OLR and Clerking
Megan G. Thompson, Visiting Assistant Professor
Following my 2008 graduation from the University of Oregon School of Law, I embarked on a clerking spree. I clerked for Judge David Schuman of the Oregon Court of Appeals, then for Judge Alfred T. Goodwin of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and finally for Judge Milan D. Smith, Jr., also of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
As a law student, I served as an executive editor of the Oregon Law Review, an experience that proved invaluable in all of my clerkships. Perhaps most importantly, having a law review on my resume helped my clerkship application survive the initial screening process. Especially in the federal courts, many judges view law review as a prerequisite for clerking. Many believe that participation in a law review, especially on a managing board, is an indicator of strong writing skills.
Indeed, my work as an executive editor prepared me better for clerking than probably any other law school experience. Writing my publishable piece and reviewing others’ work taught me to write and edit on a level that made me competitive with graduates of the most prestigious law schools. Becoming intimately familiar with the Bluebook and the Chicago Manual of Style improved my confidence as a law clerk and my ability to produce publishable-quality work. I highly recommend participation in a law review, especially as a member of the managing board, to any student interested in clerking for a judge after graduation.