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My externship placement with the South Carolina Department of Education has been one of the best experiences I have had in law school. The Administrative Law Externship gave me the ability to explore a possible interest of mine to determine whether it was an area of law I would like to practice after graduation. It is perfect for the summer and the once a week seminar class with other Administrative Law externs offered support and validation. The feedback I received from my supervisor helped me develop my writing and drafting skills and the experiences I was able to have were things I would have never thought possible at the Department of Ed. Even while in the middle of COVID, I was still able to have a well-rounded experience. I was able to sit in on depositions, go out of the office and ask questions to witnesses with other attorneys present, draft orders, and conduct research. All in all, I highly recommend the summer Administrative Law Externship to any rising 3L as it helps in networking and sharpens various legal skills. — Kaitlyn B. Guttridge, Class of 2021

The Administrative Law Externship was absolutely worth doing this summer. I worked closely with multiple experienced attorneys during my externship at the South Carolina Department of Corrections, and they each went out of their way to provide me with interesting assignments to work on, while also being nothing but supportive throughout the time I was there. I worked on many motions that were subsequently filed, as well as researched topics that the Agency may use to influence actual policy. In addition, the environment of the Office of General Counsel was eminently professional and not “prison-like.” If you have the opportunity to enroll in the Externship Program, you should take advantage of it.  Cody Hochstetler, Class of 2020

My experience with the administrative law externship will be the crown jewel of my legal education. To work alongside Joe Shenkar, general counsel for the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), has truly been a blessing. During this externship I conducted nationwide legal research, assisted in contract negotiations, represented DAODAS at a conference in DC, and drafted a policy memorandum for governor’s office. This is an externship with a purpose — a mission — which if you recognize you will have every opportunity for professional development imaginable. I cannot speak highly enough of my experience and gladly recommend this opportunity to anyone interested in the mission of DAODAS. — John Gardner, Class of 2020

My externship with the Department of Health and Environmental Control was a great chance to see the gears in motion. I had the opportunity to sit in on due-process hearings and a Board meeting for an upcoming rule-making change.  With the feedback of my professor and my externship supervisor, I was also able to improve my writing and research skills. The attorneys at the Department wanted to get me involved at every opportunity, and I am very thankful for the experience. — Max Wesemann, Class of 2018

My externship with the Civil Rights Division of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only did I get to see firsthand the types of civil rights issues that Medicaid beneficiaries may experience, I got to make a difference with the work and research that I did. I got an insider view into the inner workings of a state agency and how it operates. I am so lucky to have gotten to meet so many amazing people within the government who work hard to make the state better for all! — Rebecca Akselrod, Class of 2017

I highly recommend the Administrative Law Externship for students who want to learn more about the administrative law decision-making process. Participating in the Administrative Law Externship Program was a rewarding experience for me. Not only did I learn more than I could have ever hoped for, but I also was able to see real legal issues in a real-world setting. The externship program allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of government agencies as well as put my administrative law classroom knowledge to use outside of the classroom. My externship has taught me research and analytical skills that will be helpful in becoming a practicing attorney. — Ivia Smith, Class of 2017

The Administrative Law Externship has been one of the best experiences I have had in law school. The attorneys at the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation are so helpful and willing to work with you. You learn a lot about the administrative process and are able to sit in on hearings to get a broader understanding of how agencies operate. This was absolutely a phenomenal experience and I would definitely do it again if given the choice! — William O’Shields, Class of 2017

Both my placement at Santee Cooper and my supervising attorney were extraordinary. Working there not only strengthened my ability to advocate, business knowledge, and research skills, it also helped me clarify my career path. It was a wonderful place to get my hands dirty with an assortment of legal issues and to make recommendations to my supervisor in a safe space. Her feedback on my work was a huge eye-opener. In law school, we don’t often have the chance to hear whether the position we take on an issue is the correct one or best for the client, or even if there are better solutions we had not thought of. I can’t recommend this experience enough! — Anna Lynn Moore, Class of 2017

