Surge in Online Applications for Federal Clerkships

by Vault Education Editors | November 23, 2009

  • My Vault

The Blog of the Legal Times reported on Friday that the number of applications for federal clerkships has increased 66 percent from last year. Using the online federal clerkship application, 10,722 recent law graduates and graduating 3Ls applied for an average of 38 clerkship positions each. That's 401,576 applications overall--a big jump from 241,529 applications last year, when 7,556 students averaged 31 job applications each.

In this economy, BigLaw and public sector jobs are hard to find for newly-minted JDs. Because of their relative stability, clerkships seem like a safe Plan B. As HLS clerkship advisor Kristen Solberg told Legal Times, "Clerkships have been relatively stable as an alternative and are attracting people who had not previously considered them." In fact, the clerkship application website registered a 42 percent increase in the number of individual applicants from last year.

Because of the rise in applications, competition will be steep for clerkships this year. Only 1,244 open clerkships were posted on the application website, so about 9,478 applicants will have to consider Plan C.

Filed Under: Education

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