As clerkship season gets underway, we'd like to highlight some under-appreciated, but fantastic, clerkship opportunities.
While a lot of attention is showered on federal district courts, potential litigators should also take a good look at state trial courts. Many county and city circuit courts hire one-year judicial clerks. State trial courts offer clerks a broad exposure to a wide range of cases - including criminal law, contract disputes, and domestic relations - that they might not see in the federal courts. They also offer a terrific chance to network with local attorneys, along with a year to brush up on legal research and writing skills.
The largest counties generally solicit applications in the summer and early fall and conduct interviews in September and October. Positions will be cross-posted on Symplicity as they are identified, but candidates should regularly check websites for each area in which they are interested. The hiring process for smaller cities and counties tend to be less standardized and less publicized. Openings are sometimes posted on the county websites, and cross-posted on symplicity, but candidates are strongly encouraged to reach out directly to the Judges' Chambers to find out if applications will be fielded for that particular year. Courts' websites and phone numbers can be found online. The Virginia state court website can be found here.
We did a survey of Virginia's circuit courts and found the following will be hiring clerks for 2010:
- Newport News
Pr Prince William
- Richmond (City)
- Roanoke (City)
- Salem (hired through Roanoke City)
- Virginia Beach
Similar openings exist in state courts around the country.