Rural Summer Externship Program



We are not currently accepting applications for the Rural Externship. Please check back soon for updates on our next application window.

The Deason Center’s Rural Externship Program offers students a nine-week summer criminal law externship in small and rural communities in Texas. Working in rural prosecution and public defense offices, externs will hone their legal skills, develop valuable mentorship relationships, and gain first-hand experience in the challenges and rewards of working in a rural community.

At each site, a supervising attorney will work closely with the Deason Center to provide a transformative externship experience. Externs will also participate in a weekly externship seminar, directed by Professor Pamela Metzger.

The Deason Center Rural Externship Program is open to all students who have completed their first year of law school at an ABA-accredited law school. Preference will be given to rising 3Ls.

Students who do not attend SMU are encouraged to apply. Click here to learn more about the visiting student process.

Upon application, students may be eligible for tuition assistance.


Application: To apply, please submit your completed application to Your application should be a single PDF with the following:

  • Extern Application Form
  • A cover letter explaining your interest in rural criminal law practice
  • A writing sample
  • A list of three references
  • Your resume
  • An unofficial law school transcript


Prospective Placement Sites: Offices interested in hosting an extern should review the attached Information for Prospective Placement Sites and send a completed application form to

Placement Site Application Form 

Initial Information and Frequently Asked Questions for Placement Sites


Rural Externship Brochure