Internship and Externship Opportunities

  • Legal Extern Opportunity Program
  • Adult Probation College Internship
  • Adult Probation Graduate Mental Health Unit Internship
  • Social Service Internship Program

The Office of the Chief Judge offers law students an off-campus externship as an academic opportunity to experience the day-to-day operations of the state court system.

What is a judicial externship?
Judicial externs work in chambers for a judge in exchange for school credit, a stipend from an outside agency or to gain experience working in the court system. Externs perform such tasks as file evaluation, legal research or preparation of memoranda. Externs may work along with staff attorneys or directly and solely with a judge.

What time commitments are required?
Time commitments are determined by the supervising judge or legal staff and can range from 2-5 days a week. In the Summer Program, there is a 6-week minimum and up to a 12-week maximum commitment.

What are the eligibility requirements?
Students who have completed the first year of day or evening studies in good academic standing may apply for a judicial externship.

What is the application process?

  • Submit required documents by the posted deadlines.
  • Receive an electronic acknowledgment of received documents.
  • Submitted documents are reviewed.
  • Interviews are conducted, either by telephone or in person.
  • Persons offered a position are required to submit to prescreening tests which include a background check and a drug test. These can only be scheduled by the Circuit Court of Cook County.

When are the application deadlines?
Spring 2015 Semester: November 24, 2014
Fall 2015 Semester: March 13, 2015

Can I apply for a judicial externship independently of the law school?
Students may apply for judicial externships either through their law school’s externship program or independently of their law school.

What are the required documents?
A cover letter, resume and a writing sample. These documents may be hand delivered, mailed, emailed or faxed.

If you have any additional questions, please contact:

Melanie Wheeler
Director of Administrative and Support Services
Office: (312) 603-3587
Fax:    (312) 603-4878
Email: Melanie.Wheeler@cookcountyil.gov

What is an Adult Probation Department college internship?

The Adult Probation Department offers an internship program for college students interested in learning about work in the criminal justice system. The semester-long program combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training. The program offers practical, first-hand courtroom and case management experience.

Classroom instruction provides overviews of department policies and procedures and of court processes. On-the-job training consists of working with an assigned probation officer to observe as well as perform job duties which include interviewing probationers, scoring risks and needs assessments, completing supervision plans, conducting field visits, attending court hearings and preparing court documents.

What time commitments are required?

Interns must attend a four-day orientation program, work a minimum of two full days per week, and complete a minimum of 200 hours or meet their school's internship requirement.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for the internship program, undergraduate students must have completed two years of studies and have an overall grade point average of at least 2.5 and a grade point average of at least 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) in their major.

Participants are selected based upon a review of interview results and application materials, which include college transcripts, a résumé and cover letter, a writing sample (to evaluate writing skills), and two letters of recommendation -- one from an academic source and one from an employer/supervisor from a work or volunteer setting. Applicants are also subject to criminal background checks.

How does the application process start?

After securing permission to seek placement from their college’s internship coordinator, applicants forward all requested materials to the Adult Probation Department’s Internship Coordinator. Upon receipt of the application and accompanying documents, all materials are reviewed and prospective interns are contacted to schedule an interview to further discuss opportunities available and determine selection.

When are the application deadlines?

All applications should be submitted 12 weeks prior to the start of the semester, quarter, or summer term for which admission is sought.

What are the required documents?

1. Department Internship application

2. Résumé and cover letter

3. Official college transcripts

4. Writing sample (to evaluate writing skills)

5. Two letters of recommendation -- one from an academic source and one
from an employer/supervisor from a work or volunteer setting.

For questions, contact:

If you are interested in applying for an internship, or if you would like more information regarding the program, please call the department's Training Division at (312) 603-0262 or e-mail shirley.hill@cookcountyil.gov.

What is an Adult Probation Department graduate mental health unit internship?

The Adult Probation Department offers a two-semester internship program for advanced master’s students of social work, psychology and related fields interested in applying and developing their clinical skills in a court-based mental health unit serving probationers with severe and persistent mental illness. Our mission is to assist probationers to maintain engagement in mental health treatment and comply with other special conditions of probation. We work closely with treatment providers for referrals, progress, and discussion regarding other relevant interventions.

