Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

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Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:24 pm

Hey all, I'm at a T3 in Ohio and looking at a federal judicial internship this summer. That said, not many at all from my school (generally single digits) go on to clerk after graduation. Is the internship still going to be worthwhile or should I look towards firms in my region instead?

Note: Top 5% after first semester and under no presumptions that I will be able to clerk upon graduation at the school I'm at. That being said, I don't necessarily have any predilections for a specific area of practice yet. Help!

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby 270910 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:01 pm

Judicial internships do not help you get clerkships.

Also, you're waaaaaaaaaay late for applying to either a firm or a judge if you're a 1L.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:45 pm

I am a 1L, and actually have an interview with a federal district judge in a couple weeks (hence the anonymity). I want to do it for the experience and for seeing many different areas of the law but also kind of wondering if it would make sense, being in top 5%, to also be looking at smaller firms which are definitely still looking for summer, at least here. I obviously want to do something that will help lead to future employment, and I'm just not sure how the judicial internship stacks up opposed to some smaller firm work 1L summer.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby starstruck393 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:48 pm

They're both better than nothing, but neither is much better than the other. I'd go with an option that pays if possible...

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arhmcpo
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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby arhmcpo » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:01 pm

starstruck393 wrote:They're both better than nothing, but neither is much better than the other. I'd go with an option that pays if possible...


Disagree. Judicial Externship (especially federal) is much better in terms of both prestige and experience. Firms are unlikely to look at 1L candidate as possible hires and especially a small firm is nothing special. Firms in your area also like to see judicial externships since its possible that they will argue in front of that judge at some point, and as a previous judicial extern you have insight into the individual judge's decision-making process (i.e. what annoys him versus what he likes).

I think ATL had an article on whether clerkships are losing importance in terms of deferring an associate position to clerk for a year. In terms of the premise of your thread, I don't think a clerkship is less important from a lessor school, the reason clerkships are valuable is the good experience and prestige they add to your personal resume - i.e. they should only help make you a more competitive applicant.

disco_barred wrote:Judicial internships do not help you get clerkships.

Also, you're waaaaaaaaaay late for applying to either a firm or a judge if you're a 1L.


Actually they are relevant since you can't get a clerkship after law school unless you have previously externed with a judge.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby starstruck393 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:05 pm

arhmcpo wrote:
disco_barred wrote:Judicial internships do not help you get clerkships.

Also, you're waaaaaaaaaay late for applying to either a firm or a judge if you're a 1L.


Actually they are relevant since you can't get a clerkship after law school unless you have previously externed with a judge.


What are you talking about? Since when is an externship a requirement for clerking after ls?

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby 270910 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:33 pm

arhmcpo wrote:
starstruck393 wrote:They're both better than nothing, but neither is much better than the other. I'd go with an option that pays if possible...


Disagree. Judicial Externship (especially federal) is much better in terms of both prestige and experience. Firms are unlikely to look at 1L candidate as possible hires and especially a small firm is nothing special. Firms in your area also like to see judicial externships since its possible that they will argue in front of that judge at some point, and as a previous judicial extern you have insight into the individual judge's decision-making process (i.e. what annoys him versus what he likes).

I think ATL had an article on whether clerkships are losing importance in terms of deferring an associate position to clerk for a year. In terms of the premise of your thread, I don't think a clerkship is less important from a lessor school, the reason clerkships are valuable is the good experience and prestige they add to your personal resume - i.e. they should only help make you a more competitive applicant.

disco_barred wrote:Judicial internships do not help you get clerkships.

Also, you're waaaaaaaaaay late for applying to either a firm or a judge if you're a 1L.


Actually they are relevant since you can't get a clerkship after law school unless you have previously externed with a judge.


Nothing in your post even borders on accurate. Your post is like a foreign country accurate has yet to explore, much less map. The people in your country-post only speculate about the existence of accuracy and relation to the truth in their most mad, drug-induced stupors. They that proclaim its existence - even so many oceans away - are tossed out as heretic and non-believer.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:21 pm

Um, thanks everyone for the input.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby Renzo » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:26 pm

disco_barred wrote:
Nothing in your post even borders on accurate. Your post is like a foreign country accurate has yet to explore, much less map. The people in your country-post only speculate about the existence of accuracy and relation to the truth in their most mad, drug-induced stupors. They that proclaim its existence - even so many oceans away - are tossed out as heretic and non-believer.

The people in Inaccurate-land sacrifice virgins to keep the truth away, like warding off evil spirits--that's how wrong the post in question is.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby amped » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:36 pm

disco_barred wrote:
arhmcpo wrote:
starstruck393 wrote:They're both better than nothing, but neither is much better than the other. I'd go with an option that pays if possible...


Disagree. Judicial Externship (especially federal) is much better in terms of both prestige and experience. Firms are unlikely to look at 1L candidate as possible hires and especially a small firm is nothing special. Firms in your area also like to see judicial externships since its possible that they will argue in front of that judge at some point, and as a previous judicial extern you have insight into the individual judge's decision-making process (i.e. what annoys him versus what he likes).

