Legal Externship Program
Greetings from Denver Law’s Legal Externship Program!
An integral part of one of the nation’s top ten clinical programs, Denver Law’s Legal Externship Program continues to innovate while keeping our students’ interests, goals, and academic needs first and foremost. With the fall semester fully underway, we are excited to have our largest ever fall student enrollment! As always, students are putting their talents to use across public and private sectors, growing their skills, honing in on their interests, and developing a strong sense of their professional identities, while faculty work tirelessly to support them inside and outside of the classroom.
Professor Kristen Uhl Hulse
This semester builds on an incredibly busy summer. Overall, for academic year 2017-2018, our students collectively devoted close to 120,000 hours in the field. The program hosted 520 externships completed by 386 students, and partnered with over 300 supervisors. We are fortunate that as our program grows, our team also grows! This past summer, we were excited to welcome Prof. Kristen Uhl Hulse as a full-time permanent faculty member to our team. Prof. Hulse now heads up our corporate externships and supports our private firm externships. She is also our liaison to the Foundations for Practice initiative at IAALS, an effort that aims to explore ways of aligning law school curriculum with employer expectations and client needs. Prof. Hulse previously practiced as a transactional attorney at a law firm in DC and London, and most recently served as Director of Attorney Recruitment and Professional Development at a San Francisco-based law firm. Having worked in career and professional development offices at Georgetown Law and Berkeley Law, Prof. Hulse is no stranger to legal education and we are thrilled to be able to share her expertise and experience with our students, supervisors, and the broader clinical community.
The fall and spring semesters also allow us to host many of our specialty programs. These programs offer unique opportunities to bring together students, supervisors, and faculty to provide intensive, tailored instruction and support to our students in both the field and the classroom. For example, we will launch the Cannabis Specialty Externship Program this spring, which will provide an opportunity for students to interact with organizations, law firms, government entities, and companies working in cannabis law and intersecting areas. This program is the first of its kind – to date, no other law school has such a program. Externship faculty professor Colleen Scarola recruited 13 field placements. Students enrolled will take a one-credit seminar with Professor Scarola, which will address topics specific to the practice of law in the cannabis industry including procuring insurance for cannabis operations and exploring insurance coverage issues, products liability issues such as failure to warn, design and manufacturing defects, and fitness for use, and compliance and regulations.
Additionally, in Spring 2019, we will again run the long-standing Corporate Apprenticeship Program (CAP), our specialty externship program for corporate in-house placements. Through CAP, externs will complete supervised fieldwork in the legal, compliance, and contracts departments of companies in the technology, financial services, healthcare, energy, and legal services sectors (among others). To round out this field experience, students will take a one-credit seminar that will explore the role of in-house counsel, techniques for working collaboratively with company business units, and ethical issues surrounding in-house practice, and will include guest lectures from current in-house practitioners and external counsel. To date, 15 supervisors plan to participate in the program!
Likewise in the spring, our flagship Semester in Practice program will continue with a new crop of students. Currently, our twelve Semester in Practice (SIP) students are busy as ever, immersing themselves in their placements as a capstone to their legal education. One student, as part of his work with a cannabis practice area within a large law firm, found himself presenting at the national cannabis law conference in Washington, DC. Another student ran a trial – a role usually reserved for post graduate law clerks – with a District Court judge in Colorado. Our two out-of-state SIP students are exploring the legal environments in our nation’s capital and in North Carolina; one examines extradition requests as part of her work with the Department of Justice while the other contributes to litigation representing prisoners on death row. With the ability to engage full time and receive support from our faculty, these students gain a breadth and depth of experience that few will have before they graduate law school.
At Denver Law, we are incredibly fortunate to receive great support from our colleagues, alumni network, broader Colorado legal community, and more. These relationships are critical to helping us help our students. We are deeply passionate and energetic about supporting our students’ evolution into legal professionals, and we look forward to continuing to elevate experiential learning in the Rocky Mountain West.
Associate Professor of the Practice Alexi Freeman
Awards & Appointments:
X-ITE Innovation Fellow, (2018-2019)
Outstanding Faculty Member 2017-2018, Student Bar Association
Faculty Career Champion, 2017-2018
Alexi Freeman & Katherine Steefel, “Uniting the Head, Hands, and Heart: How Externship Departments Can Combat Public Interest Drift,” Clinical Law Review (forthcoming Spring 2019)
Panelist, “Securing the Right to a Lawyer: A Workshop on Leveraging the Law School Classroom to Combat the Access to Justice Crisis,” 2018 SALT Teaching Conference, University Park, PA (October 5, 2018)
Assistant Professor of the Practice, Kristen Hulse
Panelist, “Professional Development from the Podium,” 2018 NALP ALI-CLE Professional Development Institute, Washington, DC (forthcoming November 2018)
Invited Presenter, “Emotional Intelligence – Navigating your Legal Career through Engagement,” Presentation to Associates at Davis Graham & Stubbs, Denver, CO (October 17, 2018)
Presenter, “How Active Listening Can Open Doors to New Opportunities, 2018 Professional Development Consortium Summer Conference,” Portland, OR (July 20, 2018)
Visiting Assistant Professor of the Practice Colleen Scarola
Panelist, “Administering Implicit Bias in the Clinical and Externships Setting-Am I the Problem?,” University of South Carolina School of Law, Southern Clinical Conference and Bellows Scholars Workshop, Charleston, SC (October 2018)
Panelist, “Work in Progress-Title TBD,” University of South Carolina School of Law, Southern Clinical Conference and Bellows Scholars Workshop, Charleston, SC (October 2018)