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Supplement to the Judicial Clerkship Handbook
General Guidance & Application Procedures & Timetables For the 2015 – 2016 Court Term
Career Planning Center • Fordham University School of Law
Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 1 Choosing a Court .......................................................................................................................... 1 Resources and Reference Material .............................................................................................. 2 The Application Process ............................................................................................................... 4 Overview of Opportunities Available in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey ................ 5 I. New York Courts ............................................................................................................... 6 A. New York State Court of Appeals (Highest Court of New York) ................................... 6 B. New York Supreme Court Appellate Division ................................................................ 8 C. Trial Courts (New York Supreme and County Courts).................................................. 11 D. Other Opportunities in New York State Courts ............................................................. 11 II. Connecticut Courts .......................................................................................................... 15 A. Connecticut Supreme Court (Highest Court of Connecticut) ........................................ 15 B. Connecticut Appellate Court (Intermediate Level Appellate Court) ............................. 16 C. Connecticut Superior Court (Trial Court) ...................................................................... 17 III. New Jersey Courts ........................................................................................................ 19
APPENDIX A: STATE JUDICIAL CLERKSHIP RESOURCE LIST........................... A-1 APPENDIX B: KEY APPLICATION DATES .................................................................. B-1
Introduction State court judicial clerkships offer recent graduates unmatched insight into the judicial process and a wide exposure to varying aspects of the law. The hiring process for state court clerkships varies widely, not only from state to state, but also from court to court within a single state. In some courts, you will be working directly for a judge; in other courts, you will work as part of a group or “pool” of clerks serving a court system. As with federal court clerkships, state court clerkships provide an excellent opportunity to hone research and writing skills and to understand the judicial decision-making process. These clerkships also provide opportunities to gain exposure to judges and attorneys. Choosing a Court Because every state has its own court system, it is important for applicants to thoroughly research the distinguishing factors specific to the state in which they would like to clerk. Applicants should note that a minority of state courts require judicial clerks to take their state’s bar exam. Where applicable, this is noted under the various positions detailed in this supplement. Applicants should also refer to Appendix A for links to various state court systems nationwide. State Trial Courts: Every state court system has at least one set of courts of general trial jurisdiction. These are courts of first instance for all claims not assigned to a specialized court. Many state systems also have specialized trial courts of limited jurisdiction, which hear particular kinds of cases. In any state court of general jurisdiction, law clerks can expect to gain substantial exposure to state laws and issues that rarely arise in federal court. Common law tort cases, contract disputes, criminal prosecutions, divorce, custody matters, and probate issues arise frequently in state courts. In addition, state court clerks may deal with federal law issues that Congress has not reserved exclusively for the federal courts. Some state courts of general jurisdiction emphasize certain areas of law because a particular kind of economic activity is dominant in that state. The Delaware courts, for example, hear a disproportionate number of corporate law claims. All trial courts provide law clerks with an opportunity to experience the litigation process from pleadings to discovery, motion practice, settlement conferences, jury selection, and trial. Intermediate Appellate Courts: Most states also have a court of intermediate appellate jurisdiction. These courts resolve appeals from judgments or orders handed down by the state’s trial courts. Vermont, New Hampshire, Delaware, and South Dakota are among the states that do not have intermediate appellate courts. High State Courts: Finally, every state has at least one court of last resort, often called the Supreme Court, though New York’s highest court is the Court of Appeals. By the time a case reaches an appellate court, review is generally limited to the issues raised by the appellant in response to what he/she believes was an error made by a trial court judge. As such, law clerks at this level tend to gain less exposure to the nuances of trial but have 1 April 2014
more control over their schedules. These clerkships are extremely research and writing intensive. Resources and Reference Material Students and alumni who are interested in pursuing State Court Clerkships should consult with Professor George Conk, the State Court Clerkship Chair of the Faculty Clerkship Committee. Professor Conk can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In conjunction with this Supplement and the Judicial Clerkship Handbook (available on the CPC website through the “Post Graduate Judicial Clerkships” link), the resources below will help you through the state court clerkship application process. (1) State Court Clerkship Opportunities – The Online Guide to State Judicial Clerkships provides a state-by-state breakdown of clerkship application procedures of each respective state court’s judiciary. Some of what is detailed in this Supplement is duplicative of the information in the Online Guide to State Judicial Clerkships, although we have listed some opportunities you will not find in the Online Guide. To access the guide, go to: http://forms.vermontlaw.edu/career/guides/ (username: sugar, password: maple). (2) The CPC website contains information regarding clerkships. Visit the “Post Graduate Judicial Clerkships” link on the Current Students/J.D. or Alumni/J.D. (as applicable) page of the CPC website. This section of the website contains State Court Clerkship Resources, including: a. the online version of the Judicial Clerkship Handbook, b. information on the Fordham Law School Clerkship Program, c. a regularly updated directory of Fordham alumni who have informed the Faculty Clerkship Committee that they served as law clerks, d. a list of known FLS alumni judges, and e. the FLS Clerkship Database, which includes all Federal Judges. As explained in greater detail in the Judicial Clerkship Handbook, you will use the FLS Clerkship Database to facilitate your participation in the FLS Clerkship Program, including the processing of your letters of recommendation and receiving support for your applications from the Dean and the Faculty Clerkship Committee. (See the Judicial Clerkship Handbook § III.C for information about the FLS Clerkship Program and the Post Graduate Judicial Clerkship webpage for details on all eight steps of the FLS Clerkship Program). (3) Fall Semester 2014: Upcoming Program. The CPC and Faculty Clerkship Committee will co-sponsor a program focused on state court clerkships and the career opportunities they prepare you for, which will be held on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 from 12:40 – 1:45 pm (Room TBD). See the CPC Programs – Calendar of Events on the Career Planning website for more information.