I think ATL had an article on whether clerkships are losing importance in terms of deferring an associate position to clerk for a year. In terms of the premise of your thread, I don't think a clerkship is less important from a lessor school, the reason clerkships are valuable is the good experience and prestige they add to your personal resume - i.e. they should only help make you a more competitive applicant.

disco_barred wrote:Judicial internships do not help you get clerkships.

Also, you're waaaaaaaaaay late for applying to either a firm or a judge if you're a 1L.


Actually they are relevant since you can't get a clerkship after law school unless you have previously externed with a judge.


Nothing in your post even borders on accurate. Your post is like a foreign country accurate has yet to explore, much less map. The people in your country-post only speculate about the existence of accuracy and relation to the truth in their most mad, drug-induced stupors. They that proclaim its existence - even so many oceans away - are tossed out as heretic and non-believer.


Yeah, arhmcpo or whatever his is name has completely lost touch with reality.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby SteelReserve » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:45 pm

Judicial internships do not help you get clerkships.


I disagree. I think you are right that there are many judges that do not favor (or disfavor) hiring their former interns. But there are numerous examples where that does happen.

But more importantly, and more commonly, is the fact that a good federal judicial internship is like a mini-clerkship: You write opinions. It is not only good experience, but if you have a good relationship with your judge and do good work, he is more inclined to recommend you during the clerkship process. I personally will be getting recs and phone calls from my district court judge when it comes time to apply for clerkships, and this would never have happened had I not done the judicial internship (and had I not done good work). While the ink has not set in, I believe my judicial internship will shape my career.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby 270910 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:08 pm

SteelReserve wrote:
Judicial internships do not help you get clerkships.


I disagree. I think you are right that there are many judges that do not favor (or disfavor) hiring their former interns. But there are numerous examples where that does happen.

But more importantly, and more commonly, is the fact that a good federal judicial internship is like a mini-clerkship: You write opinions. It is not only good experience, but if you have a good relationship with your judge and do good work, he is more inclined to recommend you during the clerkship process. I personally will be getting recs and phone calls from my district court judge when it comes time to apply for clerkships, and this would never have happened had I not done the judicial internship (and had I not done good work). While the ink has not set in, I believe my judicial internship will shape my career.


That's awesome and good to hear! I still think as a general rule there's not a huge leg up for having been an intern though. But obviously if you're making it work for you, who the hell am I to say otherwise, lol.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:49 pm

SteelReserve that's encouraging. Possibly a dumb question but are any of these federal internships paid? I'm positive that mine won't be.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:SteelReserve that's encouraging. Possibly a dumb question but are any of these federal internships paid? I'm positive that mine won't be.


I've got one with a district court judge and it won't be paid.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:37 pm

SteelReserve wrote:
Judicial internships do not help you get clerkships.


I disagree. I think you are right that there are many judges that do not favor (or disfavor) hiring their former interns. But there are numerous examples where that does happen.

But more importantly, and more commonly, is the fact that a good federal judicial internship is like a mini-clerkship: You write opinions. It is not only good experience, but if you have a good relationship with your judge and do good work, he is more inclined to recommend you during the clerkship process. I personally will be getting recs and phone calls from my district court judge when it comes time to apply for clerkships, and this would never have happened had I not done the judicial internship (and had I not done good work). While the ink has not set in, I believe my judicial internship will shape my career.



You only write opinions if you intern for a lower level court. Additionally, you pretty much won't ever see the judge at a US circuit (you essentially work under the clerks). I think a lot this just has to do with how little work higher level courts do (e.g. I interviewed with the state supreme court and apparently they sit 3 days a month, 8 months a year, and grant cert to about 20 cases each month they sit -- not a very good experience for an intern if you plan to do that alone).

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
SteelReserve wrote:
Judicial internships do not help you get clerkships.


I disagree. I think you are right that there are many judges that do not favor (or disfavor) hiring their former interns. But there are numerous examples where that does happen.

But more importantly, and more commonly, is the fact that a good federal judicial internship is like a mini-clerkship: You write opinions. It is not only good experience, but if you have a good relationship with your judge and do good work, he is more inclined to recommend you during the clerkship process. I personally will be getting recs and phone calls from my district court judge when it comes time to apply for clerkships, and this would never have happened had I not done the judicial internship (and had I not done good work). While the ink has not set in, I believe my judicial internship will shape my career.



You only write opinions if you intern for a lower level court. Additionally, you pretty much won't ever see the judge at a US circuit (you essentially work under the clerks). I think a lot this just has to do with how little work higher level courts do (e.g. I interviewed with the state supreme court and apparently they sit 3 days a month, 8 months a year, and grant cert to about 20 cases each month they sit -- not a very good experience for an intern if you plan to do that alone).


