U.S. Attorney, Tallahassee (Gainesville, Jacksonville, Orlando, Panama City, Pensacola and Tampa also may be available)

Credit: 3

Number of Positions: 1-2

Fall or Spring — 13 weeks, 14 hours/week
Summer — 9 weeks, 20 hours/week (182 total hours)

The U.S. Attorney’s Office offers externs the opportunity to observe and assist federal prosecutors engaged in criminal, civil and appellate practice in the federal courts. Under the supervision of experienced trial lawyers, students assist in researching and resolving substantive legal issues arising in the context of federal prosecutions and civil practice. The program provides extern with an understanding of the federal judicial system, an opportunity to improve legal research and writing skills, and the opportunity to observe pretrial preparation and motion/trial practice.

Depending on current cases, externship duties may include: observing hearings, trials and other public court proceedings; assisting attorneys in charging decisions by providing research and memoranda on legal issues (e.g. venue, affirmative defenses, suppression issues) that arise during the process of charging a criminal case; assisting attorneys in trial preparation by drafting motions in limine, responses to defense motions, jury instructions, and researching other legal issues that arise prior to and during the trial of a criminal or civil case; and drafting appellate briefs and responses to habeas petitions and other post-conviction requests for relief.

Prerequisites: Externs must have satisfactorily completed Evidence. Students are not certified pursuant to the Student Practice Rule.

Recommended Courses: Criminal Procedure: Police; Federal Jurisdiction

Selection Process: The selection of externs is handled by the faculty supervisor, subject to the approval of the U.S. Attorney’s Office (which may request an interview). Selection is based on a student applicant’s overall record, courses, grades, expected graduation date and other externships taken.

There is a substantial background check by the Department of Justice, with several forms to complete for students initially accepted to this program. Once notified of acceptance by the Externship office, students should be responsive to requests for information in order to expedite the clearance process.

Objectives and Methods