Externship Program

The Externship Program allows students to apply the legal skills and knowledge they are learning in the classroom in real life settings with lawyers and judges. By the end of the clinic semester, students will have begun to define their role as a lawyer, gained greater confidence in their lawyering skills, enhanced their substantive legal knowledge, and developed a deeper appreciation of the profession’s values. Externships offer a wide range of opportunities with government agencies, public interest and non-profit organizations, international and national corporations, and trial and appellate judicial chambers at the state and federal levels.

Prospective Externships

Externships are developed by the law school. Selection criteria includes need, subject matter area, student interest, the quality of the substantive legal experience offered, and the placement’s commitment to excellence in teaching and mentoring students. All placements go through a review process. Supervising lawyers and judges, called field instructors, must have a minimum of three to four years of experience. If interested, please contact Professor Ali Silva. Private law firm placements are not offered.


Director: Professor Ali Silva, asilva@richmond.edu, 804-662-3109

Expand All
  • Civil Externships

    In civil externships, students work with government and non-profit or public interest lawyers. They may engage in civil litigation, public policy, transactional or regulatory work, or legislative advocacy.

    Placements include:

    • American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia
    • Chesapeake Bay Foundation
    • Defense Logistics Agency – Aviation
    • Department of Forensic Science (Not Available Fall 2020)
    • Drive-To-Work
    • Henrico County Attorney’s Office – General Practice
    • Henrico County Attorney’s Office – Employment Practice
    • Internal Revenue Service
    • Legal Aid Justice Center
    • Legal Informational Network for Cancer – LINC (Not Available Fall 2020)
    • Office of the Attorney General of Virginia: Civil Litigation Division Employment Law Section
    • Office of the Attorney General of Virginia: Civil Litigation Division Trial Section, General Civil Unit
    • Office of the Attorney General of Virginia: Consumer Protection Section
    • Office of the Attorney General of Virginia: Environmental Law Section
    • Office of the Attorney General of Virginia: Financial Law and Government Support Section Taxation and Charity Oversight
    • Office of the Attorney General of Virginia: Government Operations & Transactions Division, Transportaton, Construction Litigation, Real Estate Sections
    • Office of the Attorney General of Virginia: Health Care Fraud and Elder Abuse Section
    • Office of the Attorney General of Virginia: Solicitor General Section
    • Office of the City Attorney (Third Years only)
    • Southern Environmental Law (Spring Only)
    • The Community Tax Law Project
    • United States Attorney’s Office
    • United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    • University of Richmond – Athletic Compliance
    • University of Richmond - General Counsel
    • Virginia Commonwealth University: Office of University Counsel
    • Virginia Community College System
    • Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
    • Virginia Employment Commission
    • Virginia Poverty Law Center (Consumer Law, Family Law/Child Welfare, Housing, Domestic and Sexual Violence Placements)
    • Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance
    • Virginia State AFL-CIO (Spring Only)
    • Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Department
    • Virginia State Corporation Commission
  • Criminal Externships

    In criminal placements, third year students work with state and federal prosecutors and public defenders. Students have an opportunity to develop a wide range of skill sets, including fact investigation, interviewing, research and writing, trial strategy, and trial advocacy. Under Virginia’s third year practice rules, students are allowed to try cases under the supervision of a licensed attorney and can expect to be in the courtroom regularly.

    Placements include:

    • Chesterfield Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
    • Hanover Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
    • Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
    • Office of the Attorney General of Virginia: Animal Law Unit
    • Office of the Capital Defender *
    • Office of the Federal Public Defender
    • Richmond Public Defender’s Office
    • Richmond Adult Drug Treatment Court
    • Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
    • United States Attorney’s Office
  • In-House Counsel Externships

    Students in in-house counsel placements work with national and international corporations. These placements afford students to learn about the role of in-house counsel and to gain exposure to wide range of legal business issues. Students work with clients, attend meetings, review and draft documents, and develop problem-solving skills. Offered in the Spring only.

    Placements include:

    • Apex Systems, LLC
    • Capital One Financial Corp. - Corporate Compliance/Risk Management Department
    • Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
    • Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc.
    • Home Care Delivered, Inc.
    • Markel Corporation
    • NewMarket Services Corporation
    • Owens and Minor
  • Judicial Externships

    In judicial placements, students have an opportunity to serve as a student law clerk for a state or federal judge. Placements are available at both the trial and appellate levels. Students learn about the role of the judge, the role of a law clerk, and judicial decision-making.

    Placements include:

    • Supreme Court of Virginia
    • Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • Chesterfield Circuit Court (Not Available Fall 2020)
    • Richmond Circuit Court
    • Chesterfield Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
    • Henrico Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
    • Richmond Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • United States District Court
    • United States Bankruptcy Court
    • United States Magistrate Court