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 have specific requirements for applicant qualifications and application materials. Specifics are noted in the online application. To be sure you have everything ready when you apply, begin by opening the online application (using the link at the bottom of this page) to learn the specifics for the externships in which you are interested.
  • Resumés and other supporting documents must be submitted by uploading them via the online application. Mail and email submissions are no longer accepted unless requested by chambers.
  • From August 2017 forward, every extern application must be accompanied by a completed Extern Applicant Supplemental Background Questions form (.pdf); this must be uploaded with your other application materials via the online application page.

Before you begin…

Some tips for navigating the online application:

  1. Do not use your browser’s back or forward buttons to navigate the site; instead, use the site’s built-in buttons.
  2. Be sure to use a “modern” browser: IE10+, Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.
  3. If you encounter any issues while submitting your application, please email