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Judicial Externship Program

Judicial Externship is a 4-credit hour Pass/Low Pass/Fail program open to students in their second and third year who want to do legal research and writing for a federal appellate, district or magistrate judge or an Illinois appellate or circuit court judge. The program is offered in Fall and Spring semesters and in the Summer session as well.

A judicial externship enables a student to become involved in particular legal problems through research and writing, and to contribute to the resolution of those problems by writing memoranda and drafting opinions. Depending upon the judge, an extern may have the opportunity to observe the day-to-day routine of a judge and discuss with the judge or the judge's law clerk those legal problems which attorneys face in their profession, as well as the specific problems confronted in the courtroom.

An accompanying classroom discussion component meets on Fridays from 11:45 a.m. - 12:40 p.m. during the Fall and Spring semesters, and on Wednesdays from 12:00 - 12:55 p.m. during the Summer session. The class focuses on various aspects of judicial decision-making and, where appropriate, how those aspects affect the extern's work product.

All judicial externs will work under the direct supervision of and coordinate their externship schedule with their judge and/or their judge's law clerk. The extern must work 16 hours per week for the judge during the Fall and Spring semesters for a total of 224 hours, and 2 hours per week during the Summer session for a total of at least 240 hours.

Externs are selected by the respective participating judge(s) through an application procedure conducted by the law school. Judges require a cumulative minimum g.p.a., which will be indicated on each semester's application form. (The required g.p.a. is generally around 3.2.) Applications for Summer and Fall Judicial Externships are available in the Law Offices reception area (Room 600), in the Career Services Office, and in front of the Spakateria at the beginning of February and will be submitted to each respective chamber by approximately the first week in March. Applications for Spring Judicial Externships are available at the end of September and will be submitted to each respective chamber by approximately mid-October.

Students may do a Judicial Externship for more than one semester.

Students enrolled in the Judicial Externship Program may also choose to opt out of Legal Writing 4.


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