Corporate Counsel Externship Program

The Corporate Counsel Externship Program is an innovative academic program that integrates a corporate counsel class with externships in corporate legal departments in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  

Over the course of the fall semester, students complete a minimum of 120 hours working in corporate legal departments (approximatley 10 hours per week) while also taking a weekly corporate counsel class that explores substantive areas of the law as as well as practical skills like working with outside counsel and conducting an internal investigation.

The program provides students with a comprehensive, practical foundation of corporate law and practice and serves as a capstone learning experience.  It allows our students to apply concepts they learned in first-year classes in a real-world setting under the supervision of in-house counsel.  That type of learning experience is invaluable and cannot be duplicated in a classroom setting.

Our externship program is a first-of-its kind and demonstrates SMU Dedman Law’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its already rich business law curriculum with hands-on learning experiences for our students.  SMU is on the cutting edge when it comes to educating law students about the in-house practice of law.

This year's corporate placements include:

Students attend a weekly, two-hour class in which they learn about different substantive areas of law encountered in an in-house practice, the ethical responsibilities of in-house counsel, and practical skills, such as working with outside counsel and conducting an internal investigation.

Marc Steinberg, the Rupert and Lillian Radford Professor of Law, serves as the Director of the program. Stephen Yeager, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and a former general counsel, is the Faculty Supervisor, overseeing the externs' work and serving as the liaison with corporate legal departments.

If your company is interested in hosting an extern through the program in Fall 2016, please contact Mr. Yeager at SYEAGER@SMU.EDU or (214) 768-4178.

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