Florida Supreme Court

Credit: 6 credits

Work Hours: 20 hours/week for 13 weeks in the fall and spring; 30 hours/week for 9 weeks in the summer

Number of Positions: 1 - 3

Students work in a clerkship capacity in the chambers of a justice under the supervision of a judicial clerk. Students assist in determining if the Court has jurisdiction by reading parties' jurisdictional briefs, conducting legal research, and drafting bench memos. Students also conduct research for the justices' administrative assignments; review memos, orders, and opinions drafted by others; and critically observe oral arguments, which occur in the mornings. Students also may be assigned to work under a staff attorney in the Clerk’s Office and review incoming cases for issues similar to ones in pending cases. If similar issues are found, students draft memos recommending which case should proceed and which should be stayed.  

Prerequisites, Application and Selection Process:  Most students extern at the Court through the Court’s official internship program, which requires a student to have successfully completed Evidence and three full semesters of law school, and to have obtained a character and fitness clearance letter from the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. Interns generally are in the top quartile of their class. To apply, a student submits an FSU COL externship application to the externship office during the externship application period. The faculty supervisor selects a student based on overall record, courses, grades, research and writing skills, expected graduation date, and other externships. The selected student completes a Supreme Court internship application.

Occasionally, a student applies directly to a justice and is accepted as an intern by the justice outside of the Court’s official internship program. Each justice establishes his or her own prerequisites and selection criteria for this type of internship. In addition to being accepted by a justice, a student must submit an FSU COL externship application to the externship office during the application period.

Recommended Courses: Florida Criminal Practice, Advanced Criminal Procedure, State Constitutional Law, Florida Administrative Practice, Florida Civil Practice, Advanced Legal Research.

Objectives and Methods