Based upon their academic records, writing samples, faculty references, and personal interviews, selected students have the opportunity to work in a judge’s chambers, gaining experience in legal research and writing.
Recent judicial placements include:
- United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
- Oklahoma Supreme Court
- Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
- Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals
- Oklahoma County Oklahoma District Court
- United States District Court for the District of Nevada
- United States District Court for the District of North Dakota
- Texas Court of Civil Appeals
- Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Texas
- Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Oklahoma
- Dallas County Texas Family District Court
- Cleveland County Oklahoma District Court
“My judicial externship with Judge Cauthron in the Western District of Oklahoma was the most valuable experience I had during law school. Not only did I develop a relationship with a federal judge, but I also learned more practical information than in any traditional law school class and discovered that I wanted to pursue a federal clerkship after graduation. All students at OU Law should take advantage of the wonderful opportunities offered by the externship program."
“This week was an interesting week because I really began to learn about what the judicial process was really about. I watched countless sentencing hearings, one trial and a few scheduling conferences. I never realized how much ownership a judge must take both in his actions and in his decision making. In one hearing, for example, the judge had to make a decision about imprisonment in ten minutes. I learned that judges not only take into account what the lawyers present them, but also their own background, experience, policy and other statutory factors. I learned that, as lawyers, we should be aware of those factors and study our judges, the law and the policy, and present those materials both to our client and the judge to ensure a favorable outcome.”
“I learned that circuit splits are a tough thing to write about. Presently, I am working on an order in which the case and its facts are an issue of first impression in the circuit. What makes it more difficult is that the circuits are evenly divided and have credible arguments weighing on their side. What makes it even more difficult is that the judge feels differently about the issue than I do. However, what I admire most about my judge is that he is willing to sincerely consider my own view points and arguments. In fact, he gave me the opportunity to pull cases that I felt were compelling to attempt to persuade him. For the first time, work doesn’t seem like work to me. The magnitude of the research that I am doing is actually applicable to someone’s life. It has become personal, and by that I mean incredibly enjoyable. I think gray issues are what truly make the law so interesting.”
"My participation in the OU Legal Clinic Externship program was invaluable and one of the best choices I made during my time at OU Law. I was given the pleasure of working with U.S. District Court Chief Judge Robin Cauthron. During my externship I was provided a ‘view from the bench’ that I can say has greatly added to my understanding of my role in this profession. In addition, I've gained a great friendship and a valuable contact."