A post-graduate judicial clerkship is a one- or two-year position working with a federal or state judge. For those interested in litigation, a clerkship provides a unique opportunity to see first-hand how the judiciary functions; for those not interested in litigation, a clerkship is still a great opportunity to sharpen research, writing, and legal analysis skills. It is an intense experience, filled with substantial legal research and writing assignments, and can be an important career credential that opens doors in the future.
Post-graduate judicial clerkships are academically competitive, and judges:
- Look to grades and law journal membership when choosing whom to interview.
- Prefer applicants who have had experience working for a judge as a judicial intern while in law school.
- Begin accepting applications from students as early as the spring semester of a student's second year of law school.
The Career Services Office is ready to assist students through every aspect of the clerkship application process, well before Fall hiring begins:
- Our Clerkship Program in the early spring semester of a student’s second year (or third part-time year) features both faculty members and graduating students who both served as clerks describe the experience and application process.
- Over the late spring and summer, CSO works one-on-one with students interested in clerkships to ensure that resumes and cover letters are in top shape, faculty recommendations are secured, and that students are mindful of the deadlines.
How to Apply
The vast majority of federal judges require that applications be submitted online through the OSCAR system. Application materials include a cover letter, resume, undergraduate and law school transcripts, a writing sample, and two or three letters of recommendation by faculty members or other individuals who know the quality of your written work.
Most state clerkship applications are submitted according to each state's system (electronically or via first class mail), but the materials required are the same as those for federal clerkships. Most state clerkship deadlines are in the summer and early Fall of a student’s final year in law school. To review the requirements of all state court clerkships nationwide, log onto the Symplicity Home Page to view the ID and password-protected Guide to State and Judicial Clerkship Procedures.
For assistance with clerkship applications, contact Director of Employer Relations Margarett Williams via email or by phone at 631.761.7030.