The Judicial Externship Program provides students with the opportunity to work in judicial chambers on legal research memos and judicial opinions under the supervision of judges and their postgraduate or permanent law clerks. Our students extern with judges at state and federal trial and appellate courts as well as with administrative law judges.
Academic Component (1 Unit, graded pass-fail): All judicial externs complete a mandatory two day orientation prior to starting in their placement. The class does not meet on an ongoing going basis but externs are in regular contact with their faculty supervisor. In addition, each student must complete a 2-3 unit pre- or co-requisite course of his or her choice from an approved list of courses.
The mandatory orientation takes place at UC Hastings during the two business days preceding the first day of classes for the semester. The ongoing supervision requires students to keep a journal during their placement and to be in contact with the faculty supervisor several times during the semester. This contact may be by telephone or e-mail if the student(s fieldwork is outside of the Bay Area. For spring 2014, the mandatory orientation days are January 7th & 8th.
Placement (3 to 9 Units, graded pass-fail. Placement units count against non-classroom 18 unit cap.) Students may earn up to 9 units of non-classroom credit by working as externs at any level of state or federal courts and at some selected administrative agency tribunals. Students may extern part-time and earn between 3 and 8 units of fieldwork credit, computed at the rate of one unit for every 45 hours of work. If the externship does not afford a substantial research and writing experience or is with a court of limited jurisdiction, the maximum number of units which may be earned is 5 (the maximum number of units for criminal court and externships with administrative law judges is 5). Full-time externs may earn 9 units (for a minimum of 12 weeks and a minimum of 35 hours per week). Students may extern anywhere in California; externships outside California require advanced permission. Interested students should inquire at the Externships and Pro Bono Programs Office early in the semester prior to the semester or summer during which they would like to extern. It is helpful to review the surveys of prior externs' experiences available in the externship office. Group meetings about the program requirements are held each semester. A student who accepts a judicial externship position may not withdraw to take a position with another judge or court.
All judicial externships for credit are open to 4th, 5th, and 6th semester students with a minimum GPA of 2.8.