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Clerking Experiences

What do judges look for? "Any judge who is looking at clerkship applications will have a clear idea of what kind of person they are looking for," says Struve. "Some judges place more emphasis on grades than others. All the judges that I know of care about research and writing, and some scrutinize the writing sample more than others. Uniformly, clerks need good judgment, an ability to manage tasks, and a willingness to work hard."

While clerking need not launch or define a legal career, faculty point out that it can be a valuable experience for anyone interested in the kind of training that only a clerkship can provide. "There are a variety of experiences out there," says Roosevelt, "and I really do tend to think there’s something for just about everyone."

Award-winning journalist Jennifer Baldino Bonett, now a freelance writer and editor specializing in higher education, served as director of external affairs for former Penn President Judith Rodin from 1996-2000.
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