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College of Law

Florida State University

 

Judicial Programs

Professor Gertz is the faculty supervisor for these programs unless otherwise noted. The Perspectives portion of these programs involves submission of weekly journals and periodic papers and attendance and participation in a seminar.

Legal Employment and Pro Bono Restriction: Students are prohibited from having legal employment and from completing any of their pro bono hours while enrolled in a judicial externship.

  • Circuit Court/Complex Business Litigation Court

    Credits: 6
    (Orlando, Miami, Tampa)

    Complex Business Litigation Courts have been created in the Ninth (Orlando), Eleventh (Miami) and Thirteenth (Tampa) Judicial Circuits of Florida. Students are assigned to work directly with a judge in a Complex Business Litigation Court as an extern/judicial law clerk. Students prepare memoranda of law, draft opinions and orders, and observe proceedings. The externship gives students an opportunity to improve research, writing and analytical skills and to observe and critique trial and motion practice skills. Students also learn about circuit court jurisdiction and procedure and are exposed to a variety of substantive business law issues.  Students must attend the judicial externship seminar the semester before or after the externship. 

  • Circuit/County Court

    Credits: 6

    Students are assigned to work directly with one of the circuit judges at the Second Judicial Circuit as an extern/judicial law clerk. Students prepare memoranda of law and draft opinions and orders. Students also have an opportunity to observe selected civil and criminal trials. The externship gives students an opportunity to improve research and writing skills as well as observe trial and motion practice skills. Students also learn about circuit and county court jurisdiction and procedure. Students gain exposure to a wide variety of substantive law. 



  • Florida District Courts of Appeal

    Credits: 6

    District Courts of Appeal are located in Tallahassee, Lakeland, Tampa, Miami, West Palm Beach and Daytona Beach. Students generally are assigned to work in a clerkship capacity with one of the judges. At the First DCA (in Tallahassee), students also may be assigned to the Workers Compensation Unit or the Central Legal Staff. Duties include reviewing the briefs and the record below, conducting legal research, writing case summaries and drafting opinions. Students critically observe oral arguments, which take place only during morning hours.



  • Florida Division of Administrative Hearings

    Credits: 6

    Students are assigned to serve as an extern law clerk for an administrative law judge at the Division of Administrative Hearings. Duties include legal research, drafting memoranda, and preparing orders. Students have an opportunity to improve their research, writing and analytical skills and to gain an understanding of the jurisdiction and procedures of the Division of Administrative Hearings. Students gain exposure to a wide variety of substantive law. 

  • Florida Public Employee Relations Commission Office

    Credits: 6

    Students externing at the Public Employee Relations Commission work in a clerkship capacity for the office of the General Counsel of the agency. Students duties include the preparation of legal memoranda and orders in judicial and administrative proceedings. Students work in conjunction with Commission staff attorneys on briefs when Commission orders are appealed. Students may also assist in handling elections. Students have an opportunity to develop drafting and research skills, and to become familiar with the rules and laws governing public labor law in the State of Florida. 



  • Florida Supreme Court

    Credits: 6

    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. 



  • U. S. Immigration Court

    Credits: 6

    Students serve as extern law clerk 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. 

  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court

    Credits: 6

    The externing student is assigned to work in a clerkship capacity with the bankruptcy judge for the Northern District of Florida (Tallahassee). Students also have worked with judges in the Middle District of Florida (Orlando, Tampa), and other locations may be available. Duties include legal research, drafting memoranda, preparing orders, etc. Students have an opportunity to observe Bankruptcy Court proceedings, improve their research and writing skills and gain exposure to general bankruptcy law. Students who enroll in this externship attend the Judicial Externship Seminar the semester before or after the externship. 

  • U.S. District Court

    Credits: 6 
    (Tallahassee)

    Externing students work in a clerkship capacity with a federal district court judge or magistrate judge. Duties include conducting legal research, drafting memoranda and preparing orders.


    Credits: 6
    (Outside Tallahassee)

    Externing students work in a clerkship capacity with a federal district court judge or magistrate judge. Duties include legal research, drafting memoranda and preparing orders. Recently, students have externed with judges in Pensacola, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Ft. Myers, Miami, Macon, Albany, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C. Students who enroll in this externship attend the Judicial Externship Seminar the semester before or after the externship. Most judges accept students every semester, but a few accept students only in the summer.

The Placement Office manages a program specifically for rising 2L students who are interested in a summer judicial externship. For 2 credits, students may work with a judge for six to eight weeks. Please contact 850.644.4495 for more information.