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Course Details

Externship: Environmental Protection Agency (Finck)

Spring 2023   LAW 834-001  

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Kara R. Finck

Practice Professor of Law, Director of Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic

Additional Information
Experiential Course


Skills Training
Drafting Legal Documents
Other Professional Skills:

100% Other (Fieldwork and grading is pass/fail.)

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets in person.

Meeting Times/Location




The Office of Regional Counsel (ORC) for EPA Region III – Externship Opportunity

The Office of Regional Counsel (ORC) for EPA Region III provides legal counsel and representation to EPA and its programs in the Middle Atlantic region (PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV). Externs will be assigned to work with one or more of our practice groups, each of which focuses on a particular area of federal environmental law, such as Superfund (i.e., hazardous site cleanup), waste and chemical law, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, or federal law on environmental crimes. Each extern will have an assigned supervisor, who is a senior lawyer, managing one of the practice groups. Each extern will also be assigned a mentor. Assignments may include drafting of legal documents and administrative pleadings; case-related legal research and writing; attendance at meetings with clients or outside counsel; and assistance with case development and with referrals to the DOJ. Externs can also avail themselves of educational opportunities offered to EPA lawyers and EPA Program staff. The externship will begin with a half-day orientation that will include a session on ethics in the federal workplace and professional responsibility. This is a four-credit externship and will require 12 hours per week.


Before 11 AM on October 19, 2022, students must apply for this externship by emailing a statement of interest, resume, most recent transcript, and a legal writing sample (prefer a memo to a brief, and if possible, something prepared for an internship as opposed to a class)¿to externships@law.upenn.edu with “EPA¿Application” in the subject line.¿¿Please combine all of your application materials into one pdf.¿

The Penn Law Externship Program will forward students’ application materials to the EPA’s Office on your behalf. The EPA will contact students it would like to interview directly, and will select the students to enroll in the externship.¿¿Before Advance Course Registration closes, students will receive an email letting them know if they were not selected for enrollment.

Please note that this placement expends a great deal of time and effort conducting background checks for security clearance, scheduling work, securing supervisors, designing programming, creating office space, etc. Thus, students are strongly encouraged to enroll only if they are committed to completing the externship. If you have any questions about this externship, please email externships@law.upenn.edu.

Course Concentrations

Skills Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of the individual course skill; Demonstrate the ability to receive and implement feedback; Demonstrate an understanding of how and when the individual course skill is employed in practice.

Environmental Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of environmental law; Perform legal analysis in the context of environmental law; Communicate effectively on topics related to environmental law; Demonstrate an understanding of how environmental law affects other areas of law.

Public Interest Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of the varied legal aspects of public interest law; Perform legal analysis in the context of public interest law; Communicate effectively on topics related to public interest law; Demonstrate an understanding of how public interest law is connected to and affected by a wide variety of legal and regulatory structures and doctrines.