UM Law School Ranks 15th in Nation for Federal Judicial Clerkship Placement

May 22, 2017

MISSOULA – The Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana ranks 15th in the nation for placing new graduates in federal judicial clerkships, based on the past three years of data.

The law school placed 7.5 percent of its 2014, 2015 and 2016 graduates in federal judicial clerkships within 10 months of graduation, according to the American Bar Association’s most recent employment data.

UM’s percentage exceeds federal clerkship placement for other prominent national law schools such as the University of Notre Dame (No. 16), Cornell University (No. 19) and New York University (No. 23). It also places UM fourth overall in the West, behind only the law schools at Stanford University, UC-Berkeley and UC-Irvine.  

“From my perspective, one of UM’s greatest strengths is its relationship with Montana judges,” said Caitlin Aarab, a 2015 alumna who has had two clerkships upon graduation. “State and federal judges expect and require competent law clerks, and the fact that they consistently hire UM grads is a testament to the quality of the legal education the school provides.” 

The School of Law is on track to further this trend, as nearly 10 percent of this year’s graduating class has reported federal clerkship positions.

“I am glad I started my career with clerkships in state and federal court because I have a confidence in navigating both court systems and an appreciation for many areas of the law that I might not have developed otherwise,” Aarab said. “And, of course, clerking is an unparalleled opportunity for a new lawyer to develop a lasting relationship with a judge.”

Overall judicial clerkship placement for School of Law graduates also is extraordinary. For the past two graduating classes, 25.6 percent of each class secured state or federal clerkship positions within 10 months of graduation. The law school attributes much of this success to good communication with Montana judges, the development of a faculty clerkship committee that advises students, and strong student candidates.

For more information call Lori Freeman, law school career services director, at 406-243-2698 or email lori.freeman@umontana.edu.

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Contact: Lori Freeman, director, UM Alexander Blewett III School of Law Career Services, 406-243-2698, lori.freeman@umontana.edu. .