Judicial Externships

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.

  • Classroom Component – 1 unit
  • Orientation – mandatorytwo business days prior to the first day of classes for the semester (Spring 2018, January 4th and 5th)
  • Pre- or Co-Requisite Requirement – 2 to 3 units
    Complete course from the approved list, prior to or during the externship semester
  • Fieldwork Component – 3 to 9 units
    Full time externs – minimum of 12 weeks for at least 35 hours per week
    Part-time externs – minimum of 12 weeks, minimum of 45 hours per unit

Classroom 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 Law SF 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.

Placement (3 to 9 Units, graded pass-fail. Placement units count against non-classroom 20 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. Full-time externs may earn 9 units (for a minimum of 12 weeks and a minimum of 35 hours per week).

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).

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.  For permission to enroll, please contact Professor Professor Nira Geevarigs, geevargis@uclawsf.edu.

Can I do two externships (or an externship and a clinic or the Startup Legal Garage) in the same semester?

UC Law SF Academic Regulations state that students may not enroll in a two live-client experiences—including a clinic, an externship, and the Start-Up Legal Garage—in the same semester. (See AR 2704 & 2808.) This restriction may be waived if a student has consent from both faculty supervisors and can demonstrate that he/she can manage the workload and that conflicts of interest will be clearly identified and will be manageable. 

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