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Judicial Clerkships : Pennsylvania

All the information you need in order to understand and apply for judicial clerkships.

PA Overview

In PA every judge hires on their own timeline and will often wait until their current clerk gives notice before recruiting for a new clerk.   As a result, many PA judges hire later in the cycle.  Hiring begins in January before graduation and continues through the fall and winter following your graduation.  Lancaster and Bucks Counties generally focus on hiring in January.  Other counties vary widely.  

Quick Tip:  Counties closest to law schools or large cities tend to get more applications.  If you are interested in working with a judge outside of those areas, it is smart to reach out now, introduce yourself and inquire about a chance to clerk in their court.   The PA Courts website is also a great source of information for counties in the West and Central part of the state (link in application information below). 

PA Judge Excel Spreadsheets

Mail merge can simplify the process of creating multiple letters to different judges.  Use this spreadsheet to help auto populate names and mailing addresses.  Mail merge tutorial below.

Steps to Applying in PA

1. Look for chances to work with and learn from PA judges (CLEs, co-op, summer work, pro bono)

2. Develop a strong application packet (See the Application Tab for tips and specifics).

3. Submit materials to judge's chambers.  

  • Class of 2020 - Submit your resume to the opt-in book on Symplicity.  CSO will be sending these resume books to judges in Philadelphia and surrounding areas.  In addition, prepare individualized applications for courts or specific judges that particularly appeal to you.  Submit to the judge's chamber via email.  
  • Class of 2021 - Watch your emails this fall for detailed application information.  In years past students have submitted paper applications, but we anticipate everything will be digital moving forward.  

4.  Watch Symplicity, emails and court's websites for clerkship postings.