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Past Programs: During the 2013-2014 academic year the CPC and Faculty Clerkship Committee co-sponsored Spotlight on State Court Clerkships Panel (on 9/19/13) & What To Do Now – Pursuing State Court Clerkships (on 2/20/14). Both of these programs are available for students and alumni to watch on streaming video on the CPC website. They offer advice and guidance for students considering post-graduate state court clerkships and include state court judges and Fordham alumni who clerked. Students: To access go to Career Planning/Current Students/JD/CPC Past Programs/Judicial Clerkships-Law Teaching. Alumni: To access go to Career Planning/Alumni/JD/CPC Past Programs/Judicial Clerkships-Law Teaching.
The National Center for State Courts at http://www.ncsc.org/ provides a variety of state court resources, statistics and more on a wide range of court-related subjects, including links to research by individual state court systems or about a particular issue. http://www.judicialclerkships.com offers general information on clerkships, including information and advice about judicial clerkships, as well as links to key court sites and judicial clerkship listings. http://www.findlaw.com provides useful information regarding state and federal judiciaries, including blogs and news articles related to important judiciary developments. Federal and State Court Directory 2013: Located in the CPC Resource Library and in the Reserve Section of the Law School Library, this thin, red soft cover book is issued annually and lists names and addresses of federal district and circuit court judges, as well as magistrates, bankruptcy courts, and other specialized federal court judges. This directory also lists state court judges and includes excellent organizational diagrams of every state court system. BNA’s Directory of State Courts, Judges and Clerks: Located in the CPC Resource Library and the Reserve Section of the Library, this blue soft cover book contains a detailed list of names, addresses, and telephone numbers of state and federal judges and clerks of the courts. It also contains useful charts of state and federal court organization.
(10) New York Lawyers Diary and Manual: Located in the CPC Resource Library and the Reserve Section of the Law School Library, this red hardcover book contains listings of New York state court judges. (11) The American Bench: Located in the main law school library and CPC Resource Library, this brown hardcover book contains descriptions of federal and state courts as well as judges’ names, addresses and telephone numbers. (12) Behind the Bench: The Guide to Judicial Clerkships: Written by Debra M. Strauss and located in the main law school library and the CPC Resource Library, this book provides insight into the clerkship application process.
Directory of Minority Judges of the United States: Located in the CPC’s Resource 3
Library, this directory contains geographical listings of African-American, Asian/Pacific Island, Hispanic, Native American, and Tribal Court Judges. The Application Process Application procedures and deadlines vary widely from court to court, and from state to state. Vermont Law School’s Online Guide to State Judicial Clerkship Procedures (the “Vermont Guide”) provides detailed information about clerkships in all states, while this Supplement focuses on opportunities in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey State courts exclusively, including some tri-state opportunities which are not included in the Vermont Guide. To access the Online Guide, go to: http://forms.vermontlaw.edu/career/guides/ (username: sugar, password: maple). Appendix A of this Supplement lists state court websites nationwide, which you can reference for further information. Timing: When applying for a clerkship, you should be prepared well in advance. As noted above, deadlines vary widely from state to state and court to court, so you should refer to the Vermont Guide, this Supplement, and the individual state court websites to verify when it is appropriate to apply for particular state court clerkships. Always try to apply for a clerkship by the earliest possible date a judge will accept applications. Judges often make decisions on a rolling basis, and it does you no good to apply a week after an offer has been made by the judge for the same position! Application Materials: Generally, you will need to secure strong letters of recommendation, obtain copies of your transcripts, and prepare clerkship-appropriate resumes and cover letters. Application materials for clerkships differ in some ways from application materials for other legal employers. See the Judicial Clerkship Handbook § III.A for tips on how to prepare clerkship application materials. How to Address Judges: In your application, make sure to note the regional differences in the designations of courts and judges. In New York, for example, the trial court is called the Supreme Court, and the highest court is the Court of Appeals. In other states, the Supreme Court is the highest court. In addition, in New York the members of the Court of Appeals bench are referred to as “Judge” and those at the trial court level as “Justice.” In New Jersey, it is the reverse. Your applications should reflect these subtleties. Make sure that you have the correct information on your cover letter and envelope. Every jurisdiction has its own preferences, so it is wise to double check with a telephone call to the appropriate Court Administrative Office (not individual judges’ chambers) if you are not sure.
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Overview of Opportunities Available in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey On the next several pages you will find brief descriptions of clerkship opportunities available in the New York, Connecticut and New Jersey judicial systems as well as a timetable for applying for the different clerkships. We have worked hard to ensure that this information is as current as possible. However, we strongly encourage you to check individually with each court, as applicable, to confirm that the application information, address, and contact person are correct at the time you are applying. Please know that this information is continually subject to change.
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I. New York Courts
General information about the New York State Unified Court System may be found at www.courts.state.ny.us and job postings for legal title positions may be posted at http://www.courts.state.ny.us/careers/opportunities.shtml. General information may also be obtained by contacting the following office: The Honorable A. Gail Prudenti Chief Administrative Judge Office of Court Administration 25 Beaver Street New York, NY 10004 (212) 428-2120 A. New York State Court of Appeals (Highest Court of New York) What Clerkship Opportunities are Available? The Court of Appeals, New York State’s highest court, offers two different types of clerkship opportunities: the first as a clerk with the Court’s Central Legal Research Staff, and the second as a personal clerk to a judge of the Court. Information on both types of clerkships with the Court of Appeals may be found at http://www.courts.state.ny.us/ctapps/clrkship.htm. What is a Central Staff Clerkship? Each year, the Central Legal Research Staff of the Court hires approximately five or six attorneys for two-year clerkships that begin in August. Central Staff clerks work in the Courthouse in Albany and prepare reports on appeals and motions for leave to appeal under the direction of the Chief Court Attorney and Deputy Chief Court Attorney. Central Staff clerks also work on research projects as requested by the Judges or the Clerk of Court. When Do I Apply? Applications for Central Staff clerkships should be filed between July 1st and September 15th prior to the year in which employment is sought. This year, submit applications beginning Tuesday, July 1, 2014 through Monday, September 15, 2014 for the term that begins August 2015. Interviews with prospective candidates are conducted from August through November of the year preceding the commencement of the clerkship. Clerkship offers are usually made by December 1. How Do I Apply? Applications for Central Staff clerkships should be addressed to: Mr. Paul McGrath Chief Court Attorney Central Legal Research Staff Court of Appeals Hall 20 Eagle Street Albany, NY 12207-1095 Telephone: (518) 455-7757 6 April 2014
Application packages must include: Current resume; Unofficial copy of the law school transcript; and Writing sample (unedited, your own work).
