Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Third Year Anywhere® Program

If I can earn only 12 credits in the third year of law school through an externship in the city where I want to practice, how will I earn the remainder of the credits that I need to complete the J.D. degree?

Washburn Law has a menu of online courses taught by Washburn Law faculty. You will enroll in online courses at Washburn to complete the credits that you need to earn the degree.

Does the supervising attorney for the student have to be in the law department of the corporation or can the supervising attorney be on the business side of the house?

The nature of the work that the student will be doing is the focus of the externship. So as long as the student will be doing work that is primarily legal work in nature, it does not matter what the title is of the supervising attorney or where the supervising attorney is positioned in the corporate organization.

Does the supervising attorney assign a grade to the student extern?

No, the supervising attorney will certify to the Washburn Law faculty supervisor that the student extern has performed acceptably in the externship and the Washburn Law faculty supervisor will award academic credit to the student for completion of the externship.

Does the student extern need to be part of a formal externship program at the government office, corporation, or law practice?

No, Washburn Law student externs can be supervised by an attorney independent of any formal externship program that your company/organization may have.

Does Washburn Law have a screening process for students who want to do field placement work?

Yes, not all students are eligible for a Third Year Anywhere® externship placement. Students must submit an application to the faculty externship coordinators who select students based on multiple factors including academic performance, desire to practice law in a location outside of the Topeka metro area, and a demonstrated record of meeting deadlines and performing at or above expectation.

Can we make an offer to hire the student extern after graduation if we really like their work?

Yes! However, the student extern will be counseled that the purpose of the externship is to afford the student practical experience and is not to provide a platform for securing post-graduate employment with the company or organization providing the externship opportunity. Nonetheless, we recognize that externship supervision can be an effective tool for helping employers meet talent acquisition goals so we would welcome externship supervisors' consideration of our student externs for post-graduate employment.

What if the student does poor work or acts unethically and I want to terminate the relationship and end the externship?

Participation in the Third Year Anywhere® program is competitive and limited to students whom the faculty believes possess the academic ability and moral character to perform well in a placement. Nonetheless, should a circumstance arise that causes you to want to terminate the externship prior to the end of the academic year, you may do so by emailing the student's faculty supervisor who will reassign the student to appropriate coursework.

Is tuition the same for the Third Year Anywhere®?

Yes, but students who relocate to live with family at no cost and are paid for their externship work can reduce the cost of attendance in the third year. On average students who live with family and are compensated for externship work can save $25,000 in the third year of law school.

Will a student in the Third Year Anywhere® program be required to return to campus for anything?

No, generally a student in this program who makes satisfactory academic progress will not need to return to campus to complete the J.D. degree.

Can the student be paid and earn academic credit in the externship?

Yes, the ABA Council on Legal Education now permits students who are earning academic credit in an externship to be compensated for their work in the externship. Washburn Law requires that all law firm placements be paid placements, but placements outside the law firm context may be paid or unpaid.

How many hours per week will a student extern work in an externship placement?

Students in the Third Year Anywhere® externship will work 20 hours per week during the academic year and will earn 12 academic credits for that hands-on coursework. Placement supervisors should not ask students to work in excess of 20 hours per week during the semester. Students may work in excess of 20 hours per week if working in the summer prior to the start of classes or during the winter break between semesters.