Judicial Clerkships

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Clerking for a judge is a unique legal experience. It offers an insider’s view of the judicial process, including how judges make decisions and interpret the law.

Clerks read briefs, hear arguments, write memoranda, and make recommendations about how issues and cases ought to be resolved. In the process, they gain invaluable experience with legal substance and procedure. Clerks are part of small, productive legal teams where collaboration and exchange are valued; work on challenging and topical legal issues; and benefit from the supervision of an experienced jurist. Employers appreciate the clerkship experience precisely because of the insights, skills, and attributes they afford our graduates. Some public interest fellowship programs and government employers give special consideration to clerks, and private law firms often credit former clerks with seniority commensurate with the years spent clerking and may even pay a clerkship bonus.

Duke Law is deeply committed to supporting its students and graduates who wish to clerk. This commitment—from the dean to the faculty to the Clerkship Office—has consistently yielded extraordinary results at all levels.

  • Duke Law graduates have clerked on courts in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including all 13 circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals.
  • Since 2010, 11 Duke Law graduates have been awarded U.S. Supreme Court clerkships.

Resources for current students

The Clerkship Office has created a list of resources to utilize during the application process. Duke Law students can view these resources on the CPDC Resource Site. You will need an active NetID and password to access these resources.