The Judicial Externship Program is an academic program that affords second and third year students the opportunity to earn course credit through temporary clerkships with federal and state judges. Students gain valuable insight and experience from working as law clerk externs in the chambers of judges in eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. In particular, the Judicial Externship Program is intended to improve students' skills of case analysis, statutory analysis, legal research and legal writing, as well as their grasp of procedural rules and substantive law principles. The Law School also hopes that the Judicial Externship Program will encourage students to pursue post-graduate judicial clerkships.
The Law School offers its Judicial Externship Program in the Summer and in the Fall and Spring semesters. For all Judicial Externships offered, the enrollment and application process usually takes place in the Spring Semester. However, supplemental enrollment periods may take place at different times to fill newly available externship spots.
Most judicial externships are filled through a lottery. Each year, more than 30 judges in the Philadelphia area participate in the lottery. The lottery for summer judicial externships takes place at the end of February. The lottery for Fall and Spring semester externships takes place in April. Students who do not participate in the lottery, or who participate but are not matched with a judge, are still eligible to apply for externship credit for externships secured independently.
The Judicial Externship is just one method for securing a temporary clerkship with a state or federal judge to experience the judicial process from the perspective of the judge and the law clerks. Students may also pursue employment with state or federal judges by applying through Career Strategy Recruitment Programs or by developing a customized job search campaign.
For more information about Villanova Law's Judicial Externship Program, please see the Judicial Externship Program Description.