Pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar, students in Florida law schools can be certified to appear in certain proceedings on behalf of certain clients. This is commonly referred to as having a Certified Legal Intern ("C.L.I."). However, as Sec. 1.3 of the rule states, the only way to "make an appearance pursuant" to the rule is to appear "as part of a law school practice program." In order to become a Certified Legal Intern ("C.L.I."), you must be enrolled for credit in one of our qualifying in house clinics (all but Immigrant Rights) or externships. You cannot become a certified legal intern to work for a private attorney or to work in non-qualifying externships. Based on the criteria set forth in Rule 11, the types of externships that allow a student to be certified include those with the state attorney or attorney general's office, the public defender agency, state and local governmental agencies and legal service organizations that represent indigent clients.
Moreover, Rule 11-1.9 provides that a student can, upon graduation, be certified to "make appearances for any of the same supervisory authorities under the same circumstances and restrictions that were applicable to students in law school programs pursuant to this chapter..." This is often referred to as a "post-graduate certification." Again, based on the quoted language, this does not include private attorneys and law firms. Further, the section limits this certification to students who have completed a "law school practice program." Thus, in order to be approved under this section, a graduate must have participated in one of the qualifying clinics or externships. Many state attorney and public defender agencies in Florida prefer to hire graduates who can qualify for certification. Therefore, if your career interests are in these areas of public service, you should try to participate in a qualifying in house clinic or externship while a Coastal student.
Requirements to Become a CLI (Certified Legal Intern)
- Acceptance into "law school practice program" (see above);
- Completion of at least 48 credit hours;
- Completion of Application to the Florida Bar and receipt of "Notice of Registrant Clearance" from the Florida Board of Bar Examiners or completion of mini "CLI application" to the Florida Bar (less expensive) and receipt of "Notice of Registrant Clearance" from the Florida Board of Bar Examiners; and
- Submission by the staff of our clinical programs of a letter from the Dean of the law school certifying (1) and (2) above along with CLI Application and Notice of Registrant Clearance to the Florida Supreme Court. Final approval comes from the Florida Supreme Court.