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Director of Externships and Field-Based Learning

  • Requisition no: 518974
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Morningside
  • School/Department: School of Law
  • Grade: Grade 15
  • Categories: Other
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range:

Position Summary

We seek a dynamic and creative educator to ensure that Columbia Law School’s externships and other field-based learning opportunities are of consistently high quality, further the Law School’s strategic vision, and respond to student interests and community needs.


Columbia Law School currently offers an extensive program of externships and field-based learning opportunities designed to help students become knowledgeable, skilled, ethical, and reflective practitioners. Students enrolled in externships have the opportunity to explore the role of lawyers in variety of settings, identify their own professional goals, and learn the values and competencies that are needed in modern legal practice through well-supervised, hands-on work at public and private sector organizations and in a related seminar.  In addition to the externships offered through the program, CLS also permits students to find independent externships that must be paired with a faculty tutorial.   


The successful candidate will report to the Vice Dean for Experiential Education


  1. Manage and further develop a robust, high-quality externship program that furthers Columbia’s pedagogical goals and meets the standards of the ABA and other regulatory bodies (70%):

    • Recruiting excellent seminar teachers and field placement supervisors;

    • Developing training programs and materials and conducting workshops to support externship seminar teachers and field placement supervisors;

    • Regularly evaluating externship seminars and field placements, including through classroom observation and site visits;

    • In consultation with the Dean and the Vice Dean for Experiential Education, developing new externship opportunities;

    • Assisting faculty members who want to explore development of a field component for their courses, and fostering connections with practitioners in the public interest, government and private sectors who might be good partners in developing and implementing a field component.

    • Advising students about externship opportunities, counseling them about the externships most likely to meet their goals, and helping them to resolve and learn from any problems that arise in the course of their externships;

    • Advising students and identifying resources to help students arrange independent externships and secure faculty supervisors;

    • Integrating LLMs into the externship program and coordinating with the Office of Graduate Programs on international student rules and other relevant concerns

    • Coordinating with Clinical faculty and staff, the Director of Legal Writing and Moot Court Programs, and instructors of other experiential offerings on recruiting, application and admission for experiential programs.

    • If desired, teaching or co-teaching the seminar portion of an externship.

  2. As part of the law school’s experiential team, work closely with the Vice Dean for Experiential Education, the Director of Legal Writing and Moot Court Programs, the clinical faculty, and other instructors of experiential offerings to offer a varied curriculum that meets the students’ needs for development of professional role and lawyering skills, and that responds to student demand. (20%)

  3. Engaging in the life of the Law School by serving on committees and task forces related to externships, participating in meetings of experiential faculty, etc. (10%)

  4. Performing additional responsibilities as required.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Law degree
  • A minimum of 7 years of legal experience, a substantial part of which includes work as an educator. Teaching experience with law students or lawyers strongly preferred.
  • Available for limited travel and evening and weekend work as required.
  • Must be able to work with diverse constituencies and support an inclusive work environment.

Required Competencies:

  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively within a complex organization.
  • Strong skills as a teacher/trainer, counselor, manager and supervisor. 
  • Deep and broad relationships with legal institutions, preferably in New York City, and demonstrated ability to cultivate them.
  • Strong analytical skills and capacity.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with diverse audiences.
  • Flexibility, ability and willingness to work simultaneously on a wide range of tasks and projects.
  • High level of organization, attention to detail and sensitivity to deadlines.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

Applications open: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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