Law School Externship Program
The Montgomery County Office of the District Attorney’s Law School Externship Program offers enrolled law students the unique opportunity to personally experience the Pennsylvania criminal justice system as a county prosecutor.Those admitted to the externship program are permitted to work on all aspects of a criminal case–from investigation through trial and conviction. Only second- and third-year students who have obtained Certified Legal Intern status under Pa.B.A.R. 321 will be considered.
Externs must first attend an intensive training program designed to generally introduce them to the practice of criminal law in Montgomery County and specifically to the role of an Assistant District Attorney. Each extern is then assigned to assist a senior Assistant District Attorney (ADA) within one of our Trials Division Units (Major Crimes, Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes or Economic Fraud). Assignment, as much as possible, will be based upon the extern’s expressed interests. Each ADA works closely with his/her extern, and clinical faculty when necessary, to provide the best possible educational experience.
Externs are given a wide range of prosecutorial responsibilities both in and out of the courtroom. Inside the courtroom, with direct supervision by the assigned ADA, externs represent the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in criminal matters such as probation violation hearings, indirect criminal contempt proceedings and summary appeals. Outside the courtroom, externs perform legal research, write briefs and other memorandum, meet with police, interview witnesses/victims and perform case file reviews.
The District Attorney’s Office is dedicated to achieving justice and protecting the safety of our community.Therefore, it is imperative that successful applicants consistently demonstrate composure, common sense and the courage necessary to accomplish our mission.
Externs are expected to volunteer at least 20 hours per week in exchange for seven academic credits (additional participation is encouraged, but not at the expense of scheduled classes). Each extern must also maintain weekly Time & Activity Reports, as well as a journal of his/her experiences. Regularly scheduled meetings with clinical faculty and grading procedure are at each school’s discretion.