2 hour a day clerkship?

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Anonymous User
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2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:55 pm

I just got offered a judicial "internship" which consists of watching trial and motions from 9-11/12. What does this mean? The judge did not specify that i'd be doing actual work.

Sup Kid
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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby Sup Kid » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:47 pm

I would recommend not taking that -- it's the equivalent of just randomly showing up to court to watch trial all summer, and it won't give you any valuable experience. Better off working at an ice cream shop over the summer than that internship -- at least you'll be making money.

Edit: If you are a 0L, I could see this being somewhat valuable before beginning law school, but that's about it.

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BlueDevil2007
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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby BlueDevil2007 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:49 pm

"Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, clerkship, etc"

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LLB2JD
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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby LLB2JD » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:49 pm

Sup Kid wrote:I would recommend not taking that -- it's the equivalent of just randomly showing up to court to watch trial all summer, and it won't give you any valuable experience. Better off working at an ice cream shop over the summer than that internship -- at least you'll be making money.

Edit: If you are a 0L, I could see this being somewhat valuable before beginning law school, but that's about it.



Terrible advice. It would look way better on your resume saying you clerked for any kind of judge than to say you worked at an ice-cream shop.

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dextermorgan
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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby dextermorgan » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:49 pm

BlueDevil2007 wrote:"Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, clerkship, etc"

I wasn't aware that random two hour a day judicial internships were common.

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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:04 pm

The judge referred to it as a clerkship, i.e "i hire a few clerks for the summer". And I'm a 1L looking for summer employment.

Yea, it'd be good to put on my resume "clerked for Judge X", but the presumed lack of legal experience is odd.

Maybe there's a misunderstanding, which is why I was hoping somebody else has experienced this sort of thing before.

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DeSimone
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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby DeSimone » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:07 pm

Take it if you think you will be able to talk meaningfully about your experience with employers next fall.

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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby Sup Kid » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The judge referred to it as a clerkship, i.e "i hire a few clerks for the summer". And I'm a 1L looking for summer employment.

Yea, it'd be good to put on my resume "clerked for Judge X", but the presumed lack of legal experience is odd.

Maybe there's a misunderstanding, which is why I was hoping somebody else has experienced this sort of thing before.

You absolutely CANNOT consider this a clerkship -- clerks work for judges AFTER law school. This, at best, is an internship, but if all you'll be doing is sitting in court for a couple hours, and not writing memos, discussing cases with the judge/clerks, etc, you won't gain anything from it, and I don't see how you can talk about it significantly in future interviews (and hence the ice cream example, since at least you'll be making some money). However, a more realistic idea for your 1L summer is try to get an RA position with your professor, work for free in a solo practice in your hometown, etc, since at least then you'll get an experience you can discuss in future interviews.

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vamedic03
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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:35 pm

Sup Kid wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The judge referred to it as a clerkship, i.e "i hire a few clerks for the summer". And I'm a 1L looking for summer employment.

Yea, it'd be good to put on my resume "clerked for Judge X", but the presumed lack of legal experience is odd.

Maybe there's a misunderstanding, which is why I was hoping somebody else has experienced this sort of thing before.

You absolutely CANNOT consider this a clerkship -- clerks work for judges AFTER law school. This, at best, is an internship, but if all you'll be doing is sitting in court for a couple hours, and not writing memos, discussing cases with the judge/clerks, etc, you won't gain anything from it, and I don't see how you can talk about it significantly in future interviews (and hence the ice cream example, since at least you'll be making some money). However, a more realistic idea for your 1L summer is try to get an RA position with your professor, work for free in a solo practice in your hometown, etc, since at least then you'll get an experience you can discuss in future interviews.


^ this. Internship =/= clerkship. To claim otherwise would be absolutely misleading.

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npe
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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby npe » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:28 am

Keep in mind that you can attend court proceedings on your own, without any permission from the judge (in non-sealed matters, anyway). I'd recommend trying to find something else, and if you're really interested in establishing a relationship with this judge, take something like Monday mornings off to attend his/her proceedings and offer to take him/her out to coffee once a month to discuss your career plans.

