Judicial Clerkships & Fellowships

Judicial Clerkships, Fellowships and Government Honors Programs are all competitive post-graduate options for employment. Most last one or two years and they are all great resume builders. Nebraska Law graduates have been successful in pursuing state and federal clerkships both in Nebraska and through out the United States.

[Taken from the Overview of the Judicial Clerkship Guide]

A “judicial clerkship” typically is a one or two year position working as an assistant to a judge. The judicial clerk’s duties will depend on the particular judge’s needs. Judicial clerks research questions of law, write legal memoranda, and analyze cases and statutes for a judge. Judicial clerks also review motions, briefs, trial transcripts and other documents that are submitted to the court.

Employers view a judicial clerkship experience as a very desirable qualification and actively recruit current and former judicial clerks. Judicial clerkships are not just a valuable experience for aspiring trial lawyers. Many successful transactional lawyers who practice in the areas of general corporate law, business planning, tax, bankruptcy, securities, and estate planning began their careers as judicial law clerks.

A judicial clerkship is a unique opportunity to see how the judicial process works from the inside. Such an experience obviously enhances the clerk’s ability to represent future clients in litigation, to create persuasive oral and written arguments, and to effectively present a case in court. But a judicial clerkship experience also teaches the clerk how letters, documents, and agreements drafted by lawyers in the course of a transaction can either greatly bolster or harm the client’s case if the transaction subsequently ends up in litigation. The agreement that appear to be clear becomes ambiguous; the deal that appeared to be “airtight” becomes riddled with uncertainties because contingencies were not addressed in advance by the lawyers working on the transaction.

In short, former judicial clerks, no matter how their careers develop and evolve in the future, universally view the judicial clerkship experience as highly beneficial to the development of their legal skills. Many former judicial clerks say, “it was the best job I ever had.”

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