CLEO, Inc.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KEEPING THE JUDICIARY ACCOUNTABLE:
Young Lawyer Creates Non-Profit to Help Law Students Find Suitable Clerkships

Alexandria, VA —January 25, 2023— Is being a clerk for a judge on your bucket list? Would you work for a federal judge? State judge? District judge? Becoming a law clerk to a U.S. federal judge is one of the most coveted and prestigious positions in the legal profession, because it opens up connections and job opportunities. Yet, according to the National Association for Law Placement, 77 percent of clerks are white and 23 percent are people of color.

Aliza Shatzman, the President and Founder of The Legal Accountability Project, is on a mission to inform students, women, and people of color about the judiciary, critical workplace protections, and available resources. She is the guest on the latest CLEO EDGE Podcast hosted by J.C. Polanco, CLEO’s President and CEO. She explained that, in the diversity space, there are a myriad of issues stemming from clerks (especially women and under-represented groups) not having a voice. Thus, she was excited to speak to CLEO to raise awareness about clerkships to its audience.

Ms. Shatzman currently travels the country speaking with law students and clerks, describing her personal clerkship experience, including when a former judge she clerked for, harassed, then retaliated against her. In law school, Shatzman held four internships and then decided, as a new attorney, to pursue a clerkship. This difficult experience served as a catalyst for her becoming an activist and creating her initiative. She wanted to make students and the general public more aware of harassment and other issues that exist within the judiciary, as well as the inherent value a judicial clerkship with the United States Courts still has.

After her ordeal with the judge, does the attorney still think being a clerk is a worthy endeavor? “Yes,” she says unreservedly. “The Legal Accountability Project with its database seeks to highlight positive experiences and judges who are excellent mentors as much as negative experiences…Messaging on law school campuses is uniformly positive. That is an enormous disservice to students…I think clerking can be an excellent experience. It is about creating a great work environment…It’s about increasing the information.”

 

To learn more about the Judicial Accountability Act,  The Legal Accountability Project, and what resources are available, listen to our new CLEO EDGE Podcast. The video link is https://youtu.be/Lzbf-fAZ0lg and audio podcast is here: https://tinyurl.com/edge-podcast-ep5

 

About the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc.

CLEO, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to diversifying the legal profession by expanding legal education opportunities for persons from traditionally under-represented racial and ethnic groups, low-income, and disadvantaged communities. Founded in 1968, when the number of lawyers of color was less than one percent, CLEO has since had more than 30,000 high school, college, prelaw, and law students participate in its programs. CLEO alumni have excelled in every area of the legal profession to include judges, corporate attorneys, law school deans and professors, practitioners, and politicians. More information about CLEO, its 50+ year history, and its programs can be found at https://cleoinc.org/ and https://cleoconnection.com.

 

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Media Contact:
Bernetta J. Hayes, VP of Media and External Relations
bhayes@cleoinc.org
240-582-8600