Preparing for a Federal District Clerkship

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
THU 10:30 am - 12:20 pm JON 6.207/208

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


This is a course for 3Ls who will be clerking for a federal district or magistrate judge. It is taught by an active federal magistrate judge, who also clerked for a federal district judge.  It is the exception for an incoming federal clerk to overlap with their predecessor.  On your first day in your new clerkship, you will inherit the responsibility of overseeing a docket of 100 or more cases, all of which have ongoing motion practice, upcoming trial dates, and a lot for a law clerk to do.  And most of the things you will need to do are things you have never done before, like preparing a bench memo for a hearing, or an order denying a 12(b)(6) motion.  The first few months in a clerkship can be pretty overwhelming.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a little practice with these tasks before that first day?  This class is intended to provide you with enough knowledge and insight into the nuts and bolts of a district or magistrate judge clerkship to allow you to hit the ground running on your first day.  It covers everything from how to read a docket sheet and find the pleadings in your cases, to drafting a memorandum opinion.  Though there are several writing assignments, the overall workload of the class is quite reasonable, it is two-credits, pass/fail, and is a small and collaborative class.  Permission to enroll must be acquired prior to registration. Students must have a verified federal district clerkship. Before the registration period begins, email Andrea Stanfill: to request verification and departmental access to register online.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

Federal Jurisdiction *
Erwin Chemerinsky
Wolters Kluwer , edition: 7th
ISBN: 978-1-4548-7661-8


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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
10/11/2018 Experiential credit changed