​Judicial Externship Program

The Judicial Externship Program allows students to earn academic credit (typically between four and six credits) for working with judges in state or federal trial or appellate courts. The primary purpose of these placements is to translate academic legal education into practical adjudicative decision making, thus helping students understand how the courts work and how attorneys, judges and litigants succeed and fail in the process. By virtue of the variety of work in their placements, judicial externs also improve their skills in research, writing, observation and oral communication.

Permission of the supervising faculty member is required before a student may register for law school credit for a judicial externship. Permission may be sought by:

  1. Completing an "Approval to Enroll in Internship or Externship" form which is available online or at the Registrar's Office (Warren Hall room 202)
  2. Obtaining a signature on that form from Professor Ed Ursin (eursin@sandiego.edu; Warren Hall room 210B), and
  3. Returning the completed approval form to the Registrar's Office.

Permission for credit must be obtained prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student's externship is scheduled to take place, or no later than the last date of the add/drop period during the semester (check the Academic Calendar for the last day to enroll in classes).

Approved judicial externships entitle a student to enroll for one credit for every fifty (50) hours of work performed during the externship. This corresponds to 3.57 hours each week during a fourteen-week semester. For example, a student who wishes to receive four credits for a judicial externship during a semester should expect to work in chambers a minimum of fourteen hours each week for fourteen weeks.

Students enrolled in a judicial externship for credit will be expected to

  • record and submit their time on a weekly basis;
  • submit periodic journal entries regarding their experiences during the externship;
  • communicate with Professor Ursin on a regular basis;
  • and submit a final written work product generated by the student during the externship.
Additional details regarding course requirements will be provided after enrollment, and may also be obtained from Professor Ursin.