How Law Schools Can Track Externships With Track It Forward | Track It Forward

How Law Schools Can Track Externships With Track It Forward

Written by Kasey Murphy

5 Benefits from Law Schools Using Track It Forward to Track Externship Hours
Law students complete a multitude of externship programs including judicial externships for their law school curriculum. Law schools track these hours for the students to receive course credit, but the hour tracking could be a useful tool to law schools for more reasons! 
1. Customized Downloadable Data -The software allows law schools to download data and reports based on different categories and input information.
2. Milestone for Motivation -Law students can be motivated to track their own hours as well as complete more hours due to milestones requirement graphs showing their progress.
3. Easy Managing -Law schools can easily manage all the students and the hours that they are completing for credits. In the organizer dashboard, they automatically see the student's progress. 
4. Organization for Specific Exposure Data -Law schools can set up categories for hour logs and reflections. This can always be available to the student so they can see what they spent their time doing and reflect it on their resume. 
5. Communication Tool Built In -An email blast tool allows law schools to reach out to students about their externship hour logs directly from the app, or they can email multiple students at once depending on their distinction. 

Track It forward

Judicial externships are great experiences for law school students. They provide experience working in the judicial system before becoming a lawyer or judge. Specifically, judicial externships allow law students to conduct research and follow the practices of a clerk in their normal job. 

The specificities of an externship allow students to receive course credit in their law school in exchange for hours working in an externship. The work is still unpaid, making it a great voluntary experience for the law students. It is important to track the time spent and the work that law students go through during judicial externships. A system like Track It Forward is a great way for law schools to track their student’s externship hours. 

Why Would a Law School Need to Track Judicial Externships? 

Law Schools will want to track any externship that their students do for a multitude of reasons. All law schools have their own system of tracking their student’s externships, whether it is complex or simply just having students verify they completed the required amount of hours to receive course credit. Law schools have used Track It Forward to log their student’s externships in different ways. Below are the top 3 reasons why law schools should be tracking judicial externships. 

Track Externship Course Credit Requirement 

All externships are part of a course and are required to meet a certain amount of hours to receive the course credit. This is the main benefit to law students of working for free in a judicial externship - they will gain course credit to help them complete law school. 

For example, at the University of Houston, one course credit is equal to 60 hours of externship work, students can gain up to 6 credits of externship course study. So if a student completes 60 hours they get one course credit, 120 hours for two, and so on up to 360 hours. Each law school is different in how many hours they allow students to work until it is their course credit. 

This is a perfect example of why it would be necessary for law schools to have an accountable, reliable, and easy system for recording judicial externship hours or any externship for that matter! If a student continuously logs their hours daily, weekly, or even monthly, it will help the college gain an understanding of how many hours that student is completing and how many credits they should be receiving. 

Track It Forward has a very simple system where students can log their hours themselves. The law school can set up administrators for Track It Forward and these admins can control how often the student logs, what they include in their hour log (like a reflection), and even set up milestones to let both students and administration know how close they are to receiving another credit for their externship work. 

Market Judicial Externship Programs 

Knowing how many hours your students have put into externship programs is a great marketing tool. This helps other externship opportunities come to light and helps potential students see how effective and externship supportive the law school is. 

Gaining instant access to reports and totals on current and past judicial externships and other externships is something that a lot of law schools want. And Track It Forward has it! With the reporting feature, admins are able to quickly pull a variety of reports based on the data input to Track It Forward. 

The number of hours that students have put into judicial externships, the amount of students who have done an externship at one specific time or place, and even the amount of hours that have been put in total to volunteer work are all available within seconds when using Track It Forward. 

Reports are easily configurable to process information that you would like to organize and put together. Using these reports can help market your law school to potential students and programs, and your students to different externship programs. 

Gain Sponsorships Based on Hours In An Externship 

Another great aspect of marketing the judicial externship hours of law school students is that it is great value when it comes to donations and sponsorships. Many people like to support and give money to an organization that works hard. Showcasing hours of volunteer experience and working in the judicial system for a judicial externship is a great way to provide this value. 

Using the reports tool can help gain information that may be helpful in future projects and donations within the organization itself. 

Track It Forward Organizer Dashboard with milestones, report options, and list of volunteers.

Why Would a Student Want to Track Their Judicial Externship Hours? 

Another great aspect to Track It Forward is the ability for volunteers to have their own dashboard. While Track It Forward is designed specifically for coordinators or managers to have an easier role, it also helps people who want to track their own hours. Law students are a perfect example of this.

