US District Court Judicial Internship v. Externship

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Anonymous User
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US District Court Judicial Internship v. Externship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:20 pm

Whats the difference? I'm going to be an extern but have another friend who is going to be an intern at another court. What kind of work should I be expecting to do?

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Re: US District Court Judicial Internship v. Externship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:35 pm

No difference in what you do in my experience. I was an intern with one judge and an extern with another the following semester. I believe the difference is that an extern is for a class credit and you have to take a class at your law school to go along with the externship vs. an intern simply interns with no class credit (i.e. no class/supervision by the school)

NotMyRealName09
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Re: US District Court Judicial Internship v. Externship

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:09 pm

Yeah, extern is for school credit, intern isn't. You're going to do the same type of shit.

Pro-tip - from day one, make it clear to the clerks that you are there to learn and absorb as much as you can. Be eager. Be excited. Be wanting to be in the room with the judge.

I had a 1L summer externship with a federal judge in Detroit - I was fucking thrilled! - this judge took 1L interns from wherever. No one of the other externs (we were crammed in a closet / office with books) took it as an opportunity to soak knowledge. Me, I made it clear I'd be there as much as I could that summer. Other interns where there two days a week. I was there four. I wanted to see everything. Made it clear I'd love to research some bullshit that mattered.

Externships have "X" amount of weeks to earn that credit, and "X" amount of days you have to be there. If you can, make it clear you'll exceed that. Say you want to work more, do as much as you can and learn as much as you can.

At the end of the summer, all the other flake interns had left, but I kept coming. I had made it clear I was there to soak up as much as I could. Only then did the judge actually start to see me. Only then did the judge, not his clerks, ask to me write a memo for him. I'm pretty sure only then did he learn my name.

One of my best memories from that externship was after I had put a shit-ton of work into a research memo that the judge personally asked me to do....and as he left the office and passed by the intern closet, he stopped, looked at me, and said "that was a good memo" after I watched him use my analysis in oral argument on the motion I analyzed. FUCK YEAH.

My second best memory is one of the clerks during that summer, near the end when no other interns where there, who had asked me to draft a memo on an unusual case regarding a known sexually promiscuous teenage girl (weird facts where the state knew this was what she did) who was in the custody of the state, who escaped custody while lightly supervised at a movie theater (she lived in a state run facility), who then found a boy who took her to get drunk and then have sex, whose parents then sued the state for failing to protect her - the clerk said my memo making a case that the state had a duty to protect her from this harm based on their knowledge of her promiscuity and tendency to do this - made him rethink his view on the case, and that what I wrote was valuable. This was a memo I couldn't complete before I left the internship (I never wrote the state's view of the case), but he said it was helpful and (I'm paraphrasing) would help justice be done.

Lastly, I had two judicial externships - one district (I just mentioned), the second circuit - and with the circuit internship I didn't really interact with the judge, but towards the end, because I was committed, they had me write a bench brief - analyze a full case like a judicial opinion. This was the court of appeals, I read every document in the file, read every case cited. When I got the assignment, I had a gentle nudge of how the judge thought this case should play out. I'll never forget the day the career clerk came to my intern-office, smiled like hell and shook my hand saying congratulations - it didn't exactly click at that moment, but he showed my memo to the judge, and the judge liked it so much he sent it to the other two judges on the panel as his view of the case. The eventual published decision (not authored by my judge) mirrored what I had wrote, and god damn I'm proud of that. Fuckers stole my analysis. Or the law said what it said.

My point is - don't waste this opportunity. You aren't there to make copies. Don't let them do that to you. You're there because you appreciate this amazing opportunity to see the world from behind the bench. Make that clear - not overbearing, just eager and competent - and make it clear you want more, not trivialities and busy work - and holy shit it can be awesome.

Anonymous User
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Re: US District Court Judicial Internship v. Externship

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:09 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Yeah, extern is for school credit, intern isn't. You're going to do the same type of shit.

Pro-tip - from day one, make it clear to the clerks that you are there to learn and absorb as much as you can. Be eager. Be excited. Be wanting to be in the room with the judge.

I had a 1L summer externship with a federal judge in Detroit - I was fucking thrilled! - this judge took 1L interns from wherever. No one of the other externs (we were crammed in a closet / office with books) took it as an opportunity to soak knowledge. Me, I made it clear I'd be there as much as I could that summer. Other interns where there two days a week. I was there four. I wanted to see everything. Made it clear I'd love to research some bullshit that mattered.

Externships have "X" amount of weeks to earn that credit, and "X" amount of days you have to be there. If you can, make it clear you'll exceed that. Say you want to work more, do as much as you can and learn as much as you can.

At the end of the summer, all the other flake interns had left, but I kept coming. I had made it clear I was there to soak up as much as I could. Only then did the judge actually start to see me. Only then did the judge, not his clerks, ask to me write a memo for him. I'm pretty sure only then did he learn my name.

One of my best memories from that externship was after I had put a shit-ton of work into a research memo that the judge personally asked me to do....and as he left the office and passed by the intern closet, he stopped, looked at me, and said "that was a good memo" after I watched him use my analysis in oral argument on the motion I analyzed. FUCK YEAH.

My second best memory is one of the clerks during that summer, near the end when no other interns where there, who had asked me to draft a memo on an unusual case regarding a known sexually promiscuous teenage girl (weird facts where the state knew this was what she did) who was in the custody of the state, who escaped custody while lightly supervised at a movie theater (she lived in a state run facility), who then found a boy who took her to get drunk and then have sex, whose parents then sued the state for failing to protect her - the clerk said my memo making a case that the state had a duty to protect her from this harm based on their knowledge of her promiscuity and tendency to do this - made him rethink his view on the case, and that what I wrote was valuable. This was a memo I couldn't complete before I left the internship (I never wrote the state's view of the case), but he said it was helpful and (I'm paraphrasing) would help justice be done.

Lastly, I had two judicial externships - one district (I just mentioned), the second circuit - and with the circuit internship I didn't really interact with the judge, but towards the end, because I was committed, they had me write a bench brief - analyze a full case like a judicial opinion. This was the court of appeals, I read every document in the file, read every case cited. When I got the assignment, I had a gentle nudge of how the judge thought this case should play out. I'll never forget the day the career clerk came to my intern-office, smiled like hell and shook my hand saying congratulations - it didn't exactly click at that moment, but he showed my memo to the judge, and the judge liked it so much he sent it to the other two judges on the panel as his view of the case. The eventual published decision (not authored by my judge) mirrored what I had wrote, and god damn I'm proud of that. Fuckers stole my analysis. Or the law said what it said.

My point is - don't waste this opportunity. You aren't there to make copies. Don't let them do that to you. You're there because you appreciate this amazing opportunity to see the world from behind the bench. Make that clear - not overbearing, just eager and competent - and make it clear you want more, not trivialities and busy work - and holy shit it can be awesome.


Awesome response. You got me pumped up.

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Yardbird
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Re: US District Court Judicial Internship v. Externship

Postby Yardbird » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:26 pm

Some judges just call all their summers "externs" if they usually have students interning outside the summer too for credit. Out of the 4 "externs" in my judge's chambers last summer, I was the only one who was not taking a class for credit (so technically I was an intern). It's a title, but you should follow that title on your resume and such, even if you are an "extern" not getting credit or an "intern" getting credit.

TL;DR
Extern: In addition to working, class credit.
Intern: Only working, no class credit.
Regardless of whether you are getting class credit, you should list your title on your resume as whatever your judge refers to you as (intern/extern).




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