This way you get the benefits of doing actual legal work, getting a solid reference from your employer, and still establishing a relationship with this judge if that's important to you.

Side note: why do I post more advice when I've been drinking? Is this a character flaw? (I think so.)

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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby ggocat » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:45 am

Interning for this judge a few hours per day to spend some time in the courtroom is a fine idea, but it would be good to also work part-time in a job/internship that allows you to write something that can be used as a sample (preferably a short memo or brief).

vamedic03 wrote:
Sup Kid wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The judge referred to it as a clerkship, i.e "i hire a few clerks for the summer". And I'm a 1L looking for summer employment.

Yea, it'd be good to put on my resume "clerked for Judge X", but the presumed lack of legal experience is odd.

Maybe there's a misunderstanding, which is why I was hoping somebody else has experienced this sort of thing before.

You absolutely CANNOT consider this a clerkship -- clerks work for judges AFTER law school. This, at best, is an internship, but if all you'll be doing is sitting in court for a couple hours, and not writing memos, discussing cases with the judge/clerks, etc, you won't gain anything from it, and I don't see how you can talk about it significantly in future interviews (and hence the ice cream example, since at least you'll be making some money). However, a more realistic idea for your 1L summer is try to get an RA position with your professor, work for free in a solo practice in your hometown, etc, since at least then you'll get an experience you can discuss in future interviews.


^ this. Internship =/= clerkship. To claim otherwise would be absolutely misleading.

I disagree. Anyone looking at OP's resume will understand OP did not work in a post-grad clerkship even if he/she says it's a "clerkship." Many lawyers (and law students) still refer to part-time work during law school as a clerkship.

"Internship" is the preferred term, but OP will not be misleading anyone by using the term "clerkship."

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MrKappus
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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby MrKappus » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:49 am

ggocat wrote:"Internship" is the preferred term, but OP will not be misleading anyone by using the term "clerkship."

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npe
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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby npe » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:50 am

ggocat wrote:Interning for this judge a few hours per day to spend some time in the courtroom is a fine idea, but it would be good to also work part-time in a job/internship that allows you to write something that can be used as a sample (preferably a short memo or brief).

vamedic03 wrote:
Sup Kid wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The judge referred to it as a clerkship, i.e "i hire a few clerks for the summer". And I'm a 1L looking for summer employment.

Yea, it'd be good to put on my resume "clerked for Judge X", but the presumed lack of legal experience is odd.

Maybe there's a misunderstanding, which is why I was hoping somebody else has experienced this sort of thing before.

You absolutely CANNOT consider this a clerkship -- clerks work for judges AFTER law school. This, at best, is an internship, but if all you'll be doing is sitting in court for a couple hours, and not writing memos, discussing cases with the judge/clerks, etc, you won't gain anything from it, and I don't see how you can talk about it significantly in future interviews (and hence the ice cream example, since at least you'll be making some money). However, a more realistic idea for your 1L summer is try to get an RA position with your professor, work for free in a solo practice in your hometown, etc, since at least then you'll get an experience you can discuss in future interviews.


^ this. Internship =/= clerkship. To claim otherwise would be absolutely misleading.

I disagree. Anyone looking at OP's resume will understand OP did not work in a post-grad clerkship even if he/she says it's a "clerkship." Many lawyers (and law students) still refer to part-time work during law school as a clerkship.

"Internship" is the preferred term, but OP will not be misleading anyone by using the term "clerkship."

As much as the "clerkship" thing bugs me, I have to agree with you that this an the appropriate way to look at it.
Last edited by npe on Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

03121202698008
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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby 03121202698008 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:07 am

Maybe he meant a combination of work and observing? I'm doing this this summer and they specifically talked about reserving half of the time for court/meetings in chambers.

