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Field Placement

UMass Law's Field Placement course offers a variety of placements, including judicial internships, government placements, and private practice.

Field placements are an excellent way for you to:

  • enhance your practical understanding of what it means to be a lawyer
  • develop professionally while supervised by professors and/or field supervisors

Co-Curricular immersion

For students not currently enrolled in a clinic or field placement: Obtain experience in a particular doctrinal area by volunteering with a lawyer who concentrates in a field that corresponds to one of your current courses.

1-credit option - 70 hours per semester (average 5 hours/week during the semester)
(in some cases a 2-credit option may be approved)

The doctrinal professor and the student meet a minimum of three times to discuss the experience and relevant issues of law. Students submit journal entries to their professor in advance of each meeting as well as weekly time logs. Professors will also speak with the Supervising Attorney at least twice during the course of the semester regarding student progress.

UMass Law does not approve this experience for Massachusetts Rule 3:03 or Rhode Island Rule 9 certification.

Field Placement 

To experience lawyers' work—preparing cases, interviewing and counseling, trying or settling cases—students may enroll in placements in a law office (public or private) or judicial chamber. Students will work under the supervision of a practicing attorney or judge, gaining practical skills in a real-world setting.

  • 3-credit option - 130 placement hours during the semester
  • 4-credit option - 170 placement hours during the semester

A weekly seminar permits students to discuss their experiences (while maintaining client confidentiality) and focuses on ethical issues encountered in practice. In addition to journaling their experiences, students write a 15-page paper related to the field placement. 

Judicial Placements: Students applying for judicial placements must submit a writing sample and, if requested, letters of recommendation. In these placements, in addition to participating in the Field Placement class, students observe a judge in chambers and court, conduct research, and may have an opportunity to work on judicial opinions. 

Advanced Field Placement

Students taking the Field Placement Program for a second semester are encouraged to seek a placement in a different law office (public or private) or judicial chamber to broaden their knowledge and skills in the practice of law, attend weekly seminars, write journal entries and a final 15-page paper. Additional assignments will be determined by the professor. 

  • 3-credit option - 130 placement hours during the semester
  • 4-credit option - 170 placement hours during the semester

MA Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:03 Approval/RI Supreme Judicial Court Rule 9 Approval: Students may be eligible for a law-student practice license depending upon the placement, typically certain government and non-profit organizations. Other states have comparable student practice rules. Interested students should review the information from the state court in which you seek to practice.

Refer to the Student Practitioners page and speak with your placement supervisor or Prof. Margaret Drew (for non-clinic applications) prior to completing any necessary forms.

If you're interested: Contact the Clinical Programs Coordinator.

More information

Forms & information

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