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The Benefits of a Judicial Clerkship

Judicial clerkship can be a great way to begin your legal career. To start, there are different types of judicial clerkships to choose from.

Types of judicial clerkships. 

Federal clerkships are considered the most prestigious clerkships available, especially those that are at the appellate level. However, they are very limited in the availability, and are known to be the most competitive clerkship available.

State clerkships are also an option. There are more available to those who want to apply, and may fit your needs for future career goals. State clerkships are beneficial if you know which practice area you have interest in and which state you plan to practice. Doing a state clerkship can be a valuable experience for an aspiring lawyer.

There are specialty clerkships available as well. These include criminal, family bankruptcy, tax, and many other practice areas of law.

What do you do as a judicial clerk?

The job duties of a judicial clerk can vary based on the judge, state, and court. In general, judicial clerkships involve doing research on legal issues, writing memorandums and court documents, observing trials, oral arguments, and judiciary proceedings.

At the appellate level, clerks do research and formal writings when dealing with trials that are completed. Appellate clerks have little contact with lawyers and their parties, and mostly do work in the chambers.

Trial clerkships are much more hands on, and involve filing lawsuits up to the completion of the trial. Trial clerks have a stricter time requirement compared to appellate clerkships.

What are the benefits of a judicial clerkship?

Judicial clerkships give you the experience to improve skills that are useful to you as an attorney. Having good research and writing skills are essential to practicing law. You also gain a better understanding of trial and appellate procedure that are helpful in certain areas of practice. In addition to the work experience, working a judicial clerkship is a good way to network in the legal community with judges, lawyers, and other legal professional.

Judicial clerkship can be a great experience for someone who wants to start off their legal career. If you are in law school, speak to a career services advisor about judicial clerkships; some judges have strong relationships with law schools.

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