An Independent Residency combines a field component and an academic component for the most complete learning experience. For the field component, you determine where you want to work—in a law office, government agency, legal department, etc.—secure an site supervisor at the site, and identify a faculty member to supervise you. You get the chance to observe and perform legal work such as interviewing and counseling clients, conducting legal research and factual investigations, drafting memoranda and other legal documents, and at times advocating in court as certified student attorneys, working under the supervision of a site supervisor.
Working with a faculty supervisor, you also develop the academic component consisting of:
- Goal-setting and reflective writing assignments specific to you
- Mid-semester evaluation meeting with your site supervisor and faculty supervisor
- Additional reflective writing assignments common to all externship placements
- A deep exploration of a topic of law, legal policy, or legal practice related to your placement through reading and discussions, a research paper, or other academic pursuit
You can earn 8-15 credits based 30-40 hours of fieldwork per week, in addition to time spent working with your faculty supervisor and completing work for the academic component. Please contact Externship Director Denise Roy, firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss your options.
You can participate in an Independent Residency if you are in the final three semesters of law school (in other words, the last year of law school, including summer) and have:
- A 2.8 or better cumulative GPA (waivable with permission of the Dean of Academic Excellence)
- Identified a willing site supervisor at a work site at which you’ve not already worked or at which you will be doing work that is new to you; the Career and Professional Development Office may be of assistance
- Completed all graduation requirements
Placement process & COVID information
Students are encouraged to find their own legal residency placements. Availability of placements may be limited and cannot be guaranteed due to Covid-19, but Mitchell Hamline faculty will also try to assist students in finding field placements (see specific contacts below). Fieldwork supervision must be provided by an attorney. Students should be prepared to begin work at their legal residency early in the semester.
Registration for the Legal Residency will be completed after the student’s placement has been confirmed. Students are advised to register for other courses until their legal residency is confirmed. (If you are being placed by one of the residency course instructors listed below, placements will be finalized and students will be notified of their placement before the start of the semester. In that situation, placements are not final until you receive written confirmation from the applicable faculty member.)
Due to Covid-19, spring 2021 placements may take place in-person or remotely as public health concerns and the needs of the placement require. Student health and wellness will be prioritized in all circumstances.
If you are interested in a Legal Residency for the Spring 2021 semester, please contact one of the following faculty by Friday, November 13, 2020. Please include a copy of your resume.
• Criminal Law Residencies: Professor Ted Sampsell-Jones (email@example.com)
• Health Law Residencies: Professor Thad Pope (firstname.lastname@example.org )
• Business Law Residencies: Professor Leanne Fuith (email@example.com)
• Solo Law Firm Practice Residencies: Adjunct Professor Karin Ciano (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Residencies in All Other Areas: Professor Denise Roy (email@example.com)
If you have application questions, please contact Externship Director Denise Roy (Denise.Roy@mitchellhamline.edu).
Registration for the spring Legal Residency courses in Criminal Law, Health Law, Business Law, and Solo Practice will be completed after the student’s placement has been confirmed. If your placement does not fall within one of those four specific areas, please complete the Independent Residency Application and email your completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org. The application deadline for Spring 2021 Independent Residencies is December 1, 2020.
If you have application questions or need assistance of any kind, please contact Denise.Roy@mitchellhamline.edu.
Prior to submitting your Independent Residency application, you are required to:
- Review the Student Guide for Independent Residencies: Student Guide.
- Consider what your learning goals are for your proposed Independent Residency and include that information in your application.
- Share the Site Supervisor Guide for Independent Residencies with your proposed site supervisor: Site Supervisor Guide.
- Develop a work plan in consultation with your proposed site supervisor for your Independent Residency – the details of your work plan should be included in your application.
- Share the Faculty Supervisor Guide for Independent Residencies with your proposed faculty supervisor, who must be a member of the full-time faculty: Faculty Supervisor Guide.
- Develop the academic component of your proposed Independent Residency, in consultation with your faculty supervisor, and include those details in your application.
Please contact Sue McBrayer (email@example.com)
Fillable forms needed once Independent Residency begins
- Independent Residency Assignment Checklist
- Education Agreement to be completed, executed and submitted immediately after learning goal assignment is complete: Residency Education Agreement Template
- Fundamental Lawyering Skills Rubric to be used for site supervisor mid-term and final evaluations: Fundamental Lawyering Skills Rubric
- Student Self-evaluation form to be used for student mid-term and final evaluations: Student Self-Evaluation Form