Immigration Court Program

Credit: 6 credits
Number of Positions: 1-2 at each court

Florida has Immigration Courts in Orlando and Miami, and students may extern inother states. Externs serve as judicial clerks for the United States Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Immigration Court. Students work in a clerkship capacity with an executive branch judge who presides in formal, quasi-judicial hearings in deportation, exclusion, removal, rescission and bond cases. Typical assignments include drafting decisions on applications for asylum, researching and writing memos on whether a particular criminal offense renders a person subject to removal, and drafting decisions on motions to reopen cases in which a final order has been issued. Students will develop research and writing skills and gain increased understanding of immigration law and procedure.

Prerequisites: Immigration Law. Students are not certified under the Student Practice Rule. Students must be U.S. citizens and must pass an FBI background check.

Recommended Courses: Evidence, Refugee and Asylum Law, Administrative Law


Selection Process: To enroll in the Florida State Law “externship,” students must apply and be accepted in the Immigration Court’s “internship” program. Interested students should contact Professor Gertz for more information before applying to the court. Generally, to apply, submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and official or unofficial transcript to the Judicial Law Clerk at the Immigration Court where you would like to extern. The courts prefer students with strong research and writing skills who have a sincere desire to learn about immigration law and procedure. Each court has its own deadline. For the summer semester, applications are due by approximately the first week in January. For the spring semester, applications are due by approximately the first week in October. In addition to applying directly to the judicial law clerk, students must separately apply to the Florida State Law externship program by the announced deadline (even though the student may not yet have been accepted by the Immigration Court). Past students have worked with judges in Orlando and New Orleans. Externs must participate in the Judicial Externship Seminar the semester before or after the externship.

Objectives and Methods