Legal Services Externship Opportunities


Thank you for exploring externship opportunities with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Legal Services (DLS). The Department offers experience and learning opportunities to a select group of law school students every fall, spring, and summer. Students who are chosen for this program work directly under the guidance of assistant attorneys general in one of the units in DLS.


While DLS externships are unpaid, they provide students with practical opportunities for skill-building and professional development, including:


  • performing research
  • drafting briefs and pleadings
  • reviewing discovery
  • conducting investigations
  • observation of mediations, depositions, court hearings, and/or trials




  • Completion of first year of law school
  • Available to work in the Department’s Madison office




DLS offers externship opportunities throughout the year, depending on staffing and other resources.


Spring sessions typically begin in January, summer sessions typically begin in June, and fall sessions typically begin in September.


The length of the externship is one semester. 


Recruiting information is sent each summer, fall, and spring to the University of Wisconsin Law School and Marquette University Law School. Information will be sent to other law schools or students on request. 


How to Apply


Email a cover letter (including unit preferences, subject area, and credit commitment), résumé and transcript to the DLS Extern Coordinator.



Application Deadlines:


  • Summer: February 27
  • Fall: July 15
  • Spring: November 15


While applications received after the deadlines may be considered, only applications received before the deadlines will be guaranteed review and consideration. Applications received after the deadlines will only be considered as operational needs dictate.


Applications for the Wisconsin State Crime Lab or Division of Criminal Investigation WILL NOT be considered, and will not be forwarded.


Please allow one month after the application deadline to expect to hear if you have been selected to participate in an interview. Due to the high volume of applicants, not all applicants will be interviewed for a position.


Application materials will not be returned.


Selected candidates will be required to pass a comprehensive background investigation prior to placement in the externship program.


Last updated: 2024-05-02