Preparing for a Federal District Clerkship

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
THU 11:54 am - 1:30 pm TNH 2.138

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


This course will be taught in person but with the option of remote participation via Zoom.  Please note that this course might become online-only in the event that actual in-person attendance during the semester consistently falls below a threshold to be determined in the exercise of reasonable discretion by the instructor and the Student Affairs Office.

This is a course for 3Ls who will be clerking for a federal district or magistrate judge. It is taught by two active federal magistrate judges, both of whom 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 (optional)
Chemerinsky, Erwin
Wolters Kluwer , edition: 7
ISBN: 978-1-4548-7661-8
Aspen Treatise for Federal Jurisdiction *
Chemerinsky, Erwin
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business , edition: 8
ISBN: 978-1-5438-1371-5


Log In to View Course Evaluations