The purpose of the seminar is to enable students to consider and discuss a variety of issues relating to the administration of justice, which they will have an opportunity to observe in their field work, including the philosophy of judging, judicial ethics, selection of judges, limitations on access to the courts, judicial workload, and court management. A student may earn academic credit for work as an extern for a judge or for an entire court (hereafter, fieldwork) if undertaken in conjunction with the Judicial Externship Seminar.
The purpose of the field work is to afford qualified students the opportunity to observe and participate in the functioning of either a trial or appellate court, observe and critically evaluate the work of attorneys that is presented to the court, observe and critically evaluate the nature and quality of judicial decision making, and refine research and writing skills. A student may participate in either a full-time (12 units) or part-time (maximum of 6 units) judicial externship.
Interested students should obtain information about judges and courts that use externs and about the application process from the director of externships well in advance of the anticipated placement. The director of externships will help students locate and secure suitable placement. Graded Credit/No Credit. Part-time Judicial Externship: Students may earn from 4-6 units of credit for a part-time judicial externship or 12 units for a full-time judicial externship by (1) undertaking field work with a judge or court, and (2) participating in the Judicial Externship Seminar that will generally be offered in both the fall, spring and summer semesters of an academic year.
Seminar requirements include assigned readings, participation in seminar meetings, and the preparation of a paper on an assigned topic. A minimum of 75 hours per unit of fieldwork is required for part-time judicial externships. This work may be undertaken in the fall, spring, or summer of an academic year. The student must enroll in the seminar being offered in the same semester.
Credit for the program will be awarded on satisfactory completion of both the field work and the seminar within the time frame described above. Students earn 3-5 units of credit for fieldwork and 1 additional unit with the seminar for a maximum of 6 total units. Full time Judicial Externship: students may earn 12 units of credit for full time externship by (1) undertaking fieldwork with a judge or court, and (2) participating in the seminar. A full time extern earns 11 units of credit for 15 weeks of full time field work (40 hours/week).