Posts-Graduate Clerkship Success!
Congratulations to eleven Touro Law graduates who secured post-graduate clerkships! Clerkships provide a great opportunity for law school graduates to work closely with a judge performing a wide range of duties often including research and writing, drafting legal opinions, helping to manage case schedules and dockets, and acting as a contact between the judge and attorneys.
“These are prestigious jobs that can open many doors while providing valuable hands-on experiences for graduates,” stated Jim Montes, Assistant Dean for Career and Professional Development. “In addition, the New Jersey Courts take a holistic approach when hiring clerks. Unlike other courts, grades are just one factor they consider. Diversity, externships, internships, and volunteer work are heavily weighted. We are proud of these students and know that like many of their Touro Law predecessors, they will be able to use these experiences as a springboard to clerkships at higher level courts or major law firms in New York and New Jersey.”
Congratulations to all, including those profiled below.
Ikra Kafayat will be clerking for Judge Lara DiFabrizio in the Family Court Division, Union County, NJ. Ikra offers this advice to classmates considering a clerkship, “If anyone is ‘on the fence’ about applying for a clerkship, they should reach out to current or previous clerks and ask them about their experiences. The application process is very quick and easy and Ms. Margarett Williams in the career office makes it even smoother.”
Raj Telawala will be clerking for Honorable Judge Dara Govan, Union County, New Jersey, Superior Court Civil Division. He states, “Students should take advantage of clerkship opportunities post-law school, as it provides substantial legal experience to start your career. Current students should join organizations, honor societies, perform an externship with a judge, and enroll in courses of interest because those are the skills/experience that will enhance your resume to be successful in the clerkship search.”
Christopher Manettas will be clerking for Judge Ana Viscomi. She is a judge on the Vicinage 8 Superior Court in New Jersey. Manettas offers this advice to fellow Touro Law students, “I would tell prospective applicants to put themselves out there. Don't get fixated on one opportunity or one specific location. I found the application experience ultimately very rewarding because I put myself out there and was able to speak with multiple judges from around the country.”
Ariel Berkowitz is going to clerk for the Honorable Ellen Torregrossa-O’Connor at the Monmouth County Superior Court in New Jersey. Judge Torregrossa-O’Connor has been a criminal judge and was just recently reassigned to the position of Presiding Family Court Judge. In addition to hearing cases involving family law, she will also have the juvenile calendar and hold administrative duties.
“My advice to students applying would be to get to know the judges with whom you will interview. I think once you secure a clerkship, it’s a lot about your connection with the judge because of how closely you will be working together. While I know I am going to learn so much in my position as a judicial clerk, I also look forward to learning from Judge Torregrossa-O’Connor herself. I’m most looking forward to seeing the full scope of the court, especially from the lens of a judge. I believe a clerkship in the Superior Court expose me to both exceptional attorneys and learn from the mistakes of less prepared attorneys. Though I applied to Judge Torregrossa-O’Connor while she was still in the criminal division, her transition to the family court with a focus on juvenile law works out perfectly because of how interested I am in juvenile law. I would encourage all 3Ls to take the opportunity to apply!”
Katherine Carroll will be clerking for Judge Paula Dow in Burlington County NJ in the court of general equity. She reports, “The process of applying was relatively simple because Margarett Williams in the career office is incredibly helpful and insightful. Once you prepare a cover letter and tweak your resume and writing samples, it's just a matter of sitting down and uploading them to each judge. I had two interviews and then met with both of the judges’ current clerks. That was really helpful in making my decision because I got a better understanding of what it would be like to work for each of those particular judges. I actually got offers from both of the judges! I am excited to work closely with Judge Dow because I believe she is going to be an incredible mentor. I will also get to work in a court under the pressure of deadlines and see firsthand how difficult litigation can be for all sides. I am also excited for the possibility of clerking somewhere else after my first clerkship is over. I am someone who wants to travel and so clerking is a great way for me to start my career and do that at the same time.”
Victoria Stone will clerk for Judge Stacey Adams in the Monmouth County Superior Court. Judge Adams works in the family division, specifically handling the matrimonial document. She stated, “I am so excited about my upcoming clerkship experience and would encourage others to apply.”
GOOD LUCK TO ALL! If you are a current student and are interested in applying for a clerkship position, please reach out to Margarett Williams, Director of Employer Relations - (631) 761-7035.