Judicial Clerks

We actively seek judicial clerks, and recognize the benefits of the insights and training conferred by a judicial clerkship. Approximately half of all Covington lawyers have held at least one judicial clerkship, either directly after law school or after an intervening period of private practice.

We strongly encourage law students to apply for clerkships during law school and, where feasible, to complete their clerkships prior to beginning as associates with the firm. We encourage this timing because we have found that, despite our best efforts, starting at the firm for a limited time period with a fixed departure date for a clerkship can meaningfully diminish an associate's experience and development. Nonetheless, we understand that an increasing number of judges are hiring clerks to begin a year or more after law school graduation, and thus not all of our incoming associates will be able to obtain a clerkship immediately following law school, even when they have applied during the normal cycle in law school. For this reason, we recognize that some of our incoming associates will unavoidably start at the firm for a period of time prior to beginning their clerkships.


There is flexibility in the way that associates take on assignments. We honor new associates' practice preferences to the maximum extent possible. Over time, the associate is given both formal and informal opportunities to change assignments or to take on new matters. Associates ordinarily work with numerous partners on a variety of assignments in a number of practice areas. Partners oversee associate work assignments and are available to assist an associate in finding assignments and to consult more generally on the associate's career development.

Salary and Clerkship Bonuses

The starting salary for first-year associates in the U.S. offices is $215,000. For one year of clerking for a federal judge, or the highest court in any state or the District of Columbia, we offer a $50,000 bonus. In addition, for two years of clerking we provide a $70,000 bonus. We have a very active Supreme Court practice, as well as a number of former Supreme Court clerks among our ranks; we fully appreciate the benefits of a Supreme Court clerkship and offer Supreme Court clerks a highly competitive bonus and credit for their clerkships for purposes of partnership and compensation.

Applying to Covington


Our goal in speaking with an applicant's references is to develop a more complete and detailed understanding of the candidate and his or her qualifications.  Thorough inquiries of an applicant’s references are a distinctive and crucial element of the Firm's hiring process for potential associates. This allows us to look beyond the candidate's paper record or relatively brief campus interview. We ask every candidate applying for an associate position to provide two to three references who can speak to the candidate's qualifications, including analytical and writing ability, judgment, maturity, and collegiality. For a candidate who has worked in a legal position previously (typically during a summer, externship, or clerkship), we ask to speak with a lawyer or judge who is familiar with the candidate's legal work. And although by no means required, we also typically look for a reference who can speak about the candidate's performance in law school. This reference need not be a professor, but often is a legal writing instructor or similar individual who has seen the law student's work first hand. In this regard, we fully understand that, especially in larger law school classes, it can be challenging for law students to develop a relationship with a professor such that a candidate feels comfortable asking the professor to serve as a reference. A prospective applicant should not be dissuaded from applying to the firm for this reason, and we frequently rely on references from non-legal employers, undergraduate faculty, and other non-traditional sources.


We encourage current law students and recent graduates to provide a current resume, law school transcript, legal writing sample, and list of references (including faculty and past legal employers) to the recruiting contact for the firm office in which they are interested.

Due Diligence

At Covington, we strive to maintain the highest standards of integrity to ensure the commercial success and reputation of our firm. One means by which we do this is through conducting routine background checks, which is a requirement of joining Covington. The standard pre-employment background checks we may conduct on prospective partners, lawyers, and employees include checks relating to public social media presence, criminal records, education and employment history. Additional checks may be undertaken appropriate to the requirements of the role. All background checks are conducted in accordance with applicable local laws.

Recruiting Contacts


Carol Ma 
Office Administrator 
+86 10 5910 0300


Legal Recruiting


Legal Recruiting


Legal Recruiting

Los Angeles

Kelsey Donovan
Manager of Legal Recruitment and Professional Development
+1 415 591 6000

New York

Ali Iannuzzo
Director of Legal Recruiting & Professional Development
+1 212 841 1000

Palo Alto

Kelsey Donovan 
Manager of Legal Recruitment and Professional Development
+1 415 591 6000

San Francisco

Kelsey Donovan
Manager of Legal Recruitment and Professional Development
+1 415 591 6000


Jiwon Hwang 
Office Manager 
+82 02 6281 0000


Jennifer Gui 
Office Manager
+86 21 6036 2500


Karema Page
Director of Legal Recruiting
+1 202 662 6200


Covington & Burling LLP is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in any aspect of employment, including hiring, salary, promotion, discipline, termination, and benefits, on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, sexual orientation, family responsibility, disability (including physical handicap), or any other improper criterion.

To apply for a position, please submit your resume, indicating the office location in which you are interested to the related office contact.