Magistrate Judge Research Assistance
The University of Idaho College of Law’s Idaho State Magistrate Judge Research Assistance Program is designed to provide quality experiential learning and pro bono opportunities for our students, and to assist Idaho’s magistrate judges with research and writing projects.
The Idaho state court Magistrate Judge Research Assistance Program is coordinated at the College of Law’s Boise campus, but is available to any second and third-year law student who either participates in a summer judicial externship or is part of the Boise Third Year Law Program. Other students may participate at the discretion of the Externship Director for Boise.
The goal of the Research Assistance Program is to assist with an identified need in the state judicial system and to provide quality experiential learning and pro bono opportunities for law students. Students will help Idaho’s 88+ magistrate judges, who do not have law clerk assistance, with research and writing projects. Through this work, students will learn more about the judicial system, clerking, and writing judicial decisions.
Projects vary from year to year; however, students will have opportunities to learn about and gain practical experience with family law, criminal law, estates and wills, and a variety of areas of state substantive law. Any student interested in developing research and writing skills, working with a judge, clerking, and learning more about a variety of cases would be interested in this Program. It provides an opportunity to build your resume, create a writing sample, work with a judge to develop a new reference for future job searches, and experiment with clerking. Students also earn pro bono hours while taking advantage of these opportunities.
Sample projects include:
- Drafting a decision on a motion to suppress evidence in a criminal case;
- Researching a variety of community property issues for divorce cases;
- Considering the implications of a non-married couple entering a contractual agreement to purchase property when one of the contracting parties is later deceased;
- Researching evidentiary issues to assist a judge in trial preparation; and
- Performing research and writing to assist with wills/estates/probate cases.
Students thus far have worked for judges in each of Idaho's seven judicial districts on projects taking 20 to 60 hours to complete. Many students completed more than one project.
Interested Student - Contact Information
About the Program
The Supreme Court of Idaho’s Wellness Committee identified a need to support magistrate judges and assist them in performing their work, which led to creation of the University of Idaho College of Law’s program for law student research and writing assistance.