Internships and Clerkships
An “internship” is typically an unpaid position, but depending upon the employer, the term is often used interchangeably with “externship, “field placement,” and “clerkship.” Many courts, government agencies, public interest entities, and other non-profit employers offer internships to 1L and 2L students.
A “clerkship” generally is a paid position, usually for part of the summer. There are many different types of clerkships. It is essential to distinguish between “clerkships” (which are paid positions with non-judicial employers) and “judicial clerkships” (which are positions with federal or state judges that are available to students who have obtained a J.D. degree).
Many law firms hire 2L students for summer clerkship positions. A few law firms hire 1L students. Law firms refer to students in these positions as “summer clerks” or “summer associates.” Law firms hire students through formal on-campus interviewing, resume review, or through direct contact by the student.
Various other employers offer paid clerkships, including corporations, government agencies, public service groups, and other private business entities. Some employers conduct on-campus interviews, but the best way to find these opportunities is through research, networking, and direct contact.