Behind the Bench: The Treatment and Selection of Law Clerks

The judiciary isn’t only a legal institution; it’s also an employer, and clerkships are often a pipeline to leadership positions in the law. Two panels will look at issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the judiciary: First, several former law clerks have come forward about sexual or other forms of harassment and alleged a lack of institutional support. Second, current hiring practices have led to clerk classes that lack racial, ethnic, gender, and experiential diversity.

Join the ACS NYU and Columbia Law Student Chapters, the National Women’s Law Center, the NYU Law Review, the NYU Law Black Allied Law Students Association, and the Brennan Center for Justice for an event that will look at the hurdles to achieving reform and consider steps the judiciary, law schools, and other stakeholders should take to ensure a safe, respectful, and inclusive workplace.

On Thursday, March 4, at 1:00–2:15 p.m. ET, a panel will address sexual and other forms of harassment in the judiciary. 


  • Chai Feldblum, Former Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Partner, Morgan Lewis
  • Elizabeth K. Peck, Assistant Dean for Judicial Engagement and Professional Development, Cornell Law School
  • Deeva Shah, Co-founder of Law Clerks for Workplace Accountability and Associate, Keker, Van Nest & Peters
  • Emily Martin, (moderator), Vice President for Education & Workplace Justice, National Women’s Law Center 

Register here Day 1

On Friday, March 5, at 1:00–2:15 p.m. ET, a panel will discuss diversity and law clerk hiring.


  • Molly Coleman, Executive Director, People’s Parity Project
  • Justice Goodwin Liu, California Supreme Court
  • Jocelyn Frye, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
  • Amrita Mallik, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at United States Courts for the Ninth Circuit
  • Natasha Merle, Senior Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Caroline Fredrickson, (moderator) Distinguished Visitor from Practice, Georgetown Law, Senior Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice, and former President, American Constitution Society

Register here for Day 2

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law provides reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. Requests for accommodations for events and services should be submitted at least two weeks if possible before the date of the accommodation need. Please email or call 646-925-8728 for assistance.