Judicial Clerkships and Internships
On February 28, 2018, a new federal law clerk hiring plan was announced for students in the class of 2020. The new plan pushes back the date on which law students can apply to judicial clerkships until after their 2L year. Please note, the new hiring plan does not affect students from the class of 2019 or earlier.
Specifically, the plan states that for law students who entered law school in the fall of 2017 “[j]udges will not seek or accept formal or informal clerkship applications, seek or accept formal or informal recommendations, conduct formal or informal interviews, or make formal or informal offers before June 17, 2019.”
To complement the law clerk hiring plan, students from the class of 2020 will gain access to the Online System for Clerkship Application and Review (OSCAR) on February 6, 2019 to “register for an account, upload documents, search for clerkship positions, and build online applications. The system will store those applications and release them to judges on June 17, 2019.” For more information on the new plan and OSCAR access dates please see https://oscar.uscourts.gov/blog_post/_1/206/Announcement_of_Changes_to_OSCAR_Access_Dates.
Our office will continue to closely monitor the new plan and keep students updated with additional information. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Julie McLaughlin, Associate Director for Judicial Clerkships (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you are interested in applying for state trial level clerkships for post-graduation (to start in the fall of 2019), now is the time to start preparing and sending those applications. Many state trial court judges hire on a rolling basis, including the D.C. Superior Court.
See the updated resources in the State Court Clerkships section below for information and instructions for applying to these opportunities.
Federal Court Clerkships
Judicial Clerkships Handbook
Your comprehensive guide to judicial clerkships. Exclusively for GW Law students. Log-in to the GW Law Portal is required to access the document.
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 and 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. *GW Law Portal Log-in is required to access these documents.*
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
Preparing your application for 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. To access these resources, GW Law students will be prompted to log into the GW Law School portal.
Vermont Guide to Judicial Clerkships
The Vermont Guide to Judicial Clerkships provide detailed information regarding state judicial clerkship procedures. Accessing this resources requires logging in to the GW Law Portal because this is a paid resource only available to GW Law students.
Additional Public Resources
Alternative Court Clerkships
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.
Postings in CORE
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 and what students should submit as part of their application. The Clerkship Office will post this information on CORE in the “Jobs” section. To review the responses, log into CORE, click on “Jobs”, and then select “Judicial Internship” as the “Job Type.” NOTE: Judges on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit DO NOT hire interns, nor does the Supreme Court.
Mailing Applications to Judges
While many judges do respond to our survey, we recommend that you do not limit your application to those judges. Rather, you should send out 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 can simply send a cover letter and resume (and a law school transcript when it becomes available). It is usually a good idea to send a list of 2-4 “References” with contact information. You can also send your writing sample, but that is optional unless specifically requested by the judge. If judges require additional materials, they will let you know.
See the resources under state court clerkships and federal clerkships for additional information on mailing addresses.
DC Superior Court
For DC Superior Court judges you can find out what “seat assignment” they will have this summer, i.e. family, criminal, civil, probate, etc. by checking the DC court web site. Assignments for the following calendar year are typically made public in December on the website.