Legal employers expect law graduates to have the knowledge and skills necessary to be competent and ethical lawyers. In Iowa’s classrooms, law students master legal subjects and practice problem solving, analytical and writing skills.
Equally important to students’ success as professionals is what they learn through legal experiences outside the law building. Iowa offers its students many such opportunities: volunteer legal placements with government, legal aid and nonprofits; regional and national competitions for moot court, intellectual property, arbitration and trial advocacy; and a high-credit legal clinic where students work on real cases with faculty in a law firm setting.
Iowa’s Field Placement Program offers additional high-quality educational experiences that involve students in the performance of legal work in government or non-profit agencies, criminal prosecution or defense offices, state and federal judges’ chambers, international law offices and agencies, as well as in a limited number of private practice and corporate settings. In addition to earning credit for their field work, students in field placements participate in a seminar or tutorial, led by a faculty member, where they maximize the learning that they gain from the field experience.
The law school’s field placement program offerings include:
91:267 Field Placement: General. (3 – 14 s.h.)
Year- round. Students earn credit in a wide range of placements (see here for a list of prior externships by type), including private, for-profit settings. Some placements are routinely offered and arranged by the law school, and others are arranged by students and approved by faculty. Some placements are local and students take them along with their other classes. Other students’ placements are full-time, located across the country and around the world.
91:395 Summer Legal Placement. (3 s.h.)
Student-arranged and faculty approved opportunities for direct involvement in activities characteristically performed by attorneys; in-depth exposure to the many facets of the practice of law; career exploration and professional development. Specially designed for, but not limited to, students who have just completed their 1L year.
91:399 Field Placement: Judicial. (6 – 15 s.h.)
Students work closely with a federal district court judge or state appellate judge, conducting research and drafting a wide variety of legal memoranda, orders and opinions. Students assist in hearings and perform other duties generally associated with a judicial clerkship. Students meet weekly with a faculty supervisor to discuss the student’s work in chambers and take part in bi-weekly classroom discussions with other externs.
In addition to corporate placements secured by individual students and approved by faculty under 91:267: Field Placements: General, this placement is regularly available:
91:450 Field Placement: Corporate Law Practicum. (various credits)
One student is selected each year for placement at the Delaware Supreme Court.
In addition to international placements secured by individual students and approved by faculty under 91:267: Field Placements: General, these placements are regularly available:
91:267 Field Placement: International Criminal Law at The Hague (semester- or year-long: various credit). Placements with various international criminal institutions located in The Hague, The Netherlands, including the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Cambodia and the International Criminal Court.
91:267 Field Placement: London (spring semester, in conjunction with the London Law Consortium, 660:824.)
Students volunteer 10 to 20 hours a week for a nonprofit organization, law firm, or other legal setting under the direct supervision of a lawyer. They also attend a weekly seminar and write a research paper. Students are placed or find their own placement. 3 – 5 s.h. See important details here, including VISA requirements.
The faculty’s policy governing for-credit Field Placements can be found here.
Questions and other requests for information can be directed to:
Associate Dean for Civic Engagement
And Instructor at Law
University of Iowa College of Law
Iowa City, IA 52242