Externship Program Overview


Southwestern's Externship Program allows students to enhance their classroom learning and better understand their career options through real-life practice experience at select off-campus placements in Southern California. Placement opportunities include governmental agencies, public interest entities, state and federal judicial chambers, and the legal departments of companies (primarily entertainment). A limited number of select law firm externships are also available. During the summer session, placements are possible nationally as well as internationally. Click here to sample some of the placements available to students through the Externship Program.

Extensive information about placement opportunities, the application process, and course requirements is available on the Externship portal page. An excellent place to start is the Externship Policies and Guidelines (PDF in the sidebar). After reviewing the information on the portal, you are encouraged to visit the Externship Office; we will be happy to counsel you on the Externship Program further and answer your questions. Please remember that timely application is critical and that some placements (primarily federal judicial and federal governmental offices) require at least six months' advance application. Please note that students wishing to participate in entertainment externships must have completed Copyright Law.

Office Hours

The Externship Office is located in W231 and is open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


The Externship Program is comprised of four individuals:

  • Vice Dean Anahid Gharakhanian, Co-Director of the Externship Program, is available to advise students regarding all aspects of the Externship Program and counsel students regarding doing an externship in light of overall curricular planning. Professor Gharakhanian, whose office is BW423, also teaches Legal Analysis, Writing & Skills.
  • Prof. Janet Nalbandyan, Co-Director of the Externship Program
  • Mitzie Vitela, Senior Associate Director of the Externship Program, provides guidance on the nature and requirements of the Externship Program as well as specific externship placements.
  • Lucia Rodriguez, Assistant Director of the Externship Program, provides guidance on the details and procedures of the Externship Program.