Students research complex legal questions and draft memoranda, opinions and orders under the supervision of judges, their staff attorneys and law clerks. Students apply and extend their substantive legal knowledge and further develop their analytical, research and writing skills. Students also observe court proceedings and learn about court procedure and legal advocacy.
This program lasts for one semester and has two components: a one-credit classroom course and a concurrent internship for three or four credits. The classroom component addresses a variety of topics relevant to the judicial process such as judicial writing, the organization and operation of the courts, ethics, statutory interpretation, and judicial decision-making. Course requirements include reading assignments, class discussion, presentations, court observations, and short writing assignments. For the internship component, students must work in an approved internship placement for 180 hours for the three-credit option or 240 hours for the four-credit option between the first and last class day of the semester. Each intern arranges a work schedule with the court. Interns also submit brief reflective writing assignments, timesheets, and evaluations to the instructor, and meet with the instructor to review their progress.
Application Requirements: An application for approval to register is required. A student may not register until the instructor has approved the application. Before submitting an application to the instructor, a student must first apply for and obtain a judicial internship with an approved court in Austin. The student must be assigned to a specific judge on the court who agrees to participate in the Texas Law program. Approved courts include the Texas Supreme Court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the Texas Third Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court (including the active and senior district court judges and the magistrate judges), the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings, and the Travis County Probate Court. Many of these courts post internship openings in the Career Services Office's Job Bank on Symplicity. Others post information about internships on the court's website. Apply as soon as possible. Most courts accept applications and select interns for the spring semester during the prior fall semester, some as early as mid-October. A few make their selections over the winter break. A student who wishes to intern for academic credit in the spring semester must obtain the internship and apply to the instructor in time to attend the first class meeting.
For the application for approval to register and more information about the Judicial Internship Program, go to https://law.utexas.edu/internships/judicial-internship/.
This program is open to students who have completed the first two semesters of law school. Interns who receive academic credit may not be compensated. Students may enroll only once in a judicial internship for academic credit.