State supreme court clerkship in state don't want to work in

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State supreme court clerkship in state don't want to work in

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:21 pm

1) Are state supreme court clerkships basically the equivalent to a federal district court in terms of odds of getting a job at a large law firm after the clerkship?

2) Also, is it a bad idea to clerk for a supreme court in a state that you don't ultimately want to practice in (assuming you want to want biglaw in a different state)?... When I asked the CSO, the advisor said that you don't really learn that much substantive law in the time you are there anyways and that it does not really matter what state you clerk in response to this question. I'm not sure if she is being completely honest/accurate on this point. I did, however, notice that there are law clerks at some of the larger law firms in my city that clerked in other states. Essentially, I have a few interviews in rural, middle of nowhere types of state supreme courts, but I want to get into a large firm in NYC, LA, or Chicago after the clerkship. What are my odds of this happening after the clerkship?

The (rather obvious) reason I looking at these state supreme court clerkships is because, realistically, the likelihood of getting something like the New York Court of Appeals isn't very good (particularly when you didn't clerk at the appellate level first).

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Re: State supreme court clerkship in state don't want to work in

Postby 270910 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1) Are state supreme court clerkships basically the equivalent to a federal district court in terms of odds of getting a job at a large law firm after the clerkship?


No. Not even close.

Anonymous User wrote:2) Also, is it a bad idea to clerk for a supreme court in a state that you don't ultimately want to practice in (assuming you want to want biglaw in a different state)?


Yes. Well, not a BAD idea if the alternative is panhandling. But it's not a great battle plan either.

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Re: State supreme court clerkship in state don't want to work in

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:38 pm

disco_barred wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1) Are state supreme court clerkships basically the equivalent to a federal district court in terms of odds of getting a job at a large law firm after the clerkship?


No. Not even close.


Really? Where are you getting this from? I'm honestly a bit surprised to hear this (I think a lot of state supreme court clerkships are actually more competitive than district court clerkships -- e.g., I can't imagine a district court in Delaware would be that competitive considering no one really wants to live there and the best school in the state is a t4).

Anonymous User wrote:2) Also, is it a bad idea to clerk for a supreme court in a state that you don't ultimately want to practice in (assuming you want to want biglaw in a different state)?


disco_barred wrote:Yes. Well, not a BAD idea if the alternative is panhandling. But it's not a great battle plan either.


I guess it's a bit of a tough situation to be in right now for me. Federal clerkship interview calls aren't made until mid September, and these supreme courts are interviewing now, so I suspect offers will be made prior to mid September.

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Re: State supreme court clerkship in state don't want to work in

Postby 270910 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I guess it's a bit of a tough situation to be in right now for me. Federal clerkship interview calls aren't made until mid September, and these supreme courts are interviewing now, so I suspect offers will be made prior to mid September.


Pro Tip: They do that because federal clerkships are more desirable.

A lot of firms have a policy of giving bonuses to and recruiting heavily from Article III clerkships. Some may or may not have policies of doing the same with some or all state supreme court clerkships. Obviously you have to look into it on an individual level, but it's a safe bet that any given top big law firm will recruit and give bonuses to clerks (well, economy permitting) but that's not nearly a safe bet for state clerkships of any variety.

Yeah, it's more nuanced if you're at the top of your class at Penn and clerk for the chancery court in Delaware. But that (tends to be) the exception and not the rule.

Clerkship at any level is a great experience, and I'm sure it will make you a more attractive candidate. But it's not automatic the way federal clerkships are.*

*Were, pre-crash, and hopefully will be again soon.

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Re: State supreme court clerkship in state don't want to work in

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:53 pm

disco_barred wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I guess it's a bit of a tough situation to be in right now for me. Federal clerkship interview calls aren't made until mid September, and these supreme courts are interviewing now, so I suspect offers will be made prior to mid September.


Pro Tip: They do that because federal clerkships are more desirable.

