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United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal

Field Placement Supervisor
Appellate Court Judges, Law Clerks and Staff 

Field Placement Office
600 Camp Street
New Orleans, LA  70130

Field Placement Website
http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov

Description of Field Work
Externs are placed in a judge's chambers and will work exclusively with the judge and court staff. An externship in a federal appellate court is a unique experience especially since few cities have the court located near a law school. This placement is highly competitive so we encourage students to visit with the Professor beforehand to understand the application process and prepare for the experience. The experience is specific to each extern and depends upon the court's docket and internal workings of each chamber. Overall, students should be comfortable with receiving research and writing assignments, specifically related to appellate procedure, statutory and policy analysis. The experience will provide a better understanding of federal appellate practice. This externship provides a unique opportunity to research a variety of legal issues from administrative, criminal, civil, prisoner petitions, bankruptcy, original proceedings and other matters on the court's docket.  A judicial extern is typically exposed to all aspects of the inner-workings of a judicial chambers similar to a Federal law clerk. Many times the extern is working along side federal law clerks to assist them with a range of tasks to include reading transcripts, briefs and preparing bench memoranda. Externs may also participate in conferences with the judge or law clerks and develop a deeper understanding of judicial decision making. 

Externship Requirements
Students with strong academic credentials and research and writing skills are encouraged to apply. 

Course recommendations: 
Students may want to "tether" a doctrinal upper level elective to this externship experience.  For a tethered experience, the Office of Skills and Experiential Learning recommends students enroll in any of following courses the same semester as enrolled in this externship:  Jurisprudence, Courts in a Federal System.  

Application Process
Don't delay as opportunities will fill fast. Apply in early January through early April for a summer placement. The Office of Skills seeks to place all summer extern applications in by April 20th with finalized placements set by May 1st.  Apply in early March through June for a Fall or Spring placement. All externship applications for Fall should be submitted by July 31st.   Externship applications are processed on a first come first serve basis. 

 

Return to the full list of externship field placements