The National Association for Law Placement has released demographic information on judicial clerkships throughout the country. In a November bulletin, NALP notes that over the past 10 years the total number of judicial clerkships obtained by law school graduates has decreased significantly, resulting in a shift in demographics.
Among the most notable news is the representation of women in the field. In 2009, women made up 46 percent of of graduating class and obtained 51 percent of all clerkships, including 54 percent of state positions and 54 percent of local clerkships. In 1999, women held only 4 percent more state positions than men, but that has since jumped to nearly 10 percent. Of the 51 percent of women in clerkships, 41 percent were white, 4.4 percent were African American, 3.4 percent were Asian and 2.1 were hispanic.
NALP's findings identified, however, that while women held more clerkships overall, men dominated the federal level, holding 54.3 percent of federal positions.
Among other findings from NALP, is a disproportionality of the number of minorities in the 2009 graduating class and the number of clerkships obtained. For example, while minorities made up 22 percent of the graduating class, they only obtained 16 percent of clerkships. Of those positions, most were in state positions, with only 13 percent on the federal level. Findings indicate a breakdown of African Americans in clerkships, as well. Keeping in mind the fact that the total number of clerkships has decreased significantly over the past decade, NALP noted that African-American/Black men hold about half of the positions that they held in 1999.