Program Selection and Course Planning
Reduced Credit for an Externship: With externship faculty permission, you may enroll (and pay tuition) for fewer credits than an externship program normally awards. Some students may want the skills, experience, or certified legal intern status a program offers, but prefer to save credits for other courses; other students may want the program benefits but need to conserve their S/U credits.
A student will not be approved to enroll for less than half of the credits normally assigned to a program. If reduced credit is approved, there will be no other differences in any aspect of the program. Some important examples include that, regardless of number of credits enrolled for a program, each student 1) must participate for the normally required number of hours and weeks of field work; 2) must produce the same work product both academically and at the placement; and 3) is responsible for complying with the published limitations on the number of other courses and credits that may be taken concurrently with a given externship.
Criminal justice externships range from three to 12 credits; they are supervised by Professor Krieger. As program credit increases, students receive increasingly realistic litigation experiences that engage more professional judgment and practice skills. As a result, higher-credit programs require more prerequisites and planning, as well as clearance from the Florida Bar. In order to earn full credit, students must fulfill the learning objectives and methods for each program, and this will require the student to affirmatively pursue the casework specified for each program.
Each program has a Perspectives segment, including regular reporting and reflective writing, to inform your field work and enhance your learning. The perspectives component also increases with the credit awarded to the program. The Litigation (30-40 hours per week) programs may often result in trial or hearing experiences for students, but be aware that none of these programs is primarily a “trial practice” program because the actual practice of criminal prosecution or defense involves many other activities and legal skills.
For the Prosecutor/Defender program, students who want to take a Litigation externship in the Fall of their third year need to schedule other important fall electives in their second year. No other courses may be taken with a full-time (40 hours/week) program. Also note that a full-time externship generally cannot be taken in a student’s last term. Nine-credit programs may be taken in the last semester, but only in the area local to the law school and while taking one other two- or three-credit course on campus at the law school. Students should plan carefully for prerequisites, and sequencing of those courses, all in light of the restrictions on 12-credit, and “away” 9-credit last-semester programs. Students generally need to begin the prerequisites immediately after completing the first year in order to take a full-time program in the fifth (or fourth) semester. Do not assume that these courses are offered every semester, and keep in mind that if you try to take several courses concurrently, there may be meeting time conflicts. Take prerequisites early to be safe, and read carefully the description and requirements for the Criminal Practice Clinic course.
The following table summarizes all of the criminal justice externships, including prerequisites, programs available to 2L’s or rising 2L’s, duration and weekly hours required, and locations available. Note that some programs permit participation throughout Florida and the United States; contact the externship program office or Professor Krieger for more details. For placement in a location not yet established by the College of Law, the student may determine the location and contact person. The externship program will then make contact to determine if the activities and responsibilities for externs at that location fulfill the requirements to earn credit, and advise the student of the determination.
The table provides a helpful overview, but do not make decisions based only on this summary information. Consult the specific, detailed description of each program before making curricular decisions.