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U.S. District Court in Louisiana

Field Placement Supervisor

District Court Judges, Law Clerks and Staff 

   For the Fall/Spring Eastern District formal externship program, address cover letter as follows: 

          Chief Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt

          500 Poydras Street, Room C367

          New Orleans, LA 70130

Field Placement Office

  1. United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, 500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA  70130
  2. United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, 800 Lafayette Street, Lafayette, Louisiana 70501

Field Placement Website

  1. Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans)
  2. Western District of Louisiana (Lafayette)

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 federal court will provide a better understanding of federal practice, specifically the administrative details of how a judge may maintain the courtroom and chambers. A Federal trial court externship offers a rich experience and varies depending upon each judge's preference. The externship provides a unique opportunity to view a  Federal judge while operating through daily decision-making, disposition of cases and understanding the development of the law.  The externship will offer practical insights into the process of adjudication, knowledge of the law both criminal and civil and improvement in your legal research and writing skills. An externship in Federal Court is the closest experience to a Federal clerkship.   

A judicial extern is typically exposed to all aspects of the chambers similar to a Federal law clerk.  The range of tasks can include evaluating substantive motions, conducting research and writing memoranda ("bench memo"). Externs may also participate in conferences, both pre-trial and status conferences and settlement negotiations.  

Externship Requirements
Students with strong research and writing skills are encouraged to apply. Apply preferably in mid-October for a placement in the following Fall-Spring academic year.  This formal externship program requires a two-semester commitment in Fall and Spring.  Some opportunties exist in the summer on a limited basis. 

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: Evidence, Advanced Torts Seminar, Courts in a Federal System, Advanced Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law Seminar, Admiralty Seminar, Trial Advocacy.  

Application Process 
This is a highly competitive placement, so students are encouraged to apply early. Students must apply through the externship program in order to pursue the opportunity as an externship.

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