Students interested in exploring careers in law and how the federal judicial system works will have a chance to hear about a program relevant to them when Chief Judge David R. Herndon visits local high schools this month to promote the second annual Judge Joseph F. Cunningham Fellowship Program.

Juniors and seniors attending Althoff, Cahokia, East St. Louis, and the SIUE East St. Louis Charter high schools are eligible to attend the sessions.

Herndon will also discuss how students can apply for the program. One student from each of the four high schools will be selected as a Fellow.

The namesake of the Judge Joseph F. Cunningham Fellowship Program was a native of East St. Louis who served on the Illinois Supreme Court and the Twentieth Judicial Circuit in St. Clair County until his death in 2008. The fellowship program, dedicated to developing students' potential, is a tribute to his legacy.

Different high schools will be asked to participate in successive years.

Students participating in the Judge Joseph F. Cunningham Fellowship Program learn about the federal court system, as well as federal law enforcement, through mentoring conducted at the Melvin Price Federal Building and United States Courthouse in East St. Louis.

A key component of the program is the opportunity for students to shadow the Chief Judge, U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal, and the Clerk of the Court individually.

Students interested in applying for the Judge Joseph F. Cunningham Fellowship Program should see their high school counselor for an application or download the application materials from the court's website (www.ilsd.uscourts.gov).

Students will submit an essay, an official transcript, a recommendation letter from a teacher or guidance counselor, and proof of U.S. Citizenship or legal resident status. A personal interview is also required.

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