Monday, November 23, 2009

New Jersey Superior Court (Trial Level) Judicial Clerkships

Are you a 3L thinking about clerking for a judge? Although the hiring season began earlier this fall, there are still opportunities for clerking in the New Jersey Superior Court (Trial Level) for the 2010-2011 term. Of course, to maximize your chances of securing one of these competitive positions, you should apply as soon as possible.
There are fifteen Superior Court vicinages, each with an Assignment Judge (head judge) and Chancery, Civil, Criminal and Family Divisions with a total of approximately 395 judges. In addition, there are several tax court judges who also hire law clerks.
The New Jersey Judiciary utilizes two application methods for judicial clerkships:
1) Apply directly to individual judges. Send a strong detailed cover letter and resume (with J.D. month/year) to the judges' chambers. Applicants may also choose to include a transcript and a list of references (letters of recommendation and writing samples are generally not necessary; however you may contact each judge's chambers to confirm this is the case). Go to the New Jersey Judiciary's Law Clerk Recruitment webpage to find information about the application process, to the 2009-2010 General Assignment Order to find out which judges are are assigned to the various divisions in each vicinage, and to the Judges' Chambers Listing to get the contact information for those judges. For any updates to a judge's status or new assignments, check out the Notices to the Bar on the Judiciary's website.
2) Send a copy of a cover letter and resume for inclusion in the Judiciary's centralized resume book. This centralized resume book is then sent to judges. The cover letter should be formal but addressed generally ("Dear Your Honor). Do not include a writing sample, transcripts or references. Your cover letter and resume should be sent to by December 24, 2009 for inclusion in the resume book sent to judges in January 2010.
The Office of Career Services strongly recommends that even if an application is sent to the central resume book, students should also apply directly to individual judges as well.