The Career Center assists students and alumni who are interested in pursuing judicial internships and post-graduate judicial clerkships.
Judicial clerkships provide important skills and experience for law students after graduation and are considered one of the many prestigious jobs for law school graduates. A judicial clerk works closely with the judge on a daily basis and assists with all aspects of handling his or her caseload. Law clerks usually spend one to two years doing rigorous, supervised legal writing and research, and develop the necessary skills for future legal positions. For most judicial clerks, the clerkship will be their first full-time legal job following graduation, but judges frequently hire law clerks who have been out of law school for a year or more and/or hire graduating students for clerkships to begin one or two years after graduation.
GW Law students and alumni have a strong history of obtaining judicial clerkships, including with the United States Supreme Court. Each year approximately 10% of graduates go on to judicial clerkships, including federal, state, and specialized courts.
Judicial internships are part-time or full-time positions for law student volunteers. Judicial internships provide an important opportunity to learn more about the judicial process before graduation. At times, they can lead to clerkships after graduation. GW Law students can usually receive academic credit for internships through the Field Placement program. Students interested in judicial internships should contact Field Placement to see if they meet certain requirements and to make arrangements in advance. In recent years, approximately 100 first year law students interned for a judge over the summer. On average, about 20 GW students pursue judicial internships every semester.
Federal Court Clerkships
Judicial Clerkships Handbook
Your comprehensive guide to judicial clerkships. Exclusively for GW Law students.
- 2019 Judicial Clerkship Handbook
- Database of Federal Clerkships Obtained by GW Law Graduates (Portal Login Required)
OSCAR (Online System for Clerkship Application and Review) is the premier online resource for applying to federal judicial clerkships. Students interested in applying to federal judicial clerkships are advised to create an account and register with OSCAR.
Federal Judge Addresses
The following Excel lists were compiled from information downloaded from OSCAR as of October 2017 and contain the names and addresses of all federal judges. Students can use these lists when preparing mail merges for submitting hard copy paper applications for judicial internships or for post-graduate judicial clerkships. Please note that some of the columns contain information that is only applicable to post-graduate clerkships. For judges who accept post-graduate clerkship applications online through OSCAR, students should not mail hard copy paper clerkship applications. These lists will be updated periodically, so make sure to check back for most current downloads.
- Federal Appellate Circuit Court Judges
- Federal District Court Judges
- Federal Magistrate Judges
- Federal Bankruptcy Judges
For judicial internships please note:
- Circuit court judges generally do NOT hire judicial interns.
- Most judicial internship applications require mailed applications, not email (unless individual judges post on CORE).
State Court Clerkships
The resources below are prepared specifically for GW Law students and include detailed information on how to apply for state court clerkships.
- State Court Clerkship Hiring Guide (Updated Fall 2019)
- Checklist for Paper Applications
- Judicial Clerkship Recommendation Letter Registration Form
- Sample Excel File for Tracking Paper Applications
Clerkship Opportunities in Local Courts
- DC Superior Court - 2020 Clerkship Opportunities
- Maryland Court of Special Appeals - List of Available Clerkships (Updated July 2019)
- Maryland Court Addresses
Vermont Guide to Judicial Clerkships
The Vermont Guide to Judicial Clerkships provide detailed information regarding state judicial clerkship procedures. This is a paid resource; login credentials can be accessed by GW Law students via the following link.
Judges hire on varying schedules, but some federal judges begin looking at summer internship applications as early as December/early January. State judges hire as late as April and May.
Each November, the Clerkship Office mails out a survey to state and federal judges in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area requesting that judges provide information on their summer intern hiring needs. The Clerkship Office will post this information on CORE in the “Jobs” section. Log into CORE, click on “OCI and Job Listings”, and then select “Judicial” as the “Practice Area”.
NOTE: Judges on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit typically DO NOT hire interns, nor does the Supreme Court.
Mailing Applications to Judges
Since many judges do not respond to our survey, we recommend that you do not limit your application to only the opportunities posted in CORE. Rather, you should send out additional applications in a mass mailing to all judges on the courts in which you are interested. Do not email judges directly, rather, send materials via hard copy through the mail (unless a judge has specifically requested email in a job posting). For those judges that have not specified their application materials, you should send:
- Cover letter
- Law school transcript, when it becomes available
- References (2-4) with contact information
- Writing sample (optional, unless specifically requested by the judge)
If judges require additional materials, they will let you know.
See the resources under the State Court Clerkships and Federal Clerkships sections on this page for additional information on mailing addresses.
You can find out what “seat assignment” DC Superior Court judges will have this summer (e.g. family, criminal, civil, probate, etc.) by checking the DC court website. Assignments for the following calendar year are typically made public in December.
The Clerkship Team
GW Law recognizes the value of a judicial clerkship to a student's career. The Career Center has counseling and administrative support for students and alumni applying for clerkships:
Julie McLaughlin, Associate Director, Federal Clerkships
(202) 994-8594 | [email protected]
Virginia Clarke, Senior Law Career Counselor, Louis Brandeis and John Jay Inn Advisor, State Court Clerkships
(202) 994-0678 | [email protected]
Clerkship Administrative Support
202.994.7340 | [email protected]
Julie McLaughlin and Virginia Clarke provide strategic advice and assistance to students and alumni pursuing clerkships, including assessment, developing a targeted list of judges, choosing faculty recommenders, polishing resumes or cover letters, and preparing for interviews. The GW Law Career Center Front Desk Staff provides administrative support to students and alumni by preparing and mailing applications and works with GW Law faculty on letters of recommendation. They also assist individuals using the online system for applying to federal judges known as OSCAR.