MSU College of Law


Externships: Bring the Law to Life

In the last few summers, Spartan law students have served environmental coalitions in Missouri, offered neighborhood legal services in Los Angeles, performed policy work in DC, advocated for veterans in Chicago, defended farm workers in rural Michigan, fought for global human rights at The Hague, and worked for circuit courts in Florida - all while earning academic credit.

No matter what you’re interested in – or where you’re going when you graduate – you can build skills and experience as an extern. Externships connect the classroom to the real world of legal practice, providing you with the opportunity to see legal principles in action.

You’ll learn lawyering by working with the experts: lawyers, judges, and government officials. But it’s not just on-the-job observation: externs do consequential legal work alongside practicing lawyers and judges.

What can your externship do for you? 

  • Build essential legal skills
  • Take on real responsibility
  • Apply classroom concepts in real-world settings
  • Connect you with professionals
  • Develop mentoring relationships
  • Expose you to career options
  • Secure recommendations for your legal job search

Nationwide opportunities. We place over a hundred students in for-credit externships at sites across the country every summer. That means that no matter where you’re planning to practice, you’ll make valuable connections, which can make a big difference in landing your first law job.

Interested in working for the federal government? Plan to spend your spring in the Washington, DC, Semester Program, where you can build connections while working for a wide range of federal agencies.

MSU Law is also located just minutes from Michigan’s state capitol, so our students can work at government externships throughout the school year.

Gain experience in settings like:

  • Courts
  • Government agencies
  • Legal services offices
  • Non-profits
  • Public interest organizations
  • Tribal justice departments
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