A lot of firms have a policy of giving bonuses to and recruiting heavily from Article III clerkships. Some may or may not have policies of doing the same with some or all state supreme court clerkships. Obviously you have to look into it on an individual level, but it's a safe bet that any given top big law firm will recruit and give bonuses to clerks (well, economy permitting) but that's not nearly a safe bet for state clerkships of any variety.

Yeah, it's more nuanced if you're at the top of your class at Penn and clerk for the chancery court in Delaware. But that (tends to be) the exception and not the rule.

Clerkship at any level is a great experience, and I'm sure it will make you a more attractive candidate. But it's not automatic the way federal clerkships are.*

*Were, pre-crash, and hopefully will be again soon.


Thanks for the advice. I'm going to definitely look into this some more, and possibly end up holding out for a fed clerkship.

Where does a state supreme court clerkship rank up next to a bankruptcy clerkship or a fed magistrate judge?

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Re: State supreme court clerkship in state don't want to work in

Postby 270910 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I guess it's a bit of a tough situation to be in right now for me. Federal clerkship interview calls aren't made until mid September, and these supreme courts are interviewing now, so I suspect offers will be made prior to mid September.


Pro Tip: They do that because federal clerkships are more desirable.

A lot of firms have a policy of giving bonuses to and recruiting heavily from Article III clerkships. Some may or may not have policies of doing the same with some or all state supreme court clerkships. Obviously you have to look into it on an individual level, but it's a safe bet that any given top big law firm will recruit and give bonuses to clerks (well, economy permitting) but that's not nearly a safe bet for state clerkships of any variety.

Yeah, it's more nuanced if you're at the top of your class at Penn and clerk for the chancery court in Delaware. But that (tends to be) the exception and not the rule.

Clerkship at any level is a great experience, and I'm sure it will make you a more attractive candidate. But it's not automatic the way federal clerkships are.*

*Were, pre-crash, and hopefully will be again soon.


Thanks for the advice. I'm going to definitely look into this some more, and possibly end up holding out for a fed clerkship.

Where does a state supreme court clerkship rank up next to a bankruptcy clerkship or a fed magistrate judge?


A federal district court or apellate court clerkship is incredible and has cachet everywhere. After that it gets specialized. If you're looking to work for a very well known Wyoming litigation firm, I'm sure wyoming magistrate judges and/or wyoming supreme court judges would be a very valuable experience. You can't just rank shit from 1 to 100, you know?

Disco_Barred's Clerkship Rankings:

1) Supreme Court
2) CoA / D. Court (not quite fungible, and CoA is harder to get but not automatically a 'better' experience of 'better' for your career)
3) A clerkship that has a direct relationship to your desired practice area / location / etc.
4) A clerkship that does not

"not doing a clerkship" is somewhere between 3 and 4 for most people, but could be between 2 and 3 depending on your options, and could be below 4 if your other options are wholly unappealing.

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Re: State supreme court clerkship in state don't want to work in

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:52 pm

disco_barred wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I guess it's a bit of a tough situation to be in right now for me. Federal clerkship interview calls aren't made until mid September, and these supreme courts are interviewing now, so I suspect offers will be made prior to mid September.


Pro Tip: They do that because federal clerkships are more desirable.

A lot of firms have a policy of giving bonuses to and recruiting heavily from Article III clerkships. Some may or may not have policies of doing the same with some or all state supreme court clerkships. Obviously you have to look into it on an individual level, but it's a safe bet that any given top big law firm will recruit and give bonuses to clerks (well, economy permitting) but that's not nearly a safe bet for state clerkships of any variety.

Yeah, it's more nuanced if you're at the top of your class at Penn and clerk for the chancery court in Delaware. But that (tends to be) the exception and not the rule.

Clerkship at any level is a great experience, and I'm sure it will make you a more attractive candidate. But it's not automatic the way federal clerkships are.*

*Were, pre-crash, and hopefully will be again soon.


Thanks for the advice. I'm going to definitely look into this some more, and possibly end up holding out for a fed clerkship.

Where does a state supreme court clerkship rank up next to a bankruptcy clerkship or a fed magistrate judge?


