Judicial Clerkships

"Should you seek a clerkship – YES and double yes! Unless and until you become a judge yourself, you will never have the opportunity to see into the process of judicial decision making that a clerkship affords you. Not only will this intensive year or two hone your legal skills, it will also help you understand how and why decisions are made as they are. That insider knowledge will benefit you for the rest of your career, regardless of the path it takes from there. In short: just do it. You’ll love it."
Former Dean & Professor of Law, Kellye Testy

Getting Started

A judicial clerkship is a highly rewarding and intellectually satisfying job. Judicial clerks sharpen their research and writing skills; they are exposed to a variety of legal issues; and they gain insight into the entire litigation process.

The University of Washington Law School supports our students and alumni in seeking judicial clerkships through informative programming, individual advising, networking opportunities, and application support.
To ensure you are well prepared for the clerkship application process, follow the steps below.

  1. Sign up for your class-specific clerkship list.
  2. Review the Clerkship Manual, beginning with the Quick-Start Guide.
  3. Fill out the Clerkship Interest Form and set up your LOR Tracker profile.
  4. Request a meeting with Assistant Dean Melissa Berry in Student & Career Services (SCS), for an initial meeting.
  5. Polish your resume and a draft cover letter. Have them reviewed by an SCS Coach.
  6. Meet with Professor Ben Halasz, Director of the Judicial Clerkship Program, to discuss your strategy and your application materials.
  7. Attend clerkship programs held throughout the academic year.

Resources for Clerkship Seekers

E-mail Lists

The following lists are available for UW Law students and alumni:

Please make sure to include your full name to speed up the verification process for adding you to the appropriate mailing list.

Clerkship Interest Form

The Clerkship Interest Form allows you to share your interest in clerking with the faculty and staff who will be supporting you as you apply for clerkships. The form takes only a few minutes to fill out.

Judicial Clerkship Manual

The Judicial Clerkship Manual covers a variety of topics, including the different types of clerkships, the application process, how to write your cover letter and resume, how to choose a writing sample, and the resources available to you as you are preparing to apply.

Clerkship Advising Meetings with Dean Berry & Professor Halasz

Meetings with Dean Berry and Professor Halasz should be scheduled according to the guidelines in the Quick Start Guide of the Judicial Clerkship Manual. Before to your advising meetings, review the Judicial Clerkship Manual and submit the Clerkship Interest Form.

Letters of Recommendation & The LOR Tracker

Judicial clerkship applications usually require letters of recommendation (LORs) as part of the submission. LORs written by UW Law faculty are processed for submission to judges using the process outlined in the LOR Request Guidelines and Instructions. Clerkship applicants must review these guidelines completely before using the LOR Tracker or applying through OSCAR.

Judicial Clerkship Sessions and Workshops

Watch the podcasts from the Clerkship 100 and Clerkship 101 sessions to learn more about clerkship opportunities. The Clerkship 102 session is held in winter quarter and is an interview preparation workshop.

  • Clerkship 100: Introduction to Clerkships (2019 Podcast)
  • Clerkship 101: The What, Why, and How of Helping Judges Decide Cases (2018 Podcast)
  • Clerkship 102: Interviewing Workshop
  • Clerkship Q&A for the Class of 2020
  • (2019 Podcast)

Additional Resources

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