Co-op Program Requirements
Students may apply for co-op at the end of their first year of law school after they have had an opportunity to learn foundational legal doctrines, practice fundamental skills and understand ethical standards.
Prerequisites to Apply for Co-op Placement
To be eligible for a co-op placement, students must:
- Successfully complete the first year of classes.
- Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.5.
- Satisfy any placement-specific requirements, such as a higher minimum GPA requirement and experience in a particular industry.
- Participate in pre-placement orientation prior to the start of the co-op cycle.
Requirements While on the Co-op Program
Students on co-op are expected to:
- Work a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 25 hours per week in the field for a regular co-op. Students on a co-op intensive are required to work 35-40 hours per week.
- Satisfy or exceed the supervisor's expectations.
- Take an additional class or participate in other approved academic programs (such as law review or moot court) while on co-op.
- Attend a lawyering practice seminar on campus (for two academic credits).
The Co-op Matching Process
There are eight steps in the matching process for co-op placement.
- TWEN Course Page for the Co-op Program: The co-op matching process is administered through the TWEN Course Page designated for that purpose each cycle. Students interested in applying for co-op during a particular cycle need to add the course page to their list of classes. The course page contains all information and forms required to apply for co-op and a calendar of important dates and events.
- Co-op Binder with Placement Information: Co-op partners provide the law school with detailed information about themselves, their work expectations, and any pre-requisites or preferences they have. An electronic binder containing detailed information about each participating partner is posted on TWEN each cycle for student review.
- Co-op Preview Workshop: Representatives from each of our five categories of placements conduct a workshop on campus for students interested in co-op. The goal of the Workshop is to provide students with an introduction to the various types of placements and practices available through co-op.
- Co-op Application Packet: After reviewing the binder and attending the Co-op Preview Workshop, students interested in applying for co-op submit an application packet on TWEN. A co-op application packet consists of the student's Statement of Interest, Acknowledgement of Rules of Engagement for Co-op Participation, resume, unofficial transcript and writing sample. In the Statement of Interest, students indicate the type of placement (in-house, law firm, judicial, public interest, or government) where they wish to pursue a co-op and provide additional information about their general preferences and interests.
- Proposed Matches by the Law School: The Director of the Co-op Program proposes a student for each co-op position based upon careful consideration of the partner's requirements, the student's qualifications, and input from law school faculty members. The law school forwards the proposed student's application packet to the partner and the partner is asked to approve the student for placement.
- Limited Interviews: Interviews are not required for co-op placement and some partners accept the student based on the application material without an interview. If, at this point, however, a partner wishes to meet the proposed student, the law school works with the partner and the student to schedule a brief interview.
- Final Matching: Once a partner approves a student for placement, the matching is considered final and the student is notified. If a partner does not accept a proposed student, another student is proposed for the position, if one is available. We announce the final matching results to all students and co-op partners at least one month prior to the start of each co-op cycle.
Orientation for Co-op Supervisors
- Prior to the co-op, supervisors will be required to participate in an orientation.
- Attending the orientation, entitled "Mentoring the Young Professional" for CLE purposes, will allow supervisors to earn up to two (2) PA CLE credits.
- Experienced supervisors will be invited to attend an informal Roundtable Discussion on selected topics of interest. CLE credit(s) will be offered for this event as well.