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Academic Standards and Related Procedures - J.D.


A. Multiple Client Commitments

  1. Under no circumstances may a student take two clinics for the first time in the same semester. Please refer to Academic Standard I.F. for a definition of a clinic.
  1. If a student is enrolled in a subsequent semester of clinic ("Advanced Clinic"), they may only enroll in an externship or another clinic (whether new of advanced) in the same semester with permission from the Director of Curricular Administration.  Permission must be obtained before a student enrolls.  The following criteria will be used to determine whether permission to enroll in both will be granted;
    1. A determination as to whether an actual or potential conflict of interest exists that arises from the student engaging in both clinics and/or the clinic and the externship in the same semester.
    2. Recommendations from the clinical faculty supervisor(s) and/or the externship supervisor to the Director as to whether or not same semester enrollment is appropriate.
    3. Students subject to special academic requirements and rules (Standard V) must first obtain approval from the Dean of Students to pursue this option.

B. Rule Governing Withdrawal from Experiential Courses

Whenever a student has enrolled in or been chosen for participation in an experiential course and has signified his/her agreement to participate in the course, such student may not drop the course without obtaining the instructor’s permission to drop the course.

C. Full-Time Externship Rules

Refer to the Externship Program webpage for additional requirements and information.

  1. Students may enroll in full-time externships in the offices of government agencies, legal services/non-profit agencies or judicial chambers, under the immediate supervision of:
    1. licensed lawyers who have two or more years of legal practice experience and are in good standing with the State Bar, or
    2. judges and/or judicial law clerks in judicial chambers 

A student extern must work in the same business location as the supervising attorney. No full-time externships at corporations are permitted (only part-time). Externships for academic credit at any type of private law firms are prohibited.

  1. All full-time externships must be approved by the Director of Extern & Field Placement Programs.  Full-time externships are available to students in the fourth, fifth, and sixth semesters of legal study provided the student meets all of the externship program eligibility criteria. Students must be enrolled in UCLA School of Law the semester preceding the semester they wish to participate in the externship. 
  2. Full-time externships yield 13 semester units, comprised of both field placement credit and seminar credit. Students must comply with all program requirements and expectations to receive the full credit for the externship.
    1. For non-UCDC externships, eleven units of field placement credit are graded on a Pass/Unsatisfactory/No Credit (P/U/NC) basis and two units of seminar credit are awarded a letter grade on the basis of a required research paper for an agency externship, or for enrollment in Law 850A & B (Advanced Judicial Process) for a judicial externship. 
    2. For the UCDC program, ten units of field placement credit are graded “pass/fail” and three units of seminar credit are letter-graded.
  3. A student may not enroll in more than one full-time externship during law school.
  4. Full-time Externship Academic Eligibility Rule
    1. Students who earned a cumulative grade point average in their first year below 2.699 are ineligible for a full-time externship in their fourth semester.  Students who earned a grade point average below 2.699 during their third and fourth semesters are ineligible for a full-time externship in their fifth and sixth semesters.  Students who are accepted for an externship for their fifth semester and whose letter grades for their third and fourth semesters fall below 2.699 must withdraw from the externship.  See Rules V.C, E, and H generally, for grade requirements for extern program eligibility.
    2. In the event a student completes an externship with a Pass during his/her fourth semester of studies, his/her academic status shall be determined by treating the third, fourth, and fifth semesters as the third and fourth semesters for purposes of Rules V.D and E. If a Pass grade is not received in such fourth semester extern program, the student's academic status shall be determined as of the end of such fourth semester.
  5. Students may not enroll in any additional courses for law school credit at UCLA or any other institution while enrolled in a full-time externship.  Students who wish to participate in a full-time externship while enrolled in courses extending two semesters are advised that residency credit may be forfeited for the semester(s) the course segment is dropped if dropping the course leaves the student with a course load of less than twelve units for that previous semester.  Notwithstanding the provision above, independent research papers under the yearlong Law 341A/B category and yearlong “Perspectives” courses may continue during an externship. Also, enrollment in a spring semester full-time externship will not preclude J-Term course enrollment. With permission of the instructor and the Director of Extern & Field Placement Programs, students may audit courses relevant to their externship.
  6. Credit is awarded after all program requirements have been fulfilled.  Students may not receive academic credit retroactively for previously completed opportunities.

D. Part-Time Externship Rules

Refer to the Externship Program webpage for additional requirements and information, including criteria for approval of UCLA Law Academic Programs and Centers as externship placements.

  1. Students in their second and third years may apply to enroll in a part-time externship in the offices of a government agency, a non-profit organization, judicial chambers, approved UCLA School of Law programs*, or with in-house corporate counsel.  All placement supervisors must have two or more years of experience as a licensed lawyer and be in good standing with the State Bar, and both the supervisor and student are working together on-site at the entity’s place of business. No externships for academic credit at private law firms are permitted. 
  2. A student may enroll in one part-time externship during a semester for a maximum of nine units, including one unit of seminar credit and eight units of field placement credit. A student may receive no more than sixteen total units of field placement credit from externships during law school. Field placement units earned from both full-time and part-time externships count toward this sixteen-unit cap.
  3. In a 13-week semester, students must work in the placement 52 hours for each unit of credit. For example, if a student is approved for a 4-unit part-time externship, that student must work a minimum of 208 hours during the semester (approximately 16 hours or two days per week). Students must complete the hours at the placement between the first and last days of instruction within the semester. Students must comply with all program requirements and expectations to receive the full credit for the externship.
  4. Credit is awarded after all program requirements have been fulfilled. Students may not receive academic credit retroactively for previously completed opportunities.

E. Practicum Rules

If a student wishes to increase the number of fieldwork units in a practicum above and beyond the number listed in the course description, they must provide a written explanation of the reason for the increase. This explanation will describe what specifically the student will be doing that requires additional time/credit. It will provide the estimated hours that the work will entail, bearing in mind that each additional unit of fieldwork requires 52 hours of work over the course of the semester as per the UCLA law school standards. The explanation will also describe what plans are in place to ensure there is supervision capacity for the additional work the student plans to undertake. The practicum faculty instructor must approve the explanation and then send it to the Clinical Committee for review and vote.