Applicants are also encouraged, but not required, to submit two letters of recommendation from law school professors in their initial application package (applicants who have been practicing law following receipt of a J.D. degree may submit letters from legal employers). Applicants who do not submit letters of recommendation in their initial package will be required to bring them to the Court, along with unofficial undergraduate and any graduate school transcripts, if selected for an interview, which will be conducted from August through November. Do Judges of the Court of Appeals Hire Personal Clerks? Yes, judges of the Court of Appeals employ personal law clerks. Each judge’s clerk works with the judge in home chambers and attends Court sessions in Albany approximately 50 days per year. When Do I Apply? Each judge hires his or her own clerks and sets his or her own deadlines and requirements for applications. How Do I Apply? If you are interested in serving as a judge’s personal clerk, you should address your applications to the judge(s) for whom you are interested in working. Please be advised, however, that not all of the judges hire clerks on a rotating or regular basis. You may wish to call Lisa Cleary, Secretary to Paul McGrath, at (518) 455-7757 for information about which judges will have openings in the near future before applying to the individual judge(s). Each judge hires his or her own clerks and sets his or her own deadlines and requirements for applications. Who Are the Current Judges of the Court of Appeals? Hon. Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals Hon. Victoria A. Graffeo, Senior Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals Hon. Eugene F. Pigott, Jr., Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals Hon. Susan Phillips Read, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals Hon. Robert S. Smith, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals Hon. Jenny Rivera, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals Hon. Sheila Abdus-Salaam, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals Mail to the judges should be addressed to: Court of Appeals Hall 20 Eagle Street Albany, NY 12207-1095
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What is the Salary? Starting salary will be $76,195 per year plus state employment benefits. Judges’ clerks who must travel also receive a travel and meal allowance while attending Court sessions in Albany. B. New York Supreme Court Appellate Division What Opportunities Exist In Each of the Supreme Court Appellate Divisions? The four departments of the Appellate Division hire entry-level attorneys for central staff clerkships and court attorney positions. Application procedures vary among the four Judicial Departments of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, as well as with individual justices. Generally, employment in the New York State Appellate Division requires that the employee sit for the bar within a certain period of time following employment (e.g., 18 months). Attorneys who hold a position in the court attorney series typically research and analyze legal issues, prepare preliminary reports and confidential memoranda, and review draft decisions and check them for accuracy of citations and conformance with the record on appeal. All positions require knowledge of the law and trial procedures, and the ability to organize, analyze and interpret legal issues, to write clear and concise prose, to communicate clearly and succinctly, and to maintain strict confidentiality. Following are the deadlines, application requirements and contact information for each of the Departments. 1) Appellate Division First Judicial Department What Opportunities Are Available in the First Department? Please note that recent budget cuts have dramatically reduced the number of open positions in the First Department. As a result, applications should only be submitted to the First Department in response to a job posting. There are approximately 42 attorneys employed by the First Department in Central Staff positions. In addition, each justice has a permanent clerk (known as a “law secretary”). The law secretary positions rarely become available. When Do I Apply? Both Central Staff positions and clerks are hired on a permanent basis (as opposed to term appointments). Applications will be reviewed when there is a vacancy. The First Department has indicated that the ideal profile of a successful Central Staff applicant evidences practice experience, particularly at the state trial level. Also desired are strong research and writing skills and the ability to work well under pressure. Applicants should apply in response to job postings, which are posted as positions arise on the NY Courts website: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/careers/opportunities.shtml. 2) Appellate Division Second Judicial Department What Opportunities Are Available in the Second Department? 8 April 2014
Please note that recent budget cuts have dramatically reduced the number of open positions in the Second Department. As a result, applications should only be submitted to the Second Department in response to a job posting. There are approximately 100 attorneys employed by the Second Department in Central Staff positions, which are initially for a two-year term. In addition, each justice has a permanent clerk. These permanent clerk positions rarely become available. When Do I Apply? Applications will be reviewed when there is a vacancy. Applicants should apply in response to job postings on the NY Courts website: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/careers/opportunities.shtml. How Do I Apply? Applications should be addressed to: April Agostino Chief Clerk of the Court Appellate Division 2nd Judicial Department 45 Monroe Place Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 875-1300 Application packages must include a cover letter and resume. A law school transcript, LSAT report and letters of recommendation are recommended but they are not required in the initial application. All interested persons also must submit a UCS-5 Application for Employment form (obtainable from any New York State administrative office or on the Web at http://www.courts.state.ny.us/careers/applicationforms.shtml). What is the Salary? Starting salary is $64,834, plus location pay of $3,697. This salary increases to $76,195 upon admission to the New York State Bar. Salary may be higher depending on experience. 3) Appellate Division Third Judicial Department What Opportunities Are Available in the Third Department? There are approximately 10 attorneys employed by the Third Department in one-year Central Staff positions. In addition, each justice has a permanent clerk. These positions rarely become available. When Do I Apply? Alumni and students beginning their last year of law school should submit applications starting on August 1, 2014 for the one-year Central Staff positions. The application deadline is Monday, September 15, 2014. However, applicants should check back at the “Employment Opportunities” link on the Court’s webpage periodically as additional positions may be listed if they become available throughout the year: http://www.nycourts.gov/ad3. 9 April 2014
