Judicial Clerkships

From Classrooms to Clerkships
Texas A&M Law students Allen Al-Haj, Megan ​Cloud, and Megan Reed discuss achieving their career goals.

Texas A&M is committed to helping students secure post-graduate judicial clerkships. Judicial clerkships offer an extraordinary opportunity for students to work directly with judges in a legal support role. Judicial clerks:

  • conduct legal research
  • draft bench memos and legal opinions
  • work on jury instructions
  • observe hearings, trials and other legal proceedings

Judicial clerkships are highly competitive and prestigious positions. They are usually for a set period of one to two years.

Our graduates have clerked for U.S. Circuit Court Judges, U.S. District Court Judges, U.S. Magistrate Judges, Justices on both the Texas Supreme Court and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, and, state appellate judges.

Judicial Bootcamp

In addition to the guidance provided by our Career Services office, Texas A&M provides its students a unique classroom experience to hone their research and writing skills and ensure our students are “chambers ready.” Our “Judicial Bootcamp” class is a limited enrollment, advanced writing class that prepares students for the intellectual, professional and ethical demands of working in chambers. Judicial bootcamp students get hands on training with bench memos, draft opinions and guidance during the application process. Our faculty are dedicated to helping all students reach their potential.

judicial clerkship bootcamp class 20182018 Judicial Bootcamp class

Preparation and Strategy

The path toward a judicial clerkship begins in the classroom. Students should strive for academic excellence, journal participation, Executive Board positions on a journal, and either a teaching or research assistant position. If you are a rising 2L interested in judicial clerkships, you should begin thinking about the application process now and contact our Career Services office.

Application Process ​and Timelines

The application process for judicial clerkships varies by clerkship. Our faculty and Career Services office work directly with students to craft a judicial clerkship application strategy. Federal judicial clerkship applications begin early in the spring semester a student’s 2L year. Students interested in state judicial clerkships generally apply during the spring semester of their 2L year through the summer before their 3L year. Recent grads may also apply for clerkships. There is no one deadline for applications. State clerkship applications are done on a court by court basis. Students should check with the courts in the locations they're interested in to determine if the court offers a clerkship and, if so, what materials are required and when the application deadline is. Most federal judges accept clerkship applications online through the OSCAR judicial clerkship application system. Interested students should go to https://oscar.uscourts.gov/ and follow the instructions to register and create a profile in order to submit applications.

Application Components

Most judges require a writing sample and at least two letters of recommendation. For a writing sample, you should use a short (5 to 7 page) sample of what best represents your writing style and skills. Remember that judicial clerkships involve extensive legal research and writing, so it will be important to demonstrate you can write accurately, clearly and persuasively. For your recommenders, choose someone who can speak without reservation to your character and abilities. We recommend selecting at least one professor.

Most judges also expect a cover letter explaining your interest in their particular court. Your cover letter is one of the most important components of your application because this letter literally serves as your first writing “sample” to the judge. Our Career Services office has numerous resources devoted to writing cover letters. If you need help or would like your cover letter reviewed, please make an appointment with a Career Services counselor.

More Information ​and Links

For more information on applying to judicial clerkships, see our Judicial Clerkship Manual.