Overall, my experience at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has been very rewarding and I think I have grown a lot. Not only have I gained a better understanding of the inner workings of administrative law, I feel that my experience has solidified my desire to work in this area. During my externship I have improved my researching skills immensely. I know this will be a useful skill that I will be able to utilize throughout my final year of law school and beyond. — Lexi Flores, Class of 2017

An externship is a great opportunity for students to specifically select an area of law in which they would like to gain more experience, which is different from a law clerk position because your chances of obtaining a law clerk position in your specific area of preference are much more limited. For instance, prior to my externship I know that I would like to practice education law, including special education law and eventually get into education policy. This is a very specific and narrow field, and there are very few firms and opportunities in this area.

The administrative externship was my greatest opportunity to gain more exposure to this field by working for the SC Department of Education in the Office of General Counsel. I was able to work in all three of these specific areas. I worked with the attorneys who specialized in special education law. I was able to learn more about South Carolina education policies and policy making by attending monthly meetings of the SC State Board of Education. I also learned about the overlap of education law and employment law when I worked with cases involving breach of contract and teacher disciplinary cases.

Not only did I gain more experience in the area of law that I prefer, but also I was able to make connections with education law professionals who worked for the Department of Education and for firms that specialize in this area. My externship has also lead to other employment opportunities, and as law students, that’s our ultimate goal. I hope everyone has as great an experience as I did! — Chelsea Rikard, Class of 2014

An externship is a great opportunity to 1) gain experience and add it to your resume, and 2) an even better opportunity to meet people. My supervisor at the Division of Natural Resources and just telling people that I was an extern there has led to many conversations at networking events (always leads to “Oh! You like environmental law and land use? I should introduce you to so-and-so,” or “Do you know xyz?” etc.). — Sara Bozarth, Class of 2014

I really enjoyed my placement, and it solidified my interest in crimes against children prosecution. I also am incredibly happy that I got to learn from and watch an attorney that is respected on both sides of the aisle for her prosecution style. — Meghan Gasser, Class of 2019

The Externship Program at USC School of Law has allowed me to gain hand-on experience that has shaped my career path. I externed at the SC Attorney General’s Office in the State Grand Jury Unit and assisted on domestic violence and criminal sexual conduct cases. That experience really prepared me for my summer position clerking at the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. This semester I did the Children’s Law Externship and was able to work in the juvenile unit at the 5th Circuit Public Defender’s Office. The externship program has provided me invaluable knowledge and experiences and has also given me the rare opportunity to work on both the prosecution and defense sides of criminal law before graduating. I highly recommend all of our externship classes to any law student. — Megan Raymer, Class of 2018

I had the pleasure of participating in children’s law externship. I was placed at the Kershaw County Guardian ad Litem office. It was such an honor and privilege working with this organization. It was nice to gain firsthand experience with individuals whose sole purpose is to advocate for the best interest of children. I had never met such dedicated and devoted people, who truly go above and beyond to ensure that those children who have been abused and/or neglected are represented in court. I was in awe with the program and what it had to offer, so much so that I became a guardian ad litem myself and I have the children’s law externship to thank for this wonderful opportunity. — Jazmon Kearse, Class of 2014

The Children’s Law Externship was one of the best experiences I’ve had in law school. Working with lawyers at the Attorney General’s office who prosecute child abuse cases everyday encouraged me to pursue a job as a solicitor after law school so that I too can be a voice for those victims who cannot fight for themselves. Not only did the Children’s Law Externship inspire my career choice, it also gave me practical skills, like interviewing victims and working in an office environment that I could not have obtained in the classroom. I wholeheartedly recommend any externship to any law student. — Pete Shahid, Class of 2014

