The goal of this Practicum is to provide students with a solid understanding of the federal courts and judicial decision-making. Students work 12 to 15 hours a week in approved externships for Federal District Court Judges, Magistrate Judges, Court of Appeals Judges, and select state court judges. Working under the close supervision of the judges and their law clerks, students conduct research and draft memoranda and opinions. Students also observe a variety of federal court proceedings. The professor assists students with obtaining an externship by sending resumes and transcripts of interested students to the judges, who then select the externs. Students also participate in a weekly seminar discussing various readings relating to the federal judiciary. Seminar topics may include: the role of the law clerk, opinion drafting, judicial selection, the Judicial Canon of Ethics and ethical considerations, the role of ideology in decision-making, judicial misconduct, and sentencing and the Sentencing Guidelines. Students maintain reflective journals about their field placement experiences and class discussions and respond each week to assigned questions designed to raise issues important to the Practicum. Students also make a substantive group presentation to the class on a topic approved by the Professor that relates to the federal judiciary. Students are graded on the journal, class participation, the final presentation, and successful completion of the externship.
Catalog Number: CONPUB 647
Practice Areas: Civil Lit. and Dispute Resolution, Constitutional Law & Procedure, Legal Skills Development, Procedure Practice Area
Additional Course Information: Not a lottery course, Requires Practicum Placement