Legal Externship Program

Specialty Programs

Specialty Programs

The Legal Externship Program offers different specialty programs in which applications are solicited and students enroll in subject-specific, robust seminars that range from 1 to 3 credits. The seminars typically teach a mix of substantive law and skills relevant to the area of practice. These programs often have earlier deadlines than regular externships and may or may not be offered every semester/year– please review!

Cannabis Specialty | Child Advocacy | Corporate Apprenticeship | Jefferson County Prosecution Lab | Public Sector Pledge for Diverse Students | Racial, Social, & Economic Justice | Semester in Practice | Veterans Advocacy Project

Cannabis Specialty

The Cannabis Specialty Externship Program is an opportunity for students to interact with organizations, law firms, government entities, and companies working in cannabis law and intersecting areas. This program would be the first of its kind - to date, no other law school has such a program. This program is part of the Legal Externship Program at the Sturm College of Law and will take place in the spring 2019 semester. For additional information about the program, please click here.

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Child Advocacy

The goal of this program is to train law students on the underlying legal issues involving children, youth, and their families so that students are prepared to advocate on behalf of children in Colorado’s courts. It also aims to develop a robust and supportive community of students and supervising attorneys engaged in children’s legal work. It includes an externship and a 2-credit specialty seminar. The seminar focuses on the substantive law behind legal advocacy for children and youth. It primarily explores the fundamentals of dependency and neglect proceedings involving abused or neglected children, but also exposes students to juvenile delinquency law, education law, immigration law, and other intersections of youth and the legal system.

Applications are due March 4, 2019 to for the Fall 2019 program.

Application information for the Fall 2019 program

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Corporate Apprenticeship Program

The Corporate Apprenticeship Program (CAP) is an opportunity for students to work in the legal department of a corporation. CAP is one of the oldest in-house externship programs in the country. It began in the 1980’s and has been offered every year since its inception.

Students extern at the placement and take a corresponding one credit seminar taught by an expert in in-house practice. Participating organizations typically include:

  • Lockheed Martin
  • Great-West Financial
  • MarkWest Energy Partners
  • National Bank Holdings
  • Ciber Inc.
  • National MS Society
  • Paladina health
  • Translogic Corp. dba Swisslog
  • TeleTech Holdings, Ind.
  • Westmoreland Coal Company
  • Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield
  • SM Energy
  • CH2MHill
  • Johns Manville
  • Envision Health Care

The CAP program is offered only during the spring semester. Contact for details.

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Jefferson County Prosecution Lab

The Jefferson County Prosecution Lab runs each summer. It is a robust way to do a deep dive into prosecution work. Responsibilities include research and writing on various felony and misdemeanor legal issues, and for students who have completed at least 60 credits and are certified under the Student Practice Rule, working in the courtroom on their own cases with county court deputy district attorneys. Students may also have a chance to work in a specialized prosecution division, like the juvenile or trafficking units. Students enroll in a corresponding 2-credit seminar taught at the DA’s office by Asst. District Attorney Michael Dougherty.

Students typically apply to the externship office in November of the preceding year for the summer program (e.g. November 2016 for Summer 2017 externship). Email to learn more.

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Public Sector Pledge for Diverse Students

Students who identify as diverse should apply to the Public Sector Pledge Program co-sponsored by Judge Kristen L. Mix, the Legal Externship Program, and the Career Development and Opportunities Office. This program typically runs in the fall semester and includes placements and supervisors dedicated to the public good and to diversifying the legal profession. Placements typically include judicial chambers, prosecution offices, state and federal public defenders, state and federal government agencies, and nonprofits. Fall 2019 applications are due March 19, 2019. Include a general cover letter, resume, and a completed required cover sheet, which includes the list of placements and allows you to choose preferences. Send your completed application to on or before the deadline.

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Racial, Social, & Economic Justice

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

The Racial, Social and Economic Justice Program (RSEJ) brings together students, lawyers, and a range of organizations and agencies that specifically address issues of racial, social and economic justice within different practice settings and across different issues areas.

Students will extern at the placement, and take a corresponding one credit seminar taught by Prof. Alexi Freeman specifically about racial and social justice work. Participating organizations typically include:

  • Government agencies: US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development: Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity; US Dept. of Education: Office for Civil Rights; and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Plaintiff’s side firms focused on anti-discrimination: Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC; Kilmer Lane and Newman, the Meyer Law Office, Sweeney & Bechtold LLC, and Lowrey Parady, LLC.
  • Nonprofit organizations: ACLU of Colorado, the Native American Rights Fund, the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, and the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network.

The RSEJ program is offered only during the spring semesters. Application information for Spring 2017 is now available. Contact for details.

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Semester in Practice

“The Semester in Practice really works…he is ready to take an associate’s job.”

The Semester in Practice (SiP) gives students the opportunity to develop practice skills by fulfilling 15 credits (12 field work credits plus a three credit graded seminar). Students work full time during the externship (40 hours per week).

In this capstone experience, offered only to students in their last year of law school, students have significant exposure to the substantive law in their externship, and focus on skills and professional identity in their seminar. One of a handful of such programs in the country, the Semester in Practice is a bridge from law school to practice.

Each SiP is customized to the needs and desires of the student. Faculty meet with prospective students to help them find the externship that will provide significant development for them on their way to becoming practicing lawyers. Students in the past have participated in the SiP at a huge range of placements, both private and public. If you are a supervisor, please click here for more information about Semester in Practice.

As enrollment is limited, students are required to complete an application to be admitted to the program. Semester in Practice applications for Fall 2019 will open on February 11, 2019 and are due by 11:59 pm on March 29, 2019. Students are notified of status by April 29, 2019. 

Deadline for registration for Fall Semester SiP is May 10, 2019. Deadline for registration for Spring Semester 2020 SiP will be November 1, 2019. Students may be accepted to the Semester in Practice program after the deadline if there is space available. Please contact .

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Veterans Advocacy Project

“Serving those who have served us.”

Click here to learn more about the Veteran’s Advocacy Project.

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