In the Judicial Externship Program, J.D. students work directly for federal or state judges, where they gain immeasurable experience in research and writing and courtroom observation. LL.M. students may be eligible for the program on a case‐by-case basis.
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Our Judicial Externs have worked with federal judges on the district and appellate levels in Texas and nationwide, as well as state-level district and appellate judges in Texas and elsewhere.
By so doing, they have gained “behind-the-scenes” experience regarding the judiciary’s inner workings that they would otherwise not have had.
What is the benefit of a judicial externship?
Perspective. Although you are taught objective legal argument in law school, the primary thrust is to train you as an advocate. The greatest benefit of a judicial externship is for students to view advocacy – both good and bad – through the eyes of a judge. Gaining the perspective of the judiciary helps you to become a better attorney.
Exposure. Working with a court allows you to view documents and observe hearings on a greater number and variety of legal actions than you would with a firm, public interest organization or government agency.
Résumé Value. Legal employers respond very favorably to seeing judicial externships listed on a résumé. Additionally, many judges consider judicial externship experience as a factor when selecting their law clerks.
Networking. Besides networking with the judge and his/her staff, externs also have opportunities to meet many legal practitioners with business before the court.