State Court of Appeals clerkship questions...

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State Court of Appeals clerkship questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:08 pm

This may be a ridiculous question, but I have lucked out and received a clerkship under a state court of appeals judge this summer. In the name of wanting to be completely prepared for the job -- has anyone had experience in a similar clerkship who wouldn't mind mentioning what I may be actually be doing this summer?

I assume it will be primarily research and writing, but I don't want to go in unprepared, as I'm sure experiences will vary.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Renzo
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Re: State Court of Appeals clerkship questions...

Postby Renzo » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:23 pm

nickwar wrote:A useful post I've found:

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... k#p3907260


That thread is about clerks. OP says he's going for the summer, which implies to me he means internship, not clerkship. What you'll be doing as an intern is very, very different than what a clerk does.

nickwar
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Re: State Court of Appeals clerkship questions...

Postby nickwar » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:25 pm

Renzo wrote:


That thread is about clerks. OP says he's going for the summer, which implies to me he means internship, not clerkship. What you'll be doing as an intern is very, very different than what a clerk does.



Very good point.

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Re: State Court of Appeals clerkship questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:42 pm

I externed at my state Supreme Court. It was a great experience and my work tasks were not significantly different from what the clerks did. I assisted with an opinion, down drafting, press releases, wrote memos on petitions for review outlining facts, legal issues, current law and recommending whether they review the case (for discretionary appeals). Did research memos, some legislative history research (clerks and staff attorneys generally prefer not to do legislative history research, so definitely know how to do this).

Congratulations!

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Re: State Court of Appeals clerkship questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:13 pm

Great -- thanks for the information.

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Re: State Court of Appeals clerkship questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:26 pm

I worked for a summer at a state COA, and it was probably the most useful thing I ever did during law school except law review board. My judge let me write drafts on a lot of different cases. Obviously the clerks would edit them, and a lot of the cases were rather straight-forward, but it's a real experience to just sit down with the briefs and write an entire opinion given nothing except which party the judge thought should win.

BUT other summer interns at the same court had very boring experiences. Their judges wouldn't let them near an opinion, let alone draft an entire one (or 20 like I was allowed to do). Most of them would write bench briefs (for the cases that would get oral arguments) or go spend a week researching some byzantine statute that the judge didn't even really care much about.

For a lot of states, the supreme court does no work because they pick and choose their cases. That means the COA is the real court of last resort. Sup ct looks better on a resume I guess, but in terms of just covering as many topics as possible, COA is almost certainly better. It helped a lot for classes, too, since the same topics came up--and I'd already learned them.

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Re: State Court of Appeals clerkship questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:06 pm

I'm working in a state court of appeals this summer (1L). The judge and his clerk described an experience much like previous posters have described, mainly doing research and writing memos/first drafts of opinions that would then go the the clerk for editing, then back to me, then to the judge. I'm excited for the opportunity, though obviously I can't add too much to the discussion before I actually do the work this summer.




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