Lawyers who have previously clerked for a judge often describe their clerkship as one of the defining moments of their legal careers. They are considered to be among the most prestigious and competitive employment opportunities available to recent law school graduates and alumni. Usually lasting one to two years, a judicial clerkship is an excellent way to bridge the gap between law school and the practice of law. Clerks at all court levels obtain unparalleled access to and knowledge about the judicial process. Additionally, a judicial clerk is exposed to a wide variety of legal issues and is able to make a hands-on contribution to the judicial decision-making process. This experience and perspective is attractive to future legal employers who hire former judicial clerks for their significant legal knowledge, insider view of the court system, and ability to view cases from the court’s perspective.
There are a wide variety of courts—state and federal, trial and appellate, specialty—and the work can vary widely as well, but typically clerks read briefs, attend court proceedings, write bench memoranda analyzing parties' arguments, advise the judge on the disposition of a case, and draft opinions.
Below is a list of resources to assist in the search for a judicial clerkship. Additionally, Law Career Services encourages students to schedule an appointment with their career advisor to individually discuss clerking options.