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 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 $225,000. 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

We encourage current law students and judicial clerk applicants 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. Learn more about our reference policy in our FAQs.

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.

What Our Lawyers Say About Working at Covington

Hakeem Rizk, Associate

"I came to the firm because of its reputation for having a distinctive collaborative culture and a strong commitment to pro bono, and my experience has confirmed these qualities to be true. Since my first day at the firm, I consistently have worked on challenging matters on cross-office teams for both billable and pro bono matters personally affecting individuals and the greater world-wide community."

Ashley Winkler, Associate

"After clerking, I was intentional about finding a firm where I would be mentored by exceptional attorneys yet still receive substantive opportunities to develop as an attorney. Since joining, Covington has exceeded my expectations, providing me a network of fantastic colleagues, direct contact with our clients, and repeat opportunities to stretch and grow with on-my-feet experience and primary drafting responsibility."

Brittany Benjamin, Associate

"I chose Covington because of its steadfast commitment to lawyering with integrity and excellence, and that ethos has been a great thing to be shaped by."