- Semester: Spring 2021
- Course ID: 197P
- Credit Hours: 1
- Internship Type: Judicial
- Grading Method: Pass/Fail Mandatory
- Experiential Credit: 1 credit hour
- Upperclass-only elective
The Judicial Internship Program lasts for one semester and includes a weekly class and a concurrent internship in an approved court placement. 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, writing, and oral communication skills. Students also observe court proceedings and learn about court procedure and legal advocacy.
A fall or spring internship must extend over a period of at least 10 weeks between the first and last class day of the semester. Students work at the internship placement for at least 150 hours. Students who also enroll in the Judicial Internship Program Supplement complete an additional 50 hours of work at the internship placement, for a total of at least 200 hours. Within these parameters, each intern arranges a mutually agreeable work schedule with the court.
The weekly class covers a variety of topics relevant to the judicial process and working at a court, such as goal setting and reflection, judicial ethics, writing and communicating in chambers, judicial decision-making, statutory construction, and the organization and operation of the courts. Course requirements include reading assignments, class presentations, court observations, short reflective writing assignments, self-assessments, and timesheets. In addition to class meetings, students meet individually with the instructor several times during the internship to discuss their goals and 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 on 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 October. A few make their selections closer to the start of the semester. 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.