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Pro Se Law Clerk (Part-time)

Posted 1 year ago

Salary $35,754.00 – $60,219.00 Annually

Location Minneapolis, MN

Job Type Part-Time

DepartmentU.S. District Court

Job Number2022-02

Position Overview

OVERVIEW OF THE DISTRICT OF MINNESOTAThe U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, serves the 87 Minnesota counties. The District has four staffed divisional offices located in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Duluth, and Fergus Falls.  The U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota is composed of seven authorized district judges, six senior district judges, seven magistrate judges, one part-time magistrate judge, Clerk’s Office staff, and Probation and Pretrial Services Office staff.

INTRODUCTIONThe U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota is seeking a part-time (20-hours per week) Pro Se Law Clerk. The Pro Se Law Clerk will work primarily with prisoner habeas corpus and civil rights actions, and cases in which a plaintiff applies for in forma pauperis (IFP) status.   This position is subject to funding based on caseload.   Based on current data, funding for the position is expected to last at least until December 2024, and may be renewed thereafter, depending upon availability of funds.

CLOSING DATE:  Open until filled. Preference given to resumes received by January 31, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. Central Time.Representative DutiesREPRESENTATIVE DUTIES

  • Conduct substantive review and screening of all new prisoner pleadings, (habeas corpus petitions and civil rights complaints) and all new cases in which a plaintiff files an IFP application, and make recommendations for appropriate disposition.  
  • Perform research and prepare draft orders, reports, and recommendations.
  • Assist with IFP applications for appeals.
  • Provide advice to Clerk’s Office and Chambers staff on prisoner cases and IFP matters.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • A J.D. degree with standing in the upper one-third of the class from a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association.
  • Law review experience, moot court experience, publication of a noteworthy article in a law school publication or other scholarly publication, or prior legal employment is preferred.  
  • A background in prisoner habeas corpus and civil rights actions, and knowledge of the Prison Litigation Reform Act and the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act are preferred.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills are required. 
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to prioritize work are required.

Supplemental InformationENVIRONMENTAL DEMANDS

  • Work is performed in an office setting. 
  • Some travel may be required. 

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENTApplicants 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.  New employees engaging in work for the District of Minnesota are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Proof of vaccination will be required prior to entrance on duty. Contact Human Resources to discuss exemption requests. The U.S. District Court requires employees to adhere to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees. This position is also 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.  BENEFITS

  • The opportunity to serve in a rewarding public service position.
  • Accrual of paid vacation and sick leave.
  • 11 Paid federal holidays.
  • Extensive health, life, dental, vision, and long-term care insurance plans.
  • A defined benefit pension plan.
  • On-site fitness centers.
  • Traditional (pre-tax) and Roth (after-tax) retirement savings and investment plans through the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) with employer matching contributions.
  • Pre-tax transportation, medical, and childcare reimbursement accounts.
  • Subsidized transit program.
  • Telework, alternative work schedules, and other workplace flexibilities.
  • Extensive on-line training options.

 Employees of the U.S. District Court are not classified under Civil Service.
APPLICATION INFORMATION AND PROCESSAll application materials received will be reviewed to identify the best qualified candidates. Only applications completed in entirety, using our electronic on-line database, will be considered for this opportunity.  Applications must be submitted through our on-line application system:  In addition to completing the on-line application, please include:

  • A cover letter stating why you are interested in this Pro Se Law Clerk position and how you learned about the position; and
  • Resume; and
  • Names and contact information for three (3) professional references.

 First round interviews will be held via Zoom.  Only applicants selected to proceed to the next phase of the selection process will be notified.  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.
The U. S. District Court is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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