U.S. Attorney's Office, Tallahassee and other locations

Credit: 3

Number of Positions: varies by location

Fall or Spring — 13 weeks, 14 hours/week
Summer — 9 weeks, 20 hours/week (182 total hours)

The U.S. Attorney’s Office offers externs the opportunity to observe and assist federal prosecutors engaged in criminal, civil and appellate practice in the federal courts. Under the supervision of experienced trial lawyers, students assist in researching and resolving substantive legal issues arising in the context of federal prosecutions and, occasionally, civil practice. The program provides externs with an understanding of the federal judicial system, an opportunity to improve legal research and writing skills, and the opportunity to observe pretrial preparation and motion/trial practice.

Casework at most offices is primarily in criminal court. Depending on current cases, externship duties may include: observing hearings, trials and other public court proceedings; assisting attorneys in charging decisions by providing research and memoranda on legal issues (e.g. venue, affirmative defenses, suppression issues) that arise during the process of charging a criminal case; assisting attorneys in trial preparation by drafting motions in limine, responses to defense motions, jury instructions, and researching other legal issues that arise prior to and during the trial of a criminal or civil case; and, occasionally, drafting appellate briefs and responses to habeas petitions and other post-conviction requests for relief.

Application Process: In order to enroll in this externship, students generally must apply directly to the Department of Justice (website:  http://www.justice.gov/careers/legal/volunteer-opp-usao-summer.html) and be accepted as an intern by the U.S. Attorney Office of interest. Applicants should check the website approximately seven months before their intended start date to view deadlines and descriptions for specific U.S. Attorney offices.  In addition to applying to the DOJ, students must separately apply to the Florida State Law externship program by the COL announced deadlines. 

A limited number of students are also admitted to the Northern District of Florida (Tallahassee, Pensacola, Panama City, and Gainesville) by making direct application to the College of Law externship office. (Contact Professor Krieger for details.)

Prerequisites: Externs must have satisfactorily completed Evidence. Students are not certified pursuant to the Student Practice Rule.

Recommended Courses: Criminal Procedure: Police; Federal Jurisdiction

When notified of acceptance for this externship, there is a substantial background check required by the Department of Justice. Students should immediately submit forms needed to expedite the clearance process.

Objectives and Methods