Each year the judges of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals accept Penn State Law students to participate in chamber activities through the Federal Judicial Placement program. Students work directly with the judges and their full-time clerks, and observe the work of the Court.
Most federal judicial placements begin in the spring semester of a student’s second year and continue in the fall of the third year. The placement with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals is for third-year students.
Penn State Law students have participated in the Federal Judicial Placement Program with the following chambers:
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Judge D. Brooks Smith
- U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann
- U.S. District Court Judge William W. Caldwell
- U.S. District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner
- U.S. District Court Judge (Bankruptcy) Mary France
- U.S. District Court Judge Yvette Kane
- U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia Rambo
- U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones
- U.S. District Court Judge Kim Gibson
- U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge William Arbuckle
- U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson
- U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Susan Schwab
Students interested in applying for the Federal Judicial Placement Program should review the information below prior to the application and interview season, and contact the Career Services Office.
Learning about federal judicial placements
Federal judicial placements begin in the spring semester of a student’s 2L (second year) and continue in the fall of their 3L (third year); however, there are some opportunities for federal judicial placements for only 3L students. Interviews for 2017 positions will take place in October 2016.
Students interested in learning more about the court can go to the website for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. You should also feel free to contact students currently in federal judicial placements.
Applying for federal judicial placements
To apply for one or more federal judicial placements, you will use the Career Portal managed by the Career Services Office. To view the field placement listings in the system, click on the “Recruitment” tab and select the “2016 Federal Judicial Field Placements” session. Upload your application materials into the Career Portal and click the “apply” button by the deadline: TBA. You will need to apply to each judge separately. The required materials include a cover letter, résumé, writing sample and transcript. Transfer students will need to create a grade sheet in place of a transcript. Cover letters should be addressed to the Judges, not the Law Clerks. Also, students should note that the inside address and the salutation differ from one another in a letter to a judge, for example.
Students having difficulty using the Career Portal should contact the Career Services Office.
CSO will notify you by e-mail if you are selected for one or more interviews with the Judges’ Law Clerks. You must then log in and schedule the interview time(s). Signing up for time slots is on a first-come, first-served basis.