Info for Interested Companies


The Corporate Counsel Externship Program is offered once per academic year in the fall semester only.  Each participating corporation must designate an attorney in its legal department to serve as its extern’s field supervisor.  These attorneys play a critical role in the experiential learning experience and assist SMU Dedman Law in ensuring that the academic goals of the program are met.

Field supervisors oversee and train externs as well as provide feedback on their work product and professional skills. The program requires minimal administrative time.  Field Supervisors are provided with a detailed handbook wtih information on the Program as well as some suggestions on how the experiential learning component may occur in their legal department.  We realize, however, that the corporations involved in the Program differ and thus, each individual placement will reflect a unique, learning experience.  

Externship placements begin the week after Labor Day and continue for 12 weeks, through the last week of November.  Students will not report to their externship placements the week of Thanksgiving.  Externs must complete a minimum of 120 hours by the last day of classes. 

Externs will submit weekly timesheets to the Faculty Supervisor to verify their hours and also to become accustomed to the way lawyers in firms must report their time.  

Field Supervisors evaluate students in the middle and at the end of the placements based on their legal skills, professionalism, quality of work, responsiveness to the “client” and ability to work with the corporate legal team  Electronic versions of the evaluation forms will be emailed to all Field Supervisors at the appropriate evaluation times.

Students cannot be compensated for work done at their placements; they receive four hours academic credit for successfully completing the course and their externship placements.

SMU Dedman Law is extremely grateful to field supervisors and their support of this valuable program. These attorneys are incredibly busy yet take time away from their practices to work with our students.  There is no academic substitute for the learning experience our students receive at their corporate placements.

>"I believe that one of the most valuable attributes of the Corporate Counsel Externship Program is providing students exposure to the legal profession through the perspective of in-house counsel.  As future attorneys, understanding the needs of in-house counsel enables the student to better serve corporate clients when retained as outside counsel.  No other law school course can provide this opportunity.”
The Beck Group
Michael Walraven
If your company is interested in hosting an extern through the program in Fall 2016, please contact Steve Yeager, Faculty Supervisor, at SYEAGER@SMU.EDU or (214) 768-4178.