- Why do you want to clerk?
- Why do you want to clerk for me?
- Why do you want to clerk for a trial/appellate court?
- What are you looking for in a clerkship?
- To which other judges/courts have you applied? …
- Why did you go to law school?
- What are your career plans after law school?
5 Court Clerk Interview Questions with Answer Examples
10 judicial clerkship background interview questions
Here are 10 questions about experience and background that an interviewer might ask a judicial clerk candidate:
5 example answers for judicial clerkship interview questions
Here are five interview questions with example answers for a judicial clerkship:
1. Why do you want to work as a judicial clerk?
An interviewer might ask this question to learn about your values and goals. Many law school graduates pursue judicial clerkships for specific reasons, such as wanting to become a judge or wanting to work in a specific type of court. You can answer this question by explaining your reasons for becoming a judicial clerk and referencing one of your career goals.
Example: “I want to work as a judicial clerk because I hope to become a judge one day. I believe a judicial clerkship will be the best way for me to prepare myself to apply for a judgeship after earning more experience in law.”
10 in-depth interview questions for a judicial clerkship
Here are 10 in-depth questions you might answer in an interview for a judicial clerkship:
clerkship interview questions
Judges had favorite classes in law school. Some still serve as adjunct professors at law schools (you’ll find that through your research!). Know the classes you took and the professors who taught them. Think about which class was your favorite and least favorite and be able to discuss them. Do not be tempted to disparage the professor as a method to explain a not-so favorable grade. We can help you prepare an answer to explain any grades or class choices.
Know your writing sample backwards and forwards. You should be able to comment about the best arguments in support of your position, but be ready to argue it both ways and for the judge to ask about your arguments and conclusions. Spend some time reacquainting yourself with your writing and the cases that you cited.
When you get to the city in which you are interviewing, grab a newspaper and see what is happening in that location. You also want to showcase that you are a well-rounded individual, so make sure you are relatively up on national/world events. Keep an eye on legal issues. You don’t want to walk into an interview unaware that the Supreme Court issued a major ruling the previous day.
Consider the geographic location, the level of court (i.e., state vs federal), the type of court (i.e., trial v. appellate), and the type of judge (e.g., Magistrate, Senior, Bankruptcy, etc.). This is where research becomes important. Your answer should reflect specific knowledge of the judge/court. Make sure to highlight your unique qualifications for that particular court. If you want to be a trial attorney, mention that. If you have taken Bankruptcy courses, an interview with a Bankruptcy Judge is the time to mention this fact!
You have likely been asked this question in various forms throughout your interviewing process (How do you like law school? Are you enjoying your law school experience? etc). Keep your answer positive. Now is not the time to vent any frustrations, as it will only serve to showcase yourself in a negative light.