In Track It Forward, users have their own dashboard, as well as the admin dashboard who oversees all of the law student’s accounts. In the account, law students will be able to see how many hours they have input into different categories if they have reached any milestone requirements, and how far along they are to achieving those requirements. 

This is particularly important for judicial externships. Law students who participate in judicial externships will want to track how many hours they spend doing specific activities within the externship, and in the externship in general. 

Law students can use the hour totals to reassure their credit goals, put on their resume, and prove their experience when job opportunities arise. Students can make notes on if their hours were spent doing research, being a practice clerk, or observing judges in their judicial externship. 

How can Law Schools Use Track It Forward to Track Judicial Externships? 

Track It Forward can be used to track judicial externships in multiple ways. They can use the hour log to generally log hours and work towards their course credit goal, they can allow students to categorize their hours within a judicial externship log, showing different activities, and they can keep track of student’s course loads and data with Track It Forward.

Check out these specific features that can help Law Schools track student externships: 

Configurable Hour Log 

The configurable hour log allows admins in the law school to change how the hour log looks to volunteers. This is important because the information that gets put into the hour log will be the categories that can be used for reports. Admins can choose what type of questions get asked, what answers can be provided, and how the results will be organized. The hour log can be customized with any information that the school or student thinks is important! 

For example: Hour logs can be categorized by organization that an externship is with or by the activity. Law School admins can also make certain questions required in this feature. 

Conditional LogicTrack It Forward customizable hour log with customize by category option

Along with the customized hour log, conditional logic can be placed. This means you can ask a question in the hour log and if someone answers a specific answer to that question, new questions will be presented. This is just another way to categorize certain information. 

For example: If students are meant to log hours weekly, the first question in an hour log can be “Did you complete different activities this week for your externship?” If the answer is yes, then multiple checkboxes will appear with the different activities. Then, the student can put certain notes and hours per each activity they check off. If the answer is no, then the following question will just be multiple choice for the activity with the number of hours.

example milestone for stanford law school tracking pro bono hour distinction

Milestones 

Milestones were mentioned before, but it is important to note that multiple milestone goals can be created, both independently or dependent on each other. This could be used when it comes to credit amounts or just the goal amount of hours for the students. 

Both admins and students can see milestones graphs on their dashboards. So, students can see how far along they are with their goals and admins can see how far along the student body is as a whole, or individually. 

For example: Law school admins can set up milestones to show that one credit is earned after a certain amount of hours, then another milestone after the next goal, and so on. 

Customized Profile Field

When students create their Track It Forward account or are onboarded to the site, they must answer questions that can help group them. A common question could be age, set graduation date, or even what type of lawyer they plan to be when graduating. These can always be changed! 

For example: Law schools can ask students for their graduation year in order to group different years in different reports. Or they can pull data like what type of law school students they have more of based on their answers in the profile. 

 

 Reports

Reports can be drawn at any time by a site admin. They can be downloaded into an excel file instantly. Reports can be made based on groups that are created from a custom profile field or based on activities and answers that are in the hour log. 

For example: Law school admins can pull a report on all the hours submitted by all students in a year, all hours submitted by students graduating next year, or a report on all students who have logged research hours. 

 Email Blast Tool 

Emails can be sent directly from Track It Forward. If you see a student who has not completed nearly enough hours, you can email them after looking at their information. If a student has gone above and beyond, you can do the same thing. You can also send multiple emails at once, or to a specific group of students based on their profile data.

For example: You can send an email blast to all students who are currently completing judicial externships for the semester and tell them that you are halfway through the semester and they should be halfway through their credit hour goal.

What Else Can Law Schools Do With Track It Forward? 

Law schools can do a lot with Track It Forward. They can track pro bono cases that their students work on, they can log information from certain classes if they would like to. Track It Forward works well with multiple organizations because it is so customizable. Anything you would like to track with Track It Forward can probably be done! If you have any questions on how your program could use Track It Forward, our support team would be happy to talk to you and come up with a plan for you using Track It Forward! 

FAQs

What is the difference between an internship and an externship? 
The main difference between an internship and an externship is that externships are done in exchange for class credits, where internships are done solely for the experience. Neither is paid.

How do you find externships? 
Some externships have connections from your school, but others are posted in different job boards. It is important to express you want to complete the externship for class credit in your first contact with a possible externship program.

What is a judicial externship?
A judicial externship is an externship that is specialized in the judicial system. These externships usually involve working with a clerk, judge, or in the courthouse doing research. Each law school has a different set of guidelines when it comes to defining externships.