Lofgren and Stivers Introduce Bill to Recruit Recent Law School Graduates to Legislative Work

April 17, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif) introduced H.R. XXXX, the Daniel Webster Congressional Clerkship Act, a bill that would establish a coordinated entry portal and recruitment device for recent law graduates to clerk for Congress for one year. This legislation creates 12 one-year positions, split evenly by chamber and party.

Studies have shown that the legislative experience gap among lawyers has increased, compared to those with experience in courts, government agencies, private firms, and universities. This legislation would help close that gap and encourage law school graduates to pursue legislative opportunities.

"The Daniel Webster Congressional Clerkship Program will allow future leaders an early opportunity to serve in Congress," Lofgren said. "Many of our nation's greatest leaders and scholars served as law clerks early in their careers. This legislation would put Congress on par with both the Executive and Judicial Branches which already offer clerkships to exemplary young lawyers.”

“Congress has the Constitutional power to the write the law, however, it is also the least accessible branch of government for law school graduates,” Stivers said. “This program would strengthen Congress by bringing in talented, legally-trained staff members to provide assistance and advice in the legislative process.”

The program would be funded through outside fellowship programs, or clerks being hired by individual Member, committee, leadership or non-partisan Hill offices. This legislation has garnered the support of the Deans of over 120 law schools. A bipartisan companion bill (S. 1604) has also been introduced in the Senate by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Ted Cruz (R-TX). To learn more about the effort to advance this legislation and additional research, click here.

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