applying for judicial clerkships

Competition is toughest for judges who sit in locations such as New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles, so consider applying to judges who sit in smaller cities and smaller states. However, because the pilot program for the Federal Clerkship Hiring Plan is returning this year, it’s important to check if the judge is participating.

Talk about what makes you unique. The federal clerkship process used to be a lot more streamlined, with a specific application submission date in September and a specific interview date about a week later for all selected applicants. Fairuz Abdullah, Associate Director for Public Interest and Clerkship Programs at UC-Hastings School of Law, talks about 2L clerkship hiring after the demise of the Clerkship Hiring Plan.

Once you’ve done the above, be sure to carefully prepare. Harvard Law’s website clearly maintains that it gives preference to candidates with prior experience as judges/judicial clerks in their country, for their LLM program.

However, the plan may also be returning soon. Streamline your decision making by considering four critical factors. The streamlined nature of this process took some pressure off of the applicants.

If you’re interested in becoming a judicial clerk, I highly recommend applying to clerkship opportunities in other courts. It is also important to realize that most judges hire one to two years in advance. State court clerkships are very highly regarded by employers. If you did a good job while employed under your prior role, chances are you will be at the top of their list during hiring season.

Make your grades and a strong academic record your priority. What’s your game plan when the phone rings and a judge is on the line? Federal clerkships are extremely competitive.

The reality of the clerkship rat race is that a lot of qualified applicants apply. Explore the pros and cons of a judicial clerkship, before you throw your hat in the ring.

A typical clerkship application includes a cover letter, resume, and writing sample, along with three letters of recommendation from professors. However, be aware that a judge in the Western District of Tennessee is going to want an explanation for why a born-and-raised New Yorker wants to clerk there, and "I thought it would be easier to get a clerkship here" is not an acceptable answer.

Judicial Clerkship Interviews: The Basics, What You Need to Know About Scheduling Clerkship Interviews. Wondering Where to Apply? This individual may be able to give you the edge to get the position or maybe even clerk for another judge in the same chambers. The decision to apply for a clerkship, however, is just the beginning of what can be a confusing process. Fairuz Abdullah, Associate Director for Public Interest and Clerkship Programs at UC-Hastings School of Law, returns with advice on what to do if your first round of clerkship applications didn’t result in a job. If you work as a law clerk, you'll get some trial practice and explore some new areas of law. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Also consider connections you have made throughout prior work experience. Before you apply, consider whether your grades are strong enough to be competitive. Select your recommenders and get them on board. Is Clerking Really All It’s Cracked Up to Be? Make an effort to get to know a few faculty members well by taking small seminar classes and/or serving as a research assistant. Dream Whisper Designs, How to Write a Law Review Note Worthy of Publication. Christen Morgan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Tampa where she received her B.S. If you had a judicial externship in the past, consider applying to that same judge for a post graduate clerkship. How to Get a Federal Judicial Clerkship: Overview. He can be reached at The timeline for the clerkship application process depends on whether you are a rising 3L or a graduate who is currently working. Were you inspired to clerk after externing for a judge?
1. Having a variety of interview and hiring schedules means that applicants need to be a lot more vigilant in their efforts to secure a position. is the source of employer and education ratings, rankings and insight for highly credentialed, in-demand candidates. Because excellent grades are a given, you've got to find another way to get noticed. Required fields are marked *. This is where you lay out all the important introductory information: o Your name, where you go to school, what year you are, and the clerkship term for which you are applying. Great, you’ve got an interview.

Check back later for his post on the clerkship interview. However, the federal clerkship process has changed quite a bit over the last few years making it more difficult for students to obtain. The decision to apply for a clerkship, however, is just the beginning of what can be a confusing process. Therefore, every year, the majority of federal clerkship applicants walk away in a state of despondency with no offer in hand.

In my last post, I reviewed the ins and outs of a federal court clerkship. The process of getting a judicial clerkship isn’t for the faint of heart.


