Judicial Externships

The Judicial Externship Program is an academic program that affords second and third year students the opportunity to earn course credit through semester long clerkships with federal and state judges. Students gain valuable insight and experience learning as law clerk externs in the chambers of judges in eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. In particular, the Judicial Externship Program is intended to improve skills in case and statutory analysis, legal research and writing, as well as their grasp of procedural rules and substantive law principles. The Law School also encourages students to pursue post-graduate judicial clerkships.

Application periods

   The Law School offers its Judicial Externship Program in the Summer, Fall and Spring semesters. The Judicial Externship enrollment and application process usually takes place approximately two months before the externships begin: in October-November for spring semester placements, in February-March for summer placements, and in June-July for fall placements. However, supplemental enrollment periods may happen at different times to fill newly available externship spots.  When the application period begins, an announcement with instructions will appear in Symplicity, the electronic job posting system.

The Externship Lottery

   During the fall and spring semesters, most judicial externships are filled through a lottery.  Each year, more than 20 judges in the Philadelphia area participate in the lottery.  The lottery for summer judicial externships takes place at the end of February.  The lottery for Fall and Spring semester externships takes place in April.  Students who do not participate in the lottery, or who participate but are not matched with a judge, are still eligible to apply for externship credit for externships secured independently. 

   The Judicial Externship is just one method for securing a temporary clerkship with a state or federal judge to experience the judicial process from the perspective of the judge and the law clerks. Students may also pursue employment with state or federal judges by applying through Career Strategy Recruitment Programs or by developing a customized job search campaign.

   For more information about Villanova Law's Judicial Externship Program, please see the Judicial Externship Program Description.  


Financial Aid Information Form

to be filled out and turned in to the Office of Financial Aid if you need aid during a summer externship

Questions About Externships?

Contact Matthew McGovern
Director of Experiential Learning

Tel: 610-519-3893
Office: Room 158

Check our FAQs page

Summer Externships


Summer Externship Program participants can earn three (3) academic credits through guided and close learning experiences with practitioners in judicial chambers, government offices, non-profit organizations, corporate legal departments and private firms.  

    To gain academic credit, each participant attends an Orientation in May that is taught by legal research and writing faculty as well as the Director of Experiential Learning. Online class meetings in June and July facilitate student reflection on their work experiences.  Additional details about summer externship activities are posted on the "Summer Externships" page.