Clerkships

Supreme Court Feature

Notre Dame Law School graduates have a strong record of securing judicial clerkships.

Each year, many Notre Dame Law graduates begin their careers as law clerks to federal and state judges; others decide to clerk after a period of practicing law.

Clerkships provide a way to learn about effective advocacy, sharpen legal reasoning and writing skills, gain exposure to a wide array of legal practice areas, and — particularly in the case of trial court clerkships — interact with local attorneys. 

These positions are prestigious and competitive. Landing a clerkship can open doors for a young attorney. And, perhaps most importantly, clerking offers the opportunity to develop a lifelong mentoring relationship with a judge.

Where ND Law Grads Clerk

Notre Dame Law School attracts students from all over the United States, and our graduates secure clerkships across a broad swath of the country in federal, state, and local courts.

Members of the Law School's 2017-2021 classes secured 191 judicial clerkships, including three at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Clerkships obtained by 2017-2021 graduates Number
U.S. Supreme Court 3
Federal Courts 150
State and Local Courts 39
Total 192

Click on the button below to see the full list of courts where 2017-2021 graduates have clerked.

Where ND Law Grads Clerk

12th in Federal Clerkships

  • About 9% of our 2021 graduates entered federal clerkships upon graduation — the 12th highest rate in the nation, according to American Bar Association data.

7th in Supreme Court Clerkships

  • From the years 2013 to 2019, Notre Dame Law School tied for 7th in the nation for graduates securing Supreme Court clerkships, according to University of Chicago Law Professor Brian Leiter's Law School Reports.

Experienced faculty

  • More than one-third of the Law School's tenure-track faculty members (14 out of 40) have clerked at the U.S. Supreme Court. No other law school has a higher proportion of former Supreme Court clerks on faculty.
  • Overall, 70% of our tenure-track faculty members have clerked for a federal district or appellate court, while others have clerked for bodies such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, and the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia.
  • Hon. Kenneth Ripple has been a sitting judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since 1985 and a member of the Notre Dame Law School faculty since 1976.
  • Hon. Amy Coney Barrett, a 1997 graduate of the Law School who joined the faculty in 2002, was appointed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2020. Justice Barrett returned to Notre Dame in fall 2021 and fall 2022 to teach a one-week course on statutory interpretation to a small group of third-year law students. She also delivered the keynote at the Notre Dame Law Review’s 2022 Federal Courts Symposium

Clerkship News

Alexabaltes
Alexa Baltes '17 J.D.

More than 23% of ND Law’s Class of 2022 graduates accept clerkship offers.

Alexa Baltes '17 J.D. will clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during the 2021-22 term.

Laura Wolk '16 J.D. speaks to National Federation of the Blind about her experience clerking for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit share advice and insights about clerkships with ND Law students.


Resources for Current Students

Click on the button below for additional resources that are available to current students. (Notre Dame NetID and password are required for access.)

Clerkship Resources

The available resources include the Notre Dame Law School Judicial Clerkship Manual, information about faculty clerkship experience (clerkship advisors), judges who have hired ND Law graduates, judges with Notre Dame connections, and more.

Questions? Contact: Vincent Versagli, Director of Career Development