The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is not in a position to monetarily compensate its law clerks. Nevertheless, we have found that many students benefit from serving in the Office in other ways: earning credit, fulfilling public service requirements, and gaining invaluable first-hand legal training. Accordingly, the AGO has developed a number of recruitment programs by which students can apply to serve as unpaid law clerks. (Note, for our purposes, any law student who receives academic credit for their law clerk service is defined as an “extern,” all others are “volunteer law clerks”.)
Volunteer Law Clerk Recruitment Program
The AGO offers a formal volunteer law clerk recruitment program in the spring for law students who wish to volunteer as a law clerk for the summer. The AGO is currently accepting applications from qualified law students who wish to apply for consideration of a volunteer law clerk experience for summer 2015. Please be sure to indicate your division and location preferences on your application as your application material will be forwarded to the participating divisions for which you indicate an interest. Please refer to our annual report, available on the website, for more information about specific divisions. The divisions will determine who to interview and will directly contact students to set up interviews. It is expected that divisions will make their final decisions by March 1st. Applications of those not selected for an interview or are not selected by a division with whom they have interviewed, will be retained should additional opportunities arise.
Students interested in participating in this program must submit a letter of interest, completed Attorney and Law Clerk application form, resume and letter of recommendation/reference to the following by cob (5:00 p.m.) January 30, 2015. Incomplete/late applications will not be accepted.
Washington State Attorney General’s Office
Attorney and Law Clerk Recruitment
800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2000
Seattle, WA 98104
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / fax: 206-389-2058
With regards to letters of recommendation/reference, please know that it is not a requirement that the letter come from law school faculty; a letter obtained from an employer is acceptable. It can be submitted with the application material, or it can be sent directly/separately by the reference and will be accepted by mail, e-mail or fax.
The Word document (FAQs) immediately below offers some information you may find helpful. All law students interested in applying in Spring 2014 to serve as a volunteer law clerk in the Summer of 2015 are strongly encouraged to review this document.
Extern Law Clerk Recruitment Program
There are three specific processes available to those who wish to apply to serve as an extern.
First, a qualified law student can apply in response to a specific posting. If a division can anticipate their extern needs, the division will post an announcement on the AGO’s website and with the career services offices of targeted law schools. To be considered for such an opportunity, one must submit the required application material by the posted deadline and make reference to that specific position in the cover letter.
Secondly, because it is not always possible for divisions to predict their needs and recognizing that a student’s own timing may not coincide with this Office’s structured recruitment programs, we also invite students to proactively apply, timing their application so it coincides with their own needs and the needs of their school’s externship program. Students who wish to do so must specify this interest by checking the appropriate box on the application and by noting for which semester or quarter academic credit is being sought. Upon receipt, the application material will be reviewed and, if approved, disseminated to the divisions of interest for consideration. It is important to note that when applying proactively, not all divisions are interested in or able to entertain candidates seeking academic credit for their service. You will want to allow the divisions sufficient time to review your application and thus you are encouraged to submit the application material well in advance of planning your academic schedule.
Finally, it is possible that divisions seeking volunteer law clerks in the spring (see “Volunteer Law Clerk Recruitment Program” above) may be open to adapting the position’s duties and their supervisory role into an experience that is eligible for academic credit. Accordingly, students who apply via our spring process but who wish to receive academic credit for their service should expressly state this interest in their cover letter and by checking the appropriate box on the application form, and making it clear in ensuing interviews with divisions.
We are confident that the experience gleaned from clerking with this office will meet or exceed the substantive experience requirement of any law school externship program. For our part, division supervisors are committed to ensuring that as sponsors, all supervisory duties and requirements specified by the law school are met. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the law student to ensure mastery of and compliance with his or her law school’s specific program requirements. Law students interested in serving as an extern must submit for consideration a complete application packet. That packet must include, at minimum, a letter of interest, resume, law school transcript, letter of recommendation and a completed Attorney and Law Clerk application form. Incomplete application packets will not be considered. This information must be submitted to the Attorney and Law Clerk Recruitment Office at 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA 98104. The material will be accepted electronically, e-mail or fax, at email@example.com or (206) 389-2058.
Students must be enrolled in an ABA accredited law school during the duration of their service. In addition, the AGO seeks applicants who are committed to public service as demonstrated by an applicant’s background, talents, attitude, and enthusiasm for public law practice. We also seek applicants with a diverse background in education, previous work experience, law school activities, extracurricular activities, community service and areas of interest that enhance our office.
Attorney and Law Clerk Application (WORD)