A judicial clerkship provides direct insight into the judicial process and is a valuable and enriching experience. A law clerk gains practical experience by attending judicial proceedings, performing legal research, drafting memoranda and providing other assistance to the judge. Law clerks also are exposed to the methods and customs of practitioners, including the quality of their written work and oral advocacy. A clerkship is a continuation of one's legal education, providing the recent law graduate with many of the tools necessary for a successful legal career. Many former law clerks find the prestige and experience associated with service as a judicial law clerk broadens their future employment opportunities.
If you are interested in working as a judicial law clerk after graduation, please contact the Karen Warren, Director of Judicial Clerkships, at email@example.com or (305) 284-2668. You should also consult the Judicial Clerkship Guide. It is important for students to note that some federal and state court judges begin hiring as early as fall or spring of 2L year, so it is never too early to begin thinking about and researching judicial clerkship opportunities. Judges throughout the country have also begun hiring experienced attorneys in recent years, and therefore there are many opportunities year-round for alumni who wish to pursue a judicial clerkship.
There are hundreds of judicial clerkships available each year in federal and state court. With regards to subject matter, the caseload in federal court will involve issues dealing with federal constitutional and statutory law. A number of general common law cases arising under diversity jurisdiction will also form part of a federal judge's docket. State courts, in contrast to federal courts, tend to have a broader variety of cases. A state court clerk may research issues ranging from child custody or involuntary manslaughter to water rights and contracts.
Federal Court Clerkships: Federal judicial clerkship opportunities include United States Courts of Appeal, United States District Courts (District and Magistrate Judges), United States Bankruptcy Courts, Administrative Law Judges and specialty courts such as United States Claims Court, United States Tax Court, United States Court of Military Appeals, United States Court of Veterans Appeals and United States Court of International Trade. The Online System for Clerkship Application and Review (OSCAR) is helpful in researching judges who are hiring clerks (however, not all federal judges participate on OSCAR).
State Court Clerkships: State court clerkship opportunities include Highest State Courts, Intermediate Appellate Courts and Trial Courts. For more information on applying to state court clerkships, please see the Vermont Guide to State Judicial Clerkship Procedures available online and in the Career Development Office Resource Room. For online login information, please contact the Career Development Office at 305-284-2668 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
02-24-11: Judicial Clerkship Panel