Under the supervision of licensed clinicians, interns conduct mental health screening eligibilities for court and interview detainees in custody to determine eligibilities. They carry a small caseload of clients throughout their placement. They conduct mental health assessments, treatment plans, locus, and a variety of mental health paperwork; observe court proceedings involving their clients; provide varied interventions with clients; review and analyze criminal history information, psychiatric records, police reports and other relevant data; and participate in any ongoing projects and/or research initiatives.

What time commitments are required?

Interns must attend a four-day orientation program and work a minimum of two, but preferably three full days per week, or meet their school's internship requirement.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for the program, students must have completed one year of graduate studies and have an overall grade point average of at least 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale).

Participants are selected based upon a review of interview results and application materials, which include undergraduate and graduate official transcripts, a résumé and cover letter, a writing sample (to evaluate writing skills), and two letters of recommendation -- one from an academic source and one from an employer/supervisor from a work or volunteer setting. Applicants are also subject to criminal background checks.

How does the application process start?

After securing permission to seek placement from their graduate program’s field work office, applicants forward all requested materials to the Adult Probation Department’s Mental Health Unit, to the attention of a unit supervisor. Upon receipt of the application and accompanying documents, all materials are reviewed and prospective interns are contacted to schedule an interview to further discuss opportunities available and determine selection.

When are the application deadlines?

All applications should be submitted 12 weeks prior to the start of the semester, quarter, or summer term for which admission is sought.

What are the required documents?

1. Graduate University’s Internship application

2. Résumé and cover letter

3. Official college transcripts

4. Writing sample (to evaluate writing skills)

5. Two letters of recommendation -- one from an academic source and one
from an employer/supervisor from a work or volunteer setting.

For questions, contact:

If you are interested in applying for an internship, or if you would like more information regarding the program, please contact your university’s field placement coordinator or department supervisors David Bishop, LCSW (david.bishop@cookcountyil.gov or (773) 674-7343) or Kevin Jesse, LCSW (kevin.jesse@cookcountyil.gov or (773) 674-6948).

What is a Social Service Department Internship?

The Social Service Department offers an internship for bachelor’s and/or master’s degree students interested in learning about working in the criminal justice system. The one or two semester-long program combines both classroom orientation and experiential opportunities for the student to gain a comprehensive understanding of the role and responsibilities of the caseworker in the criminal justice system. Students will have opportunities to manage a small caseload, participate in court activity, network with other departments and agencies and attend department meetings and trainings.

Classroom orientation provides an overview of departmental policy, procedures, criminal justice terminology and provides the foundation for students to manage a small caseload. Students are introduced to and learn how to navigate the department computer systems, complete thorough assessments, develop collaborative casework plans with clients, prepare court documents and train with professional staff.

There are also opportunities for students to work with administrative staff and learn how policy affects the casework staff and the department as a whole. Students who are required to be supervised by a licensed professional are accommodated by participation in clinical supervision.

What time commitments are required?

Interns are required to attend all six-day orientation sessions and commit to working a minimum of two full days per week, complete a minimum of 200 hours or meet their school’s internship requirements.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for the internship program, undergraduate students must have completed two years of studies and have an overall grade point average of at least 2.5 and a grade point average of at least 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) in their major.

Graduate students must have a graduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

All applicants must submit: a current official undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate transcript, a cover letter, current résumé or vitae and two letters of reference (one from an academic source and one from an employer or supervisor at a volunteer setting) and a current writing sample. All applicants are also subject to criminal background checks.

How does the application process start?

Students must contact our department Training Director and request an application packet. Upon receipt of the application and accompanying documents, all materials are reviewed and prospective interns are contacted to schedule an interview to further discuss opportunities available and determine selection.

What are the application deadlines?

All applications should be submitted 12 weeks prior to the start of the semester, quarter, or summer term for which admission is sought.

What are the required documents?

1. Department Internship application

2. Résumé and cover letter

3. Official college transcripts

4. Writing sample (to evaluate writing skills)

5. Two letters of recommendation -- one from an academic source
and one from an employer/supervisor from a work or volunteer setting.

Contact and further questions?

If you are interested in applying for an internship, or if you would like more information regarding the internship program, please contact the department’s Training Director at (773) 674-4410 or email at kimberlee.pakula@cookcountyil.gov.


Copyright 2014 by Circuit Court of Cook County