The Attorney General’s Office is committed to protecting and serving the people and interests of Rhode Island and this work depends on building a professional workforce that embraces the cultural and demographic dimensions of our state. Our Office is stronger, more credible, and more capable when our attorneys bring diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives to their work. In keeping with this commitment to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, the Office designed the William C. Clifton, Sr. Clerkship Program to attract talented, underrepresented law students to careers in public service. William Clifton, Sr. was the first African American Special Assistant Attorney General in the Attorney General’s Office and was later appointed to the Rhode Island District Court, where he presided with distinction. Judge Clifton was known as a consummate jurist, admired for his intellect and judicial temperament, and respected by colleagues, court personnel, lawyers, and litigants. Throughout his life, Judge Clifton gave his time and energy to causes larger than himself and used the law to better his community.
Created in 2019, the Clifton Clerkship Program, provides first- and second-year law students from historically underrepresented populations the opportunity to spend the summer working on substantive legal matters and building valuable career experience at the Attorney General’s Office. Over the 10-week, full-time program, law students will split their time between two units—typically one Criminal Division unit and one Civil Division unit—and receive legal assignments that touch on areas of interest for the Clerkship participants. Students in the program will also be assigned a mentor and attend educational and networking events, which will help Clifton clerks gain exposure to, and build relationships with, members of the legal community.
Each selected law student will receive a stipend of approximately $3,000 for the summer clerkship.
The William C. Clifton, Sr. Clerkship Program 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. Clerkship applicants will be evaluated on several factors including, but not limited to:
−Demonstrated interest in public service
−Commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion
−Personal and professional accomplishments
−Academic record and relevant skills, including research and writing
APPLYING TO THE CLERKSHIP PROGRAM:
To apply for the Clerkship, please complete the application form available on the Attorney General’s Office website (www.riag.ri.gov/documents/CliftonClerkshipApplication.pdf)
Applicants must also submit the following materials:
−Unofficial copy of law school transcript
Personal statements should be 1-2 pages and should respond to the prompt provided on the application. All application materials should be submitted as PDF files via email to Cliftonclerkship@riag.ri.gov. The applications, resumes, and personal statements must be submitted by email no later than January 5, 2022. All finalists will be invited to interview before final selections are made. Applicants may direct questions about applying to Cliftonclerkship@riag.ri.gov.