A federal district court or apellate court clerkship is incredible and has cachet everywhere. After that it gets specialized. If you're looking to work for a very well known Wyoming litigation firm, I'm sure wyoming magistrate judges and/or wyoming supreme court judges would be a very valuable experience. You can't just rank shit from 1 to 100, you know?

Disco_Barred's Clerkship Rankings:

1) Supreme Court
2) CoA / D. Court (not quite fungible, and CoA is harder to get but not automatically a 'better' experience of 'better' for your career)
3) A clerkship that has a direct relationship to your desired practice area / location / etc.
4) A clerkship that does not

"not doing a clerkship" is somewhere between 3 and 4 for most people, but could be between 2 and 3 depending on your options, and could be below 4 if your other options are wholly unappealing.


I'm interested in either general litigation or bankruptcy in NYC/LA/Chicago at a larger law firm. It sounds like a bankruptcy clerkship in bumfuck egypt (e.g. Montana) would be more useful than a Montana supreme court clerkship (, right?). What do think odds are of getting back into biglaw in NYC/LA/Chicago would be after a bankruptcy clerkship in bumfuck egypt? [Not sure if it matters, but assume t10% grades at a t14, no law review/journal (transfer student)].

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Re: State supreme court clerkship in state don't want to work in

Postby Adjudicator » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:43 pm

I'm planning on living and working in Washington state. My uncle knows one of the state supreme court Justices and my cousin clerked for him before. I had assumed that I might have a good shot at working for him too, assuming my grades are competitive.

Am I correct to understand that a federal clerkship would potentially take me much further, even within the state of Washington?

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Re: State supreme court clerkship in state don't want to work in

Postby spanktheduck » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:25 am

Adjudicator wrote:I'm planning on living and working in Washington state. My uncle knows one of the state supreme court Justices and my cousin clerked for him before. I had assumed that I might have a good shot at working for him too, assuming my grades are competitive.

Am I correct to understand that a federal clerkship would potentially take me much further, even within the state of Washington?


If you want to work in the state long term, I am not sure that it matters. I would ask some attorneys in the are, but I would imagine that if you want to work in the state, that the state supreme court is better (unless it is a fed court in that state), especially if the state has a small legal market (as I imagine WA does). If you work for the state judge, you will have a powerful contact in that state, as opposed to if you work for a fed judge out of the state, who won't really give you any networking boost. Before ITE, the fed court might still be better, but ITE, with limited hiring, I feel you might be best working in state and getting networking with the attorneys there. Ask CS, but also ask attorneys who work in the area, at firms who eventually want to work at (these ppl are more important than CS).

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Re: State supreme court clerkship in state don't want to work in

Postby Adjudicator » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:27 am

spanktheduck wrote:
Adjudicator wrote:I'm planning on living and working in Washington state. My uncle knows one of the state supreme court Justices and my cousin clerked for him before. I had assumed that I might have a good shot at working for him too, assuming my grades are competitive.

Am I correct to understand that a federal clerkship would potentially take me much further, even within the state of Washington?


If you want to work in the state long term, I am not sure that it matters. I would ask some attorneys in the are, but I would imagine that if you want to work in the state, that the state supreme court is better (unless it is a fed court in that state), especially if the state has a small legal market (as I imagine WA does). If you work for the state judge, you will have a powerful contact in that state, as opposed to if you work for a fed judge out of the state, who won't really give you any networking boost. Before ITE, the fed court might still be better, but ITE, with limited hiring, I feel you might be best working in state and getting networking with the attorneys there. Ask CS, but also ask attorneys who work in the area, at firms who eventually want to work at (these ppl are more important than CS).


Thanks, good advice.

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Re: State supreme court clerkship in state don't want to work in

Postby A'nold » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:29 pm

Adjudicator wrote:I'm planning on living and working in Washington state. My uncle knows one of the state supreme court Justices and my cousin clerked for him before. I had assumed that I might have a good shot at working for him too, assuming my grades are competitive.

Am I correct to understand that a federal clerkship would potentially take me much further, even within the state of Washington?


Which justice? I've been to fundraisers trying to oust at least two of them, and it looks like one might lose his/her seat.




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