Judicial Externship Placements
New Orleans is home to every level of the state and federal court system with the exception of the U.S. Supreme Court. Select the accordion tabs below for more information about any of the courts listed in the chart.
|Federal Courts||State Courts|
|U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal||Supreme Court of Louisiana|
|U.S. District Court - Eastern Dist. of La.||Louisiana Circuit Courts of Appeal|
|N.O. Immigration Court||Judicial District Courts|
|U.S. Dept. of Labor Administrative Review Board||Orleans Parish Juvenile Court|
|Louisiana Workers Comp Administrative Court|
U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, located in New Orleans, is one of only thirteen federal appellate courts and has appellate jurisdiction over the U.S. district courts in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. An externship with one of the Fifth Circuit's twenty-six appointed judges 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.
Eligibility Requirements: Externships with the Fifth Circuit are extremely competitive and available only to 3L students with excellent credentials.
Location: 600 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has twelve authorized active judgeships with two senior judges and five magistrate judges.
Application and Eligibility:
- Term-time Externships: Externships with the Eastern District of Louisiana during the term are competitive and available only to 3L students as a yearlong externship. Interested students should look for postings announcing an application deadline which usually falls on or about March 1st. Students are selected through a centralized application process and could be placed with any one of the court's twelve judges if selected.
- Summer Externships: Summer externships with the Eastern District are available as early as the summer after a student's 1L year. Students apply directly to the judge with whom they would like to be placed. Deadlines and application procedures vary, but students should plan on applying by early February.
USCIS Immigration Court
The primary mission of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is to adjudicate
immigration cases by fairly, expeditiously, and uniformly interpreting and administering the Nation's
immigration laws. Immigration judges preside over formal immigration hearings to determine whether individuals are
deportable, excludable, inadmissible, or removable from the United States. In addition, the judges have
jurisdiction to consider various forms of discretionary and mandatory relief—including waivers, adjustment of status, cancellation of removal, asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the U.N. Convention Against Torture.
Legal externs work under the supervision of the Court's judicial law clerk but also interact with individual immigration judges. In addition to observing hearings, externs are given the following types of assignments: research and preparation of memoranda on complex legal issues; drafting decisions on motions pending before the Court; and drafting decisions on applications for relief from removal.
U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Review Board
The mission of the Department of Labor Administrative Review Board is to issue "final agency decisions for the Secretary of Labor in cases arising under a wide range of worker protection laws, primarily involving environmental, transportation, and securities whistleblower protection; H-1B immigration provisions; child labor; employment discrimination; job training; seasonal and migrant workers; and federal construction and service contracts. The Board’s cases generally arise upon appeal from decisions of Department of Labor Administrative Law Judges or the Administrator of the Department’s Wage and Hour Division. The Board’s mission is to issue legally correct, just, and timely decisions."
Students placed in this externship will work in the Covington office under Judge Romero who believes in a high degree of mentoring and apprenticeship style learning. Students will handle a variety of legal issues and assist Judge Romero by preparing bench memorandums. Many of the cases are tried in a small courtroom located at the office, so students will also have opportunities to observe trial and network with local attorneys.
Supreme Court of Louisiana
The Louisiana Supreme Court has exclusive original jurisdiction in cases involving disciplinary actions against lawyers and judges; appellate jurisdiction in cases in which a law or ordinance has been declared unconstitutional and in capital cases where the death penalty has been imposed; and supervisory jurisdiction over all courts.
Legal externs are placed in the chambers of individual justices or with the Court's central staff. Externs with the Supreme Court of Louisiana perform legal research and writing assignments assisting clerks with drafting orders and opinions related to the wide range of civil and criminal appeals and supervisory writs handled by the Court.
Louisiana Circuit Courts of Appeal
The Louisiana Constitution provides for the creation of five Circuit Courts of Appeal in the state with appellate and supervisory jurisdiction over the lower courts within their territorial jurisdiction.
Legal externs are placed in the chambers of individual judges or with the Central Staff for a Circuit Court of Appeal. Externs in an appellate court setting perform legal research and writing assignments assisting clerks with drafting orders and opinions related to the wide range of civil and criminal appeals and supervisory writs handled by the courts.
- Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals - http://www.la4th.org/
- Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals - http://www.fifthcircuit.org/
Louisiana Judicial District Courts
The trial court of general jurisdiction in Louisiana is the district court. District courts generally have authority to handle all civil and criminal cases. Civil cases involve actions to enforce, correct or protect private rights. In general civil cases include all types of actions other than criminal proceedings. In a criminal proceeding a person is charged with a crime and brought to trial and either found guilty or not guilty. Most jurisdictions such as the 24th JDC located in Gretna, Louisiana handle both criminal and civil proceedings while the 41st JDC covering Orleans Parish has a separate Criminal District Court and Civil District Court. Some Judicial District Courts designate certain sections as family courts with jurisdiction over all family matters such as divorce and child custody proceedings.
- 24th Judicial District Court - https://www.24jdc.us
- Orleans Civil District Court - http://orleanscdc.com
- Orleans Criminal District Court - http://www.criminalcourt.org
Orleans Parish Juvenile Court
Juvenile courts have exclusive jurisdiction over delinquency cases involving persons under 18 years of age, with the exception of some serious felony offenses for which 15- or 16-year-old youth can be waived over to criminal court. Juvenile courts also handle all adoption proceedings, child welfare proceedings, and Families in Need of Services proceedings. Legal externs are supervised by the Court Attorney for Orleans Parish Juvenile Court.
Louisiana Workforce Commission - La. Dept. of Labor Administrative Court
Judge Elizabeth Lanier presides over worker's compensation cases for the Louisiana Workforce Commission within the state Department of Labor. This administrative court externship is with the Commission's District 9 Hearing Office located in Houma, Louisiana.
Students will review case files to assist the judge before worker compensation hearings. Over the course of the semester, students will review medical records, attend hearings, draft bench memos to assist the court and also discuss areas of developing law with the judge. This is a unique opportunity to experience an apprenticeship style learning environment.