Christen also served as a student representative for LexisNexis and also as a mentor for several 1L students offering them advice and a variety of resources to help them through their law school journey. If the judge was a former patent litigator and you are passionate about pursuing intellectual property law, mention this as well. Wondering Where to Apply? It essentially provided applicants with a one stop shop to get their applications in. This should not be used for legal research but instead can be used to find solutions that will help you do legal research. Consider These 4 Factors Deciding where to apply for clerkships can be extremely challenging. While clerkships are not particularly popular in India, and might not really boost your application for an LLM, it is regarded very highly in countries like the USA. (If they are not, then like graduates, rising 3Ls can apply anytime). 25-28).

Christen previously practiced as a Foreclosure Attorney for a Real Estate law firm but has since then transitioned into a Real Estate Specialist role at a wireless infrastructure company. Your Clerkship Plans Didn’t Work Out — What’s Next. She earned her J.D. Understand the federal judicial clerkship application process, and learn why the job you want might already be gone! Vault's editorial mission is to empower candidates with unbiased research needed to evaluate the professions, industries and companies they aspire to join.

Today's episode is based on a listener's question on how to use the reading period effectively.

If your grades aren’t the strongest it may be best to wait until a later year when you can improve your GPA. So considering the high probability of the above scenario, why put all your eggs in one basket? Talk to graduates from your law school who have done a clerkship or are currently clerking for that judge. As more judges began recruiting outside of the slated interview period, the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan was eliminated a few year ago. If you’re already a 3L and you don’t foresee your grades improving much then maybe consider applying for a clerkship after you’ve acquired some post graduate work experience.

What Does the Future Look Like For Rising 2L Judicial Clerkship Applicants?

Another way to increase your chances of getting a clerkship is to carefully research the judges that you would like to clerk for. If you are currently practicing, at least one recommendation letter should be from a supervising attorney for whom you have worked, such as a law firm partner. Fairuz Abdullah shares tips on how to get a judicial clerkship in this rapidly-shifting application environment in this Law School Toolbox podcast episode. The order of your clerkship interviews can be outcome determinative, particularly for federal clerkships. Maybe the judge for whom you externed would be willing to put in a good word?

Before clerking, he worked as a litigation associate at a large New York law firm. Find out about our law school tutoring options. from Emory Law School where she competed and served as an executive board member for the Emory Law Moot Court Society. What to include in your application packet:* Cover Letter; Resume; Writing Sample; Transcript ; 2 or 3 Letters of Recommendation; Ten Tips to a Top Clerkship.

Each cover letter should be personalized to the particular judge and should explain why you want to clerk for them specifically. International Sales(Includes Middle East), Business Insight Solutions – Partner Portal, Corporate InfoPro (Corporate Information Professionals), InfoPro (Legal Information Professionals). If you had a judicial externship in the past, consider applying to that same judge for a post graduate clerkship.

But giving the tips below a try may at least give you an orderly guide to work with in a process that’s no longer super regimented.

Judges now mostly determine their own recruitment and hiring schedule. Applying for a Judicial Clerkship.

What Actually Happens at a Clerkship Interview? For better or worse, your options will be largely dictated by the law school you attended and the grades you received while there. Individual courses and subscriptions available. As for your resume and cover letters, make sure they stand out. Therefore, if you want to stand out, it helps if you already know the judge you’re applying to work for or at least know someone who has a connection to him or her.

Most students who seek a post graduate clerkship tend to opt for the federal clerkship option.

Finally, it is important to cast a wide net. In today's episode, as part of our "Listen and Learn" series, we're discussing Section 2-207 of the … Read More about Podcast Episode 267: Listen and Learn — UCC 2-207 (“The Battle of the Forms”), The Fall semester sometimes seems to go on forever, however, at the same time, somehow it is already the middle of the semester! While graduates can apply anytime, rising 3Ls must determine whether each judge is on the national hiring plan, which sets forth a precise timeline for student clerkship applications. Apply at the Right Time If you want to increase your chances of landing a judicial clerkship, the first thing you can do is keep your options open. As indicated above, most students tend to flock towards a federal clerkship position. •At this stage in the process, it is especially important for you to start developing an effective writing sample (see Judicial Clerkship Manual, pp. Timeline. Our voices are muffled, and important non-verbal cues are missing. Try it out for free. For example, if you are interested in being a prosecutor and are applying to a judge who was an Assistant United States Attorney, mention this connection.

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