Friday, May 11, 2007

MA Superior Court - Clerkship Info

Suffolk County Courthouse, 13th Floor
3 Pemberton Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
A Massachusetts Superior Court Clerkship offers a dynamic legal environment. This trial court clerkship provides an unmatched opportunity to do intensive writing and research and to observe courtroom practice. Law clerks routinely attend motion hearings and portions of trials. During trials, law clerks may attend bench and lobby conferences and help the judges with evidentiary issues, jury impanelment questions, and jury charges. Law clerks usually work simultaneously with several judges on various cases and have direct access to the judges to discuss legal issues.
Law clerk duties encompass every aspect of court procedure and all legal issues within the court's jurisdiction. Under the guidance and supervision of the Chief Justice, the eighty Associate Justices, and the Manager and Assistant Manager of Legal Research, law clerks prepare memoranda and write draft decisions for the judges.
Subject matters include a broad spectrum of civil and criminal law. Assignments range from in-depth research on unsettled questions of law to quick-answer research of evidentiary issues arising during trials. Law clerk offices are lively open settings where clerks routinely exchange ideas, information, and experiences.
Each year, the Justices of the Superior Court hire approximately 54 law school graduates of outstanding ability to serve as law clerks. Approximately six are assigned to Western Massachusetts. The law clerks will serve a oneyear term from September 1, 2008 until August 31, 2009 at a salary of approximately $47,000. Employee benefits include subsidized health, dental, and vision insurance, ten days of paid vacation time and three days of paid personal time.
The central law clerks’ office is located in downtown Boston. The main office for law clerks assigned to W estern Massachusetts is in the Hampden County Courthouse in Springfield.
Because the Superior Court is a circuit court, both the judges and the law clerks rotate among various county courthouses. Law clerks generally move every three months to different courthouses where they have the opportunity to work with a new group of judges and law clerks. All law clerks assigned to Eastern Massachusetts will spend approximately six to eight months rotating to courthouses beyond Boston and Cambridge. Law clerks assigned to
Western Massachusetts will be required to travel to courthouses outside Springfield. Accordingly, a reliable car is a requirement for the clerkship.

Interested candidates should submit the following:
1. Cover Letter. Cover letters should be addressed Linda Layne, Manager of Legal Research
Services or Romeo Camba, Assistant Manager of Legal Research Services. Please state in your
cover letter whether you wish to be considered for an Eastern Massachusetts clerkship, or a
Western Massachusetts clerkship (choose one only).
2. Résumé.
3. Law School Transcript/Academic Record. The transcript should cover the applicant's first two
years (three years for evening students) in law school and bear the registrar's raised seal.
4. Two Writing Samples. The writing samples should demonstrate the candidate's ability to analyze
legal problems and apply legal principles to factual settings. W riting samples should not be lengthy;
five to seven pages are sufficient. They must be solely the work of the candidate and may not be
edited by another.
5. Two Recommendations. Two personal letters of recommendation which evaluate the applicant's
organizational skills, character, and legal research and writing abilities are required. A letter
addressed "To Whom It May Concern" will be accepted only if it is dated after January 1, 2007 and
assesses the candidate's legal skills. Letters of endorsement from a law school Judicial Clerkship
Committee are welcome, but do not substitute for one of the two required letters of
6. Self-addressed Stamped Envelope. Please submit a self-addressed stamped envelope if you
would like our office to acknowledge the completion of your application. It is the applicant's
responsibility to ensure that all materials are either postmarked or received by September 21,
2007. Only applications received by September 7, 2007 will be acknowledged as received.
7. Trial Court Application. You can obtain a trial court application at any Massachusetts state courthouse.
You may also download the trial court application from the Internet at Click on
Employment Opportunities and then Trial Court Application.
Applications will be accepted from June 1, 2007 through September 21, 2007. In order for your materials
to be considered, your application must be received or postmarked by September 21, 2007. You are not required
to send all materials in one package. Applications and inquiries should be addressed as follows:
Linda M. Layne (if your last name begins with A-L) or
Romeo Camba (if your last name begins with M-Z)
Superior Court Administrative Office
Suffolk County Courthouse, 13th Floor
3 Pemberton Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
The Committee will interview only those applicants considered most qualified. Interviews are conducted in
the fall, and hiring decisions are usually made by the end of November. Applicants attending out-of-state law schools
who wish to schedule an earlier (summer) initial interview should indicate this in their cover letter.
PLEASE NOTE that incomplete and late application packages will not be considered. We CANNOT make any
exceptions. If you have any questions regarding this application procedure please call Linda Layne or Romeo
Camba at (617) 788-8130, or e-mail them at or
We encourage applicants to take advantage of every opportunity to gain research and writing experience
and to highlight their research and writing skills in their résumés and cover letters.
During law school, students may gain research and writing experience through research/teaching positions,
independent studies, or writing papers or journal/law review articles. Students often gain the most valuable research
and writing experience from summer law clerk positions, co-op positions, internships, and part-time legal work. If
you participate on moot court boards or in clinical programs, you should highlight the research and writing
components of these experiences on your résumé.
The Superior Court requires two writing samples. We read the writing samples carefully, looking for the
applicant's ability to analyze legal problems and apply legal principles to different factual situations. Please do not
submit lengthy writing samples; five to seven pages are sufficient; a section of a longer memo will suffice.
Writing samples must be solely the work of the applicant, that is, unedited by others. Briefs or opinions
signed by someone other than the applicant and law review articles are considered to be edited.
We suggest that you proofread your writing samples carefully for grammar, punctuation, citation form, and
organization. W riting samples are a critical part of your application. W e emphasize the importance of submitting your
best work.
We read cover letters thoroughly and often learn a great deal about the applicant from them. Cover letters
are another opportunity to highlight one’s experiences, interests, and individuality. It is essential that cover letters
be well written and proofread carefully. Please state in your cover letter whether you wish to be considered for
an Eastern Massachusetts clerkship, or a Western Massachusetts clerkship (choose one only).
Résumés are miniature biographies. Applicants should include their academic background, school activities,
legal work, and other legal research and writing experiences. Additionally, students working throughout law school
to finance their education whether in law-related or nonlegal positions should include this information on their
The strongest letters of recommendation attest to the applicant's research, writing, and analytical skills as
well as to his or her character and ability to produce quality work under time constraints. W e suggest that the letters
of recommendation include the relationship of the person writing the letter to the applicant.
The Superior Court requires two letters of recommendation, but you may send more. Letters can be from
two professors or two employers, or one letter from each. In reviewing applications, we find it helpful to read
evaluations of your work and character from both an academic and work-related point of view. If you were recently
employed or are currently working in the legal profession, we suggest that you ask your employer to write a letter
on your behalf.
While excellent academic standing is an important factor, we also look for highly motivated, well-rounded
law students and attorneys who have demonstrated their research, analytical, and writing skills throughout law school
and in their professional pursuits.