Externship Checklist


Note on the Registration Deadline

The deadline to register for an externship is the last day of the add/drop period (see the Academic Calendar posted on the Course Schedule for this date). 

Students who are unable to return their completed paperwork by the deadline due to external, extenuating, and unforeseen circumstances must complete an Externship Registration Deadline Extension Request by 5:00pm on the last day of add/drop period.

Students initiating registration after the deadline may Petition to Register Past the Externship Registration Deadline. Note that petitions must be approved by the Director of Externships, the Assistant Dean of Clinical Education, and the Vice-Dean for Academics. 

Step One: Complete an Understanding of Externship Guidelines

Students must review the guidelines and indicate their understanding of the expectations for externs by completing an Understanding of Externship Guidelines.

Step Two: Seek Placement Approval

The Director of Externships, Professor Sophia Hamilton, must approval all placements before students register for an externship. Students may seek approval via one of the options below:

  • If this is your first semester at the placement, schedule a meeting with Professor Hamilton
  • If you are continuing at a previous placement, complete a Continuing Placement Statement. Professor Hamilton will contact students via email with approval and/or questions

Step Three: Complete a Registration Packet

Students provide their placement and registration information on one of these forms. Students must complete a Registration Packet before each semester of externship.

Step Four: Obtain a Confirmation of Externship Offer

In order to verify the offer of employment and ensure that Field Supervisors are aware that students are receiving academic credit for their work, students must obtain a Confirmation of Externship Offer signed by their Field Supervisor (supervising attorney at their placement). Students may have this form signed in person or request an electronic signature.

Step Five: Return Completed Paperwork

Return all completed paperwork to the Clinical Program Manager in 104B or to clinicallaw@pepperdine.edu. The Clinical Program Manager will register students once the registration paperwork has been received. Students must return completed paperwork to the Clinical Program Manager by the last day of the add/drop period, meaning students should initiate registration well before this date.

Students who are unable to return their completed paperwork due to external, extenuating, and unforeseen circumstances must complete an Externship Registration Deadline Extension Request by 5:00pm on the last day of add/drop.

Course Requirements


All externs are required to attend (first-time and returning externs). One hour may be used toward work hours.

See the Surf Report Calendar for the date (typically in the first or second week of term) or email the Clinical Program Manager. 

Summer Externs: as many externs are not on campus during the summer term, orientation may be conducted online.

Field Work & Timesheets

Students must document their time in the field using Tick Timekeeping. See instructions on how to enter time and submit timesheets. Students will receive an email directly from Tick Support to facilitate setting up their account.

Approved timesheets are due periodically throughout the semester (see syllabus for dates). Students may either (1) upload signed timesheets to Courses, or (2) email a PDF of their timesheets to their field supervisors for approval, copying clinicallaw@pepperdine.edu. Note that students will not receive credit unless their field supervisor confirms approval of the timesheet via signature or email.

Reflective Memos

Reflective Memos are a forum for comments on progress towards the student's goals, the student's performance or the performance of other attorneys, any problems or frustrations in the work, the culture and function of their office, questions about the work or the profession and the people it serves, and issues about the law and lawyering. Because reflection and learning from experience are goals of the externship program, students should demonstrate thoughtful, serious consideration of these issues.

Students must complete and submit reflective memos via Courses by the dates specified in the syllabus (students may also find prompts in the syllabus). Students must:

  • Type their reflective memos
  • Each entry should be at least one page, double-spaced, and need be no longer than several well-thought out pages

Feedback & Evaluations

Students should actively seek feedback, criticism and guidance from their field supervisors. Good feedback may be the most important component of a successful externship experience.

Share Goals

In order to initiate an environment of welcome feedback and open communication, externs are asked to share their goals for the semester with their Field Supervisor. Student may do so by either (1) sharing their first reflective memo (which concerns the students' goals) or a simplified list of goals derived from their first reflective memo with their Field Supervisor via email, copying clinicallaw@pepperdine.edu, or (2) email clinicallaw@pepperdine.edu a confirmation that they have had a conversation with their Field Supervisor about their goals.


Three evaluations are required throughout the term and will be accessed via Google Form shared by the Clinical Program Manager:

  • Mid-Semester Performance Evaluation: This is completed by the Field Supervisor and should facilitate a discussion between the extern and Field Supervisor about the extern's work.
  • Final Performance Evaluation: This is completed by the Field Supervisor and should facilitate a discussion between the extern and Field Supervisor about the extern's growth since the previous evaluation.
  • Student Externship Evaluation: Externs are required to provide their own feedback by submitting a confidential student evaluation regarding the field placement and externship experience.

Summer Externs: due to the limited length of the summer term, the Field Supervisor is only required to complete one performance evaluation.


Students enrolled in externship courses must be engaged in ongoing, contemporaneous, faculty-guided reflection. Depending on the students' experience with externships and/or the discretion of the Director of Externships, this takes one of three forms:

  1. Bi-weekly workshop. Concurrent enrollment in one of the bi-weekly workshops is required for first time externs. All workshops begin the second week of the term and meet on alternating weeks. Workshop hours count toward work hours. Workshop days and times are available in the Caruso School of Law Course Schedule.
  2. Faculty Adviser. Faculty Advisers are required for first-time externs who cannot attend a workshop due to schedule conflicts. Externs with a faculty adviser must:
    1. Find a faculty adviser who is a full-time Caruso School of Law professor
    2. Obtain the approval of the Director of Externships
    3. Meet with their approved faculty adviser on a bi-weekly basis (it is the student's responsibility to make sure these meetings are scheduled)
    4. Provide their faculty adviser with copies of their reflective memos
  3. Meetings with the Director of Externships. Students who have already completed an externship and the required workshop (or faculty advisement) instead participate in two 15-minute meetings with the Director of Externships at midterm and end of the semester. The Clinical Program Manager will contact all returning externs to schedule these meetings

Summer Externs: first-time externs will participate in an online workshop rather than meet on campus and returning externs will have one meeting with the Director of Externships.