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Hiring Notice: Court Taking Staff Attorney Clerkship Applications

By Robyn Hagan Cain on September 21, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Even if you weren't cut out for a federal judicial clerkship, you can still clerk for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Third Circuit's Office of the Clerk - Legal Division is accepting applications for federal clerkships until Friday, October 19, 2012. Clerkships are for one or two-year terms beginning September 2013.

Office of the Clerk - Legal Division is the court's fancy new name for Office of Staff Attorneys. Staff attorneys serve the appellate court at-large, rather than in the chambers of individual judges. In the Third Circuit, that means drafting memoranda, opinions and orders to assist in disposition of appeals and other proceedings before the court, primarily relating to habeas corpus, civil rights, immigration, and appellate jurisdiction. The clerkship focuses on federal constitutional law and procedures.

Applicants must have a strong academic background and demonstrated research and writing ability. Law review, moot court, clinic or internship experience is desirable. Course work or work experience in civil rights, post-conviction remedies, habeas corpus, criminal law, prisoner law, employment law, and immigration law is helpful.

The starting salary for entry level attorneys is $61,245.00, and the job includes insurance and paid leave. To apply, submit your application through the OSCAR online clerkship application system on or before Friday, October 19, 2012. You will need to provide the following documents with your application:

  1. Cover letter, (including a statement of availability should you wish to be considered for a two-year term or for a position that opens before September 2013),
  2. Résumé,
  3. Current law school transcript - a copy of an unofficial transcript is acceptable, though an official transcript will be required should you be invited for an interview, and
  4. Writing sample edited by you only demonstrating your ability to analyze a discrete legal issue. Generally, published law review articles are less helpful in assessing your ability to conduct a legal analysis.

If you have your heart set on a federal judicial clerkship with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, you probably have to wait another year. For judges who still use the federal law clerk hiring plan, September 13 was the first day to interview applicants and make offers. Those federal clerkship applicants who don't have an interview or offer already are unlikely to receive one this year.

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