Friday, August 13, 2010

Congressional Clerkship Initiative

A bill is currently pending in the Senate which could dramatically change legal hiring for the better. A significant movement is under way to create a Congressional Clerkship program to compete with the judicial clerkships that attract so many of the legal community's best students. Georgetown Law Associate Professor Dakota Rudesill is spearheading the effort along with Stanford Law Dean Larry Kramer and numerous GULC faculty and deans. Professor Rudesill has published two good articles on the issue here and here.

The bill passed in the House by an overwhelming majority, and Senate passage is very possible during the lame duck session this Fall. That would mean the program could start hiring as early as Fall 2011 for Summer 2012. Full text of the seven page bill is here.

A conference on the bill is tentatively scheduled for this November at Georgetown so stay tuned for more information.

1 comment:

Alec said...

It's really unclear to me what the benefit to Congress of this program is. There will be six more lawyers in each chamber (a huge % of congressional staff already possess law degrees). White House Fellows don't come straight from school (they must be working in their "chosen profession" already). The idea is to bring in people with experience in areas not typically represented by the White House staff. The comparison with the judiciary where there is no permanent staff is particularly inapposite.

As a former Hill Staffer who supervised others, there is no shortage of resumes from top flight recent law grads, so creating another dozen one year positions to be chosen by two committees doesn't really seem to add much.