Each year, the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) seeks qualified candidates for its Summer Legal Extern Program. Ideal candidates will have strong academic credentials and demonstrated research and writing ability. Maturity, professionalism, and a positive attitude are essential components for success in the program.
Approximately 50 positions may be available for students who have completed their first and/or second years of law school. The majority of openings are with OGC agency legal offices in Harrisburg with very limited positions available in Pittsburgh (5), the Philadelphia area (4), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (2), and Meadville (1). Positions are based on a full-time 37.5 hour work week.
Externships are non-paid positions without benefits. Student applicants should determine through their schools, the amount of school credit, if desired, they may receive for completing the OGC Summer Legal Extern Program. Many schools offer work-study arrangements; public or private interest grants; and volunteer opportunities also are available. Successful candidates will be working in Offices of Chief Counsel for the various agencies served by OGC and will be performing work that is typical of entry-level OGC lawyers, with an emphasis on legal research and writing, under the supervision and guidance of experienced OGC attorneys. You may find information about any of the agencies OGC serves on our webpage at www.ogc.pa.gov under the Services To Agencies tab and by clicking on the tab and by clicking on the Agencies Served by OGC link.
Applications for the 2018 Summer Legal Extern Program will be accepted beginning in January of 2018. Applications should be submitted through your law school’s Symplicity website or your career services office.
If you attend a law school outside of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, please forward your cover letter, resume, law school transcript and a writing sample (10 pages or less) to email@example.com
for consideration of an interview.
Past Summer Legal Extern Program Student Comments
"This program is a great fit for any student who is looking to do interesting, impactful work in the public sector. The work you will have the opportunity to do is work done by practicing attorneys that directly affects litigation and affairs in which the Commonwealth is a part. Although you are given great responsibility, your supervising attorney will be there at all times to help guide you, and you are never left feeling lost or unsure. This is a great program that if given the opportunity, you should capitalize on"! - M Willey - University of Pittsburgh – JD-2019
"Definitely consider this program for your 1L or 2L summer. Not only does it give you great contacts and experience, but it helps you recognize your strengths and weaknesses for when you will graduate and go into practice. It also gives a side of the public sector that you might not have considered." - A Stover – University of Michigan – JD-2018
". . . this is a wonderful opportunity and a way to gain a new perspective about different careers for a lawyer. Most people naturally gravitate towards working in a private firm, but doing government work is a great way to gain experience as well and it's a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere that makes you want to show up for work every day." - A Stickley – Widener Delaware – JD-2018
"The OGC Summer Extern Program provides a unique hands-on learning experience seldom available when interning at a private firm. Encompassing a wide breadth of legal fields, this program offers students the opportunity to learn about various areas of legal interest not availalbe in the classroom. Attorneys in your assigned office are always open to questions, and constantly work to make the most out of your experience."
-S Osmolinski – University of Mississippi – JD-2018
"I would recommend this program to any law student curious about working in government. State government is where the rubber meets the road and each decision has an immediate impact on your surrounding community. This program provided me with valuable experience and perspective that will shape the rest of my time in law school and the start of my legal career." - B Kloss – University of Chicago – JD-2019
“This program is like no other because it is extermely hands on. You won't just be sitting at an office all day, but you'll be able to experience real world legal issues in a legal setting. This program is challenging, but the skills acquired during the OGC externship are skills you will be able to use once you become a practicing attorney." - K Blakley – Ohio NOrthern – JD-2018
"This program is an excellent opportunity to do meaningful, substantive work. It provides the opportunity to learn about diverse options for attorney practice, all while developing important skills and contributing to the Commonwealth's mission." - R Beecher – Harvard – JD-2019
"My externship with OGC gave me hands-on experience with representing the Commonwealth and its clients that many of my friends did not have in their summer placements. I was not simply a "research memo generator" that many legal internships end up being. I worked directly with the attorneys in representing their clients in current litigation by drafting discovery requests, motions, and briefs. The attorneys were always willing to answer any question I had which created a collegial and educational environment. I felt like a respected and valued member of my office and I highly recommend PA OGC for a valuable legal experience." - B Beard – Dickinson Law – JD-2018
"This program offers everything you want in a [sic] practical externship. The opportunity to sharpen research, writing, and advocacy skills with very experienced attorneys of the Commonwealth will assuredly make you a better attorney. You get to be an important part of whatever issue you are tasked with working on. You also get to see your hard work manifested into something that [sic] works to make PA a better place for Pennsylvanians.” - C Duruji – Rutgers – JD-2018