Participating in the externship program was an unexpected turning point in my law school career, because it marked the first time that my place within the practice of law felt real and within reach. I spent my summer doing death penalty defense with the Capital Division at the South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense. From the start I was thrown into trial work and given assignments for cases that expanded my range of skill and knowledge. I got to focus intently on a handful of individual cases, and even meet with the clients. But beyond the obvious practical benefit of this work, I am even more grateful for the intangible effects it had in improving my confidence and giving me a greater sense of purpose and responsibility. My time at SCCID gave me a sense of direction that I had been missing, and has provided much needed perspective on where I want to go in my career. This applies not merely to what areas of law catch my attention, but to the kind of people I want to be around and the kind of culture and environment I want to make a career in. This wouldn't have been possible without the incredible people I was able to meet through the externship program, who were quick to take me under their wing and include me in social and networking opportunities that are now leading to potential jobs. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from this program in some way. — Georgia Higgins, Class of 2020

My externship experience at the Attorney General’s was one of the most fulfilling experiences that I’ve had at the law school. Not only did I work with wonderful people, but I learned so many practical things about criminal law and had the opportunity to use my legal research skills. I truly enjoyed the wide-range of work that I was exposed to, because I was able to observe attorneys in court, attend plea hearings, and help the attorneys prepare for trial. Before this externship, I took trial ad and I feared the courtroom, but now that has changed. I’ve learned so much about the criminal system and the role that prosecutors play. Prosecutors truly have the power to help people, who are at their lowest point, and this is what touched me the most. — Hillary Palmore, Class of 2019 (December)

My placement at the Richland County PD’s Office was incredible, in every conceivable way. Not only did I have endless opportunities to put my legal mind and skills to the test, but it helped me see the role my work played in the overall system, which was an invaluable experience. This is hands-down the most hands-on clerkship I’ve ever worked, and would recommend this externship experience to any future extern looking to get down and dirty in the criminal defense field. — Tyler Silvestro, Class of 2019

My criminal law externship has been one of the most fulfilling experiences I have participated in. As a student with no legal background or work history, I feared my skills from school would not meet the standard for the legal work environment. After spending seven weeks with the Lexington Public Defender’s Office, I feel much more confident in my ability to perform a legal job. The analytical skills I developed in school can be tailored around research tactics used in any law firm. I was able to bring relevant cases to my supervisors and found helpful cases we used for trial. In addition to gaining skills for the work place, the criminal law externship also opens your eyes to a world that many fail to acknowledge. There are so many issues with incarceration rates that play into a backed up legal system. Having this job over the summer has given me a new perspective on my life and allowed me to empathize with others. I am grateful to have the opportunity to provide assistance to those in need of my services and I am proud that I was capable of providing effective assistance.  — Phillip Kellogg, Class of 2019

If you are interested in federal law enforcement, or federal criminal practice in general, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is a great place to get experience. The attorneys at the USAO immediately make you feel like part of the team and give you the chance to contribute from the start. You will have countless opportunities to research complex federal issues and attend a variety of court proceedings. You will also be exposed to fascinating subject matter and case facts while getting hands on experience in federal law enforcement by learning how to draft documents like indictments, motions, and PCR briefs. My externship at the U.S. Attorney’s Office has been one of my favorite law school experiences and I enjoyed going to work every day. I cannot recommend this externship opportunity enough. — Matthew Robins, Class of 2018  

The Externship Program has been such a rewarding experience and a great opportunity to learn intricate details about practicing criminal law (including how to do an initial client interview; how to handle first and second appearances; and negotiating with prosecutors) as well as the opportunity to meet so many lawyers, judges, support staff, and clients. — Eugenia Stanfield, Class of 2018

I highly recommend the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) externship for those who have a combined interest in criminal and administrative law. The experience you will receive while working there is unique, as the supervising attorney handles legal questions and cases that arise from all over the state. There is a good combination of compliance-type work and criminal law research and writing. You may also be exposed to legislative research. Most of all, the people you will meet are incredibly friendly and helpful! This externship is not only a great way to maintain your current skills and learn some new ones, but it is an excellent networking opportunity. I am forever grateful to the externship program and the people at SLED for providing me with this invaluable opportunity while in law school. — Jennifer Greene, Class of 2018

