Course Details

Practicum: Judicial

The goal of this Practicum is to provide students with a solid understanding of the federal courts, judicial decision-making, and the role of the law clerk. Although the Seminar topics may vary semester to semester, they may include: the role of the law clerk, opinion drafting, judicial qualifications and selections, the Judicial Canon of Ethics and ethical considerations, the role of ideology in decision-making, judicial misconduct, and sentencing. In addition to weekly assigned readings, the class reads and discusses Judge Richard Posner's book, The Federal Courts. In addition, students work 12 to 15 hours a week as law clerk externs for Federal District Court Judges, Magistrate Judges, Federal Court of Appeals Judges, and state court judges. Working under the close supervision of the judges and their law clerks, students conduct research and draft memoranda and opinions. In addition, to provide a comprehensive understanding of the work of judges, students participate in the work of chambers and observe courtroom proceedings. Students maintain reflective journals about their field placement experiences and class discussions and respond each week to assigned questions about specific topics. Students submit two installments of their journals, and each installment of the journal accounts for one-third of the student's final grade for the course. At the end of the semester students are required to make a substantive presentation to the class on a topic approved by the Professor that relates to the judiciary. This presentation and weekly class participation account for one-third of the course's grade. Successful compliance with the externship requirements and the expectations of the Judge are also essential. This course is a distance course. NOTE the following rules for distance courses: -You may not enroll in more than one distance course in any term, including the summer term. -You may earn no more than 12 credits in distance courses towards the JD degree. Registration Requirements: Students must get the faculty member's permission to enroll in the class once they have accepted an externship with a federal or state court judge. Students may not receive any payment for the externship. Students may take the Judicial Practicum only once; students who have previously taken the Judicial Practicum may not enroll. Evaluation Method: Students will keep reflective journals about their externship and issues covered in the class. Students will be evaluated based on their journals, class attendance and participation, and a final paper or presentation. Class Materials: Course materials will be provided on Blackboard.

Catalog Number: CONPUB 647D
Additional Course Information: Experiential Learning,  Not a lottery course,  Requires Practicum Placement


Course History

Summer 2017
Title: Practicum: Judicial
Faculty: Llorente, Monica
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 6

Summer 2016
Title: Practicum: Judicial
Faculty: Llorente, Monica
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 9

Summer 2015
Title: Practicum: Judicial
Faculty: Llorente, Monica
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 15