ABA poised to allow law students to get paid for externships

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Law students may be able to take home a paycheck while earning academic credit at an externship under a proposal the American Bar Association House of Delegates will consider during the ABA’s annual meeting beginning Thursday in San Francisco.

The House of Delegates is being asked to debate and vote on a range of resolutions that would address topics from legal education to professional misconduct and urging state legislatures to abolish “offender funded” probation systems. A total of 30 proposals will be reviewed at the delegate meeting which will be held Aug. 8 and 9.

Resolution 100 would implement changes to experiential learning and study outside the classroom as proposed by the ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. These changes include removing the prohibition on students receiving compensation for work done in a credit-bearing externship program.  

While drafting the provision to allow paid externships, the council heard from many law school professors who opposed compensation. The professors feared offering pay would cause the law firm or legal organization to assign the law student tasks that would benefit the employer rather than adding to the student’s educational growth.

However, law students and some bar associations supported the elimination of the prohibition. They argued doing so would expand the number of placements available and reduce the level of student debt.

Ultimately the council decided the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools contain adequate protections to ensure law students can be compensated and still receive substantial lawyering experience in field placements.

Resolution 109 would add anti-discrimination and anti-harassment language to Rule 8.4 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The new provisions bar discrimination and harassment based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation and disability by a lawyer during the practice of law.

Two other resolutions urge authorities to take action to remedy problems with the criminal justice system.

Resolution 110, proposed by the Special Committee on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities and other groups, calls upon federal, state and local law enforcement to provide accurate translations of the Miranda warning into Spanish. The report accompanying the proposed resolution notes that despite law enforcement officers having to give Miranda warnings in Spanish nearly 900,000 times each year, law enforcement had made no effective effort to develop a “culturally and substantively accurate translation.”  

Also Resolution 111B, proposed by the Young Lawyers Division, asks state, local, territorial and tribal legislatures to abolish “offender funded” systems of probation. These programs are supervised by private, for-profit companies in more than a dozen states. Offenders unable to pay can be put in jail even though their underlying offenses, typically misdemeanors, quasi-criminal ordinance violations or civil infractions, do not usually lead to incarceration.

None of the resolutions will become policy until the House of Delegates adopts it. Some proposals may be withdrawn while other measures may be submitted. Any measure can be amended up until it is voted upon. The annual meeting runs Aug. 4 through 9.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

  2. The Department of Education still has over $100 million of ITT Education Services money in the form of $100+ million Letters of Credit. That money was supposed to be used by The DOE to help students. The DOE did nothing to help students. The DOE essentially stole the money from ITT Tech and still has the money. The trustee should be going after the DOE to get the money back for people who are owed that money, including shareholders.

  3. Do you know who the sponsor of the last-minute amendment was?

  4. Law firms of over 50 don't deliver good value, thats what this survey really tells you. Anybody that has seen what they bill for compared to what they deliver knows that already, however.

  5. My husband left me and the kids for 2 years, i did everything humanly possible to get him back i prayed i even fasted nothing worked out. i was so diver-stated, i was left with nothing no money to pay for kids up keep. my life was tearing apart. i head that he was trying to get married to another lady in Italy, i look for urgent help then i found Dr.Mack in the internet by accident, i was skeptical because i don’t really believe he can bring husband back because its too long we have contacted each other, we only comment on each other status on Facebook and when ever he come online he has never talks anything about coming back to me, i really had to give Dr.Mack a chance to help me out, luckily for me he was God sent and has made everything like a dream to me, Dr.Mack told me that everything will be fine, i called him and he assured me that my Husband will return, i was having so many doubt but now i am happy,i can’t believe it my husband broke up with his Italian lady and he is now back to me and he can’t even stay a minute without me, all he said to me was that he want me back, i am really happy and i cried so much because it was unbelievable, i am really happy and my entire family are happy for me but they never know whats the secret behind this…i want you all divorce lady or single mother, unhappy relationship to please contact this man for help and everything will be fine i really guarantee you….if you want to contact him you can reach him through dr.mac@yahoo. com..,