If enacted, the program will establish 12 congressional clerkship positions for recent law school graduates to serve an equal number of members in both the House and the Senate. Clerks will receive the same pay and equivalent benefits as a first year law clerk serving in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Modeled on the federal judicial clerkship program, the congressional internship program will provide new law school graduates with an understanding of the legislative process, judicial appointments and constitutional amendments. House Report 110-831, issued with the House bill, states the background and need for the legislation:
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Judicial clerkship programs have long provided the judiciary with access to a pool of exceptional young lawyers at a relatively low cost, while providing these clerks with invaluable insight into the functioning of the court system. Congressional Clerkships would expose young lawyers to the functions and operations of the Federal legislature.
The White House, many administrative agencies of the Executive Branch, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, the Federal Judicial Center and the United States Sentencing Commission, all operate parallel clerkship or fellowship programs. The Congress is without a similar program.
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