Develop a mentoring relationship with a judge and learn how courts really work.
Get to know the legal system from the inside while developing a mentorship relationship with a judge. A judicial externship is an unforgettable and invaluable opportunity for an aspiring attorney to learn about judicial decision-making and hone their writing skills. Students extern with judges at the state, federal, and administrative courts. Judicial externships are especially valuable to students who are considering a post-graduate judicial clerkship.
What is a Judicial Externship?
- A Judicial Externship is an experiential learning course where students receive academic credit for legal work completed under the supervision of a judge and/or judicial law clerk at an approved field placement.
- Placements may include state or federal court judges or administrative law adjudicators at various state and federal agencies.
- The course is a total of 3 credits (pass/fail) which includes both the fieldwork and the weekly seminar.
- Students must complete at least 130 hours in the field placement and are encouraged to spread their hours evenly over the semester. Students must work at least 10 weeks during the academic year.
- The seminar will include students at a mix of judicial placements and is generally taught by a judge.
When can I complete a Judicial Externship?
- After you have completed 28 credits towards your JD degree (1L curriculum)
- The concurrent weekly seminar and writing requirements are required to receive academic credit.
- The Judicial Externship course is generally offered in the Fall and Spring semesters
- Generally there is one evening section offered during the academic year.
Does a Judicial Externship fulfill my experiential learning requirements?
- All students in the J.D. program must complete at least 6 credits of experiential learning before they graduate.
- A Judicial Externship counts towards the 6 credit experiential learning requirement but it does NOT fulfill the 3 credit live-client requirement. The live-client requirement can only be fulfilled through an externship with an attorney or a clinic.
How do I find a Judicial Externship?
- You must find your own placement and apply directly to the judge or agency.
- You can look on UB Law Connect for posted opportunities, or you can find your own placement.
- Please make an appointment with a Law Career Development Office counselor or Prof. Lall, Director of Externships, for additional guidance in finding a placement.
How do I know if it is an appropriate placement?
- Placements may be paid or unpaid. Paid externships are subject to a separate approval process.
- You may extern for a current or former employer if you submit an Educational Plan and the Director of Externships approves the placement as a substantively new learning experience
- Students must engage in substantive legal work and must produce at least 10 cumulative pages of original written work product in the placement.
- Students may be directly supervised by the Judge, or in some cases, by their judicial law clerk.
- There are limitations on externing with a Judge or Judicial law clerk to whom you are related.
Are remote placements allowed?
- Externships may be fully in-person, fully remote, or a hybrid of in-person and remote work
- All field placements should have a plan for remote student work in case it becomes necessary due to Covid-19 infection or quarantine
- Discuss expectations around in-person and remote work when you are interviewing. Make sure that you and the field placement supervisor have a mutual understanding of what will be required of you.
How do I submit my placement for approval?