Judicial clerkships are one or two year full-time jobs which typically start right after graduation. Clerks work for judges at all levels of the state and federal court systems, from trial courts to the courts of last resort. Duties vary according to the particular judge’s needs, but nearly all clerkships involve reading the parties’ submissions, conducting legal research and writing memoranda or draft opinions for the judge’s review. Clerks often watch hearings, trials, oral arguments and mediations. In short: clerks see the inner workings of their judge’s chambers and the court house in which they work. Most former clerks will tell you that their clerkship was one of the best professional experiences of their life.
Many students believe that if they are not at the top of their class they don’t have a chance of getting a clerkship. This is simply false. While some clerkships are more competitive than others, there are opportunities available for all students, regardless of their academic credentials. We encourage you to talk to Karen Comstock or other members of the clerkship committee to learn more about what type of clerkship would be right for you.