The College of Law offers students the opportunity to receive academic credit for engaging in externships during the school year or during the summer. The externship program is designed to allow students to choose and develop their own externship placements tailored to their individual goals and interests. Students have the option to work in courts, government entities, public service agencies, non-profit organizations or corporate legal departments. The goal of the externship program is to place the students in a law practice setting that enhances and builds on their classroom instruction.

General Information

Students must successfully complete one academic year of legal education prior to participation in the externship program. A student may apply a maximum of six academic credits for externships or field placements (i.e., up to three externships or field placements combined) toward the credits required for graduation. For an externship, a student must work 100 hours on the job and complete the two externship classroom components that are offered in the respective semester. Students must be supervised at the organization by a licensed attorney. The organization must be governmental, non-profit, or an in-house counsel’s office. Students may not be paid for work performed during the externship.

Students interested in an externship must:

  • Select an externship site, which may involve meeting and interviewing with the prospective organization. Please view Symplicity for externship listings or see the Director of Externships, Professor Ellen Black, if you need assistance in finding an externship.

  • Complete the externship application

  • Gain approval through the application process from Professor Black for the externship.

  • Register for the externship class during normal registration.

  • Attend the two mandatory classroom components held during the respective semester. 

For more information or to ask specific questions, please contact Professor Black at ellen.black@belmont.edu or 615-460-8245.

Charmarcus Floyd
Charmarcus Floyd

My externship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office solidified my desire to practice criminal law after obtaining my degree.  It was also an invaluable experience because it taught me that law school only shows you the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the actual practice of law.  Although I gained a great deal of knowledge in my first year by taking both criminal law and criminal procedure, it was only through my externship that I learned the true complexities of federal prosecution.  In addition to the knowledge and experience gained, my externship gave me the opportunity to make lifelong connections with established professionals in my desired field.

Catherine Knight
Catherine Knight

Participating in the externship program at Belmont College of Law was an invaluable piece of the law school experience. Learning the details about the area of law I felt drawn to practice as well as the professionals therein has built a strong foundation for my future. I discovered how fulfilling it is to apply classroom curriculum to client needs, enriching their lives and mine. The externship program helped me find my exact place in Nashville’s legal community, right where my interests and aptitudes converged.