Law Clerk Program

Staff Attorneys Talk With a Law Clerk

The Copyright Office sponsors legal internships for talented law students with an interest in copyright law and policy through the Copyright Office Law Clerk Program ("Law Clerk Program"). Law clerks gain valuable experience and insight working with Office attorneys on copyright-related issues that arise within the Office, before Congress and in the courts. Law clerks are instrumental in helping to prepare Copyright Office reports for Congress and are frequently called upon to assist with the Office's International work. Although Law Clerks are not paid, they often arrange to receive academic credit through their law school for their work at the Copyright Office. Additionally, in some cases, Law Clerks are able to obtain stipend support through public interest grant programs and the like.

The Law Clerk Program seeks highly motivated law students with strong academic credentials and a demonstrated interest in copyright law. Candidates for a Law Clerk position must either presently be enrolled in, or have graduated from, a U.S.-accredited law school. In addition, they must have significant interest or background in copyright law, as shown by relevant coursework or otherwise; and possess excellent research, writing, and editing abilities.

Law Clerks are assigned to work in the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), the Office of Policy and International Affairs (PIA), the Office of Public Information and Education (PIE), the Office of the Register (REG) and/or the Office of Registration Policy and Practice (RPP) according to candidates' preferences and the Office's needs. They generally agree to serve for a minimum of eight weeks over the summer or during a fall or spring semester

Applications for the Law Clerk Program are accepted at any time. To ensure timely consideration, it is recommended that candidates apply at least 4 months in advance of their anticipated start date.

To apply, a candidate should email the following materials, combined into a single document file (preferably in a PDF format) that is labeled with the applicant's name and intended start date (for example, "Jane Smith Fall 2014") to [email protected]:

  1. A statement of the candidate's interest in and qualifications for the Law Clerk Program. The candidate should specify the time period for which the clerkship is sought (e.g., Fall 2014). In addition, the candidate should indicate his or her preferred assignment by ranking the five units (OGC, PIA, PIE, REG and RPP) in order of preference (1 being the most preferred). Candidates' preferences are taken into consideration to the extent possible.

  2. Resume

  3. Most recent law school transcript

  4. Writing sample that is reflective of the candidate's own writing (i.e., that has not been substantially edited by others)

  5. Contact information (name, title, organization, street address, email address and phone number) for three academic and/or professional references with an indication of whether they may be contacted by the Copyright Office without first obtaining clearance from you.

Please ensure that your application is complete and sent to the correct email address. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Those candidates who are found most qualified to move forward in the selection process will be contacted to schedule an interview either at the Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. or by video or telephone conference. The Office is unable to reimburse any travel expenses in connection with interviews.

In selecting individuals for the Law Clerk Program, the Office considers candidates' application materials, as well as their academic performance; research, writing and editing skills; performance during the interview process; references; and interest and background in copyright law.

Selections are made and successful candidates are notified on a rolling basis, generally at least 6 weeks prior to the anticipated start date.