I recently had the opportunity with three other Mizzou law Students to participate in the 2013 ABA Judicial Clerkship Program in Dallas, Texas from February 7-9, 2013. The trip was a program sponsored by the Career Development Office. The ABA trip to Dallas was an exciting opportunity to learn about what judicial clerks do. Up until the trip, I had never had any type of personal interaction with judges. During the Judicial Clerkship Program, I got exposed to the business of judges and learned what their clerks do. I got to learn about their expectations from their clerks and the qualifications and attributes sought after in potential applicants. The program featured judges from across the nation in all levels of the judicial system. Judges and former clerks spoke to the students about the value in aspiring to be a judicial clerk. They espoused the many benefits of their experiences as clerks and shared tips on how to work towards a clerkship.

We, the students, got a chance to be judicial clerks. We were divided up into groups consisting of about five students, and we were given a research assignment. The objective was to simulate a day in the life of a clerk. Each group was assigned three judges, to whom, we were supposed to research, make an outline and report back to regarding our findings. Our research and outline was supposed to guide the judges as they looked to rule over an upcoming case in their chambers. Ultimately, we presented our research to the judges as clerks would do, and the judges provided constructive feedback as to how well we performed our duties as their clerk.

Finally, we got the chance to interact with a plethora of legal professionals to include judges and lawyers from all over the country. The ABA event served as a great networking platform to connect with fellow legal students, former judicial clerks, judges and lawyers. Plus, as a bonus, we were treated to awesome receptions throughout the program and a really fancy banquet at the end. I enjoyed myself, and I hope that Mizzou gets to participate in the future. Prior to attending this event, I was not interested in judicial clerkships, but now I am more interested and hope to actively pursue such opportunities. Thanks to the Career Development Office for allowing me to participate and a special thanks to Erika Fadel for chaperoning us and making sure all went well. I strongly encourage any and everyone who is even vaguely interested in clerking to look to apply next year to participate in the ABA Judicial Clerkship Program. It is an awesome experience.

The ABA Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline and the ABA Judicial Division collaborate to sponsor the American Bar Association Judicial Clerkship Program which is open to racially and ethnically diverse students in an effort to promote diversity among judicial clerks.