A "clerkship" generally is a paid position, usually for part of the summer. There are many different types of clerkships. It is important to distinguish between "clerkships" (which are paid positions with non-judicial employers) and "judicial clerkships" (which are positions with federal or state judges that are available to students who have obtained a J.D. degree).
Many law firms hire 2L students for summer clerkship positions. A few law firms hire 1L students. Law firms refer to students in these positions as "summer clerks" or "summer associates." Law firms hire students through formal on-campus interviewing, resume review, or through direct contact by the student. Recommended application timelines vary. Please consult the sample timelines located under the Strategies and Timelines tab.
Various other employers offer paid clerkships, including some corporations, government agencies, public service groups, and other private business entities. Some of these employers conduct on-campus interviews, but the best way to find these opportunities is through research, networking, and direct contact.