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Third-Year Student Extols Value of Clinical Externship Program

Adam Sheble

For Adam Sheble, a third-year student at California Western, landing an externship at the Ninth Circuit, Court of Appeals in San Francisco was an opportunity that would significantly impact his future path in law.

“I would rate this externship as the most valuable experience I have had the privilege of obtaining in law school,” said Sheble. “I got to learn from and interact with extremely accomplished and respected legal professionals, contribute to the work the court did and had the opportunity to enhance the skills I learned in school.”

The Clinical Externship Program at California Western is a much-valued 13-week program giving third-year students the opportunity to earn academic credit for legal work as well as practical experience in real time legal environments.

The Ninth Circuit is the largest of the thirteen courts of appeals, and working within this court system presented Sheble with some unique challenges.

“The biggest challenge was that every few weeks I would get a completely new set of assignments, with potentially new areas of law that I had to research and understand.,” explained Sheble. “It's very exciting to teach myself a facet of law that I wouldn't get the opportunity to learn about in school, and to know that I have the skills to do so when I graduate.”

Sheble’s typical workday would be spent researching and writing on his assigned cases. He would then work closely with his supervising attorney and other attorneys in the office to revise and edit his work.

His experience during his externship at the Ninth Circuit has made Sheble think about pursuing a career as a research attorney or clerking for a federal judge after graduation, and he believes that all third-year students should make externships and gaining practical experience while in school as much a priority as their regular class work.

“I think employers care about curricular performance,” said Sheble. “But I also think they want someone who can bring some level of experience and practical skills to them on day one.”

For more information on California Western’s Clinical Externship Program visit: