Field Placements offer students semester-long opportunities to leave the traditional classroom setting and assist lawyers and judges in the practice of law and the administration of justice. Field Placements enhance the substantive law curriculum through experiential, hands-on learning under the close supervision of a Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University College of Law faculty member and attorneys in good standing as site supervisors. Students may receive from 1 to 6 credits during any semester, and no more than 9 field placement credits over the course of their law school enrollment.
Students in the program will work for judges or magistrates, or attorneys in government agencies, public interest organizations, non-profit organizations, law firms and corporate legal offices. Through field placements, students will develop the practical skills, poise, and confidence necessary to be effective practitioners. Field Placements also will provide insight into professional responsibility and the operation of the legal system.
The College of Law maintains a master list of places that have expressed interest in hosting a field placement student. That list is continually updated and can be obtained from the Office of Legal Clinics and Field Placement Program. Students are responsible for applying directly to the place at which they wish to serve their field placement; the law school does not make selections or determine the selection requirements of any field placement.
FIELD PLACEMENT REQUIREMENTS, REGISTRATION AND CREDIT HOURS
A Field Placement will consist of two contemporaneous components: the field component, and the academic component. The field component is the students’ externship at the placement site, which must be supervised by a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise (Site Supervisor); in either case the individual must be approved by the Field Placement Program Director. Field work assignments are intended to meet the objectives of the placement location.
The academic component consists of each student’s mandatory attendance at an orientation at the start of the field placement session and 3 seminars throughout the semester. It also includes weekly completion of time logs, reading and writing assignments concerning their field experience to be posted on Canvas. Students must timely complete and submit all class assignments to get credit for the field placement
1.Students shall locate a field placement site and contact the appropriate extern coordinator or hiring official. Each field placement site will have its own application process and students must fully comply with those requirements. Students may obtain a list of approved sites from the Field Placement Director, but students are not limited to those sites.
2.Students complete a FAMU Field Placement Registration Form, available from the Registrar’s Office or Registrar’s webpage. The duties to be performed under the field placement must be exclusively related to the substantive law curriculum and must be similar to the activities of a lawyer advising or representing a client. Student cannot get credit for tasks normally completed by administrative assistants (typing, filing, making copies, etc.), paralegals or legal assistants.
3.Each student must secure supervision from a full-time faculty member. If the Field Placement site is in a city located more than 50 miles from Orlando, the student may, with the approval of the Field Placement Director, seek supervision from a full-time faculty member at another ABA Accredited law school. The faculty supervisor must sign the Field Placement Registration Form, signifying his or her agreement to supervise the student’s field placement performance.
4.The student must obtain the signature of the Site Supervisor, who must be an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction in which the field placement is to be completed. In some instances, such as a Congressional or international internship, the site supervisor may be approved even if he or she is not licensed to practice. The Site Supervisor’s signature signifies the supervisor’s consent to work with the faculty supervisor and Field Placement Program Director to ensure the educational quality of the field placement.
5.The student must obtain the signature of the Field Placement Program director and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. After all signatures are obtained, the student submits the Field Placement Registration Form to the Registrar for official enrollment. The Registrar will issue a “permission code” allowing the student to officially enroll in a field placement via IRattler.
Students should indicate the number of credit hours expected to be earned via the field placement. The required number of total hours spent on-site will vary based on the number of credit hours chosen. Field Placements may be completed early if the hourly requirement hours have been satisfied and with appropriate permission from both Faculty and Site Supervisors. Except when an extension is granted by the Field Placement Director, all hours must be completed before the beginning of the following semester.
Students should carefully consider the number of credits sought for each field placement; students who do not complete the number of hours corresponding to the number of credits enrolled may request the option of receiving an “incomplete” and be allowed an additional six weeks from the start of the next term or semester to complete the hours.
FIELD PLACEMENT GRADING
Students enrolled in Field Placements will be graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis only. The Clinic and Field Placement Director shall, after consultation with the Faculty and Site Supervisor, assign the final grade and submit the grade to the registrar.