Clerking for a judge is a great first step after law school because:
- Judicial clerks have a unique opportunity to observe and understand the legal process from a judge’s perspective.
- Clerks sharpen their legal skills, by researching and writing for a judge and observing lawyers engaged in litigation.
- The experience judicial clerks gain increases their confidence as practicing lawyers and increases their marketability to future employers.
- Clerks are exposed to many areas of the law, which can help them select practice areas of interest.
- The position opens doors in the legal community. Judicial clerks typically develop close relationships with their judges, who can serve as important references in the future. They also become acquainted with lawyers in that community who practice before their judges.
What is a Judicial Clerkship?
Members of the Mitchell Hamline Judicial Clerkship Committee describe what a clerkship is, why you might want one, and how to prepare for the opportunity now. Presenters: Professors Joanna Woolman and Steve Aggergaard.
Judicial Clerkship Panel
During our annual judicial clerkship panel Justice Natalie Hudson (Minnesota Supreme Court), Judge Elise Larson (Minnesota Court of Appeals), Judge Thomas Gilligan Jr. (Second Judicial District) and judicial clerks discussed their work and what they look for in a judicial law clerk.
Minnesota Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Clerkships
MN Supreme Court application deadline for 2022-2023 term – April 17, 2022
MN Court of Appeals application deadline for 2022-2023 term – July 31, 2022
Find profiles of judges on the following pages:
Fourth District Judges (serving Hennepin County)
Second District Judges (serving Ramsey County)
For more opportunities, review the resources below:
Minnesota Judicial Branch Employment Opportunities (including District Court clerkships). Complete a job interest card to receive email notifications regarding available career opportunities.
Federal Judicial Clerkships
Federal law clerk recruitment website – OSCAR (Online System for Clerkship Application and Review)
Applying for clerkship and staff attorney positions through OSCAR is a simple process with four basic steps.
- Upload Your Application Documents. Before you apply to a position in OSCAR, you must upload your application materials. This can include a cover letter, resume, writing samples, and unencrypted versions of your transcripts. The Documents tab is your repository for application materials. From there, you can upload PDF or Word versions of your documents, and you can also use OSCAR’s online editor to create cover letters. Learn more about application documents
- Identify Your Recommenders. Most clerkship positions require recommendation letters as part of the application, and OSCAR allows you to request recommendation letters directly from your account. To do this, you need to first identify your recommenders on the Recommendations tab. This creates a pool of recommenders that you can select when you create an online application. Note: Identifying a recommender in OSCAR does not send a recommendation request. OSCAR only sends recommendation requests when you include the recommender as part of an online clerkship or staff attorney application. Learn more about recommendation letter requests
- Search For Positions. Finding open positions in OSCAR is as easy as visiting the Positions List, which is your centralized source for position information. Learn more about the Positions List. On the Positions List, you can:
- Create Your Applications. After completing the first three steps, you’re ready to begin creating online applications. If a position accepts online applications, it will display an Apply Online button. Click this button to begin creating your application. OSCAR walks you through a 4-step process to select the documents to include with your application, choose which recommenders to request recommendation letters from, and review your application as a judge or staff attorney office will see it. OSCAR automatically saves your application as a draft after each step. When you’re ready, you can finalize the application, which submits it to the hiring judge or staff attorney office. Note: If you are subject to the Hiring Plan, OSCAR will hold your finalized clerkship applications until the Hiring Plan release date. Learn more about creating applications
Judicial Writing: Preparing for a Judicial Clerkship
This course focuses on developing the writing abilities of prospective judicial law clerks. The class and its assignments span the life of a case, from reviewing the record and legal briefs; to researching and writing a bench memorandum; to drafting, revising, and cite-checking an opinion. The focus is on both style and substance of judicial writing, as compared to legal writing of advocates. The course also features weekly guest speakers (both former clerks and current judges), creating opportunities for prospective clerks to learn the style of the judges and courts that they will serve as well as appreciate the value of a clerkship to their careers as practicing attorneys. Students are not required to have secured a judicial clerkship to participate in the class, but preference will be given to 3L/4L students who have secured a clerkship following graduation.