The William C. Clifton, Sr. Clerkship Program, named for the distinguished judge who served as the first African American Special Assistant Attorney General, was established in 2019 and is designed to attract talented, underrepresented law students to careers in public service.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Office of the Attorney General is now accepting applications for its 2021 William C. Clifton, Sr. Clerkship program.
Named for Judge William C. Clifton, Sr., the first African American Special Assistant Attorney General in the Attorney General’s Office, the Clifton Clerkship Program provides first- and second-year law students from historically underrepresented populations with the opportunity to spend the summer working on substantive legal matters while building valuable career experience.
In 2020, the Office’s inaugural class of Clifton Clerks worked on important initiatives ranging from environmental and healthcare matters to the Attorney General’s election protection efforts. Their capstone project focused on election protection resulted in the creation of a “Know Your Rights” Guide for voters, which was jointly issued by the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, as well as training materials that were distributed to local elections officials.
“Our first class of Clifton Clerks last summer advanced the work of the Office in so many important ways,” said Attorney General Neronha. “I was grateful for the opportunity to spend time with them, hear their thoughts regarding the work and direction of the Office, and learn about their career aspirations. Their feedback on the program was highly positive, and I look forward to an even better experience next year.”
About the program:
The William C. Clifton, Sr. Clerkship Program, created in 2019, is open to all qualified applicants but is designed to provide qualified members of diverse groups and persons with disabilities with summer opportunities in the Attorney General’s Office where these groups have been underrepresented.
Students who have faced social and/or economic disadvantages on their path toward the practice of law, first-generation law students, students from unique educational and family circumstances, and individuals who have overcome significant obstacles are encouraged to apply.
Over a 10-week, full-time program, law students will split their time between the Office’s Criminal and Civil Divisions and receive legal assignments in their areas of interest. Students in the program will be assigned a mentor and attend educational and networking events to help them gain exposure to, and build relationships with, members of the legal community.
In order to ensure that financial constraints do not prevent qualified individuals from participating, each selected law student will receive a stipend of approximately $3,000 for the summer clerkship.
How to apply:
To apply for the Clerkship, students must complete the application form found on the Attorney General’s website and submit the following materials:
- Unofficial copy of law school transcript
- Personal statement
Personal statements should respond to the prompt on the application and should not exceed one page. All application materials should be submitted as PDF files via email to Cliftonclerkship@riag.ri.gov NO later than January 5, 2021. All finalists will be invited to interview before final selections are made.
Applicants may direct questions about applying to Cliftonclerkship@riag.ri.gov.