Judicial Clerkships

A large percentage of our graduates secure a judicial clerkship following graduation, working directly with a judge at the state or federal level to gain valuable legal skills and practice knowledge. These prestigious positions lead our graduates to national employment with private firms, federal and state government, and nonprofits.

To support students and alumni in securing judicial clerkships, the law school provides a: 

  • Faculty-led Clerkship Committee, focused on strategy and building relationships to promote clerkship opportunities; 
  • Public Sector Coordinator to assist students with federal and state appellate clerkship applications, manage faculty letters of recommendation, and navigate clerkship hiring trends;
  • Judicial Clerkship Resources website, with judicial hiring trends, resources on applications and hiring processes, and research and interview preparation information;
  • Judicial Writing Course, designed to develop the writing abilities and practical knowledge of prospective judicial law clerks;
  • Judicial Clerkship Pipeline Program, created in coordination with local federal judges, the Clerkship Committee, and the Career Center, provides students and judges with added support in transitioning from law school to a clerkship. In this program, the selected student will participate in an externship with the judge during their last semester of law school and enroll in the Judicial Writing Course.
  • Career Center team of experienced counselors, including a Director of Public Interest Programs, who provide programming, clerkship counseling, application feedback, and interview preparation. 

January 2014–January 2021 Reported Judicial Clerkships

  • Federal Courts - 148 clerkships (U.S. Supreme Court, and federal circuit, district, magistrate, bankruptcy, trade and immigration courts)
  • State Appellate Courts - 102 clerkships (state supreme courts and state courts of appeals)
  • State Trial Courts - 169 clerkships
  • Graduates have secured clerkships in over 36 states and territories, including clerkships in California, Illinois,  Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C.

More information on annual NALP and ABA reporting for judicial clerkships can be found in annual Career Facts and Statistics under Where Grads Go.

  • Caitlinrose Fisher ('15)

    Caitlinrose Fisher (’15)

    Indispensable Guidance

    “The Law School’s faculty, especially members of the clerkship committee, provided indispensable guidance and support as I navigated the clerkship application process. ”
    former clerk, Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas, US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit; current clerk, Judge Diana E. Murphy, US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit

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University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-5000

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