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Programs and Resources for Court Attorneys

Byrne Judicial Clerkship Institute for Career Law Clerks

Each year, attorneys from across the country attend the Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr., Judicial Clerkship Institute (Byrne JCI) at Pepperdine University Law School. The Byrne JCI is presented in cooperation with the Federal Judicial Center and the American Bankruptcy Institute. Through the Byrne JCI, participants have the opportunity to participate in distinctive, comprehensive training by federal judges and subject-matter experts. Session topics include section 1983 litigation, recent and pending Supreme Court cases, psychology of litigation, preparing for sentencing, Social Security appeals, and ethical issues for career law clerks.

Court Web Series

This monthly webcast addresses issues primarily of interest to judges and court attorneys, but it is also relevant for and often viewed by numerous court staff. Each broadcast features a presentation by one or more subject-matter experts. Viewers may submit questions to be answered on air. Topics frequently include Supreme Court decisions, section 1983 litigation, psychology of litigation, criminal procedure, ethics, neuroscience, habeas, and evidence. Faculty members include judges, law professors, and other leading subject-matter experts.

Interactive Orientation for Federal Judicial Law Clerks

The Interactive Orientation for Federal Judicial Law Clerks (IOLC) is a two-phase online program for term law clerks designed to help them learn their duties and responsibilities. Phase I of the program includes four components: 

  • Maintaining the Public Trust
  • Court Web: Ethical Concerns in the Age of Social Media 
  • Every Judge Would Edit Shakespeare 
  • List of Resources

Law clerks can begin Phase I as soon as they are selected, that is, before beginning actual service in the courts. Phase I orientation sessions are available through a stand-alone, password-protected webpage because law clerks cannot access the judiciary’s internal websites until they officially become court employees.  

Once on board, law clerks can access Phase II sessions on the internal webpage for IOLC. Phase II includes the following components:

  • Should the Case Be in Federal Court?
  • Court Web: Hearsay and Court Web: Hearsay Hypotheticals
  • Court Web: Preparing for Sentencing
  • Effective Legal Writing and Editing

Additionally, law clerks can access all Court Web webcasts and the online Attorney Discussion Forum.

National Conference for Pro Se Law Clerks

This program helps participants

  • Increase their awareness of ethics issues and their ability to make appropriate choices when faced with challenging ethical issues, including conflicts of interest and problems posed by social media
  • Increase their knowledge of statutory and guideline sentencing provisions so that they are better able to assist judges in preparing for sentencing
  • Increase their awareness of First Amendment issues
  • Enhance their knowledge and understanding of civil rights and Supreme Court cases
  • Improve their understanding of the basic concepts of the staffing formula and program updates
  • Improve their legal research abilities
  • Improve their understanding of death penalty issues and their ability to provide appropriate guidance on relevant issues.

National Workshop for Federal Court Mediators

This workshop helps mediators

  • Broaden their understanding of ways to resolve disputes
  • Become more comfortable with diverse mediation styles
  • Enhance their ability to listen
  • Better understand the importance of cultural differences among parties to mediation
  • Improve their ability to develop options, understand interests, and build agreements
  • Examine the ethical dilemmas and legal dimensions of different types of mediation practice
  • Be better equipped to preserve value and relationships through mediation
  • Learn from peers and other experts how to acquire improved problem-solving negotiation techniques.