With that in mind, is it possible in your view to intern for one COA judge, where the workload is presumably small, and one state appellate judge? I have an offer from the former and a promising interview with the latter.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby SteelReserve » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:55 pm

You only write opinions if you intern for a lower level court. Additionally, you pretty much won't ever see the judge at a US circuit (you essentially work under the clerks). I think a lot this just has to do with how little work higher level courts do (e.g. I interviewed with the state supreme court and apparently they sit 3 days a month, 8 months a year, and grant cert to about 20 cases each month they sit -- not a very good experience for an intern if you plan to do that alone).


As I said, I interned at the district court level, so if what you say is true, it seems that doing a district court internship would be a better experience and lead to a better connection with a Judge. Court of Appeals would look a little more prestigious on paper, but it's just a 1L summer internship; really as long as you do something law related, it's worth it.

I personally would not trade the marginal prestige of a Circuit level internship (with little to no interaction with the judge, no chance to write opinions) for a good district court internship (lots of interaction with Judge, write opinions).

And also, someone asked about pay for internships? No, they do not pay, but some law schools will give you a stipend; you would have to check with your career services.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:26 pm

...
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:19 pm

^^

My COA judge I'm interning for told me I'd write bench memos on her non-constitutional cases, largely sentencing and immigration stuff/do research projects. Didn't say anything about opinion writing. Personally I think it would be kind of insane to ask 1Ls to draft their opinions for you, no matter how bright they are. We just don't know enough. Writing a bench memo in a simple immigration case seems like a big enough responsibility. Like what do I know about immigration law? Not a thing, and the deportation of some Chinese woman claiming to be tortured by her government may hang in the balance. That's what a ton of the cases before this judge looked like, assertedly tortured Chinese people.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:54 pm

Federal judicial internships are gold on the resume. Further, the experience gained is phenomenal, assuming the judge lets you get your hands on some substantive work. And if you think you want to litigate, there is simply no reason not to do it.

Not to mention that if you intern in the market you plan on working in, your OCI interviewers might have practiced in front of your judge, giving you a great ice-breaker topic of conversation.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby SteelReserve » Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:58 pm

Not to mention that if you intern in the market you plan on working in, your OCI interviewers might have practiced in front of your judge, giving you a great ice-breaker topic of conversation.


Bingo. Happened at many of my OCI interviews.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby UCLAtransfer » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:11 pm

SteelReserve wrote:
You only write opinions if you intern for a lower level court. Additionally, you pretty much won't ever see the judge at a US circuit (you essentially work under the clerks). I think a lot this just has to do with how little work higher level courts do (e.g. I interviewed with the state supreme court and apparently they sit 3 days a month, 8 months a year, and grant cert to about 20 cases each month they sit -- not a very good experience for an intern if you plan to do that alone).


As I said, I interned at the district court level, so if what you say is true, it seems that doing a district court internship would be a better experience and lead to a better connection with a Judge. Court of Appeals would look a little more prestigious on paper, but it's just a 1L summer internship; really as long as you do something law related, it's worth it.

I personally would not trade the marginal prestige of a Circuit level internship (with little to no interaction with the judge, no chance to write opinions) for a good district court internship (lots of interaction with Judge, write opinions).

And also, someone asked about pay for internships? No, they do not pay, but some law schools will give you a stipend; you would have to check with your career services.


I am externing full-time this semester for a district court judge, and I completely agree with Steele. The interaction that I have had with the judge has been phenomenal, and I have actually been writing orders since day one, so the substantive work has been great.

I also agree that there is definitely a trade-off between COA and district court (prestige v. substance/relationship w/judge), but I would definitely say interning for a federal judge is going to be much better for your resume than any state judge (trial court, appellate court, and maybe even state supreme court), especially if you have biglaw aspirations.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby SteelReserve » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:21 pm

With that in mind, is it possible in your view to intern for one COA judge, where the workload is presumably small, and one state appellate judge? I have an offer from the former and a promising interview with the latter.


It would depend entirely on the expectations of the Judges for what and how often you will be working. Some federal judicial internships are full-time, so you couldn't do both. I don't see why it would be impossible to do both though, but I'm not sure of how common it is.

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:08 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Federal judicial internships are gold on the resume. Further, the experience gained is phenomenal, assuming the judge lets you get your hands on some substantive work. And if you think you want to litigate, there is simply no reason not to do it.

Not to mention that if you intern in the market you plan on working in, your OCI interviewers might have practiced in front of your judge, giving you a great ice-breaker topic of conversation.


What if you are a 2L that was one of the left behind in the great recessionary class of 2011? Still good for the resume when biglaw is off the table?

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Re: Judicial Internships worth less at lower ranked schools?

Postby Dania » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:13 pm

i interned for a federal district court judge in the summer after my 1L year, and it definitely helped me get a clerkship. i am clerking in the same court for a different judge, and the judge and his clerks liked the fact that i had worked in the building before. i would definitely recommend interning at some point.




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