Disaster Law Externship

Credit Hours: 1
Overseeing Professor: Christine E. Cerniglia

About The Program

This course is structured so students work directly with attorneys on disaster outreach and work directly with the national coordinator on disaster legal services. Students are assigned to work on cases involving disaster research or claims which may include FEMA appeals. Students will also research systemic issues related to disaster benefits. Students are required to assist the assigned attorney on the case with legal research, relevant fact gathering and understanding the available benefits through FEMA or other agencies to assist people in rebuilding their lives post disaster.

The Disaster Law Externship is a tethered experience to the Disaster Law Primer. You must complete the primer before taking the externship. You may pursue the externship and Primer in the same semester. Together both courses are structured as a 'practicum' course where students will first understand the responsibility of the American Bar Association and the State Bar in coordinating disaster outreach efforts. Students will study the new FEMA guidelines and Individual Household Manual as well as understand the impact of disaster including pandemic upon individuals across the nation.

Placement Locations

Students are assigned to a supervising attorney working directly on a case involving disaster research and/or claims including FEMA appeals. Work is completed remotely.

Program Requirements

  • 42.5 hours for 1 credit per semester;
  • Weekly timesheet
  • 3-4 reflective journals per semester;
  • Written research project at the end of the semester
  • Weekly Individual Externship Seminar