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The selection process moves very quickly, so only apply to judges with whom you would accept an offer.
Application Process: Overview
The general clerkship application process is the same for most positions, however, timing varies by court and judge.
Apply for clerkships by submitting specific documents directly to the Judge/Justice (or other individual listed in a job posting). Apply through regular mail unless the judge is participating in the Online System for Clerkship Application and Review (only some federal judges) or requests otherwise. Be sure to research each judge's or court's specific requirements.
Most judges and courts require:
- cover letter
- law school transcript
- writing sample
- 2 or 3 letters of recommendation
Some judges and courts also require items such as:
- undergraduate transcript
- LSAT score
- The judge or court interviews selected candidates. If you are selected for an interview, you will be contacted by the court or judge by letter, phone, or e-mail. There is usually only one interview phase and the judge or court reaches a hiring decision shortly thereafter (or stops the process when an ideal candidate is found).
- Once an offer is given, the successful candidate typically has to respond within 24 hours, or even the end of the same business day. Therefore, the golden rule of clerkship applications is to only apply to judges or courts with whom you would immediately accept an offer.
Office of Career & Professional Development • American University Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 122 Washington, DC 20016 • 202-274-4090 F: 202-274-4096