Law students have many opportunities to meet practicing attorneys, judges, and law clerks through various programs and events held throughout the year. It’s a great chance to grow your network and talk to people with years of experience in the field you’re interested in, to find out what it’s really like to practice law outside
What is a Judicial Clerkship?
A judicial clerkship is a full-time position working for a federal or state judge that often (but not always) starts right after you finish law school. Clerkships may be with any level of court (supreme, appellate or trial court). In addition to the traditional courts, consider special federal courts such as the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s EOIR Immigration Courts.
Law clerks research and draft opinions and orders for the court. They also participate in many phases of the court’s decision-making process. There are “fixed-term” clerkships, which generally last one or two years, and there are “permanent” law clerks, also called “staff attorneys” or “research attorneys”, whose terms are indefinite. Most of the opportunities we are discussing here are fixed-term, though our graduates have been hired directly from law school into permanent Appellate Court Attorney positions with the California Court of Appeal recently.Continue Reading 6 Common Questions About Post-Graduate Judicial Clerkships