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Creating Judge Lists

Students are no longer subject to any timeline restriction when they may apply for clerkships. You should expect to apply to judges in a continuous fashion as you learn they are hiring and not expect to send out all of your applications at one time.

After you found judges you wish to apply to (please see Devising an Application Strategy for advice on selecting judges.), we will ask you to create your judge list using the database in the clerkships section of Symplicity.  Information on federal judges in Penn Law’s Symplicity Database is downloaded from the Administrative Office of the Courts on a monthly basis.  This is a very reliable resource, but no system is perfect.  If you find any mistakes in the system, please bring them to our attention.  Moreover, we urge you to proofread each letter carefully.  In particular, make sure that the salutation matches the judge to whom you are applying.

Symplicity also contains information about some state court judges which we manually update in the system once a year.  It contains all state supreme court judges, intermediate appellate judges and some lower court judges in NY, PA, DE and NJ.  Before applying to state court judges you should check with the court’s website. 

Do not assume all judges hire term law clerks.  Check the Judge Details tab in OSCAR and the Notes box in Symplicity.  For state courts, please see the Vermont Guide to State Law Clerkships. 

You may want to use the “favorites” function of the database to create and label lists however you would like.  For example, when you add a judge to your favorites, you may want to have two groups you are working with such as “Ohio Judges” and “New Jersey Judges”.   

Once you have created your judge list, download  those who require paper or email aplicatons by checking their names and clicking “Export to Excel.”  Save your spreadsheet exactly as Excel creates it (we need the fields unchanged to mail merge your recommendation letters) and email it to