A bill that would create a pilot program for congressional clerkships was introduced last month in the House.
The Daniel Webster Congressional Clerk Act of 2011 would create a program whereby 12 recent law school graduates would spend a year at Congress researching and drafting laws. Sponsors are keeping the program small to ensure stiff competition and hope that the clerkships will eventually carry the same prestige as that accorded federal court clerkships.
Clerks in the program would be selected from a centralized pool by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and the House Committee on House Administration. Each chamber would get 6 clerks, to be divided between the parties. Legislators and committees would compete for the clerks by offering the most attractive type of work, and the clerks would choose where they want to spend their year.
Whether the legislation is enacted or not, Georgetown University Law Center is independently financing two year-long congressional clerk positions for recent graduates. Georgetown Dean William Treanor hopes other top schools follow suit in order to help build the case for a formal program. Georgetown law professor Dakota Rudesill argued on behalf of a clerkship program in a 2010 law review article.
Click here for more.