How Do I Apply? The Third Department will now be handling a good portion of its recruitment process electronically. Prospective applicants will now be able to view job postings and apply directly online through the "Employment Opportunities" link on the Court's webpage: http://www.nycourts.gov/ad3. In addition, both prospective applicants and individual law schools will be able to contact the Court's recruiters through a new e-mail address, AD3-LR-Recruiting@nycourts.gov. It is anticipated that the vast majority of recruitment-related correspondence will be handled electronically through this e-mail address. What is the Salary? The starting salary is $64,834, but may be elevated to $76,195 with satisfactory job performance and upon admission to the NYS Bar. 4) Appellate Division Fourth Judicial Department What Opportunities Are Available in the Fourth Department? Appellate Court Attorneys work with all twelve (12) Appellate Justices in Rochester, New York, to assist the court in deciding approximately 2,000 appeals annually. The court hires eight (8) Appellate Court Attorneys each year for a two-year term. Work consists principally of researching and writing legal memoranda to the court on pending cases. In addition, each justice has a permanent clerk. These positions rarely become available. When Do I Apply? Alumni and students graduating by June 2015 can begin submitting applications immediately, and must submit applications by the deadline of Wednesday, October 15, 2014. All applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible after they have a complete transcript from the first two years of law school. Initial interviews are generally conducted between August 15 and October 15, and finalist interviews are conducted prior to November 15. The two-year Appellate Court Attorney positions will commence in August 2015, and selection is expected to be made prior to December 1, 2014. How Do I Apply? Applications should be addressed to: Craig D. Peterson, Esq. Chief Appellate Court Attorney M. Dolores Denman Courthouse 50 East Avenue, Suite 200 Rochester, NY 14604 (585) 530-3100 The application package must include a resume, writing sample and unofficial law school transcript (including at least two years of law school grades). You may also submit a cover letter and letters of recommendation, but they are not required.
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What is the Salary? Starting salary is $64,834. This figure increases to $76,195 upon admission to the New York State Bar. C. Trial Courts (New York Supreme and County Courts) What Opportunities are Available at the Trial Level? In the trial courts, positions are available both with individual judges and as pool clerks. Unlike most clerks in the federal system, a New York State trial judge’s law clerk (often referred to as a law secretary) may stay with the judge for several years. There are many lawyers already in the court system working as court attorneys, clerks and officers who seek law secretary positions and therefore are more likely to get these positions as they open. As a result, there are few openings for these positions available to recent graduates. (See also Section D below for specific programs and their deadlines.) How Do I Apply? For positions with individual judges in the trial court, students should apply directly to the judges at the Supreme and County Courts. To be considered for a pool position, students should apply to the Chief Clerk of each Supreme Court. Applications shall be considered as positions become available. Students graduating in February should not submit application materials prior to November of their final year and students graduating in May should not submit application materials prior to January or February of their final year. Alumni may submit application materials at any time. Where Do I Find More Information? You can find links to all the different courts in all the judicial districts as well as information on all New York State trial court judges at: http://www.nycourts.gov/litigants/courtguides/index.shtml. Please also refer to Section 3 below titled Court Attorneys (Trial Part). For additional information, contact the Office of Court Administration at the following address: The Honorable A. Gail Prudenti Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York New York State Unified Court System Office of Court Administration 25 Beaver Street New York, NY 10004 (212) 428-2120 Current opportunities can be found at http://www.courts.state.ny.us/careers/opportunities.shtml. D. Other Opportunities in New York State Courts As noted above, law clerk (called “law secretary”) positions with individual judges in the trial courts of New York are difficult to come by for the new graduate. However, there are other opportunities in the trial and other courts. 11 April 2014
1) The Legal Fellows Program Please Note: As of the publication of this Guide, the New York State Legal Fellows Program is not being offered in 2015-2016 due to state budget cuts; it is unclear at this time when the program will be reinstated. The one-year NYS Legal Fellows program is designed to introduce recent law school graduates (i.e., graduated within 3 years from law school) to legal careers in the public sector. Fellows work directly with Judges and their staff and attend monthly seminars where they have the opportunity to meet with attorneys who have dedicated their careers to public service. 2) Commercial Division Clerkship Program Please Note: Due to state budget cuts, it is unclear at this time whether The New York State Commercial Division Clerkship Program will be reinstated. The NYS Commercial Division Clerkship program offers a one or two-year clerkship opportunity for law school graduates and graduating students with one of the NYS Commercial Division Justices of the Supreme Court in New York County. The NYS Commercial Division is an increasingly important presence in the commercial center of New York State and provides litigants with an expert forum for the expeditious resolution of commercial disputes. For additional information, please visit: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/careers/statewide/ComDivClerkshipProg.pdf. (Please Note: this packet contains details for the 2011-2012 Program, as updated information is not yet available due to uncertainty regarding the future of the Program.) 3) Court Attorneys (Trial Part) What do Court Attorneys Do? Court attorneys research and analyze legal issues and questions and perform other related duties. They serve in a confidential capacity and under supervision of judges or groups of judges in Family and District Court; County and Surrogate’s Courts in counties with populations less than 400,000; the Criminal Court and the Civil Court of the City of New York and the Buffalo, Rochester and Yonkers City Courts. Court Attorneys (Trial Part) may be assigned to judges designated as Acting Justices of the Supreme Court for one full term or less. Please refer to section C on page 9 of this document titled, Trial Courts (New York Supreme and County Courts), for additional information on opportunities in New York State Trial Courts. When Do I Apply? Court Attorneys are hired on an as needed basis. Job postings for Court Attorney positions may be found on the Unified Court System’s website www.courts.state.ny.us. Those hired must pass the New York bar exam and be admitted within eighteen months of being hired.
