High School Fellowship Program

United States District Court for the District of Delaware

High School Fellowship Program

Brief Overview

The District Court’s High School Fellowship Program is a six-week program, beginning in June and ending in August of each year.  High school students selected to participate in the program work in chambers with Judges of the District Court and/or with other federal employees who work with the Court.  These Fellows also have the opportunity to observe District Court proceedings and meet leaders in the Delaware legal system.  The Fellows are paid a stipend of $350 per week, or $2,100 for the six-week program. 

Throughout the Fellows’ time in the program, lasting from late June until early August, they will gain first-hand experience working in a court system and a better understanding of the legal system as a whole.

Eligibility

            Those eligible for the program are rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who attend high school in New Castle County, Delaware.  All those interested must submit an application, along with their high school transcript, a letter of recommendation from either a teacher or other counselor at their school and proof of their citizenship status (a copy of their U.S. Passport, Social Security card, birth certificate, or green card).

            Finalists interview with a panel of judges and other Delaware legal professionals.  Fellows selected typically have strong leadership skills, have performed well academically and have demonstrated a commitment to community service.  Students with an interest in a future legal career may particularly benefit from the Fellowship, but having such an interest is not a prerequisite to application.      

2016 Program Details and Events

            The program was offered for the first time in 2016.  In addition to working with judges in the District Court and with other federal attorneys, participants observed a number of court events in both civil and criminal cases.  They also received presentations from District Court Judges, a Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, a Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery, a judge of the Delaware Superior Court, the United States Attorney for the District of Delaware and other members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Federal Public Defender for the District of Delaware and other members of the Office of the Federal Public Defender, the Clerk of the District Court and other members of the Clerk’s Office, the Chief United States Probation Officer and other members of the U.S. Probation Office, and members of the District of Delaware’s chapter of the Federal Bar Association.  Additionally, the Fellows toured the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution, the offices of a large Delaware law firm, and the campus of Wilmington University.

            The Program ended with a graduation and reception attended by the Fellows, their family members and friends, and other members of the District Court family.