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Mentor instructing students

Bringing the Profession to Legal Education

Mentor Externship Program

About the Mentor Externship Program

Our award-winning Mentor Externship Program is one of the most distinctive and innovative components of the University of St. Thomas School of Law. With more than 500 lawyers and judges paired as active mentors with our students, St. Thomas Law is one of just two law schools in the country that offer more externships than full-time enrollment.

The Mentor Externship Program connects each law student each year of law school with a legal professional to help them gain work experience, build relationships and navigate the legal field. Our mentors, faculty and staff are committed to helping students develop practical skills, professional values and relationships that will last a lifetime.

Student with mentor at appreciation reception

Becoming Part of the Legal Community

Fieldwork + Reflection

The Mentor Program combines opportunities in the field with thoughtful reflection. Students observe or engage in legal work, attend networking activities and have conversations with their mentor to gain skills and learn the expectations of the profession.

Mentor and mentee

A Network of Professionals

Our Mentors

More than 1,700 respected lawyers and judges have served as mentors to St. Thomas Law students. They represent the highest standards of professionalism, reflect the diversity of the profession in all its forms and come from all sectors of the law.

A Comprehensive Approach

Year One

Over the course of your law school career, the Mentor Externship team will encourage and assist you by providing tools to enhance your learning and individualized feedback on your fieldwork experiences. Faculty and staff are also available to support you and maximize your Mentor Externship journey.

First-year students are introduced to concepts of professionalism, time management, communication and other skills they will use in their mentor relationships.

Years Two and Three

Upper-level students participate in a classroom component led by faculty mentors designed to integrate their fieldwork experiences and introduce them to a variety of topics such as building and maintaining mentor relationships, expanding their professional network and serving and communicating with clients and others.

Annual Mentor Appreciation Reception

A National Leader

Program Excellence

The Mentor Externship Program has received the distinguished E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award, it was one of three national finalists for an ABA award on innovations in teaching professionalism and it plays a significant role in why St. Thomas is ranked #2 in the nation for practical training. In fact, we've been ranked among the top three law schools in this category since 2014.

Student Reflections

Jordan Cardenas headshot Jacqueline Tousley-Adelman headshot David Antwi headshot Isabella Witte headshot Megan Kratzke headshot Tomy Vettukallel headshot

Jordan Cardenas

"I have enjoyed developing professional relationships with my mentors because I know they sincerely care about helping students."

Jacqueline Tousley-Adelman

"Talking to my mentors and observing them in practice has helped me better understand the type of attorney I want to be."

David Antwi

“The openness and candidness of my mentors has allowed me to get a first-hand view of things that I like and enjoy about the profession, but also the challenges the profession faces."

Isabella Witte

“When I came to law school I was unsure about how to interact with legal professionals, but the Mentor Externship has allowed me to develop the skills to confidently make connections."

Megan Kratzke

"Participating in the Mentor Program added meaning to my law school journey. I am thankful for the connections I made, the guidance I received and the experiences I had."

Tomy Vettukallel

"My mentor has helped me find ways to prioritize self-care and my mental health, while also accomplishing all the tasks and work that I need to get done."⁣