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How Do I Apply? In addition to responding to job postings, applicants may apply directly to the Chief Clerk in the county of interest. This contact information can be obtained from the Unified Court System’s website www.courts.state.ny.us. Applicants should submit a completed UCS-5 employment form (found at http://www.courts.state.ny.us/careers/applicationforms.shtml), cover letter and resume. What is the Salary? Refer to the individual job posting found on the Unified Court System’s website www.courts.state.ny.us for further information. a. Criminal Court When Do I Apply? Court Attorneys in Criminal Court are hired on an as-needed basis. Interested students should check the New York State Unified Court System’s website www.courts.state.ny.us for vacancies. Those hired must pass the New York bar exam and be admitted within eighteen months of being hired. How Do I Apply? If interested in a court attorney position with the criminal court, please contact: Chief Court Attorney Criminal Court of the City of New York 100 Centre Street, Room 135B New York, NY 10013 An application package should include a resume, cover letter and writing sample. What is the Salary? Refer to the individual job posting found on the Unified Court System’s website www.courts.state.ny.us. b. Family Court When Do I Apply? Court Attorneys for Family Court are hired on an as-needed basis. Listings are available on the Unified Court System’s website, http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/. Family Court information for each county may be found at http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/nyc/family/index.shtml. c. Housing Court Housing Court attorneys divide their time between assisting the Housing Court judges and helping pro se litigants. Court Attorney positions with the Housing Court are available from time to time. Listings are available on the Unified Court System’s website, www.courts.state.ny.us. Housing Court information for each county may be found at 13 April 2014
http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/nyc/housing/addresses.shtml. Interested applicants should send their resume to the housing court judges directly. Resumes can also be sent anytime to the contact below to be kept on file and considered when a position becomes available. Contact: If interested in a Housing Court attorney position, contact: Fern Fisher Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Housing Court - Civil Court of the City of New York 111 Centre Street, Rm. 1240 New York, NY 10013 (646) 386-5415 d. Mental Hygiene Legal Services (“MHLS”) What Opportunities Are Available at MHLS? Mental Hygiene Legal Services is part of the New York State judicial system, as provided for in the Mental Hygiene Law Section 47.01. Although MHLS is part of the Unified Court System, it is not a court operation but functions as as a legal services law firm and represents clients. MHLS does not offer “clerkships” per se but does hire entry-level attorneys. Those hired must pass the New York bar exam and be admitted within eighteen months of being hired. When Should I Apply? Please note that recent budget cuts have caused a hiring freeze. As a result, it is unclear when MHLS may next have vacancies. Vacancies are posted on the New York State Unified Court System’s web-site (www.courts.state.ny.us) and MHLS only accepts resumes for employment in response to these job postings.
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II. Connecticut Courts
Where Do I Find More Information? For general information about the Connecticut judiciary please visit http://www.jud.ct.gov/Publications/es201.pdf. General Law Clerk application information for the Connecticut courts can be found on the Connecticut Judicial Branch website: http://www.jud.ct.gov/external/supapp/lawclerkapps.html. In addition, students interested in clerkships in Connecticut can contact the court administrator’s office at the following address: Hon. Patrick L. Carroll III Chief Court Administrator Supreme Court Building 231 Capitol Avenue Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 757-2100 A. Connecticut Supreme Court (Highest Court of Connecticut) What Opportunities are Available at the CT Supreme Court? In Fall 2014, the Justices of the Connecticut Supreme Court will appoint seven (7) law clerks to serve for the 2015-2016 court term. The term of service is for twelve working months starting on Friday, May 29, 2015 through July 29, 2016. During June 2015, the new law clerks will be working with the clerks whose places they will be taking for the next court year. After their service in June, the new clerks will not report again for work until Tuesday, September 1, 2015. Law clerks may take four personal leave days with pay during their term of service and they will have a bank of twelve sick days. Otherwise, there are no paid vacation days. Who are the Justices of the Connecticut Supreme Court? Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers Senior Justice Christine S. Vertefeuille Justice Flemming L. Norcott, Jr. Justice Richard N. Palmer Justice Peter T. Zarella Justice Dennis G. Eveleigh Justice Andrew J. McDonald Justice Carmen E. Espinosa Justice Richard A. Robinson When Do I Apply? No applications should be submitted before Monday, May 5, 2014. Interested persons are encouraged to apply as soon after that date as feasible. All applications must be received no later than Friday, June 13, 2014. Interviews will be scheduled by each individual Justice.