My summer externship at the Attorney General’s Office has reminded me that I am in law school because I want to be a lawyer and I am going to LOVE being a lawyer. This is honestly the best thing that a person gains from doing an externship. It is easy to forget why you are in law school and to start thinking “wow what if I really just suck at this and no one had the heart to tell me?” This externship has wiped my fears away. I remember why I enrolled in law school. I got my confidence back and that is truly what I needed this summer. — Grace Barringer, Class of 2017

My summer externship with the Capital Trial Division of the South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense was an incredible opportunity to work hands-on with pending death penalty cases. Working side-by-side with an experienced attorney allowed me to meet several clients and complete work that furthered the case for the defense. The legal work I completed was substantive work-product material necessary for the defense’s case-at-hand. My goals for the program were to learn more about the criminal justice system and ensure that all of these indigent clients facing the death penalty received the best defense possible. It is an honor for me to say that these goals have well-been accomplished. — Caitlyn Pennington, Class of 2017

During my externship I was able to find cases or statutes that allowed the attorneys to move forward with trial preparation and would provide the basis for the arguments that they would make during trial. It was a good feeling to have an attorney slap me high five when I resolved a critical issue or hear them cite the cases that I found on the record in court. Sure, some of these issues that I was able to resolve may have been an inevitable discovery, that if the attorneys did the research they would have found them too, the point is that I was the one who found them. No matter how strongly you feel that you would be able to do something given the opportunity, you don’t truly know until you do it. For me, this externship program gave me the opportunity to do just that, to show myself that I can work in a fast paced, high pressured legal environment and not just survive, but thrive. — Robert J. Grimm, Class of 2017

The summer Criminal Law Externship was an invaluable experience that allowed me to convert the classroom to the workroom. Being able to apply actual concepts learned in the classroom to the real world, allowed me to see just how great of a job our professors do and to further envision my future. Most importantly, not only did the program allow me to gain great practical experience in a prosecution setting, but it gave me the opportunity to build relationships with some great attorneys that will last throughout my career. — Stuart Brooks, Class of 2014

My externship with the Federal Public Defender’s Office was an excellent opportunity to work one-on-one with an experienced lawyer in a real-life context. I was given both the freedom and responsibility to work on a long-term project that affected people’s freedom. It was a very useful and rewarding experience and I am happy that I took the opportunity to gain a new perspective. — Chelsea Clark, Class of 2014

Choosing to do the In-House Externship Program with AstenJohnson is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  As an extern, I was able to work hands on with the general counsel of an international company and gain valuable experience that can only be learned in the Externship Program.  For anyone with an interest in corporate or transactional law, I highly recommend the In-House Counsel Externship Program. — W. Greyson Land, Class of 2019

I have truly enjoyed my time working as a law clerk with the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina (ECSC). Not only did this externship placement directly relate to my personal career goals but I was able to valuable insight into the life of general counsel of an entity. As a law clerk, I was able to research and write legal memos concerning varying subject matter. Furthermore, I was able to engage with a number of different stakeholders which gave me a valuable perspective. I am very fortunate to have gained a great mentor and I am looking forward to continuing to work as a law clerk for the ECSC next semester. — Kintéshia S. Scott, Class of 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of my externship. The judge and her clerks pushed me to become a better writer and researcher. I was nervous my first week because I did not know what I had gotten into, but this class by far has been one of the best parts of my law school experience. For me my externship gave me more insight into the direction I wanted to guide my career and where my interests in the law laid. Beyond opening my eyes to what I was interested in practicing as a lawyer, the externship provided me a safe place to hone my writing skills. All around it was an experience that I would recommend to any student who wants a chance to see the law at work and to receive mentorship from great members of the legal profession. —Matthew Cauthen, Class of 2020

I had the privilege of externing with Judge Childs throughout this past semester. It was an incredible opportunity that gave me so much insight into what clerking for a judge would actually be like. This was one of my primary goals in the judicial externship, and it affirmed the desires that I have to clerk for a judge after graduation. Judge Childs and her clerks went above and beyond to make sure our experience in chambers was both practical and created an environment where we could learn and grow. I know that because of this opportunity I am a better writer and will take the experiences from this past semester well past graduation. — Anna Smith, Class of 2020

