Skip to content

Career Law Clerk for District Judge

U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota

Posted 6 months ago

ANNOUNCEMENT DATE: November 3, 2023
CLOSING DATE: Preference given to applications submitted by November 20, 2023, 4:00 p.m.
Central Time.
POSITION: Career Law Clerk, Full-time
STARTING LEVEL/SALARY: JSP11-14 ($74,973 – $126,274/yr) Depends on qualifications – 2023 rates
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Internal and External
The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota invites applications for the
position of Career Law Clerk for a United States District Judge. This position will be hired
initially as a two-year term with potential to move to a permanent law clerk position. The
anticipated start date for this position will begin in December 2023.
Law Clerks are an integral part of chambers as they consult with the judge on civil and criminal
matters pending before the Court, research legal issues, draft legal memoranda, opinions and
orders, prepare pre-hearing bench memoranda that identify issues for the judge and questions
for the parties, and prepare the judge for hearings, settlement conferences, and trials.
Law clerk duties include reviewing briefs and other case filings, performing legal research,
writing bench memoranda, and drafting orders and opinions in a wide variety of civil and
criminal cases. Administrative duties will include serving as principal administrative manager of
chambers, regularly reviewing the active case docket and drafting standard scheduling orders
as necessary, training and assisting the term law clerks and student externs and managing the
judge’s schedule.

  • Research and analyze routine, novel, and complex legal issues in diverse areas of federal
    civil and criminal litigation.
  • Draft orders and memorandum opinions in civil and criminal cases for the judge’s
  • Prepare bench memoranda and other written materials for motions hearings and trial
    proceedings, as directed.
  • Review complaints, petitions, motions and pleadings that have been filed to determine
    issues involved and basis for relief.
  • Provide information and guidance to the judge on individual cases, as directed.
  • Perform extensive legal research via Westlaw and/or Lexis.
  • Monitor significant changes in federal statutes, sentencing guidelines, and Supreme
    Court and Eighth Circuit precedent.
  • Review and edit orders and memorandum opinions drafted by term law clerks and staff
    attorneys as directed.
  • Maintain liaison between the Court and litigants; correspond with other court officials
    and personnel.
  • Compile statistics and prepare periodic reports, as required.
    Administrative Duties:
  • Regularly monitor dockets of all pending cases and draft standard orders, as
    appropriate, for scheduling and discovery-related issues, default proceedings, service
    deficiencies, and other miscellaneous matters.
  • Perform periodic case review.
  • Train and assist the term law clerks and externs, as required.
  • Receive, screen, and refer telephone and in-person callers as appropriate.
  • Prepare in final form the judge’s written correspondence, memoranda, annual reports,
    and other items.
  • Assemble and attach supplemental material, as required.
  • Monitor incoming mail and email communication.
  • Perform other miscellaneous administrative duties as assigned by the judge and as
    necessary for the efficient operation of chambers.

At the time of appointment, the candidate must possess the following minimum requirements:

  • Graduation from a law school of recognized standing, and have one or more of the
    following attributes:
    o Standing within the upper third of the law school class from a law school on the
    approved list of either the American Bar Association or the Association of
    American Law Schools;
    o Experience on the editorial board of a law review of such a school;
    o Graduation from such a school with an LLM degree; or
    o Demonstrated proficiency in legal studies, which in the opinion of the appointing
    judge is the equivalent of one of the above.
    Salary depends on qualifications.
  • JSP 11 ($74,973) – graduation from an accredited law school
  • JSP 12 ($89,862) – one year of post-law school graduation experience and bar membership
  • JSP 13 ($106,858) – two years of post-law school graduation experience and bar
  • JSP 14 ($126,274) – three* years of post-law school graduation experience and bar
    membership (*two of three required years of post-law school graduation experience must
    be federal)
    Legal work experience is progressively responsible experience in the practice of law, in legal
    research, legal administration, or equivalent experience received after graduation from law
  • Possess a demonstrated commitment to public service or public interest law.
  • Possess superior research and writing skills.
  • Be proficient in computer-assisted legal research, Windows, and Word.
  • Exhibit strong analytical ability.
  • Demonstrate excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal skills.
  • A track record that demonstrates outstanding organizational skills.
  • Work is performed primarily in an office setting or courtroom.
  • Some travel may be required.
  • Some lifting may be required to handle and set up equipment in the courtroom

To apply, email PDF document to and add “2023-15 Career Law
Clerk” in the email subject line.
Submit complete application package electronically in PDF format. The required items must be
consolidated into one document in the order listed below.
A complete Application includes:

  1. Cover letter addressing the qualifications, skills, and experience necessary to perform the job;
  2. Detailed resume with exact dates of employment and salary history;
  3. Copy of law school transcript;
  4. Proof of Bar Membership, if applicable;
  5. Name and contact information for three (3) professional references;
  6. One legal writing sample at least five pages, but no more than twenty pages; and
  7. A completed Application for Employment (AO78) found here –;
    All application materials received will be reviewed to identify the best qualified candidates. Only
    applicants selected to proceed to the next phase of the selection process will be notified. All
    application materials must be attached to the email as directed.
    If interviews are held in person, applicants are responsible for any travel costs.
    The U.S. District Court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement, to
    withdraw the announcement, and to fill the position sooner than the closing date, if a closing date is
    shown, any of which actions may occur without prior written notice.
    Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents seeking U.S. citizenship. Noncitizens must
    execute an affidavit indicating their intent to apply for citizenship when they become eligible to do so.
    Judiciary employees serve under excepted appointments and are considered “at-will” and may be
    terminated with or without cause or notice by the court.
    The U.S. District Court requires employees to adhere to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees.
    This position is subject to mandatory Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) for payroll deposit.
    The final candidate is subject to FBI Fingerprinting and a background investigation, including criminal
    history. Employment is provisional and contingent upon a successful background check.


  • Vacation/annual leave (13-26 days increasing with years of service) and sick leave (13 days per
  • Paid parental leave (12 weeks) for the birth or adoption of a child after one year of employment.
  • 11 paid federal holidays.
  • Extensive health, life, dental, and vision insurance plans.
  • A defined benefit pension plan (for career law clerks, not term law clerks).
  • Traditional (pre-tax) and Roth (after-tax) retirement savings and investment plans through the
    Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) 401K style plan with employer matching contributions (for career law
    clerks, not term law clerks).
  • Pre-tax flexible spending transportation, medical, and childcare reimbursement accounts.
  • Transit Subsidy Program.
  • The U.S. District Court is a qualifying employer for possible Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
  • On-site fitness center.
    Please visit our Website for more information about benefits and law clerk positions.
    Employees of the U.S. District Court are not classified under Civil Service.

Apply Online