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How Do I Apply? Applicants wishing to apply to the Chief Justice and/or Associate Justices should send an application packet to each individual Justice. All applications should be mailed to the Justice(s) at the following address: The Honorable_________________ Connecticut Supreme Court 231 Capitol Avenue Hartford, CT 06106 The application package should include: (1) cover letter; (2) resume; (3) certified law school transcript, including, if available, information about class standing; (4) a copy of any relevant scholarly writing; (5) at least two (2) letters of recommendation from faculty members with whom the student has studied or a clerkship committee or both. (Letters of recommendation may be sent separately from the letter of application); and (6) a statement of when the applicant will be available for a personal interview in Hartford (at their own expense). What is the Salary? The annual salary is $65,048.29, paid semi-monthly. B. Connecticut Appellate Court (Intermediate Level Appellate Court) What Opportunities are Available at the CT Appellate Court? Approximately 17 law clerks will be appointed for the 2015-2016 court year for the Connecticut Appellate Court, which functions as an intermediate appellate court. Most of the law clerks will be appointed for the nine active Judges of the Court, including the Chief Judge. The remainder will be hired to work for the retired Judges and Justices who sit by designation on the Court, or to work on motions filed with the Court. The term of service is for a period of 12 months starting on Friday, May 29, 2015. During June 2015, the new law clerks will be working with the clerks whose places they will be taking for the next court year. After this service in June, the new clerks will not report again until Tuesday, September 1, 2015. Law clerks may take four personal leave days with pay during their term of service and they will have a bank of twelve sick days. Otherwise there are no paid vacation days. Employment will terminate on July 29, 2016. When Do I Apply? No applications should be submitted before Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Interested persons are encouraged to apply as soon after that date as feasible and all applications must be received no later than Friday, August 8, 2014. Interviews will be held on Thursday, October 1 and Friday, October 2, 2014 in Hartford (travel to Hartford will be at the candidate’s own expense). How Do I Apply? Students should send an original and ten collated copies of the application materials to:
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The Honorable Alexandra D. DiPentima Chief Judge of the Appellate Court 75 Elm Street Hartford, CT 06106 The application package should include an original and ten (10) collated copies of the following materials: (1) cover letter; (2) resume; (3) a certified law school transcript, including, if available, information about class standing; (4) a copy of any relevant scholarly writing; and (5) at least two letters of recommendation from a faculty member with whom the student has studied or a clerkship committee or both. (Letters of recommendation may be sent separately from the letter of application.) What is the Salary? The annual salary of each clerk will be in the range of $60,848.70 - $61,618.94, depending on the classification of the position, paid semi-monthly. C. Connecticut Superior Court (Trial Court) What Opportunities are Available at the CT Superior Courts? The Chief Court Administrator annually appoints up to forty-three (43) law clerks to serve the 180 judges of the Superior Court. Law clerks provide, primarily, legal research and writing assistance to trial level judges on pending matters. Law clerks are assigned to work in a Legal Research office located in one of thirteen judicial districts throughout the state with all judges assigned to any judicial facility within that district. The central administrative office for the program is located in New Haven, Connecticut. The appointment as a law clerk to the Superior Court is for a period of 52 weeks. Positions will open in August, September, and October of 2015. When Do I Apply? Fordham students entering their last year of law school (Class of 2015) must apply for Law Clerk positions with the Connecticut Superior Court through the Fall On-Campus Interview Program. Students will receive an email after this listing has been officially added to the Fall OCI program. If selected for an interview, the student will go to New York Law School to interview with a representative from the court. The tentative date for these interviews is Friday, September 12, 2014. 2014 graduates and other alumni may apply directly for these positions between Monday, September 1, 2014 and Friday, October 31, 2014. How Do I Apply? 2014 graduates and other alumni applying directly for these positions should submit an application containing a resume; a brief, unedited writing sample; two letters of recommendation (from persons with whom the applicant has studied or worked or a clerkship committee); an official undergraduate transcript, including (if available) class standing; and an official law school transcript to: 17 April 2014
John Weikart, Attorney at Law Deputy Director, Legal Research 121 Elm Street, Room 34 New Haven, CT 06510 Phone: 203-773-6738 What is the Salary? The annual salary for the 2015-2016 term is $55,285.11, paid biweekly.
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III. New Jersey Courts Why Clerk in New Jersey? The New Jersey courts are highly competent, well-run and nationally respected. The New Jersey Supreme Court makes the rules that govern all aspects of the practice of law and the judiciary in New Jersey. All judges are appointed, after gubernatorial nomination and state Senate confirmation, for a seven-year term. They then may be nominated for reappointment and tenure. Retirement is mandatory at the age of 70. Most New Jersey judges began their legal careers as clerks in the New Jersey judicial system. Many New Jersey law firms accept applications only from judicial clerks. Other law firms interview and offer summer associate positions to J.D. candidates but the offer of full-time employment is conditioned on completion of a judicial clerkship. Because of the major role of clerkships in the training of New Jersey lawyers, most judges are interested only in graduating students who intend to make their careers in New Jersey. Therefore, your resume and application should prominently present any New Jersey connections – i.e., residence, high school and/or college experience, and your intention to take the New Jersey bar and hopes to practice law in New Jersey. If you hope to clerk for a New Jersey judge you can maximize your chances by interning for New Jersey judges (for which law school credit is available through the FLS externship program), working as interns in agencies such as the New Jersey Attorney General’s office, and clerking at New Jersey law firms. Law clerks gain valuable insight into the daily activities of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, trial litigators and the support personnel of the court system while serving the public. Law clerks acquire in-depth knowledge and understanding of the legal process which can only be learned by working with a judge. Law clerks who service in the Supreme Court, Appellate Division and Tax Court perform a substantial amount of legal research and prepare extensive memoranda; assist judges in processing emergent motion applications; proofread published opinions in the advance sheets; and maintain chambers’ libraries. Trial Court law clerks perform legal research; make recommendations to judges regarding dispositions of motions, both verbally and via written bench memoranda; draft, edit and proofread legal correspondence; maintain chambers’ libraries; attend and assist with case conferences, motion hearings, trials; and mediate small claims cases. Law clerks to Assignment Judges handle the same work as other trial court law clerks but also assist in processing emergent matters and may assist in vicinage administration. How is the New Jersey Judiciary Organized? The highest court in New Jersey is the New Jersey Supreme Court. The mid-level appellate court is the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. The trial courts are the Superior Court Law Division and Chancery Division and the Tax Court. What Opportunities Are Available in the New Jersey Judiciary? For the 2015-2016 court term, the New Jersey judiciary will fill approximately 480 law clerk positions. These clerkships commence August 24, 2015 and end August 31, 2016.
