Judicial Clerkships

Why Consider a Judicial Clerkship?

Judicial clerkships are among the most prestigious and competitive employment opportunities available to recent graduates. Usually lasting one to two years, a judicial clerkship is an excellent way to gain real-world work experience in the legal field. Judicial clerkships are among one of the most prestigious and valuable experiences for law students. Usually lasting one or two years, judicial clerkships provide a chance to observe the judicial decision-making process from a judge's perspective.

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. A judicial clerkship can provide a significant edge in the legal job market not only because of increased knowledge of the law and court system, but because of the valuable contacts and personal relationships developed during the clerkship experience.

What Does a Judicial Clerk Do?

There is, of course, no concise job description for a judicial clerk, and the specific responsibilities of a clerk depend on the type of court at which the clerk serves and on the specific preferences of the judge. A judicial clerk is a fulltime and reliable assistant to the judge and usually performs a wide range of tasks, including legal research, drafting of memoranda and court opinions, proofreading, and cite checking. A judicial clerk is often responsible for various administrative tasks such as maintenance of the docket and library, assembling documents, or other administrative tasks necessary to meet the many obligations of the judge.

The Application Process

While the application process is not complicated, it does take thought and thorough planning. PDO’s Megan Lovett is happy to assist you with navigating the process by providing the following:

  • Several useful resources
  • Information on the application process
  • Prepping student through mock interviews and job strategy sessions
  • Identifying alumni clerks as networking contacts.