College of Law

Externships

UT Law

Students at UT Law may participate in externship programs that are designed to expose students to all aspects of the public legal system. In the judicial, prosecutorial, and public defender externship programs, students are paired and work with experienced judges, prosecutors, and public defenders in the state and federal court systems.

Judicial Externships

Students in the Judicial Externship work as judicial clerks for state and federal trial and appellate judges. Following an intensive orientation that includes a study of judicial decision-making, judicial ethics, and opinion writing students are assigned to work with the criminal, circuit, and chancery courts in Knox County and neighboring counties, as well as with the Tennessee appellate courts. As externs, assist the judges by conducting research, writing case memoranda, and drafting judicial orders and opinions.

The Judicial Externship is a four-credit hour course.

Prosecutorial Externship

Students in the Prosecutorial Externship are placed in either the Knox County District Attorney’s Office or the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The student externs work under the supervision of experienced assistant district attorneys or assistant US attorneys to prosecute actual cases on behalf of the offices.

Public Defender Externship

Students in the Public Defender Externship are placed in either the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office or the Federal Defender’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The student externs work under the supervision of experienced assistant public defenders and appear regularly in court on behalf of their clients.

Students in the Prosecutorial and Public Defender Externships attorneys handle all phases of criminal proceedings, including:

  • pretrial factual and legal investigation
  • case development and strategy
  • witness and client interviews
  • preliminary hearings
  • pretrial motions hearings
  • plea negotiations
  • trial and sentencing

To participate in the Prosecutorial or Public Defender Externships, students must have taken Evidence and must have taken or be taking Professional Responsibility. Both externships are six-credit hour courses, offered in both fall and spring semesters.

Contact

Externships Program
University of Tennessee College of Law
Suite 302
1505 W. Cumberland Ave.
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-1810
Phone: 865-974-1477

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