United States District Court - Northern District Court of California

Claudia Wilken, Chief Judge

Richard W. Wieking, Clerk of Court

Applying for Judicial Externships

The court welcomes students from law schools around the San Francisco Bay area and the country who choose to complement their law school coursework with judicial externships.

Fall & Winter/Spring Externships

Law school credit is earned for successful completion of fall and winter/spring externships. Hiring takes place in March and April for fall externships and in September and October for winter externships. There are no deadlines for applying or for hiring; extern hiring continues until all positions are filled. The requirements of individual law schools as well as judges' chambers and court departments vary, so careful planning is advised.

Summer Externships

Law school credit is generally not awarded for summer externships. While the court does not compensate summer externs, funding is available through some law schools (especially for Pro Se Department externships). 

Pro Se Department Information

Pro Se Department externs assist the Pro Se Department staff attorneys in managing prisoner habeas corpus and civil rights cases for the court. Externs participate in court extern activities (court days, social events) and work closely with the court's career staff attorneys. Pro Se Department externs research and draft proposed procedural and dispositive orders in prisoners' cases challenging their convictions and conditions of confinement. Students with a special interest in criminal law and/or prison law are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

  • Individual judges' chambers and court units have varying preferences regarding online versus hard copy applications, applicant qualifications and other details.
  • Applicants should open the online application to learn these specifics regarding the externships for which they plan to apply.
  • The online application accepts resume information, but it is not possible to upload supporting documents. Applicants should submit resume information via the online application and should be prepared to submit writing samples and grade sheets via e-mail when contacted.
  • Because extern hiring is handled on a time-available basis by chambers staff members and Pro Se Department staff attorneys who have numerous responsibilities to the court, it is not possible for all applicants to be contacted.
  • It is recommended that the online application be completed by copying and pasting from your resume or other saved document rather than composing online.

Online Application for Judicial Extern Position