Judicial Clerkships

Chicago students are encouraged to consider completing their law study with the capstone experience of a judicial clerkship following graduation. A judicial clerkship offers a unique and challenging post-graduate opportunity to develop a relationship with a judge, to observe lawyers "in action," and to reflect on many of the novel legal issues of our time. In addition, for those interested in academic careers, a judicial clerkship is an important credential. Students interested in applying for judicial clerkships are aided by a faculty committee, the Office of Career Services, faculty and their assistants, programs, and resources in the Office of Career Services.

An increasing trend in the clerkship market is for alumni to seek clerkships after spending some time in practice. Chicago alumni have had great success in the clerkship market under this growing trend. Over the past several years, approximately 15-25% of each graduating class obtained a judicial clerkship at some point. Following an initial judicial clerkship, some graduates elect a second judicial clerkship. From October Term 2004 to October Term 2014, we have placed 27 alumni in Supreme Court clerkships among 9 different justices. From October Term 1992 to October Term 2014 we have had 82 clerks at the Court. 

Our clerkship placement reflects the diversity of both our faculty and of our student body. Our newly-minted graduates and alumni clerk in every corner of the country, in every part of the federal judiciary and in many state courts as well. Every year, it is the goal of the faculty and staff at the Law School that any student or alumnus who chooses to apply secures a clerkship, and we do everything we can to help make that happen.

Clerkship data by clerking term for the last ten years and clerkships already secured for the 2014 term (as of May 2014) is shown below.

OctTerm
SCOTUS
Federal Appellate
Federal District
State Appellate
Other
Total
2004
7
28 16 2 1 54
2005
4
25 17 5 1 52
2006
3
30 14 2 1 50
2007
3
15 11 5 1 35
2008
1
29 13 2 1 46
2009
1
20 12 4 1 38
2010
1
30 20 4 1 56
2011
1
18 12 2 1 34
2012
2
24 22 5 3 56
2013
2
23 14 8 0 47
2014*
2
23 16 2 1 44
Total
27
276
167
41
12
523

Other includes other federal courts (such as International Trade, Tax, and Federal Claims), state trial courts, and foreign courts.

* As of May 13, 2014

For more information about judicial clerkships, please contact the Office of Career Services.