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Career and Term Law Clerks

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington seeks a Career Law Clerk and two Term Law Clerks from all backgrounds for incoming United States District Judge Jamal N. Whitehead in Seattle, Washington. The start date for the positions is pending Judge Whitehead’s appointment but is anticipated to be late April 2023. These positions are full-time (80 hours per two-week period).


Law Clerks work closely with the Judge on civil and criminal litigation filed in District Court. Law clerks conduct research and prepare drafts of opinions and orders and have the opportunity to work on various long-term projects, be involved in courtroom proceedings, and assist in the development of a judicial extern program. The Career Law Clerk will also be responsible for administrative duties in chambers, will assist in running chambers, and will assist in oversight for externs.


Candidates must be graduates of an accredited law school. Candidates for the Career Law Clerk position must have at least two years prior federal judicial clerkship experience or three years litigation experience. Candidates for the Term Law Clerk positions must have at least one year of federal clerkship experience or two years of litigation experience. Candidates must demonstrate superior research and writing skills, quick analytical ability, strong interpersonal and time management skills, and the ability to work well independently and as part of a team. Candidates should also be experienced with Word, Westlaw, Lexis, and related software. Candidates must have a high regard for confidentiality and a demonstrated commitment to diversity and an inclusive work environment. Candidates must also possess the ability to function in a highly demanding environment and in the highest ethical manner.


Salary Range


Judiciary Salary Plan (JSP) Grade 11 – 14, depending on experience, qualifications, and bar membership. Salary range: $76,860 to $168,283 annually, full-time


Information for Applcants


Qualified applicants should submit the following:

  • A letter of interest
  • A current resume
  • A law school transcript for any applicant with less than five years of experience as an attorney
  • A response to the Statement of Qualifications, below
  • A minimum of three professional references. Applicants with prior clerkship experience should include contact information for all judges for whom the applicant has clerked.
  • Two writing samples, including your most recent work of legal writing and another sample of your choice that is no more than roughly 10 pages in length
  • A completed AO78, Application for Employment **For this vacancy announcement (23-WAW-17), you do not need to complete the optional background information – questions 18, 19, and 20.

Via e-mail (Word or Acrobat .pdf format) to:

or to:

U.S. District Court

Attn: Human Resources

700 Stewart Street, Suite 2218

Seattle, WA 98101


Statement of Qualifications


The Statement of Qualifications must be 12-point font, single-spaced, minimum one-inch margins, and no more than three pages.


  1. Please address the following:
  • Experience with issues of cultural competence, sensitivity to and understanding of diverse socioeconomic, gender identity, sexual orientation, abilities, and ethnic backgrounds of people in our community.
  • Experience and education outside the legal profession and how they enabled or encumbered your career and personal growth.
  • Management and leadership experience.

2. Explain why you think who you are will be compatible with Judge Whitehead as a person and as a judge. Please use publicly available information to respond to this question.

3. For applicants for the Career Law Clerk position: Why do you want to be a career law clerk?




The U.S. District Court provides a generous benefits package, competitive salary, ORCA transit pass and a dedication to work/life balance, including flexible schedules and telework opportunities. All law clerks are eligible for health and life insurance benefits, long term care options, annual and sick leave accrual, and eleven paid holidays per year. Career law clerks are eligible to participate in the Federal Employees Retirement System and Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401K). Judiciary employees are not covered by the Office of Personnel Management’s civil service classification system or regulations. For additional information on employment with the federal courts, please visit


Additional Information


Only qualified applicants will be considered for this position. Applicants must be United States citizens or eligible to work in the United States. Employees of the United States District Court are considered “at will” employees. Applicants selected for interviews must travel (for in-person interviews) or connect via Zoom (for remote interviews) at their own expense.


The United States District Court requires employees to follow a code of conduct which is available upon request. Reference checks with current and former employers will be conducted on top candidates. A background investigation with law enforcement agencies, including fingerprint and criminal record checks, will be conducted as a condition of employment. Any applicant selected for a position will be hired provisionally pending successful completion of the investigation. Unsatisfactory results may result in termination of employment.


The Federal Financial Management Reform Act requires direct deposit of federal wages.


The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals and seek a diverse pool of applicants in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, disability status, religion, and socio-economic circumstance.


The Court provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation, please notify human resources. The decision on granting reasonable accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis.


The Court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement, to withdraw the announcement, or to fill the position sooner than the closing date, any of which may occur without prior written or other notice. If a position becomes vacant in a similar classification, within a reasonable time from the original announcement, the court may select a candidate from the applicants who responded to the original announcement without posting the position. More than one position may be filled from this announcement.

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