About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 115-year history and reputation for academic excellence. We are located on the beautiful 228-acre USC University Park Campus, just south of downtown Los Angeles.
Learn about our rigorous and interdisciplinary curriculum, our invaluable experiential learning opportunities, and the breadth and depth of our specialized areas of concentration and certificate offerings.
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Participate in an unparalleled learning experience with diversity of people and thought. Get involved in the law school community and participate in activities that enhance your studies.
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All About Clerkships
Thursday, Oct 21, 2010
Federal judge offers students the big picture on clerking
Where can you:
- Observe how attorneys handle themselves in court and recognize good and poor legal skills?
- Familiarize yourself with various types of legal documents and why they are filed without having to draft them yourself?
- Develop confidence in your legal abilities prior to beginning work in a law firm or public service organization?
The answer is: in a clerkship.
|Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw|
Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, spoke to USC Law students recently about the value in obtaining a clerkship after graduation.
“Just being exposed to a wide variety of issues is invaluable,” said Judge Wardlaw. “And, the kind of writing we do is really an art.”
Accompanying the judge was Anna Faircloth ’10, who began her clerkship with Judge Wardlaw two months ago. Faircloth enthusiastically told students that it was already a great experience.
“There are so many different types of cases that you quickly research and summarize so your judge can be the best judge she can be,” said Faircloth, who also noted the camaraderie that quickly develops among the clerks.
“Clerks work around the clock; they’re like a little family,” said Judge Wardlaw. “It begins a lifelong relationship you will have with your judge.”
Judge Wardlaw also provided students with a list of attributes she looks for when hiring her clerks. Among these were: demonstrating strong legal skills; having a position on law review or publishing an article; good grades; and taking on an externship while in law school.
|Anna Faircloth '10|
“Externships help you get acquainted with your judge and they, in turn, become familiar with your work,” said Judge Wardlaw. “Your judge will know your work and can speak with other judges.”
Judge Wardlaw also looks for students who have taken on leadership roles, which indicates initiative, another important quality in clerks.
Most importantly, when interviewing with a judge, “demonstrate that you know what the judge is all about,” she told the audience. “Think where you would fit the best, be it geographically, judicial philosophy or personality. It will help you explain why you’re applying for a specific role.”
Faircloth recommended that interested students work closely with faculty and Professor Jean Rosenbluth, Director of the Legal Writing and Advocacy Program, to stay current on what would be helpful to land a clerkship. Faircloth told the group that just three years ago she sat where they were sitting and, after listening to a judge outline the benefits of clerking, decided that was what she wanted to do.
A Memorable 2017
December 20, 2017
With 2018 approaching, we look back at our exceptional year
Ready for Whatever Comes His Way
December 18, 2017
Top music lawyer Jason Karlov (JD 1995) takes holistic approach representing iconic talent
Largest Named Scholarship Established by a Law Firm at USC Gould
December 15, 2017
Generous $500,000 gift honors Phillip R. Nicholson (JD 1961)