Judicial Clerkships

The University of Wisconsin Law School administration and faculty encourage students to apply for judicial clerkships. Clerkships provide the unique opportunity to work for a judge for one or two years, and allow you to further develop your research and writing skills, gain insight into the judicial decision-making process, and be exposed to many areas of the law. 

If you have questions about judicial clerkships not answered in the materials contained in this web site, please feel free to contact any of the following people:

Melissa H. Burkland, Associate Director, Office of Career and Professional Development
608-262-6444; melissa.burkland@wisc.edu

Prof. Ion Meyn, Chair, Faculty Clerkship Committee
608-772-6396; meyn@wisc.edu 

Clerkship Committee Members:  Professor Ann Althouse, Professor Sarah Hadjimarkos, Professor John Ohnesorge, and Professor Rob Yablon

Faculty and Alumni Clerk Information
Many Wisconsin Law School faculty members are former judicial clerks, and they can be an invaluable resource for helping you decide whether to apply for clerkships and to advise you through the application process.

·         A list of those faculty members is available here.

·         A list of recent UWLS graduates who have served (or are currently serving) as judicial clerks is available here.

·         Finally, a list of judges who are UWLS graduates, and to whom you may wish to apply, is available here.

Change to Federal Hiring Plan
Most federal judges are no longer complying with the “Hiring Plan”, under which 2Ls applied for post-graduate positions in early summer following 2L year.  As a result, each federal judge will set his or her own hiring timeline, and some may post clerkship openings more than two years before the anticipated start date. For more information about federal clerkship opportunities, log on to OSCAR and/or make an appointment with Melissa Burkland.

On-Line System for Clerkship Application and Review (OSCAR)
Many federal judges accept applications electronically, rather than via mail, through the OSCAR system.  In addition to allowing applicants to apply electronically, the OSCAR system also posts federal clerkship openings, regardless of whether the judges are accepting paper or electronic applications.  The OSCAR system can be accessed at https://oscar.symplicity.com.

Useful information on applying for clerkships through OSCAR can be found here.

Deciding Whether You Should Clerk:

  • What is a judicial clerkship?
  • What are the benefits of clerking?
  • What kinds of clerkships are there, and what are the duties?
  • What do judges look for in a clerkship applicant?
  • Am I eligible to apply for a clerkship if I am not a U.S.citizen?
  • How much money will I make as a clerk?

Getting Ready to Apply:

  • How do I select the courts and judges to which to apply?
  • How do I find the contact information for the judges?
  • When do I send my applications?
  • How do I handle an offer from my summer employer if I also want to apply for clerkships?

The Application Package

Interviews and Offers:

  • How does the clerkship interview process work (includes sample interview questions)?
  • What do I do if, after my interview, I decide I could not work for the judge?
  • What should I do if I get an offer?
  • What should I do if I accept a clerkship?

Applying for Clerkships After Graduation

Maintaining Sanity

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