Nature of Work
A law clerk or attorney adviser to a Judge or Special Trial Judge performs legal research, digesting, drafting, and related assignments on tax cases tried before the Judge or Special Trial Judge. The duties are performed at the Court in Washington, D.C. No traveling is required.
Law clerks of the Judges and Special Trial Judges are recruited as vacancies occur; however, most positions become available in the summer months. Please review the list of Judges and Special Trial Judges currently recruiting for Law Clerks prior to submitting your application. Click each Judge's name to view Additional Information or Requirements for Law Clerk Applicants. It is advised that candidates submit their applications for these positions no later than early Fall of the preceding year in order to receive consideration for available positions. Additional information is provided in the Application Procedure section below.
It is the policy of U.S. Tax Court, as an equal opportunity employer, to attract and retain the best-qualified people available, without regard to race, gender, religion, national origin, age, or disability.
Qualifications and Compensation
A law clerk must be a law school graduate. While bar admission is not required at the time of appointment, a law clerk must be admitted to the bar within 14 months of the appointment.
The Judges and Special Trial Judges of the United States Tax Court are primarily interested in the superior law school graduate who has completed Federal tax law courses and plans to practice in this specialized field. There is particular interest in a graduate who has worked on a law review and graduated in the upper one-third of his/her law school class. Special consideration may be given to the applicant who has earned an LL.M. degree in taxation or who has completed one year of professional employment in the Federal tax field.
A graduate with a J.D. degree, an outstanding or superior record, and class rank in the top one-third of his/her law school class may be appointed at a step above the minimum grade GS-11 step 1 on the Government pay scale.
An appointment at a step above the minimum grade GS-12 step 1 may be made for an applicant with an LL.M. degree in taxation who was in the top one-third of his/her law school class. An applicant with one full year of postgraduate legal work experience (with bar membership) who was in the top one-third of his/her law school class may also be considered for employment at a step above the minimum grade GS-12 step 1.
The decision to make an offer, and the terms of the offer, are left to the discretion of each Judge.
Security and Character Investigations
All appointments are subject to a security and character investigation.
Insurance and Retirement Plans
Every employee has the opportunity to participate in a variety of low-cost hospital and surgical plans and a low-cost, term life insurance policy. The Court shares with the employees the cost of these insurances. Employees also participate in the benefits of the Government's Federal Employee's Retirement System, which includes the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).
Leave and Vacation
A new law clerk without prior Government service is entitled to 13 days of annual leave and 13 days of sick leave for each year of a two-year commitment.
Although applicants may be interviewed any time throughout the year, applicants for law clerkships are encouraged to seek interviews no later than early Fall. Please review the list of Judges and Special Trial Judges currently recruiting for Law Clerks prior to submitting your application. Click each Judge's name to view Additional Information or Requirements for Law Clerk Applicants.
An application for employment must include a complete resume and a copy of the law school curriculum transcript. A copy of your legal writing sample, preferably in the tax field, should also accompany the application.
Interested individuals may use one of the following methods to apply:
- Complete the electronic application form;
- send paper applications directly to the Judge(s) and/or Special Trial Judge(s) to whom you wish to apply; or
- for Court-wide availability, send paper applications to the Office of Human Resources at the following address:
United States Tax Court
Office of Human Resources, Rm 106
400 Second Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20217
Applicants not applying electronically may submit a cover letter expressing employment interest and resume directly to the individual Judges and Special Trial Judges for consideration. Applicants who prefer to send paper applications may do so, including to Judges and Special Trial Judges who indicated a preference for electronic applications.
In addition, law schools are welcome to bundle paper applications (including cover letters, resumes, recommendations, transcripts, and writing samples) for applicants so that the materials for all applicants from that school arrive together. Law schools which send bundled applications may send them to individual Judges and Special Trial Judges or the Office of Human Resources.
Questions concerning the application process may be directed to the Court's Office of Human Resources at (202) 521-4700.