Judicial Clerkship Seminar (Jones)
R 6:30PM - 8:30PM
Tanenbaum Hall 253
PREPARING FOR A JUDICIAL CLERKSHIP
The goal of this course is to better prepare students for entry into the highly competitive world of judicial clerkships. This class is a mixture of a speakers' series, a practical civil and criminal procedure class, and an advanced legal writing class. Students are often encouraged to apply for prestigious clerkships after graduation. How does one go about securing a position? What skills and characteristics identify one as the ideal candidate? Does the average law student applicant have a sufficient understanding of the role and responsibilities of a judicial law clerk to be a competitive candidate? How can the average student best prepare for the competitive interviewing process? As a practical reality, what does a judicial law clerk actually do? If one does acquire a clerkship, what will the judge expect? Are all clerkship responsibilities the same? This seminar will explore all of these questions in the context of federal and state trial and appellate courts, specialty courts (i.e., bankruptcy and tribal courts), and administrative agencies. Through the proposed readings, class discussions, appearances by practitioners and hypothetical exercises, students will explore the role of the law clerk, what judges look for in law clerk applications, and the daily work of a law clerk. Topics will also include ethical rules, litigation structures in federal and state courts, and research and writing skills from the clerk’s vantage point. The seminar will offer first-hand exposure to the life of a clerk by way of visits to judges’ chambers and courtrooms, as well as feature judges, clerks and other related specialists as guest speakers. Assignments will range from legal ethics exercises to initial drafting of bench memoranda, opinions and trial documents. Attendance and participation are mandatory; the course is graded credit/fail only.
Courts and the Judicial System
Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of both substantive and procedural issues in the operation of our legal system; Perform legal analysis in the context of procedural issues and the judicial process; Communicate effectively on topics related to procedure and the judicial process; Demonstrate an understanding of how procedural issues and the judicial process affect all other area of our legal system.
Criminal Law and Procedure
Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of criminal law and procedure; Perform legal analysis in the context of criminal law and procedure; Communicate effectively on topics related to criminal law and procedure; Demonstrate an understanding of the role criminal law and procedure play in society and their impact on other areas of law and society.
Professional Responsibility and Ethics
Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.
"In Chambers: A Guide for Judicial Clerks and Externs" by Jennifer L. Sheppard