SWLAW Blog | Dean's Fellow Digest

Image - Dean's Fellow Digest #24

February 17, 2021

Dean's Fellow Digest #24 - Applying for Externships: An Informational Guide

Issue: 2021-2-17

Dean's Fellows consistently strive to support students in realizing their full academic potential, leading ultimately to success on the bar exam and in the workplace. To support all Southwestern students in this goal, the Dean's Fellows created this Digest as a way to check-in at critical times throughout the semester with helpful tips, strategies, and encouragement. 


  • Applying for Externships: An Informational Guide

Applying for Externships: An Informational Guide
By: Enrique Martinez*  

Image - Lunch with CSO

Every Monday
12:30 P.M. to 1:30 P.M.       
Zoom Meeting ID: 953 5975 0783 
Passcode: lunch


Drop by the Career Services Office (over Zoom) for a casual conversation about everything and anything career-related. Bring your lunch!


Email the Career Services Office to have a resume or cover letter reviewed (and don’t forget you can also reach out to your individually assigned Career Services Advisor—assigned in the Fall Semester)

Ph: 213-738-6794

Image - Externship Office Hours




Tuesday - Thursday
12:30 P.M. to 1:30 P.M. & 4:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Zoom Meeting ID: externoffice


Click here to make an appointment.

**No appointment needed if you want to pop in during Office Hours.


Any questions regarding externships may be directed to the Externship Office.

They are a great resource and will help you submit all the required documentation prior to and during the externship itself. Please submit these forms to register your externship for class credit.

Ph: 213-738-6802

Image - Tips for Putting Your Best Foot Forward


  • Wear professional attire.
  • Come prepared with knowledge of the organization/firm you are interviewing with.
  • Follow up right after the remote interview with a thank you email.
  • When dealing with offers, use your best professional judgment: e.g. responding quickly to any emails, or letting the employer know if you accept another firm/organization’s offer prior to hearing back.
  • Carefully review your resume, cover letter, and writing sample prior to each interview.


Placement Information

** Most of this information can also be found on the SW portal: log-in required.
**Please note this is not an exhaustive list and you can forge your own placement options!


Weekly CSO/Externship Newsletter: Upcoming Events, Opportunities & Resources

Please pay special attention to these weekly emails, they contain a wealth of externship and employment opportunities. Please look at the deadlines and requirements.


Searching Symplicity on Your Own

If you have not landed a position for summer and/or you’re thinking of picking up a school credit externship or paid job at any period during your tenure at Southwestern, then utilize the Symplicity job board.  

Paid law clerk jobs, school credit externships, and research assistants (to name a few) are posted year-round and many are exclusive to Southwestern students.  

You can apply with a resume, cover letter, and writing sample (depending on whether it is requested).


1L Summer 2021 Associate Positions with Law Firms and Corporations via the 1L LCLD Scholars Program (Multiple Locations)

The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s (LCLD) 1L Scholars Program offers first-year law students from diverse/underrepresented backgrounds the opportunity to spend a summer working side-by-side with attorneys from LCLD Member organizations, which include large law firms and corporations across the country.

These are paid positions, which may lead to 2L summer positions, and ultimately a post-bar associate attorney position with the respective law firm. And as an aside, law firm positions, whether paid or unpaid, can be registered to receive externship credit (school units).

The program also provides 1L Scholars with several networking opportunities, which include: the 1L LCLD Scholars Virtual Summit, mock interviews with attorneys from LCLD Member law firms, a dedicated LinkedIn group, and social hours throughout the summer. For application instructions and information about the program, please visit http://www.lcldnet.org/programs/1l-scholars/candidates/

View the full list of LCLD Member organizations here.


 Miscellaneous Resources

Career Development Guide

A helpful source of information regarding how to draft a resume or cover letter and information regarding externship/job events (e.g. On-Campus Interviews. 

Image - Career Development Guide
Click image to view PDF - SWLAW Portal log-in required


Pro Bono and Public Interest Student Resource

Image - SW Pro Bono Public Interest Student Resource Guide
Click image to view PDF - SWLAW Portal log-in required

It’s never too late to explore the different avenues of applying for an externship, and most importantly never give up!

The staff in both the Career Services Office and the Externship Office are excellent and always prompt in responding to communications, so please make use of them.

 *About the Author:


Image - Enrique Martinez

Enrique is a Traditional Day 3L student who graduated from UCLA in 2015. Prior to law school, Enrique worked at an immigration law firm helping victims of crimes apply for U-Non-Immigrant Visas and he volunteered doing expungements at the Public Defender’s Office. 

 Enrique has externed with AT&T in-house counsel and is doing another externship with the Alternate Public Defender’s Office this summer. He is particularly fond of Evidence, Trial Practice, Criminal Law, and Litigation in general. Enrique likes to play soccer recreationally in local leagues and he is an avid sports fan (including mixed martial arts, soccer, football, and basketball). 

Southwestern Law School Dean's Fellows | Scheduling and Booking Website

Dean’s Fellows are upper-division students with strong academic skills who go through a rigorous application and training process. They are an integral part of the Academic Success and Bar Preparation Department. They are carefully selected based on their academic excellence and ability to teach other students best-practice study methods that will help them become acclimated to the study of law. Dean’s Fellows meet with students as academic mentors.

Please click HERE to make an appointment with a Dean's Fellow.