Employment after a state clerkship

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RayFinkle
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Employment after a state clerkship

Postby RayFinkle » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:18 pm

So I am currently trying to cobbling together a rough idea of how I would like my legal career to start. After interning with a judge, I am set on clerking. Since this judge is a state appellate judge and I would really like to work for him (obviously grades, etc. permitting), I am wondering what the opportunities are after a high-level state clerkship. I understand there is a lot of doors open to a federal clerk, but I haven't seen much mention of the employment environment for state clerks.

So, what can a state supreme court clerk hope to have available to him or her after they complete their year or two? A possible chance at big law, more likely mid-sized law? Thanks for any responses... Disregard any OCI possibilities since I know generally their is a bonus and they let you defer.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Employment after a state clerkship

Postby prezidentv8 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:29 pm

RayFinkle wrote:.


Awesome name/tar.

rando
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Re: Employment after a state clerkship

Postby rando » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:38 pm

State SC maybe on the level of Fed. Dist. Court? dunno. Though some firms do offer the clerkship bonus to State SC. Not usually lower state clerkships though.

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ggocat
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Re: Employment after a state clerkship

Postby ggocat » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:43 pm

RayFinkle wrote:So, what can a state supreme court clerk hope to have available to him or her after they complete their year or two? A possible chance at big law, more likely mid-sized law?

I think it's difficult to answer this question with any degree of certainty. In the olden days, a federal clerkship seemed like a an automatic qualifier for biglaw. But as we have seen recently, many federal clerks were deferred and asked not to come to their expected firms. Thus, maybe we should assume that firms basically hire those individuals who are most qualified. Certainly being a clerk makes you more qualified than you were if you were a law student with equal grades and experiences (law review, moot court, etc.). But how much of a boost is there? That is, will a state clerkship "get" you biglaw if you weren't qualified for biglaw before? I don't think so. Maybe if the market recovers and biglaw firms start to recruit more heavily, you will get an advantage over comparable applicants who don't have a clerkship (i.e., 2Ls).

So, in short, I think a state appellate clerkship will add value to you as an employee, but I doubt that the boost will be significant enough to open the biglaw doors if they wouldn't already be open prior to the clerkship. (However, if you land a state supreme court clerkship, you most likely have credentials that should open the biglaw doors.)

FWIW, I'm a 3L and will begin a state appellate court clerkship later this year. I've known state appellate court clerks to do a variety of things afterward, including biglaw, midlaw, boutique litigation, district attorney office, DOJ, and more clerking (federal courts of appeals and staff attorney positions at the same or different state courts).

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RayFinkle
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Re: Employment after a state clerkship

Postby RayFinkle » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:50 pm

Thank you, that was very informative. May I ask what your plans are after your clerkship? From what I have seen in my internship, a clerkship is really the single best thing to prepare you to practice law and I am pretty sure everyone who has done it has told me that. I agree that it won't raise your stock that much, but would it get you in the door if you didn't go the SA route?

edit: eh, you kind of already answered that, but I would like to know your plans if you have any yet.

rando
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Re: Employment after a state clerkship

Postby rando » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:58 pm

ggocat wrote:
RayFinkle wrote:So, what can a state supreme court clerk hope to have available to him or her after they complete their year or two? A possible chance at big law, more likely mid-sized law?

I think it's difficult to answer this question with any degree of certainty. In the olden days, a federal clerkship seemed like a an automatic qualifier for biglaw. But as we have seen recently, many federal clerks were deferred and asked not to come to their expected firms. Thus, maybe we should assume that firms basically hire those individuals who are most qualified. Certainly being a clerk makes you more qualified than you were if you were a law student with equal grades and experiences (law review, moot court, etc.). But how much of a boost is there? That is, will a state clerkship "get" you biglaw if you weren't qualified for biglaw before? I don't think so. Maybe if the market recovers and biglaw firms start to recruit more heavily, you will get an advantage over comparable applicants who don't have a clerkship (i.e., 2Ls).

So, in short, I think a state appellate clerkship will add value to you as an employee, but I doubt that the boost will be significant enough to open the biglaw doors if they wouldn't already be open prior to the clerkship. (However, if you land a state supreme court clerkship, you most likely have credentials that should open the biglaw doors.)

FWIW, I'm a 3L and will begin a state appellate court clerkship later this year. I've known state appellate court clerks to do a variety of things afterward, including biglaw, midlaw, boutique litigation, district attorney office, DOJ, and more clerking (federal courts of appeals and staff attorney positions at the same or different state courts).


agreed

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ggocat
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Re: Employment after a state clerkship

Postby ggocat » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:54 pm

RayFinkle wrote:Thank you, that was very informative. May I ask what your plans are after your clerkship? From what I have seen in my internship, a clerkship is really the single best thing to prepare you to practice law and I am pretty sure everyone who has done it has told me that. I agree that it won't raise your stock that much, but would it get you in the door if you didn't go the SA route?

edit: eh, you kind of already answered that, but I would like to know your plans if you have any yet.

I don't know yet. I didn't spend my 2L summer with a firm, and I do not yet have any offers for after the clerkship. I will likely seek another clerkship. I can renew my current clerkship for a second year, so I'm not in a huge hurry to line up a job for 2011.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Employment after a state clerkship

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:04 pm

It depends on the clerkship. I've heard that clerking in state trial or appeals courts that handle criminal cases are a great way to get a job with a DA or PD in that state afterward (and that this is particularly useful in NY where both the DA and PD offices are so competitive to get into). However, I'm not as familiar with law firm hiring and how that would be handled. I'd imagine, though, that a clerkship at an appellate state court that handles civil cases would help you when looking for work at a law firm in that state.

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RayFinkle
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Re: Employment after a state clerkship

Postby RayFinkle » Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:18 pm

So I'm guessing a Virginia, Maryland (or maybe even Pennsylvania) supreme court clerk couldn't really hope to get into a D.C. firm or a D.C. office of a national firm? They look at the experience with the substantive law rather than the experience itself?

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ggocat
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Re: Employment after a state clerkship

Postby ggocat » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:18 pm

RayFinkle wrote:So I'm guessing a Virginia, Maryland (or maybe even Pennsylvania) supreme court clerk couldn't really hope to get into a D.C. firm or a D.C. office of a national firm? They look at the experience with the substantive law rather than the experience itself?

I don't think it would detract from your ability to get into a D.C. firm. Yet I don't think we can make a blanket prediction about the extent to which it helps. It probably depends more so on the individual candidate.

FWIW, I knew a guy who clerked at the Maryland Court of Appeals and then went to the DOJ to practice in a preempted area of law; in other words, the fact that his clerkship was at a state court apparently did not hurt his ability to land a job doing only federal work. So the experience of clerking itself was obviously more valuable than the experience with state substantive law.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Employment after a state clerkship

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:49 pm

Taco bell

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ggocat
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Re: Employment after a state clerkship

Postby ggocat » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:50 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:Taco bell

Boxxy says Image

But seriously, employee discount? Sign me up.




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