19 April 2014
A limited number of clerkships exist for the Supreme Court, Superior Court Appellate Division, Superior Court Assignment Judges, Superior Court Chancery Division in general equity court, and in the Tax Court. Applicants interested in those positions should apply early during the hiring process. Most openings exist in the Superior Court Law Division in civil and criminal court, and Superior Court Chancery Division in family court. The number in the parenthetical below represents the number of vacancies to be filled in each court: A. B. C. D. New Jersey Supreme Court (23); Appellate Division of Superior Court (51); Assignment Judges (Trial Court) (22); Trial Courts (377): Superior Court - Law Division (Criminal and Civil), Chancery Division (General Equity and Family), and E. Tax Court (7) Where Can I Find the Current Court Assignments for each Superior Court Judge? New Jersey Superior Court Judges are assigned to particular courts (e.g., family, civil, criminal). Visit the general law clerk recruitment posting at http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/lawclerks/index.htm as there is a link from this page to the current “General Assignments.” Please note that there is a possibility of mid-term reassignments and occasionally new judicial appointments are made during the year. Check the following link for updates: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/notices/index.htm. When Do I Apply? Law students who have completed their 2L(3E) year are strongly encouraged to submit their applications during Summer 2014. Many judges conduct interviews during the summer and offer positions on a rolling basis, including to students who have interned for them during the school year or a prior summer. Candidates will be contacted directly by the justices or judges for interviews on or after June 23, 2014.It is therefore highly recommended that applicants apply as early in the process as possible, beginning June 16, 2014, to increase the likelihood of securing interviews and a position. How Do I Apply? There are two ways to apply for New Jersey state court clerkships – Direct Application and Centralized Electronic Application. Because judges utilize both methods to identify potential candidates, interested applicants should apply both ways. 1. Direct Application—Apply directly to individual Justices and Judges. Send a cover letter (indicating any specific area of interest of law) and resume directly to each judges’ chambers. You may also include a transcript, writing sample, and/or letters of recommendation/list of references, or state that these will be provided upon request. (We recommend sending additional documents with your initial application at least for the higher level courts). The cover letter and resume should emphasize skills (legal research, writing, analytical and communication skills, etc.) as well as past work and prior legal experience that relates directly to the law clerk position. Although GPA is important, judges consider other factors to recognize particular strengths and qualities.
20 April 2014
Judges' chambers addresses are on the Judiciary website at www.judiciary.state.nj.us/directory/judgtara.pdf. Candidates will be contacted directly by the justices or judges for interviews. The New Jersey Law Clerk Recruitment website (http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/lawclerks/) has the most up to date information for preparing direct application materials (including judicial court/county assignments and chambers addresses). We strongly advise applicants to utilize the Direct Application strategy. Even if the Centralized Electronic Application method is also utilized, as described below, applicants should apply directly to judges of particular interest and to judges in the courts that are located in a preferred georgraphic area(s). 2. Centralized Electronic Application—Starting on June 16, 2014, applicants may also email one copy of a cover letter and resume to Lawclerkresumes.email@example.com. Include in your cover letter the month and year the juris doctor degree will be awarded, and day and evening telephone numbers. You may indicate a preference for the court, division, and employment location in your e-mail. Do not send writing samples, transcripts, recommendation letters or references to the Human Resources office. Resumes sent to the Human Resources office will be made available to all justices and judges, who will directly contact potential candidates for interviews on or after June 23, 2014. Resumes for the 2015-2016 court term will be accepted until March 27, 2015. While the centralized process has the benefit of easy application, it is not personalized, and may not be used by all judges. You should therefore also utilize the direct application method to increase your chances of securing interviews! For the centralized electronic application, the cover letter should be formal but addressed generally (i.e., “Dear Your Honor”) because both the cover letter and resume will be available for viewing by all justices and judges throughout the state that have an appointment to make. In the transmission email, specify any court, division and geographic preferences if applicable. Judges will be able to sort resumes by court/division/geographic preference information. Also, they will have the ability to conduct key-word searches of the cover letter and resume, so keep this in mind when preparing documents (e.g., spell out acronyms or abbreviations; include any clarifying terms you think could be helpful for searching). NOTE: If you have ties to New Jersey (e.g., residence, high school, college) you should prominently include those on your resume and in your cover letter.
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What is the Salary? Supreme Court $60,585 Superior Court Appellate Division $55,316 Superior Court Assignment Judge $50,707 Superior Court Chancery Division, General Equity $50,707 Superior Court Chancery Division, Family $46,096 Superior Court Law Division (Civil and Criminal) $46,096 Tax Court $46,096 Special Note on Internships in New Jersey Courts: If you want advice regarding judicial internships, we suggest you make an appointment with Professor Conk, the Faculty Clerkship Committee State Court Chair. Professor Conk practiced extensively as a litigator in New Jersey.
22 April 2014
APPENDIX A STATE JUDICIAL CLERKSHIP RESOURCE LIST The Online Guide to State Court Clerkships: See http://forms.vermontlaw.edu/career/guides (username: sugar, password: maple). The National Center for State Courts: See http://www.ncsc.org
State Court Websites: Alabama: See http://judicial.alabama.gov/ for information on the Alabama court system and state court judges. Alaska: See http://www.state.ak.us/courts/courtdir.htm#hr for a directory of judges and information for prospective law clerks. Arizona: See http://www.azcourts.gov/ for information regarding state court judges. Arkansas: See http://courts.state.ar.us/supremecourt/index.cfm and http://courts.state.ar.us/coa/index.cfm for information on state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals judges. California: See http://www.courts.ca.gov/ for information on the California court system and clerkship openings. Colorado: See http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Supreme_Court/Applicants.cfm and http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_of_Appeals/Applicants.cfm for clerkship information. Connecticut: See http://www.jud.state.ct.us for Connecticut judicial information. Delaware: See http://courts.state.de.us for Delaware judicial information. District of Columbia: See http://www.dcbar.org for D.C. clerkship information. Florida: See http://www.flcourts.org for information on the Florida court systems. Georgia: See http://www.gasupreme.us for information on Supreme Court judges, and http://georgiacourts.org for general information about the Georgia court system. Hawaii: See http://www.courts.state.hi.us for information on the Hawaii judiciary. Idaho: See http://www.isc.idaho.gov/ for judge listings and biographies and http://www.isc.idaho.gov/overview.pdf for an overview of the Idaho court system. Illinois: See http://www.state.il.us/court for information regarding the Illinois court system. Indiana: See http://www.in.gov/judiciary/ for Indiana state court information. Iowa: See http://www.iowacourts.gov/ for detailed information about Iowa judges.