My judge provided me with invaluable courtroom observation experience and legal assignments. He was direct about what he wanted and provided feedback. I want to be a judicial law clerk after graduation, and this externship helped me understand exactly what it takes to become one. — Kaitlin Cook, Class of 2019

My Externship with Judge Robert Hood was one of my most rewarding post-secondary educational experiences. — Zander Carrie, Class of 2019

I would highly recommend working in Judge Childs’s chambers through the judicial externship program to any USC law student who is interested in learning more about the judicial process, working closely with a Judge and her law clerks, and contributing to the work of the court. — Erica Safran, Class of 2019


Do it! Take advantage of the judicial externship program! I gained a close set of friends, familiarity with the courthouse system, insights on a judge’s perspective, and an incomparable opportunity to view several areas of the law — all for 2 credit hours. I highly recommend this experience! — Emily Godwin, Class of 2018

A judicial externship is one of the most invaluable experiences that our law school has to offer. Whether you are interested in clerking after graduation or the nuances of a courtroom, this is truly the only opportunity you have to get hands-on experience AND class credit. My externship with Federal District Judge Lewis enlightened me on many facets of the judicial system, allowed me to expand my network, and helped me establish my future career goals. — Elle E. Klein, Class of 2018

My judicial externship with Judge Seymour was one of the best experiences I have had in law school. Everyone in Judge Seymour’s chambers were welcoming and willing to answer any questions I had about the topics I was working on. I was given assignments that that pushed me to not only think critically but also objectively about a topic while further strengthening my writing skills. This externship experience has affirmed my desire to pursue a clerkship after graduation. I would recommend this experience to anyone, the hands-on experience you get from it is invaluable. — Caitlin Burchette, Class of 2018

My externship with Judge Bruce Williams at the South Carolina Court of Appeals was an incredible experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in a judicial clerkship. By affording me the opportunity to work with Judge Williams’ law clerks in editing bench memos and opinions, exposing me to the day-to-day responsibilities of an appellate law clerk, and helping me improve my writing and editing skills, this externship affirmed my desire to pursue a judicial clerkship. — Patrick Bradley, Class of 2018

My judicial externship experience with Judge Childs was both unforgettable and invaluable. With my goal of eventually having a civil litigation practice, Judge Childs made a special effort to expose me to issues in that area of practice. From day one, Judge Childs and everyone in her chambers make you feel welcomed as part of the family. I was fortunate enough to be invited to sit in on hearings and allowed to work closely with Judge Childs and her judicial clerks in drafting orders and opinions across a wide variety of legal topics. This externship has an unbelievable impact on my understanding of both procedural and substantive aspects of the law, and I am certain that it will continue to have that impact as I finish my education and make the transition to a career as an attorney. It is a rare opportunity for a law student — or any lawyer for that matter — to see and be a part of the inner workings of the Federal District Court, and I can’t possibly recommend this experience enough, especially if you are at all interested in litigation. — Carson R. Parker, Class of 2017

My summer in the Judicial Externship program has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in law school. Being able to work closely with a Federal Judge is an opportunity that most law students do not have, but they should! I was able to draft orders and assist with trial preparation. This externship will have a lasting impact on my legal education and career. I would highly recommend any student who has an interest in clerking to do this externship because this experience is invaluable! — Lauren Lavin, Class of 2017

The summer externship course at USC Law is a true hidden gem. The externship was a perfect fit because it combined my desire to eventually practice appellate law with the skills I developed during my first two years of school. I was fortunate enough to spend thirteen weeks during the summer after my 2L year working for the Honorable Kaye G. Hearn, Associate Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

From day one as a Hearn-tern (the name Justice Hearn uses to affectionately describe her interns), I was given big shoes to fill. My tasks included a wide variety of research and writing assignments and I attended every hearing of the Court during my summer. I got to know many of the Justices on a personal level. I had the opportunity to draft bench memoranda that were reviewed by Justice Hearn and distributed to all members of the Court. In addition, I provided support on opinion writing and drafted speeches for Justice Hearn to give before public groups. The ability to have my work critiqued daily by a Supreme Court Justice was an invaluable experience that took my writing game to the next level.

