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What is a Judicial Clerkship? o Post-graduate position lasting 1-2 years o Federal/State Court opportunities o Responsible for researching cases on the.

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Presentation on theme: "What is a Judicial Clerkship? o Post-graduate position lasting 1-2 years o Federal/State Court opportunities o Responsible for researching cases on the."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is a Judicial Clerkship? o Post-graduate position lasting 1-2 years o Federal/State Court opportunities o Responsible for researching cases on the judge’s docket and drafting bench memos and opinions as requested

2 Why do a Judicial Clerkship? Opportunity to polish your research and writing skills Judge may become a mentor/reference Gain insight into legal system/ litigation process Exposure to variety of legal issues/areas of law Very marketable credential

3 Court Structure U.S. Supreme Court U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals U.S. District Courts Magistrate Judges Bankruptcy Court Staff Attorney, Pro Se Staff Specialty Courts U.S. Court of Claims U.S. Court of International Trade U.S. Tax Court Administrative Agencies Board of Immigration Appeals, Federal Trade Commission, National Labor Relations Board, Securities and Exchange Commission State Courts

4 Geographic Boundaries of US Courts of Appeals & US District Courts

5 What qualities are judges looking for? Judges consider a variety of factors in selecting their clerks. But generally the following factors are considered: Academic performance Journal/moot court participation Strong writing; writing experience Judicial externships Some judges require work experience

6 The National Picture

7 What are my chances? In 2011: interviewed applicants had GPAs from to In 2012: interviewed applicants for state and federal judges had GPAs from to 3.862

8 Self Assessment Do you know a judge or have recommenders who know judges? What is your GPA/class rank? No GPA – even a 3.8+ – is a guarantee. How committed are you? Increase your chances by applying to less geographically popular locations and to state as well as federal clerkships.

9 Where should I apply? Factors to Consider: Federal State Geographic area Look at where alumni have clerked Research judges’ openings, backgrounds (various website/resources in the handbook) and on the Career Services website

10 When do I apply? For Federal Judges Use OSCAR to research judges; sign up for OSCAR updates to be notified of new positions. Most hire a full year (or more) in advance.

11 How do I apply to federal judges? There are 2 ways to apply: 1. Online using the OSCAR system Online System for Clerkship Application & Review (https://oscar.uscourts.gov/)https://oscar.uscourts.gov/ 2. For federal judges requesting paper applications you will apply via mail

12 Application Materials Cover letter Resume Law school and undergrad transcripts Writing sample Letters of recommendation (2-3)

13 Select Recommenders Approach your recommenders sooner rather than later. Give them the materials they need to write strong letters (your resume, transcript, a statement of why you are interested in clerking, discuss where you plan to apply, etc). Generally ask 3 people-usually law school professors or attorneys you have worked for in the past who know your research/writing skills.

14 How do I apply to State Court Clerkships? Research the specific state you are interested in to learn about their hiring process. For Illinois judges, judges hire as needed. Apply close to when you are available to work full time. We post information on Symplicity when we learn of openings. State resources: (links to state courts) 14

15 Resources judicial_clerkship.html Make sure to review the User Guide and FAQ sections of the OSCAR website. To receive updates on the process, please make sure to sign up for the Judicial Clerkship TWEN page.

16 Contact Maureen Kieffer Career Services, Suite 1301 Questions?


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