Law Externship Program

Law_Externs_Softball

Under the guidance of the Park District’s General Counsel the Law Department began its intern/extern program in Fall 2007.  Although the program began with only one intern the program now selects dozens of law students from across the country from among the hundreds of applications we receive yearly.   Our program attracts much interest because it offers students the opportunity to learn and fine-tune legal skills hands-on while interacting with fellow legal professionals, in a diverse and friendly environment.  The program’s success is testament to the quality of applicants, the guidance provided by the Park District attorneys, and the dedication of the Law Department staff.
 

Application Procedure

The Park District encourages all law students who will have completed at least one full year of law school to submit an application for consideration. Externships are available throughout the year based upon the following schedule and commitment: 
 
Fall: September – December 
  • Requires a minimum 15 hour/week commitment.
  • Application deadline for Fall consideration is August 1st.  
  • Space Limited To Approximately 4-6 positions
Winter:   January –  April/May 
  • Requires a minimum 15 hour/week commitment.
  • Application deadline for Winter consideration is December1st.
  • Space Limited To Approximately 4-6 positions
Summer:   May – August
  • Requires minimum 18 hour/week commitment for 8 weeks
  • Application deadline for Summer consideration is April 21st.
  • Space Limited To Approximately 12-15 positions
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. All applicants must indicate the session they wish to attend and weekly time commitment.  The Park District fully appreciates the demands that law school places on each of our externs; therefore, we are willing to work with our successful applicants to develop a schedule that is productive to your development and meets the needs of our Department.  
 

Program Features

Law_Externs_Solider_Field_Tour

The Park District fosters a positive workplace in which law students gain the experience needed for success in the legal field. We offer opportunities for:
  • Legal internships 
  • Legal externships for class credit
  • Attorney Volunteers
All Externs will gain hands-on knowledge of the inner working of a law office while being exposed to the dynamics of working in a government firm. The Park District intends to help each extern reach their full potential by exposing them to a variety of different tasks and experiences. There are various practice areas within the Law Department where externs may hone their legal skills.  
 
Some tasks that a Park District Extern can expect to perform may include: 
  • Assist in case research and prepare legal memos
  • Attend, assist and abstract depositions
  • File documents with the courts  
  • Assist in drafting motions (Motion to Dismiss, Motion for Summary Judgment, etc.)
  • Attend settlement conferences, court dates and various hearings 
  • Review and assist in drafting contracts or agreements
  • Observe and assist with trials, mediations and arbitrations
Some areas of law that that a Park District Extern may expect to gain experience in include:
  • Trial techniques
  • Discovery process 
  • Property/Real Estate matters
  • Contract drafting
  • Insurance and Risk management
  • Personal InjuryLabor and Employment 
Additionally, the Park District attempts to provide resources or activities to better prepare young lawyers for their professional and social entry into the Chicago legal community.  
 
In the past our Externs participated in some of the following: 
  • Tour of the Illinois First District Appellate Court 
  • Participate in a question and answer session Federal District
  • Observed motion calls and meet in judge’s chambers 
  • Park District boat ride along the Chicago River
  • Participate in a friendly softball game against the Cook County Judges 
  • Attend various Bar Association dinner and other events
  • Tour of Soldier Field

Attorney Volunteers

In addition to our program for law students, the Law Department typically has one or two volunteer attorney positions available throughout the year.  These very limited opportunities provide young lawyers with a unique opportunity to gain hands-on legal experience that could provide a competitive advantage in the job market.  Under the close supervision of our staff attorneys our attorney volunteers may be asked to conduct depositions, draft discovery requests, participate in jury selection, and conduct examination of witnesses at trials and more.  Of course this level of participation requires a level of commitment that may exceed what we ask of our Legal Externs; therefore, we expect our Attorney Volunteers to be available as the particular matter and nature of the profession dictates.  If you are newly a licensed attorney or a recent law graduate, complete and submit the application materials below to see if there is an opportunity for you with the Law Department. 
 
If you are interested in participating in the Law Student Externship Program or as an Attorney Volunteer please complete the Volunteer Application and Availability Form provided below and send the completed documents and a cover letter and resume via e-mail to munir.umrani@chicagoparkdistrict.com, by fax to 312-742-5328. If by U.S. mail, please send it to:

Munir Umrani
Coordinator, Law Externship and Paralegal Internship Programs
Chicago Park District
541 N. Fairbanks Ct.
Chicago, IL  60611

(Phone): 312-742-4626
(Fax)312-742-5328

Participation as a Legal Extern or Attorney Volunteer will neither result in special consideration for posted employment opportunities nor in permanent employment. Employment opportunities with the Chicago Park District are limited and are posted at www.chicagoparkdistrict.com.