Saturday, October 3, 2009

Clerkship Series: Day 2 -- Landing a Federal Clerkship in October

In our Day 1 posting of the clerkship series, Nima conveyed NYU Law Assistant Dean Deborah Ellis' encouraging words that all is not lost for securing a clerkship this hiring season. As Dean Ellis noted, "[t]here are many judges who have not hired, especially at the trial . . . and state level[s]." While it is difficult to gauge how much hiring activity will really transpire over the course of the next few weeks, at least some hiring is on the horizon—many of President Obama's pending judicial nominees will be getting confirmed, and additional nominations are likely imminent. Indeed, as Jeffrey Toobin pointed out in The New Yorker:
Obama already has the chance to nominate judges for twenty-one seats on the federal appellate bench—more than ten per cent of the hundred and seventy-nine judges on those courts. At least half a dozen more seats should open in the next few months. . . . On the federal district courts, there are seventy-two vacancies, also about ten per cent of the total . . . .
That's a lot of new judges who will need law clerks. And although the pace of confirmations has been anything but speedy (only three judges so far, cf. President Bush's fifty-three confirmations during the first year of his Presidency), the Senate sent four nominees to the full Senate for a vote just this past week: Joseph Greenaway (nominated for 3d Cir.), Roberto Lange (nominated for D.S.D.), Irene Cornelia Berger (nominated for S.D. W. Va.) and Charlene Edwards Honeywell (nominated for M.D. Fla.).

So polish off your applications, and get ready to land a federal clerkship in October...or beyond.


  1. do nominees immediately get added to oscar? or is there another place where we can find their addresses?

  2. @ 4:30--

    That's a good question. Regrettably, I don't know the answer. However, I can tell you that Yale Law School's database of nominees is a great resource and--in fact--contains the nominees' current addresses. The links in this article for the nominees who will receive a Senate vote are to Yale's database.

    Good luck!

  3. I would guess that most newly confirmed judges would want someone who has already had a clerkship. I'm sure there is a learning curve to be a judge, so it would make sense to bring on experienced clerks in the first year to help ease the transition.

  4. Yes and no. Greenaways' hiring is a case in point that it's not the case they'll look for someone with experience. He's been interviewing tons of 3Ls.


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