How to Secure a Placement in the Judicial Extern Clinic | Law | SIU

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How to Secure a Placement in the Judicial Extern Clinic

1. Contact Clinical Assistant Professor Mark Brittingham ( to discuss your desired externship placement, number of academic credits, and the dates in which you plan to complete the externship. Students seeking placement at sites that are not currently approved must apply for approval before enrolling in the court. Contact Clinical Assistant Professor Mark Brittingham to obtain the one-page application form upon which the judge will list the experiences that will be available to the extern at that placement site.

2. Contact the placement site. Typically, your first contact should be through a letter of application sent to the judge who will be the placement site supervisor, but in some cases a telephone call may be acceptable. Click here for template of an application letter. You should then follow up with a telephone call to determine whether the judge is willing to accept an extern during the desired time period and, if so, what additional steps (if any) the judge wants you to take to secure the externship.

3. Prepare for an interview. Some judges have a number of students applying for externships with them and conduct interviews before selecting one or two students as externs. You should prepare for this interview the same as with any legal job interview, which means professional attire, bringing additional copies of your resume and writing samples, and being prepared to answer questions about your background and experience. You should also take the additional step of researching the judge(s) for whom you want to extern: find out how long he/she has been on the bench, something about the judge’s educational and legal background, and something about the cases he/she has handled. Westlaw and Lexis are good tools for this purpose, offering an opportunity to research cases for which the judge has written an opinion (or has had reviewed in a written opinion on appeal) as well as newspaper articles about the judge and cases he/she has handled.

4. Register for the course. Report back to Clinical Assistant Professor Mark Brittingham when you have secured the externship and register for the course during the usual registration process. Shortly before the semester begins, Clinical Assistant Professor Mark Brittingham will provide registered students with Field Trip Agreement forms and instructions on how to get started with the orientation podcasts.