Law Clerk Application Information
Oregon Supreme Court
Oregon Court Of Appeals
Oregon Supreme Court
1163 State Street
Salem OR 97301
Current law clerk application deadline: August 21, 2023.
To view the current law clerk recruitment posting (to be available on Monday, April 3, 2023), click on the following button:
View Recruitment Postings
The Appellate Courts
The primary function of the Oregon Supreme Court involves discretionary review of decisions of the Oregon Court of Appeals. The Court also has discretionary review in certain types of cases (such as mandamus, habeas corpus, and certified questions), and has mandatory review in other types of cases (such as death penalty appeals, tax appeals, certain criminal appeals, certain agency reviews, certain elections matters, and lawyer discipline and judicial fitness matters). The court has seven justices.
The function of the Oregon Court of Appeals is to provide a mandatory appeal or review of right for litigants dissatisfied with judgments or certain orders issued by the Oregon circuit courts or certain orders issued by administrative agencies. The court has 13 judges.
Both courts reside in Salem, Oregon. The Supreme Court regularly hears arguments in Salem. The Court of Appeals conducts arguments remotely or in person in Salem.
Application and Hiring Process
The Oregon Supreme Court and Oregon Court of Appeals use a central law clerk hiring process, which opens each Spring and closes in August. The positions begin in August of the following year. Applicants may request to be considered for a specific court or for as many as are hiring. Interviews occur in late September, with offers following thereafter.
The Oregon Judicial Department's Human Resource Services Division accepts law clerk applications only through the State of Oregon's Oregon Job Opportunities page. The job announcement, which can be viewed only while the recruitment is open, explains specific application requirements. (See link at the bottom of the Oregon Judicial Department webpage: https://www.courts.oregon.gov/Pages/default.aspx)
Many second-year law students apply for clerkship positions, with the expectation to begin the clerkship in August after graduation. Third-year law students and graduates also may apply, although the August start date of the following year remains the same. Law clerks must possess a juris doctorate (JD) or equivalent, from an ABA-accredited law school, before their clerkship begins. Many law clerks take a bar examination prior to the start of their clerkship; however, bar membership is not a prerequisite to employment as a law clerk.
Among law clerk alumni are current members of the Oregon Supreme Court and Oregon Court of Appeals, law professors, heads of government agencies and legal divisions, partners in major law firms, state appellate division lawyers and public defense lawyers, and legal aid attorneys. The national recruitment draws students from across the country and from many leading law schools.