What is a Certified Legal Intern?
A Certified Legal Intern is a law student who is approved by the Florida Supreme Court to represent clients in court under the supervision of a licensed Florida attorney pursuant to Rule 11 of the Florida Bar. A certified student must be enrolled in an optional program at Miami Law, such as a Clinic or the Litigation Skills externship program. Please visit Clinics or Litigation Skills Externship Program for specific information regarding certification requirements.
What are the benefits to becoming a Certified Legal Intern?
A Certified Legal Intern can represent clients in and out of court on behalf of a government agency or legal aid organization and speak on the official court record as long as he/she is supervised by a licensed Florida attorney. This provides the certified student with valuable real-life experience as a lawyer. Students who are not certified are not allowed to represent clients in this way.
What is the first step to becoming a Certified Legal Intern?
Rule 11-1.3 of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar require that law students register with the Florida Board of Bar Examiners and receive registrant clearance as one of the eligibility requirements for participating in a Certified Legal Internship program at a law school.
Requirement 1: Obtaining Florida Bar Clearance for a CLI
There are 2 Options available:
Option 1-Student Registration for Florida Bar Admission:
From the Home page www.floridabarexam.org click on "checklists," and then select "Register as a First Year Student." This filing status begins the processing track for bar admission in Florida. It also provides the registrant clearance that is one of the eligibility requirements for participating in a Certified Legal Internship program. If filed by the earliest deadline provided under rule 2-23.1(a), the filing fee is $75. Students who anticipate pursuing admission to the Florida Bar upon graduation should choose this option.
Option 2- Certified Legal Intern Registration:
From the Home page www.floridabarexam.org click on "checklists," and then select "Register for Certified Legal Internship Clearance only." This filing status provides CLI clearance only, it does not pursue admission to practice law in Florida. If filed within the first 250 days of beginning law school, the filing fee is $75; if filed after the first 250 days of beginning law school, the filing fee is $150.
Students who do not initially anticipate practicing law in Florida, and only apply for Certified Legal Intern clearance are not foreclosed from applying to take the Florida bar. The Certified Legal Intern clearance can be converted to a bar application, but the total fee paid for the application would be higher.
Note: Filing a Student Registration (Option 1) or a Certified Legal Intern clearance (Option 2) does not guarantee a student will be cleared by the Florida Bar to become a Certified Legal Intern. Students must provide detailed information about their background and be ethically approved by the Florida Board of Bar examiners to become a Certified Legal Intern. Since this process can take a while, we recommend students apply in their first semester of law school.
Requirement 2: Enrollment in a law school program
After the student has received clearance from the Florida Bar, the student must be duly enrolled in the United States in, and appearing as part of a law school practice program of, a law school approved by the American Bar Association and must have completed legal studies amounting to at least 4 semesters or 6 quarters for which the student has received not less than 48 semester hours or 72 quarter hours of academic credit or the equivalent if the school is on some other basis. The student must then complete the CLI certification process by submitting an application, which requires the Dean’s approval, through the Clinic or Externship program.