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. They are also a good way to make a transition to another area of the country and, for applicants who have been out of law school for a few years, to another type of law practice.
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:
Trisha Fillbach, J.D. and Judicial Clerkship Advisor
Prof. Andrew Coan, Chair, Faculty Clerkship Committee
Prof. John Ohnesorge, Member, Faculty Clerkship Committee
Prof. Brad Snyder, Member, Faculty Clerkship Committee
In addition, many UWLS faculty members are former judicial clerks, and 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.
Federal judges who are complying with the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan will be accepting applications from current students (rising 3Ls) on September 4, 2012 for clerkships beginning in 2013. Law school graduates applying for clerkships beginning in 2012 need not wait until that date (unless, of course, a particular complying judge is not accepting ANY applications prior to September 4, 2012).
On-Line System for Clerkship Application and Review (OSCAR)
Many federal judges are accepting 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.
Note: Although using the OSCAR system is fairly straightforward, you must read the Applicant User Guide carefully! In addition, OSCAR has created a number of tip sheets, which can be useful guides. To access the tip sheets, log onto OSCAR, click on the Resources tab, then select the Applicant Resources tab. Further useful information on applying for clerkships through OSCAR can be found here.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?