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Extern Program

Externs are law students and paralegal students who gain both substantive and administrative experience in a variety of departments at Legal Aid.

Externs will assist Legal Aid attorneys in representing individual clients in a variety of legal issues that impact shelter, health/safety, and economic security. Areas of practice include housing, consumer, public benefits, education, family/domestic violence, employment/barriers to employment, and tax.


  • October 15 (for Spring Semester program - applications accepted annually from September 1 – October 15)
  • July 1 (for Fall Semester program - applications accepted annually from May 1 – July 1)

About Legal Aid:  Legal Aid is a non-profit law firm whose mission is to secure justice and resolve fundamental problems for those who are low income and vulnerable by providing high quality legal services and working for systemic solutions.  Founded in 1905, Legal Aid is the fifth oldest legal aid organization in the United States.  Legal Aid’s 115+ total staff members (65+ attorneys), and 3,000 volunteer lawyers use the power of the law to improve safety and health, shelter and economic stability for low-income clients.  Legal Aid serves a diverse northeast Ohio population in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain Counties.

Qualifications: Legal Aid externs should be currently enrolled in school. Special consideration is given to students with a demonstrated commitment to serving disadvantaged people and communities. If your resume does not reflect a commitment to public service due to personal financial constraints, please provide an explanation in your cover letter. Students who speak Spanish are strongly encouraged to apply.

Essential Functions:

  • Assist attorneys with initial client interviews and ongoing client contact (in-person client contact will not occur during the pandemic).
  • Assist attorneys in all aspects of advocacy and litigation, including legal research, drafting of pleadings, memorandum, motions, affidavits and other correspondence; the preparation of charts,
    tables, documents and other evidentiary materials; and assist at remote hearings and other remote court proceedings.
  • Conduct factual investigation, including obtaining, analyzing and summarizing documents and other evidence.
  • Effectively communicate remotely with clients, co-workers, community partners, volunteers, judges and court staff.
  • Provide appropriate intake support and make referrals.

To Apply: Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and writing sample to with “Externship” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted for the Spring and Fall Semesters based on the dates above.

Legal Aid is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate because of age, race, gender, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

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