Judicial Clerkships

A post-graduate judicial clerkship is a prestigious position that gives a law school graduate the opportunity to work directly with a judge in a state or federal court. Baylor Lawyers who have served as judicial clerks describe these positions as the most rewarding of their careers and note the unique relationship formed with the judge for whom they clerked.

The duties and functions of a judicial law clerk vary by the judge and type of court. In most chambers, the broad range of duties assigned to a law clerk includes conducting legal research, preparing memos, drafting orders and opinions, proofreading the judge's orders and opinions, verifying citations, and assisting the judge during courtroom proceedings. Law clerks also are expected to work cooperatively with fellow legal staff and court personnel. Judicial clerks serve for one- or two-year terms after graduation.

The Career Development Office and the faculty judicial clerkship advisory committee assist interested law students and alumni apply for judicial clerkships. We work together to advise applicants about the application process, assist with perfecting applications, and submit applications to judges. Baylor Law hosts an information session for students presented by judges and former clerks each fall, and we offer a program about the application process in the spring. All students interested in applying for a federal judicial clerkship are encouraged to attend these programs, and should begin working with the CDO on researching opportunities and preparing applications in the spring of or the summer after their first year of law school.

Students should note that a judicial clerkship is different from a judicial internship. Judicial internships provide the opportunity for students to gain exposure to the judicial process as a student during law school.

Types of Courts that Hire Clerks

Federal Courts
  • U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Courts (District Court Judges and Magistrate Judges)
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Courts
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • U.S. Tax Court Federal Administrative Law Judges
  • Immigration Courts
Texas Courts
  • Supreme Court of Texas
  • Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Texas
  • Intermediate Appellate Courts (a few hire recent graduates as briefing attorneys)

Resources

OSCAR (federal judicial clerkships)
Vermont Law School Guide to State Judicial Clerkship Procedures (password required)
Texas Courts