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Course Details

Externship: US Attorney's Office Criminal Division (Bluestine)

Spring 2023   LAW 843-002  

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Marissa Boyers Bluestine

Assistant Director

Additional Information
Experiential Course


Skills Training
Oral Presentations
Team Projects
Drafting Legal Documents
Other Professional Skills:

100% Other (Fieldwork & grading is pass/fail)

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets in person.

Meeting Times/Location




Externship with the Criminal Division of the US Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia (Only 3L students may apply):

This externship is for students interested in federal criminal law and federal prosecution. Students will be assigned to the Violent Crime Unit or the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit of the US Attorney’s Office where they will engage in and observe all phases of work in these units. These units prosecute criminals involved in a variety of gun, drug and violent crimes, including international drug cartels, violent street gangs, dangerous recidivist offenders, and those that launder money proceeds from these crimes. Students will be expected to help research case law, draft legal memoranda and briefs, and review and analyze evidence in preparation for criminal charges, court hearings, and trials.

Students will also have the opportunity to observe all manner of court hearings and jury trials before the federal district court and magistrate judges.

A security clearance must be obtained prior to the start of the semester's work. Obtaining a security clearance can take up to 8 weeks. This is a 7-credit externship that will require 21 hours per week (students work directly with the US Attorney’s Office to set a mutually convenient schedule of hours in the office). You will also meet on a bi-weekly basis with a member of the Penn Law Clinic faculty who serve as the faculty supervisor of this externship.

ShapeIn order to be considered for enrollment, interested students must submit an application by 11 AM on October 19, 2022. All applications will then be reviewed by the US Attorney’s Office, who may then contact students to schedule an interview.

If you would like to submit an application, please e-mail your materials to externships@law.upenn.edu. Please include “US Attorney’s Office – Criminal Division Application” in the subject line. The application should contain one pdf file that includes the following: i) a one-page statement of interest, ii) a resume, and iii) an unofficial transcript with your name on it. Please note that this placement expends a great deal of time and effort coordinating background checks, 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.

Courts and the Judicial System Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of both substantive and procedural issues in the operation of our legal system; Perform legal analysis in the context of procedural issues and the judicial process; Communicate effectively on topics related to procedure and the judicial process; Demonstrate an understanding of how procedural issues and the judicial process affect all other area of our legal system.

Criminal Law and Procedure Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of criminal law and procedure; Perform legal analysis in the context of criminal law and procedure; Communicate effectively on topics related to criminal law and procedure; Demonstrate an understanding of the role criminal law and procedure play in society and their impact on other areas of law and society.