As part of your experiential learning requirement at McGeorge, you may be confused by one term in particular: “externships”. Externships are one of the options available to McGeorge students to fulfill their experiential learning requirement if they are not able or not interested in joining one of the clinics. But what exactly are they, and are they the same as an internship?
Externships, to be clear, are nearly synonymous with internships. Externs perform similar, if not identical, work as their intern counterparts. The biggest difference is that you will receive academic credit for an externship, whereas an internship is typically done outside the scope of any academic curriculum and may or may not involve financial compensation. McGeorge’s Externship Program has 100+ pre-approved externships available to law students spanning several practice areas with a plethora of government agencies, chambers, non-profits, and select private firms. Externs learn how to apply their legal knowledge to real cases, consult with actual clients, collaborate with active attorneys, improve their research and writing skills, and in some cases, even represent clients in court. It’s a great way to gain real-world experience under the guidance of practicing attorneys. Most externs will reaffirm their passion for their career goals through this hands-on program, while some students realize that their image of a particular career path doesn’t fit with reality, allowing them to easily alter their focus before they’ve committed too much time to a career they ultimately wouldn’t have been satisfied with.