Apply for the PLSI Judicial Internship!

Author: SF State Political Science Department
November 13, 2023

Judicial internships provide students the unique opportunity to earn four units of credit toward the B.A. while observing and working with judges and other personnel at the San Francisco Superior Court. These internships are especially valuable for students thinking about or planning to apply to law school. The judges often mentor the interns, and sometimes even write letters of recommendation to support their future endeavors (such as law school).

For the three units of PLSI 610, interns work ten hours per week at the courthouse on a scheduled arranged with their assigned judges. For the one unit of PLSI 611, interns meet each Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. on campus with Dr. Leinauer and their fellow interns to process their experiences. Those wishing to apply to a judicial internship for Spring 2024 must email Dr. Mark Leinauer ( by December 15, 2023, and attach a PDF containing the following:

1. A one-page resume with current contact information, and

2. A letter (no more than one page), addressed to coordinating Judge Patrick Thompson, of why you want to be a judicial intern, what you hope to gain from the experience, and how it fits into your future plans. Indicate as well which division(s) of the court (criminal, civil, family, drug, veterans' affairs, traffic, housing, juvenile, young adult) you think you would be interested in working (assuming openings in those divisions are available). You may identify more than one preference if you like. Note: Quality of writing can be a factor in your acceptance, so be attentive to your writing. 

For all who meet the deadline, these materials will be forwarded to Judge Thompson, who makes all internship assignments. There are often more applicants than available internships, so applicants should enroll in other courses in case they are not assigned to an internship. Since we do not know in advance how many applicants will be assigned to internships, students should not sign up for PLSI 610/611 in advance. During the first week of the Spring 2024 semester, add codes will be provided to those students assigned to internships. Any questions should be directed to Dr. Leinauer at