Externship: Federal Judicial Honors

Externship: Federal Judicial Honors

Course Number: LAW 764B (Fall Course), ULWR; LAW 764FP (Field Placement) & LAW 764SS (Seminar), ULSR
Course Credits: 764B - 1, 764FP - 4 (3 FP, 1 Seminar), 1 Seminar (Spring course)
This program is designed specifically for students who are interested in applying for clerkships after graduation from law school. The course prepares students for a post-graduate clerkship by providing an intensive writing experience as well as an introduction to the workings of the various courts in the federal system. There are three components to the Honors Program: a mentored writing assignment that takes place in the fall semester, a judicial externship placement, and a seminar in the spring semester. Students who are selected for the program are assigned to a faculty mentor in the beginning of the fall semester and asked to prepare a writing piece similar to the type they would be required to draft for the judges in the externship portion of the course, using actual court motion papers from past cases. This portion of the program is conducted during the fall semester according to a schedule the student works out with his or her faculty mentor. Upon successful completion of the faculty-mentored writing project by December, students are placed in externships in the spring semester with individual judges in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of New York (White Plains, New York City, and Poughkeepsie), the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn Heights), the District of Connecticut (Bridgeport), and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (Newark). The externship portion of the program provides the students with a tremendous opportunity to apply their writing and research skills in a demanding setting and to experience the work of a federal court firsthand. Students will need to plan their spring semester schedules to permit their being in chambers at least 12 hours a week. In addition, Honors Program students participate in a weekly seminar in the spring semester, which includes such topics as the role of the student extern and law clerk, judicial ethics and confidentiality, writing for the court, habeas relief, federal jurisdiction and civil procedure, and guest lectures from judges on the function of their courts (Bankruptcy, Magistrate Judges, District Court, Court of Appeals, Court of International Trade). A significant part of the course is the information and guidance provided to the students concerning the application process for judicial clerkships. As part of the seminar, the students also benefit from ongoing faculty review of their writing as judicial externs, to the extent permitted by their judges. Application Process and Deadline: Students are invited to apply to the program based on their law school grades following their first year (full-time students) or second year (part-time students). To apply, the invited students must submit (1) a resume, (2) a transcript, (3) a writing sample, and (4) a cover letter. Acceptance and Placement: Students will be notified of their acceptance into the program in mid-July. Typically, 20-22 students will be accepted into this program.