Judicial Clerkships

Many Colorado Law graduates choose to work as a judicial clerk for one- or two-year terms in what is often referred to as a "J.D. Post-Doc."

No matter what the setting, a judicial clerkship provides a unique experience for new attorneys with numerous benefits, including the opportunity to:

  • View the judicial system from the other side of the bar;
  • Continue developing analytical, legal research, and writing skills;
  • Create a mentor/mentee relationship with a judge; and
  • Acquire a respected professional credential.

Opportunities to Meet Judges

We encourage and support our students’ clerkship aspirations in many ways.  In addition to a clerkship-specific slate of programming (see below), students may take advantage of numerous opportunities to meet and network with judges from across the country. 

In the past year, the Colorado Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th and Federal Circuits have heard arguments at the law school; as part of each of these events, students were able to visit with the participating judges. 

At our annual Judicial Appreciation Reception, federal and state judges from across the state gather with students and recent graduates to mingle while enjoying delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks.

Resources for Applying

In conjunction with the Faculty Clerkship Committee, each year CDO compiles information on the hiring preferences of judges in Colorado in order to assist students with the clerkship application process.  Potential applicants may also consult CDO’s clerkship information on CDOnline, which contains data on current hiring practices as well as past Colorado Law clerks. 

Recent Graduates' Clerkships

In recent years, Colorado Law has enjoyed great success in placing its graduates in state and federal clerkships. A total of 27 members of the Class of 2012 are serving in post-graduate clerkships – three with federal courts, 12 with state-level appellate and courts of last resort, and 12 with local courts. According to Law.com, Colorado Law's state clerkship placement rate was 6th highest in the nation for the Class of 2012.

Members of the Class of 2012 are currently serving as clerks for judges in the:

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming
  • Colorado Supreme Court
  • Idaho Supreme Court
  • Colorado Court of Appeals
  • Denver District Court
  • Boulder District Court
  • District courts in Alaska and Minnesota

In the most recent U.S. News & World Report Best Law Schools report, Colorado Law ranked 8th in the nation for Class of 2011 graduates employed in state and local court clerkships.  Twenty-nine members of that class served in judicial clerkships, seven with federal courts, 15 with state-level appellate and courts of last resort, and seven with local courts.

Colorado Law’s recent successes are indicative of our strong commitment to helping students begin their legal careers in these valuable positions.  Over the past five years, we have placed an average of 27 graduates per year in clerkships.

Summer Judicial Opportunities

During the summer of 2013, twenty-nine members of the class of 2015 and six members of the class of 2014 worked for judges. During the summer of 2012, thirty-one members of the class of 2014 and sixteen members of the class of 2013 worked for judges.

Law School Programming

Students may take advantage of a variety of programs designed to promote judicial clerkships as a post-graduate career choice and to support students during the application process.  Our judicial clerkship programs include:

  • Judicial Appreciation Reception
  • Judicial Clerkship Alumni Panel
  • Nuts & Bolts of Judicial Clerkship Applications
  • 3L Mixer with State District Court Judges
  • 2L Lunch with Dean Weiser 
  • 1L Career Perspectives Lunch with Judge Elizabeth Brown, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Colorado