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Federal Judicial Extern Honors Program

Pace Law School’s Federal Judicial Honors Program selects 15-20 law students each year to build knowledge of, and to gain work experience in, the federal court judiciary.

The Program: The Honors Program is designed to provide students with an inside look at the federal court system and to prepare them to pursue a federal clerkship after law school. Numerous Honors Program students have obtained federal clerkships in courts throughout the country.

The Honors Program is a full-year program, with distinct fall and spring semester components.

In the fall semester, students are individually paired with faculty mentors who supervise a writing assignment designed to prepare them for the work of a judicial clerk or extern. Each student is given a case file containing actual motion papers from a federal district court case and must write a bench memo and/or opinion disposing of the motion. The faculty mentor works with the student to provide detailed critiques of each draft memo.

In the spring semester, each student is placed in the chambers of a federal judge for a 12-hour-a-week externship. On campus, all students attend a weekly seminar to complement the work that they are performing in chambers.

Participating Judges: Pace Law is grateful to the judges who have recently participated in the Honors Program, including:

  • United States Circuit Judge, now Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (2d Cir.)
  • United States District Judge Deborah Batts (S.D.N.Y.)
  • United States District Judge Vincent L. Briccetti (S.D.N.Y.)
  • United States District Judge Brian Cogan (E.D.N.Y.)
  • United States District Judge Denise Cote (S.D.N.Y.)
  • United States Chief Magistrate Judge Paul Davidson (S.D.N.Y.)
  • United States District Judge Barbara Jones (S.D.N.Y.)
  • United States District Judge Kenneth M. Karas (S.D.N.Y.)
  • United States Bankruptcy Judge Cecelia Morris (S.D.N.Y.)
  • United States District Judge Edgardo Ramos (S.D.N.Y.)
  • United States District Judge Cathy Seibel (S.D.N.Y.)
  • United States Chief Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz (D.N.J.)
  • United States District Judge Richard Sullivan (S.D.N.Y.)
  • United States District Judge Laura Taylor Swain (S.D.N.Y.)
  • United States Chief Magistrate Judge Lisa Margaret Smith (S.D.N.Y.)
  • United States Magistrate Judge George Yanthis (S.D.N.Y.)
  • United States Court of International Trade Judge Delissa Ridgway

Faculty Involvement:   The Honors Program is co-directed by Professor Emily Waldman and Adjunct Professor Joy Beane of the New York State Judicial Institute. The following professors serve as mentors in the program: Prof. Bridget Crawford, Prof. Don Doernberg, Prof. Shelby GreenProf. Lissa GriffinProf. Jill GrossProf. Michael MushlinProf. Andrew Lund, and Prof. Darren Rosenblum.

Application Process: Admission to the Honors Program is highly competitive. First-year students whose grade point average places them in the top 15% of the class receive letters inviting them to apply to the program. (Part-time day or evening students are only invited to apply after their first year if they are transferring into the full-time program; otherwise, they will be invited to apply during their second year.)  A faculty committee interviews all applicants. We base our ultimate selections on the applicants’ grades, writing samples, interviews, and interest in pursuing a clerkship after graduation.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Professor Emily Waldman at (914) 422-4096 or ewaldman@law.pace.edu, or Adjunct Professor Joy Beane at (914) 824-5802 or by e-mail at jbeane@courts.state.ny.us.