A Message from the Dean
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Law School is One-Stop Shop for Clerkships
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Mandelker credits Penn Law for its well-managed clerkship program. "The staff in Career Planning and Placement are knowledgeable and well-organized," she says. "It's a great support for students and alumni. And it's never too late to apply for a clerkship. At the Supreme Court, all of my co-clerks held other legal jobs before clerking at the Court. I would encourage it at any stage of a lawyer's career."

"We encourage students to spread applications around the country, to be flexible," says Struve. "The goal of a clerkship should be to learn from it." A future transactional lawyer would benefit from working on corporate law doctrine in the Delaware courts, while a future patent lawyer might seek a clerkship on the federal circuit court of appeals, she says.

Deciding whether and where to apply for clerkships begins even among 1Ls. Faculty and staff in Career Planning and Placement advise students to develop strong writing skills and begin accruing strong faculty references. Midway through the 2L year, clerking hopefuls should aim for a leadership position on their journal or seek out writing experiences. Explains Penn Law's clerkship expert Diane Downs: "On a journal, students read a lot more, cite a lot more, and do the kind of work that many judges seek." And journal leaders are elected by their peers, "a nice sign to judges," says Downs. Also in the 2L year, student groups bring in speakers to talk about clerkships.
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