Jumpstarting the Judicial Externship Experience: Building Upon Common Themes for Student Success in the Classroom and in the Judge's Chambers
21 Clinical Law Review 1 (2014)
24 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2014
Date Written: October 20, 2014
Judicial externships provide a unique opportunity for students to experience the inner workings of a judge’s chambers. Because students’ experiences vary from one judicial placement to another, teaching the classroom component of this externship can be a challenge. By focusing on common themes shared by the students, regardless of their specific court placements, faculty can create a more cohesive and relevant classroom setting.
This article proposes four common themes for faculty to focus on in the classroom: judicial ethics, judicial research and writing, judicial decision-making, and professionalism. Students will be faced with potential ethical issues as soon as they arrive at their judicial placements. We need to make sure students are prepared to identify potential ethical issues and know how to proceed. Many students select the judicial externship because they want to improve their research and writing skills, and want to learn how judges make decisions. We can help prepare students for the type of writing that is expected of them in a judicial chambers and how to understand the judicial decision-making process. Finally, we cannot forget to teach the importance of professionalism in the judicial externship and how it can impact the student’s experience, this semester and beyond.
Through these themes and suggested methods of teaching, faculty can effectively complement their students’ courtroom experiences with skills learned in the classroom.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation