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The first judicial law clerk in the country reportedly was from Harvard Law School around 1875, and HLS has maintained a proud tradition of judicial clerks since then.

Recent Numbers

Recent Numbers

In recent years, we have had approximately 250+ judicial clerks each year.

Total Clerkships: 2015-2019

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
U.S. Supreme 9 8 11 10 9
U.S. Circuit 98 100 114 101 113
U.S. District 111 119 93 97 126
Other Federal 8 8 10 6 4
State Supreme 17 29 23 24 18
Other State 11 6 4 3 7
Foreign 2 0 3 5 3
Total 256 270 258 246 280

Geographic Spread

Geographic Spread

We are proud of our geographic breadth. In recent years, our judicial clerks have been stationed within approximately 40 out of 50 states and within every regional circuit of the federal court system.

Geography: 2015-2019

As of 12/08/2020

Map of the United States showing the number of clerkships in each federal circuit. For detailed alternative text see the section "Alternative Text for Graphic" on this page.

Alternative Text for Geography: 2015-2019

The graphic above (Geography:2015-2019) shows the geographic boundaries of the twelve regional circuits and one Federal Circuit. The number of clerkships is listed next to each region. The states included in each circuit and number of clerkships are as follows:

  • First Circuit (includes Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island):
    Circuit – 45, District – 61, Other – 36
  • Second Circuit (includes Connecticut, New York, and Vermont):
    Circuit – 70, District – 148, Other – 24
  • Third Circuit (includes Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the Virgin Islands):
    Circuit – 36, District – 49, Other – 14
  • Fourth Circuit (includes Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia):
    Circuit – 32, District – 35, Other – 6
  • Fifth Circuit (includes Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas):
    Circuit – 33, District – 35, Other – 9
  • Sixth Circuit (includes Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee):
    Circuit – 46, District – 29, Other – 4
  • Seventh Circuit (includes Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin):
    Circuit – 18, District – 20, Other – 5
  • Eighth Circuit (includes Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota):
    Circuit – 25, District – 14, Other – 3
  • Ninth Circuit (includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, and Washington):
    Circuit – 68, District – 78, Other – 36
  • Tenth Circuit (includes Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming):
    Circuit – 34, District – 13, Other – 9
  • Eleventh Circuit (includes Alabama, Florida, and Georgia):
    Circuit – 36, District – 19, Other – 2
  • DC Circuit (includes Washington, DC):
    SCOTUS – 47, DC Circuit – 64, Federal Circuit – 19, DC District – 45, Other – 30

Advising Resources

Advising Resources

Our program of advising about clerkships is robust, including the following resources:

  • Outreach beginning 1L year to introduce the opportunity and how to prepare in advance
  • Extensive written guidance on website and blog, The Bench
  • Group presentations and panel discussions
  • Individual appointments available
  • Three advisors (one full-time and two half-time), who all clerked
  • Vast network of HLS clerks for networking
  • Library of evaluations from clerks and past applicants’ interviews
  • Tracking of the hiring status of many judges
  • Services extend to alumni

Related Resources