Each semester, the college places approximately 30 students as judicial externs to work in judges’ chambers. Judges participating in the program include United States Circuit, District, Bankruptcy, and Magistrate Judges; Justices of the Ohio Supreme Court; and Franklin County Common Pleas, Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court Judges.
Judicial externships provide excellent educational opportunities, including observation of the workings of courts from the inside, interaction with distinguished judges, and engagement in supervised research and writing. Judicial externs attend monthly classes at the college, in which they discuss a wide range of topics, including the experiences of their classmates in the program and ethical issues specific to the judiciary.
The program runs the full 14 weeks of the Autumn and Spring Semesters and 7-14 weeks of the Summer Semester. Students receive 3 credits in Autumn and Spring and 2 or 4 credits in Summer. The class is graded on a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” basis. The course requirements include eight hours of work each week (plus possible additional work as required by the judge), attendance at the monthly classes, weekly journal entries, a short paper about what the student learned during the externship, a sample of work done for the court, and an evaluation of the student’s work by the judge or supervisor.
Selection is on a competitive but broad basis. Demonstrated writing ability and commitment and capacity to represent the College well are important criteria. Law school grades will be neither irrelevant nor controlling. Under faculty policy, third-year students are given preference in the selection process. Also, a few of the judges are only willing to take third-year students.
Students interested in externships must submit an application, a resume, and a 5-page writing sample. Students with questions about the public interest externship program may email Halle Hara, Externship Director.