Legal Externship Program

Paid Externships

Guidelines for Paid Externships

In August 2016, the American Bar Association issued new standards surrounding field placements and externships. Students are now permitted to receive both pay and credit simultaneously.

If you are a Denver Law student interested in seeking both pay and credit for an externship, please be aware of the following:

  1. An externship is considered paid if any sort of financial compensation is received by the extern while the extern also receives academic credit. Such financial compensation can come in many different forms including, but not limited to: an hourly/weekly/monthly wage, stipend, fellowship, and/or grant. Such financial compensation can be provided by the field placement OR another outside source. Denver Law does not provide any payment at this time for externships.
  2. You are required to meet with a Denver Law externship faculty member to discuss this option and obtain approval during the semester prior to your externship (in advance of the stated externship deadline). Email to set up this meeting.
  3. Regardless of pay status, both the student and Supervisors must still agree to abide by all of the requirements, rules, and regulations surrounding externships for credit as discussed in the Student Handbook, Supervisors Manual, Semester-Specific Acceptance Form, student and supervisor certifications (found in CORE), ABA standards for field placements, and any other documentation provided by Denver Law.
  4. Denver Law externship faculty will need to communicate with the Supervisor about the paid externship prior to approval. If the Supervisor is new to our system, an application is required, as it is for all new supervisors regardless of pay status.
  5. All students and Supervisors must complete the Semester-Specific Acceptance Form and indicate, as requested, whether or not payment is being provided by the placement and/or received by the extern.
  6. Students seeking credit for work with a current employer may be eligible to receive both pay and credit for an externship with the same employer. A memo describing the increased educational value of the experience and how the work will be substantially different from the work the student is already engaged in as an employee is required. This must be submitted by the Supervisor, not the student, via email to during the semester prior to your externship (in advance of the stated externship deadline). Work might be considered substantially different, for example, if it includes different projects, a new supervisor, or involves work in a different division of the office. Evening division students and students who are employed part-time in legal offices may fall into this category of students.
  7. Students who are enrolled in paid externships are NOT ELIGIBLE to satisfy their public service requirement through such externships even if the externship was at a government agency or nonprofit (which typically does satisfy the public service requirement).
  8. If an opportunity to receive payment presents itself during the semester in which you are enrolled for an externship for credit through Denver Law (vs. pre enrollment), email to discuss whether you are able to adjust your externship so that it can become a paid externship.
  9. Students are limited to two paid or unpaid externships for credit with the same placement. However, allowances for additional paid or unpaid externships with a placement may be permitted in limited circumstances. Email to schedule a meeting with externship faculty.

If a student or Supervisor has any questions or concerns about paid externships, email

Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208