Corporate Counsel Externship

The Corporate Counsel Externship will explore the practice of law from the perspective of in-house counsel. The course has three primary learning objectives: a) to obtain practical knowledge of the day-to-day reality of working in the legal department of a corporation; b) to gather information, through readings, lectures, and in-class exercises, about how corporate counsel practice differs from law firm practice; and c) through guided reflection, to gain insight on the relationships between and among corporate counsel, corporate leaders and owners, “inside clients” and outside counsel.

The Corporate Counsel Externship allows students to perform 8-12 hours of legal work per week in an in-house corporate counsel office for a private company, non-profit organization, or governmental entity. Students also enroll in a companion seminar that explores the role and obligations of a corporate attorney. Students earn 3 credits (including 2 fieldwork credits) for an 8-hour per week placement and 4 credits (including 3 fieldwork credits) for a 12-hour per week placement. The course is taught by an adjunct professor with extensive experience representing business entities, including experience as in-house corporate counsel.

Field placements include the Notre Dame General Counsel’s office, St. Joseph Health System, Whirlpool Corporation, AM General, Thor Industries, and other private companies. Students should choose from existing placement sites, and must obtain an externship position before enrolling in the course.

For more information about the course or the application process, students may contact NDLS Externship Coordinator Cathy Kustner at ckustner@nd.edu or 631-9301.

Instructor: Adjunct Professor Jay Lewis