Peter A Allard School of Law

For Students


  • Applications for the Externship are open during the Spring Term. Information on specific dates and times can be found in the link below.
  • Allard School of Law J.D. students in second and third year are eligible to participate.
  • Prerequisite: Law 459: Business Organizations (Note: Law 459 cannot be taken concurrently with the Externship).
  • Students are matched with organizations after acceptance to the program.

Apply to the Externship or Learn More


The Externship is composed of 7 credits.

Mandatory Weekend Seminar Dates

Fall 2021 Term (9:00am-4:30pm)

  • September 11 & 12
  • September 18
  • November 27

Spring 2022 Term (9:00am-4:30pm)

  • January 15 & 16
  • January 22 
  • April 2


Those who practice as in-house counsel know that their practice is unlike that of lawyers at a typical law firm. In-house counsel are more than just a legal advisor to their organization. While the exact role of in-house counsel varies depending on the individual relationships formed between counsel and the senior management team of their organization, generally speaking, in-house counsel are trusted advisors in areas that usually extend beyond strictly legal matters. They affect the full range of their organization’s decisions. While in-house counsel may historically have functioned primarily as conduits between the organization and outside law firms, with the rising cost of legal services and the trend for many organizations to expand their in-house legal departments, the role of in-house counsel has shifted significantly, with in-house counsel handling more and more legal matters in-house.

Unless the organization is large and has a large in-house counsel department, most in-house counsel do not specialize in a single practice area; instead, they practice in many areas, including mergers & acquisitions, competition law, securities, tax, real estate, procurement, ethics, privacy, intellectual property, in addition to the standard contracts, addressing employment law issues and overseeing litigation.

In-house counsel are also responsible for carrying out non-legal duties particularly as they gain seniority in an organization. Those non-legal duties include strategic planning, corporate governance, risk management, legal education of management and employees, working with outside suppliers such as auditors, managing outside legal fees, directing outside counsel, setting the tone for ethical culture and overall general leadership. Increasingly, in-house counsel are seen as leaders of their organization, with the ability to influence decision making and guide the overall direction of the organization.

A key objective of the Externship is to give the student exposure to the variety, depth, and complexity of in-house counsel practice, and allow the student to become aware of the types of legal and business issues that normally confront an in-house practitioner. To achieve this objective, the participating organization is encouraged to expose the student to a variety of legal practice areas and non-legal functions of the organization in order to gain relevant skills.

Participating organizations may consider involving the student in an investigation, litigation or transaction due diligence, allowing the student to job shadow a typical day for in-house counsel, allowing the student to spend a day with a sales rep or to observe a manufacturing line, asking the student to make a presentation to executive/management (i.e. training in a legal area such as CASL or privacy), or assigning the student to a project.

At the conclusion of the Externship, the student should understand: the ethical obligations of in-house counsel and professional responsibility, how in-house counsel practice varies from a typical law firm practice (including the advantages and disadvantages of an in-house counsel practice), the legal and non-legal functions of an in-house counsel, to whom in-house counsel owe a duty of loyalty and confidentiality, and generally, the practical, hands-on nature of in-house work.


Participating organizations and students will receive ongoing support from the Allard School of Law over the course of the term. Erika Tse, Chief Legal Officer, Corporate Secretary, and Vice President Human Resources at GLENTEL Inc. has been appointed Clinic Adjunct for the Externship.



    The following award is available to students enrolled in the Corporate Counsel Externship. 


    Jack T. EDWARDS Memorial Award in Law

    A $1,300 award has been made available through an endowment established by the Edwards Family in memory of Jack T. Edwards for a student in the JD program who has demonstrated dedication to a clinical legal program at UBC Law. After serving as a fighter pilot in the RCAF reserve, Jack Edwards went on to a successful career as a lawyer in Vancouver before being appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Jack was dedicated to serving clients, as well as his profession, with integrity. The award is made on the recommendation of the Peter A. Allard School of Law.


    Erika Tse, Clinic Adjunct
    GLENTEL Inc.
    8501 Commerce Court
    Burnaby, BC, V5A 4N3

    Carol Liao, Director
    Centre for Business Law
    1822 East Mall
    Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z1

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