Which Law Schools Produce More Clerks?

gavelWhere To Go If You’re An Aspiring Clerk

 

You’re slated to graduate near the top of your class. You ran the school’s law review. You dominated in moot court and earned recommendations as a summer intern.

Before you fill out your resume, you need to notch just one more achievement on your belt: A clerkship.

Yes, most law students dream of wielding influence, of being the voice in someone’s ear. But getting there is no walk in the park. Judges must sift through hundreds of applications. It isn’t easy to be that person with the right blend of academic acumen and experience (let alone a personal connection).

As a clerk, you’ll master procedure, research, and writing far faster than your peers. You’ll build a wide and influential network. Most importantly, you’ll gain an inside look at the law that makes you a valuable asset to many employers, according to the Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Judicial Clerkship Handbook:

“A clerkship allows a lawyer to view the system of justice from the perspective of the judiciary at the beginning of one’s career. To witness, and take part in, the judicial decision making process and the writing of court opinions, is simply an invaluable asset to anyone interested in understanding the law thoroughly and becoming an effective legal advocate. A judicial clerkship can be a valuable steppingstone for one’s career. You will be working closely with a distinguished member of the legal profession, from whom you can learn a great deal. Usually a judge develops a great deal of affinity for his or her clerks, and is eager to serve as a mentor for years to come. Further, few employers – firms, government, public interest, and the academy – are insensible to the educational benefit and the perspective gained from the clerkship experience. Many large law firms offer monetary bonuses to individuals who have previously clerked.”

So which law schools are best at placing students in clerkships? This week, U.S. News and World Report covered clerkships at the Federal, state, and local levels, focusing on the class of 2012.  Based on the percentage of a given class clerking at the federal level, here are the top 20 law schools for getting a Federal clerkship:

School2015 Best Law Schools rankPercent of 2012 employed J.D. grads with federal judicial clerkshipsPercent of 2012 employed J.D. grads with state and local judicial clerk-ships
Yale University136.30%3.30%
Stanford University329.10%2.90%
Harvard University218.50%4.40%
University of Chicago415%1.90%
Duke University1014.30%6.90%
Vanderbilt University1612.60%4.90%
University of Virginia812.60%6.20%
University of Notre Dame2611%2.40%
University of Pennsylvania710.60%3.80%
University of Georgia2910.30%7.20%
University of Alabama2310.10%3.20%
University of Michigan109.60%3.70%
University of Texas-Austin159%3.20%
Columbia University48.10%0.90%
University of Southern California (Gould)207.90%0%
Cornell University137.30%2.80%
University of California-Berkeley97.10%2.40%
Northwestern University127.10%2.20%
Washington & Lee University436.90%13.80%
Emory University196.60%4.30%
Wake Forest Univesity316.60%2.90%

Source: U.S. News and World Report

On the next page: top law schools for state and local clerkships.

  • Jason

    Duke Law appears to be doing phenomenally well over the past few years…