Initial Posting Date: 02/13/2024

Application Deadline: 08/19/2024

Agency: Judicial Department

Salary Range: $6,448 – $7,464

Position Type: Employee

Position Title: Law Clerk

Job Description:

The Oregon Supreme Court and Oregon Court of Appeals are hiring for post-graduate law clerk positions that begin in August 2025.

Our Law Clerk Positions

Our law clerk positions provide a unique opportunity for law school graduates to both employ and improve their analytical, research, and writing skills, while working closely with judges, staff attorneys, and other staff to resolve all manner of cases that come before the courts.  Our work is complex, interesting, and ever-changing, and it is a critical component of our state’s judicial branch operations. Law clerks participate in many different and important steps in the case-resolution process.

Law clerks are generally hired to work for a particular judge. Working as a law clerk, you will spend the majority of your time researching and writing memoranda and draft opinions, as well as engaging in extensive editing and proofreading. You also will prepare final opinion summaries and media releases, and perform other tasks as needed. While acting as a vital resource to your hiring judge, you will gain in-depth perspective about how our courts function.   

The law clerk role comes with many benefits, including opportunities to:

  • Develop practical skills, such as researching, writing, editing, and exercising sound judgment;
  • Gain familiarity with a variety of areas of procedural and substantive law, both state and federal;
  • Hone the ability to efficiently learn new areas of law and manage multiple projects;
  • Observe and learn from different styles of advocacy in briefs and oral arguments;
  • Help resolve novel, complex, and important legal issues;
  • Work closely with judges and other experienced legal experts with diverse legal backgrounds;
  • Attend trainings and continuing legal education programs;
  • Connect with members of the Oregon legal community; and
  • Be part of a team committed to public service and access to justice for all.

Our clerk positions are full-time and limited duration, typically for two years, with the option for one year by joint agreement between the hiring judge and the clerk before the start of the clerkship.

Our Mission and Our Courts

The mission of the Oregon judicial branch is to provide fair and accessible justice services that protect the rights of individuals, preserve community welfare, and inspire public confidence. As part of that mission, we are committed to building a diverse, inclusive staff.

The Oregon Supreme Court is our state’s appellate court of last resort. The court has seven justices and typically employs seven to nine law clerks at any given time.

The Oregon Court of Appeals is our state’s appellate court of right. The court has 13 judges and typically employs 22 to 24 law clerks at any given time.

Because of our two-year clerkship terms, not all judges hire new clerks each year.

Benefits and Working Conditions

  • The starting annual salary is $6,448 – $7,464 per month.
  • The position includes paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave, as well as a benefits package with health insurance and participation, after six months’ employment, in the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System.
  • This is a full-time position, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. It is not eligible for overtime compensation for hours worked more than 40 per work week.
  • Occasional after-hours work may be required.
  • Law clerks are permitted to work remotely, but in varying degrees, depending on the needs of each court and the supervising judge. Any remote work schedule must be approved by the administrative authority for each court, and out-of-state remote work requires special authorization.
  • Law clerks are expected to use standard office equipment, including an employer-provided computer.

Hiring Process and Interview Information

The two courts use a joint hiring process, in which an applicant submits only one application. You are given the option to submit your application to only certain courts or certain judges, but we encourage you to not limit your application in that way, so that it will be circulated to all judges who are hiring for positions beginning in August 2025.

The Supreme Court intends to conduct in-person interviews in Salem, Oregon, although online interviews may be possible. The Court of Appeals will conduct online interviews only. The interviews will occur in late September 2024.

Application Information and Instructions

Applicants must have a Juris Doctor degree (or equivalent) from an ABA-accredited law school by the start of the clerkship.

To apply, you must submit a completed online Workday application, cover letter, resume, undergraduate and law school transcripts, writing sample, and three letters of recommendation.

  • All submitted documents must be in an unprotected Adobe PDF format (no password).
  • Because you must submit a resume, you do not need to complete the work history section of the online Workday application.
  • In your cover letter, please describe why you are interested in clerking for the Oregon appellate courts and how your experience has prepared you for the position.
  • In your resume, please include your law school GPA and class rank.
  • Your writing sample must be 10 pages or less (5-7 pages is preferred). Please choose a sample that contains legal analysis and, on a cover page, describe how, if at all, the sample was edited by others.
  • You may submit letters of recommendation as part of your electronic application, or your recommenders may submit them by email (preferred) or mail. Letters sent by your recommenders must be emailed or postmarked by the application deadline.  
  • Emailed letters must be sent to

                        The subject line must read: “Law Clerk Recommendation – [Applicant Name (First Last)]”

  • Mailed letters must be sent to:

                        Law Clerk Recommendation – [Applicant Name (First Last)]

                        Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) – Human Resource Services Division

                        1163 State Street

                        Salem, OR 97301

            Our Human Resource Services Division will notify you by email before the application deadline if we have not received one or more of your letters of recommendation.

Court of Appeals Writing Exercise

After the application deadline, one or more hiring Court of Appeals judges may assign a closed-universe writing exercise to each applicant selected for an interview with that judge. If assigned, completion of the writing assignment is required for the applicant to be considered for an offer by that judge.



We communicate with applicants via email, and your Workday account is tied to your email. We recommend that you use a permanent, personal email address, rather than a school or work address, on your Workday account.

Workday Timeout

Please be aware that Workday times out after approximately 15 minutes of inactivity, which results in progress to that point being lost, if not saved. We recommend that you review the online application and gather all your required documents before starting the application and that you save your work frequently.

Veterans’ Preference
Eligible veterans who meet the law clerk qualifications will be given preference in the recruitment process unless they opt out of being given preference. This process is handled in Workday when you select apply. After you submit the application, you will receive an email requesting documents to verify your eligibility, and you must submit those documents to receive the preference. Visit the Oregon job opportunities Veterans web page for additional details, information, and resources.

Reference Checks

By submitting your application to the Oregon Judicial Department, you consent to reference checks about your qualifications, your workplace performance, and your work product.

Criminal Background Check
You will be subject to a criminal background check if you are a finalist. Adverse results are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may result in disqualification if the circumstances are directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the position.

United States Employment Eligibility
The Oregon Judicial Department does not offer visa sponsorships. If you are hired, you will be required to fill out the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s I-9 form confirming you are able to work in the U.S.

Conduct Expectations
Because of the judicial branch’s role in upholding the rule of law, employees are required to meet the highest standards of professional conduct and ethics while on the job, and also to maintain those same high standards when taking actions in their personal lives that could reflect on the branch. In addition, as an employee, you will be expected to preserve the confidentiality of information received in the course of your employment.

Pay Equity
The Oregon Judicial Department complies with Oregon’s pay equity laws. Salary offers are made with consideration of the applicant’s education and post-law-graduation experience.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The Oregon Judicial Department is an eligible employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Future Vacancies
This job announcement may be used to fill future vacancies in this class of work.

Questions and Support

  • Workday related information and resources are available here.
  • If you have questions about this posting, call 503-986-5930.
  • If you require an alternative format to complete the application process, call 503-986-5930, or TTY: Oregon Relay Service 711 for the hearing impaired. Be prepared to describe the alternate format needed.

The Oregon Judicial Department embraces equal opportunity and affirmative action. We are committed to building a diverse team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be.