I would highly recommend a Supreme Court externship to anyone willing to work hard who wishes to learn about appellate practice in South Carolina. — Steve Meyer, Class of 2014

I really enjoyed my experience with the Judicial Externship program. I had the opportunity to clerk for a Federal Judge — helping her draft opinions and participating in trial preparation. The skills I learned during my externship semester have been valuable not only in my summer clerkships, but also in my class work. — Lauren Patterson, Class of 2014

Participating in the Legislative Externship has been one of the best experiences of my law school career. It is such a unique opportunity that most law schools cannot offer, so I felt very fortunate to have this opportunity while in law school. This externship allowed me to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real world situations. I was able to research important legal issues, draft bill summaries and work on current legislation. The structure of the externship allowed me to work in both the House and the Senate, so I was able to see how both bodies function. In addition, working with one committee at a time allowed me to build relationships with the staff, who were extremely welcoming and willing to help me in any way. My supervisors wanted to ensure I was always getting the best experience possible, so I was also able to frequently attend subcommittee meetings, full committee meetings and session for both bodies. Attending these meetings allowed me to see the legislative process in action and provided me a much deeper understanding of how law-making actually works. Attending these meetings, and other events, also provided me opportunities to meet attorneys from different committees, lobbyists and legislators from all over the state, and thus expanding my network. I highly recommend this externship for anyone who is interested in policy, government work or politics, or even someone who is unsure what they want to do. It is such an interesting and fun experience! — Celeste Benson, Class of 2020

My externship at the South Carolina State House was one of the most beneficial experiences of my law school career. The legislative externship brought the classroom into the real world and allowed me to learn more about the personal factors that affect legislative process. Observing subcommittee meetings, full committee meetings, and session for both the House and the Senate allowed me to understand the subtle differences between the two legislative bodies. Staff for both bodies were always willing to conform my assignments to best match my interests and my schedule in order to ensure that I got the most out of my experience. In my opinion, the best part of the legislative externship is the abundance of network opportunities with staff, lobbyists, and legislators. I would highly recommend the legislative externship to anyone looking to learn more about legislative process and hoping to gain a better understanding of how information learned in the classroom applies to the real world. — Ivey LaValle, Class of 2019

My externship with the House Legislative Oversight Committee definitely has been one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences I have had in law school. The staff on the Committee were incredible to work with and were always willing to answer any questions I had related to my assigned research tasks. I learned so much about our state legislature and how the oversight process works and am grateful for all of the exposure I gained through observing Committee meetings and watching the House Budget on the floor. I would highly recommend this externship for anyone who has an interest in politics and an interest in learning how our state legislature operates on a daily basis. — Gurbani Saini, Class of 2018

Working alongside State Senator Marlon Kimpson in his first term in Columbia presented the invaluable opportunity for me to apply my passion for Constitutional law in the very environment that wrestles with federalism and supremacy the most. As an extern, I found myself immersed in the relevant legal questions and concerns underlying the bills that were being discussed on the Senate floor. The Legislative Externship, for me, provided a comprehensive legal perspective of State governance in real time. I would recommend this experience to any student who has an interest in parsing through contemporary legal issues in the realm of State affairs that addresses them at their inception. — Adam Mandell, Class of 2014

Participating in USC Law’s Legislative Externship was such a rewarding experience. I learned a great deal about our great state’s legislative process and got a sneak peek behind the scenes at how the SC House of Representatives deals with important issues that affect our lives every day. One of the most beneficial aspects of the externship was the networking opportunities it offered. It was because of the relationships that I formed with various Representatives and staff and the critical knowledge I gained about the inner workings of the State House that I was able to secure my position as a law clerk for the House Labor, Commerce and Industry committee this year. I would highly recommend that anyone who is considering a career in government or policy take advantage of this great opportunity. — Sarah Phillips, Class of 2014


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