Sonia Sotomayor, a Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School, created and has co-taught a course called “The Federal Appellate Externship” every semester since fall 2000. This course combines intensive work in the chambers of a Second Circuit Judge with class sessions and a moot court exercise. A description follows below.*
Both the course and Sotomayor’s teaching have garnered outstanding reviews from students over the years, several of whom called the class their “best experience” at the Law School. One student said that “Judge Sotomayor is one of the best jurists on the Circuit and will teach you a lot about appellate work” and “really seems to enjoys teaching this class—and mentoring young lawyers generally—and it shows in her enthusiasm and preparation.”
Lecturers-in-law are members of Columbia Law School's adjunct faculty. As a rule, they have a law degree and are members or past members of the bar.
* The Federal Appellate Court Externship introduces students to the judicial and adversary processes involved in federal courts of appeals. Students work in the chambers of a Second Circuit judge on legal research, analysis, and writing, occasionally drafting lengthy bench memos and parts of opinions. Students also participate in seminar classes, which include lectures addressing fundamental topics of appellate review and federal jurisdiction; discussions with judges and experienced appellate attorneys about appellate law and practice; and reflection/debriefing sessions for students to share their experiences and problem-solve. A moot court argument to three Court of Appeals judges provides a relevant oral advocacy experience.