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Kansas: See http://www.kscourts.org/ for information about each of the supreme and appellate court judges and http://www.shawneecourt.org/ for information specific to Shawnee County. Kentucky: See http://courts.ky.gov/ for a directory of Kentucky judges. Louisiana: See http://www.lasc.org/ for information regarding Louisiana judges. Maine: See http://www.courts.state.me.us/ for Maine state court information. Maryland: See http://www.courts.state.md.us/ for Maryland’s judicial information. Massachusetts: See http://www.mass.gov/courts/ for information regarding the state court system. Michigan: See http://courts.michigan.gov for detailed information on Michigan’s judiciary. Minnesota: See http://www.mncourts.gov/default.aspx for state court information and postings of law clerk openings. Mississippi: See http://www.mssc.state.ms.us/ for information regarding the Mississippi Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, and http://www.sos.ms.gov/links/ed_pubs/pubs/2012JD/Online%20JD.pdf for a comprehensive directory of the Mississippi judiciary. Missouri: See http://www.courts.mo.gov/ for information about the Missouri court system and biographical information about judges. Montana: See http://courts.mt.gov/default.mcpx for information regarding Montana courts and judges. Nebraska: See http://www.supremecourt.ne.gov/ for Nebraska state court information. Nevada: See http://www.nevadajudiciary.us/ for information regarding the Nevada Supreme Court and http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/ for judicial information in the Las Vegas area. New Hampshire: See http://www.courts.state.nh.us/ for state court information and judges’ biographies. New Jersey: See http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/lawclerks/index.htm for information regarding New Jersey’s judiciary and state court clerkships. New Mexico: See http://nmsupremecourt.nmcourts.gov/ for information regarding New Mexico’s Supreme Court; see http://www.nmcourts.gov/index.php for information regarding New Mexico’s court system. New York: See http://www.courts.state.ny.us/ctapps/, and http://www.courts.state.ny.us/home.htm. North Carolina: See http://www.nccourts.org/ for information regarding the North Carolina court system.
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North Dakota: See http://www.court.state.nd.us/Court/COURTS.HTM for court information and judicial biographies. Ohio: See http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/ for information regarding the Ohio court system. Oklahoma: See http://www.oscn.net/ for information regarding Oklahoma’s court system. Oregon: See http://courts.oregon.gov/OJD/ for information regarding Oregon’s court system. Pennsylvania: See http://www.pacourts.us/ for judicial information regarding Pennsylvania’s court system. Rhode Island: See http://www.courts.ri.gov/default.aspx for information regarding Rhode Island’s court system. South Carolina: See http://www.judicial.state.sc.us for information regarding the South Carolina court system. South Dakota: See http://ujs.sd.gov/ for information on South Dakota’s judicial system. Tennessee: See http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/ for Tennessee judicial information. Texas: See http://www.courts.state.tx.us/ for information regarding the Texas court system. Utah: See http://www.utcourts.gov/ for information regarding Utah’s court system. Vermont: See http://www.vermontjudiciary.org/ for information regarding the Vermont judiciary. Virginia: See http://www.courts.state.va.us/main.htm for information on the Virginia court system. Washington: See http://www.courts.wa.gov/ for detailed information about Washington’s legal system and each of its judges. West Virginia: See http://www.courtswv.gov/ and http://www.courtswv.gov/supreme-court/justices-staff.html for information on West Virginia courts and judges. Wisconsin: See http://www.wicourts.gov/ for information on the Wisconsin court system. Wyoming: See http://courts.state.wy.us/ for information regarding Wyoming state courts.
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APPENDIX B KEY APPLICATION DATES Judicial Opportunity (# of anticipated annual opportunities, if known
Central Staff Clerkships (5-6) Personal Law Clerk Positions Central Staff Clerkships Central Staff Clerkships Central Staff Clerkships (10) Central Staff Clerkships (8) Legal Fellows Program Commercial Division Clerkship Program Court Attorneys (Criminal, Family, and Housing Courts, Mental Hygiene Group) Personal Law Clerk Positions (7) Personal Law Clerk Positions (17) Personal Law Clerk Positions (43) Personal Law Clerk Positions (480!)
New York Court of Appeals (Highest Court in NY) New York Court of Appeals (Highest Court in NY) New York Appellate Division – First Department New York Appellate Division – Second Department New York Appellate Division – Third Department New York Appellate Division – Fourth Department
Submit between Tuesday, July 1, 2014
and Monday, September 15, 2014
Each judge determines own deadlines Apply only in response to job postings Apply only in response to job postings Alumni and rising 3L/4LE students should submit starting August 1, 2014 through September 15, 2014 Deadline is Wednesday, October 15, 2014. Apply as soon as possible after at least two years of law school grades are received. These programs are both on hold due to budget cuts. Hired on an as needed basis – apply to specific job postings on court website Submit between Monday, May 5, 2014 and Friday, June 13, 2014 Submit between Tuesday, July 1, 2014 and Friday, August 8, 2014 Students: MUST Apply through Fall OCI Graduates/Alumni: Apply directly between Monday, September 1, 2014 and Friday, October 31, 2014 Begin applying Monday, June 16, 2014 (apply as early as possible). Applications accepted until March 2015.
New York Trial Courts
Connecticut Supreme Court (Highest Court in CT) Connecticut Appellate Court
Connecticut Superior Court New Jersey Supreme Court (Highest Court in NJ), Appellate Division of Superior Court, and Trial Courts
B-1 April 2014
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