July 22, 2009

Law School Announces Judicial Law Clerk Post-Graduate Fellowship for 2009 Grads!

The University of Minnesota Law School is proud to introduce the Fourth Judicial District Law Clerk Post-Graduate Fellowship. The Law School will award up to five Judicial Law Clerk Post-Graduate Fellowships. Fellows are required to work a total of 400 hours and will receive an award of $5,000.

Applications are open to 2009 graduates of the University of Minnesota Law School who have taken the bar exam or will take it in July 2009. Graduates are not eligible if they have secured another permanent law or law clerk position, regardless of the start date of that employment.

Placement in the top 50% of the Law School class is preferred. Successful applicants will have knowledge of general law, state law, established precedent, sources of legal reference, court practices and procedures, and legal terminology and concepts. They will be able to communicate clearly and concisely in both oral and written forms with diverse audiences, research complex legal questions and apply legal principles, represent the court in a respectful manner, establish and maintain effective working relationships, and skillfully use word processing and legal research software.

Fellows will perform professional legal work under general supervision of a justice, judge, or other legal officials in the Fourth Judicial District. Duties involve legal research and other related clerical or administrative work in preparation of memoranda, opinions, or orders for judges or court officials concerning the cases before them. Fellows' work is reviewed through conferences and written reports.

Some examples of a Judicial Law Clerk's responsibilities may include review, research, and annotation of laws, court decisions, documents, opinions, and briefs; preparation of briefs, legal memoranda, statements of issues, and appropriate suggestions or recommendations; compilation of references on laws and decisions necessary for legal determinations; conferring with justice, judge, or court official on legal questions, construction of documents, and granting of orders; attendance at oral arguments to record necessary case information; maintenance of records attendant to court proceedings; and performance of such courtroom duties as calling the calendar, swearing in jury panels and witnesses, taking court minutes, and assisting in arraignments, motions, hearings, pre-trial conferences, and trials.

Fellows are required to work a total of 400 hours, at 30 hours per week. Fellows are paid as employees of the Fourth Judicial District and receive paychecks, with proper withholding, according to the Judicial District's regularly scheduled payroll process.

Applicants are required to prepare the following supplemental material:

•Rank in order of interest the following types of law: family, civil, criminal, and juvenile.
•Describe what would make you a successful clerk in each area.
To apply for a Fellowship, upload your resume, cover letter, supplemental material, and a short writing sample into Symplicity. The deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 14. The Fourth Judicial District will notify applicants who receive an interview.

For additional information about the Post-Graduate Fellowship Program, please contact Dana Bartocci, Employer Relations Coordinator, Career and Professional Development Center, University of Minnesota Law School, at or 612-625-4694.

January 8, 2009

Law Clerk Hiring Plan for 2009


* The hiring of law clerks will be done no sooner than the Fall of the third year of law school.

* Law schools and law faculty members will discourage potential applicants from submitting applications that will be received before the second day after Labor Day of their third year of law school. The law schools will do nothing to facilitate the release of official transcripts and will discourage faculty members from sending letters of reference that will be received before the second day after Labor Day of the third year of law school, and they will discourage faculty from making calls on behalf of the law clerk applicants before that date.

For complete information, see

September 17, 2008

Clerking: It's not too late

Claudia Melo of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law provides the following: Clerking: It's not too late


June 4, 2008

Trial Court Clerkship Applications -- a tip from a former clerk

FROM A FORMER MINNESOTA TRIAL COURT CLERK ... As we have been sorting through piles and piles of resumes here in chambers, I have noticed that many people either fail to include their bar admission in their cover letter and resume, or bar admission is buried deep in the resume. (It appears to me that many people are still using the same cover letter and resume they prepared immediately after graduation.)

Even though bar admission is not required for most judicial clerkships, judges are interested in whether an applicant is already admitted to the bar or whether that applicant plans to work and study for the bar at the same time.

The first three things I look for in the cover letter and resume are:

1) where the applicant went to law school;
2) when the applicant graduated from law school; and
3) whether the applicant has passed the bar.

June 5, 2007

Point of Information: State Court Clerkships in California

Periodically, we receive questions from students concerning the availability of judicial clerkships in other state courts around the country. For those of you interested in opportunities in California, following is some information from one of our counterparts at a California law school. If you have questions about clerkship opportunities, please be sure to check the CPDC judicial clerkship webpage for more information --

To my knowledge, term clerkships are all but nonexistant in California state courts. Los Angeles has a few (check on the Los Angeles Superior Court website for information), and San Francisco usually recruits in the spring for a research position. Otherwise, the courts use career staff attorneys. Some will take fairly junior attorneys, but the competition from experienced attorneys seeking such jobs is strong.

May 3, 2007

Clerking in the Virgin Islands?


[One of our NALP colleagues) clerked for the federal court in St. Thomas for two years and clerking is a great way to enter into the practice down there. (Check out the federal court web site:) There are only a couple of federal judges, but there are more Superior Court judges who hire law clerks every year. Check out (You will also also find the names of firms through ( however, put "Virgin Islands" as the country, NOT the US, even though it is a US territory, the firms are listed as international entities).

Some firms even hire summer associates. Sign up to take the Virgin Islands Bar. . It is a surprisingly large and vibrant legal community in St. Thomas, and many opportunities for new lawyers.