Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Judicial Studies (LL.M.)


Duke University School of Law


The need for externships has risen over the years as the importance of providing experiential education to supplement traditional doctrinal law school education has become generally acknowledged. Despite the many articles on externships, few, if any, have addressed how judicial externs are selected and how judicial externships are structured in the courts.

It was necessary to conduct qualitative research to determine how various courts address their extern programs, if at all. Based on the research I have undertaken, practices vary among courts and judges. Not only is there no uniform practice with respect to which courts and even judges place externs and which courts do not, in those courts placing externs, despite some uniformity in providing observation and research assignments, there are variations in recruitment, selection, supervision and activities offered. Given the widespread variations, on a trial basis I propose that court’s implement some tentative prescriptive measures for reform of judicial externships, based on practices found during my research, subject to further study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Law clerks, Law--Study and teaching (Internship), Law--Study and teaching (Continuing education)