Denver Law hosts Externships 7, Scaling New Heights: Field Placements and the Reform of Legal Education

March 10, 2014


Legal Externship Program hosts National Externships Conference

The Legal Externship Program at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law recently hosted Externships 7, Scaling New Heights: Field Placements and the Reform of Legal Education from Feb. 28-March 2. Over 160 externship faculty and administrators from across the country gathered to discuss the role of externships within the legal academy.

Dean Marty Katz welcomed attendees and spoke about the great diversity and innovation within the externship community, highlighting, for example, our new partnership with the Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families, which brings together law, social work, and graduate students to mediate family issues. Individual faculty members also presented throughout the weekend:

  • Ann Vessels, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Legal Externship Program, led a panel that discussed how to establish an effective corporate and in-house counsel externship, both in the field and in the classroom.
  • Kyle Velte, Lecturer, shared the externship faculty perspective to the closing plenary, which was comprised of supervising attorneys from the region, including U.S. District Court Judge Robert Blackburn; Don Toussaint, with the Aurora City Attorney’s office; and Charlene Krogh, partner at Dorsey & Whitney.
  • Alexi Freeman, Lecturer and Director of Public Interest, presented on using popular television shows, such as Homeland and The Wire, as a way to help students understand their own privilege and navigate difference during their field placement and beyond.
  • And lastly, Lisa Graybill, Lecturer, shared insights and lessons learned from her new Hybrid Immigration Externship, which combines aspects of a traditional clinical program with the structure of an externship program.

Externships 7 received generous support from a number of sponsors including the American Association of Law Schools (AALS), Bloomberg Law, Westlaw Next, Lexis Nexis, the Clinical Legal Education Association, Truhlar & Truhlar, the Bay Area Consortium on Externships (BACE), and the Greater Los Angeles Consortium on Externships (GLACE). Because of this financial support, Externships 7 was able to donate proceeds to the Denver Urban Debate League, a nonprofit that improves urban education by helping students learn and achieve through debate. DUDL has a long-standing relationship with Denver Law and Externships 7 was honored to be able to contribute to an organization that ultimately can help increase diversity within legal education.

To view videos and materials from the conference, visit