care institutions, biotech firms, or health advocacy nonprofits.
  • Independent Proposal Externship - Under this option, students satisfy the academic component of the externship by doing an independent study with a faculty sponsor.
  • Judicial Externship Program - Students work at a trial or appellate court in the Massachusetts or federal court system. Unlike the other programs, acceptance to the JEP is competitive. Please see the program website for more information.
  • Legal Externship Program - BU Law's general externship program. Popular placements include environmental law organizations, WGBH, BU General Counsel's Office, PAIR, and the Federal Reserve Bank, to name a few.

For more information about the seminar component of the programs, please see the individual program webpages.

For International Students: Students who are working in the United States over the summer, for whom the U.S. is not their country of origin, may receive one academic credit for writing a paper and submitting journals. Students must pay extra tuition to receive the summer credit. If you are interested, please contact Adrienne Smith ( Also speak with your ISSO counselor. If the program is right for you, you will fill out this form: Application

For more information, click here.