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ggocat
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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby ggocat » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:57 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:I don't know what part of the country you're in, or what legal circles you move in (maybe the rules are different there), but in my experience, there is no question that calling OP's opportunity a "clerkship" would be seen as misleading. That some older judges or attorneys, or a few people in the deep south/west use the term differently does not negate the fact that the legal mainstream has a different, and very specific meaning in mind. Firms don't give "clerkship" bonuses for 2 hour internships, or indeed any internships at all. People don't list internships on their bio pages. Interns, unlike clerks, are unpaid in the overwhelming majority of circumstances. I could keep going, but the bottom line is that internships are not clerkships, and people look pretty silly when they refer to one when they mean the other.

Yep, I'm in the South/West, and the term is relatively common. OP's judge called it a clerkship. I agree that the clerkship designation will look silly to some employers, particularly younger lawyers. But it just wouldn't be misleading (I guess especially in the South/West) when the time period clearly overlaps with law school.

I'm not saying OP should call it a clerkship. I'd call it an internship. But it's a huge stretch to say "clerkship" is misleading. That's all I was disagreeing with.

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romothesavior
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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:04 am

OP, I did something just like this where I went in and observed trial proceedings for a few hours a day... but it was my senior year of college.

With a year of law school under your belt, you really should be doing something more meaningful, both for your own professional benefit (getting a little experience researching/writing/whatever) and for your benefit during OCI. It is going to be really hard to spin this as a good experience to future employers. Like I said, this is something that high school/college students do, not 1L summer interns. If you have other opportunities and you think you can find something better for the summer, I'd go that route.

And I agree with everyone else... I wouldn't call this a clerkship, regardless of what the judge does. It could possibly bug a future employer if they see that.

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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby 2LLLL » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:50 pm

I disagree. Anyone looking at OP's resume will understand OP did not work in a post-grad clerkship even if he/she says it's a "clerkship." Many lawyers (and law students) still refer to part-time work during law school as a clerkship.

"Internship" is the preferred term, but OP will not be misleading anyone by using the term "clerkship."




Sure, technically it may not be misleading, but its going to be glaring on your resume.

When someone interviews you at OCI, they are going to think "why is this 2L trying to pass his 1L judicial internship off as a clerkship?" They might not remark on it, and if you're a great candidate it might not sink you, but why take the risk?

LoriBelle
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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby LoriBelle » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:05 pm

I thought the general policy was to put on one's resume whatever the employer chose as job title. If the employer calls the employee a "law clerk" or the position a "clerkship," it's misleading to list it otherwise.

Further, for the person who said internships are unpaid and clerkships are paid, OP's potential position might be a paid one, since he said he hires clerks. It may be different where y'all live, but 'round these parts (the South obv), if you're "hiring" me, you'd better be paying me. Further, every law firm around here refers to their summer employees as "law clerks," as does every county judge.

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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:41 pm

LoriBelle wrote:I thought the general policy was to put on one's resume whatever the employer chose as job title. If the employer calls the employee a "law clerk" or the position a "clerkship," it's misleading to list it otherwise.

Further, for the person who said internships are unpaid and clerkships are paid, OP's potential position might be a paid one, since he said he hires clerks. It may be different where y'all live, but 'round these parts (the South obv), if you're "hiring" me, you'd better be paying me. Further, every law firm around here refers to their summer employees as "law clerks," as does every county judge.


I'm sorry, but this is just not accurate. When applied to a judge, a clerkship has a specific meaning. And, it is misleading to term an internship as a clerkship.

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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby Renzo » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:45 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
ggocat wrote:I disagree. Anyone looking at OP's resume will understand OP did not work in a post-grad clerkship even if he/she says it's a "clerkship." Many lawyers (and law students) still refer to part-time work during law school as a clerkship.

"Internship" is the preferred term, but OP will not be misleading anyone by using the term "clerkship."

I don't know what part of the country you're in, or what legal circles you move in (maybe the rules are different there), but in my experience, there is no question that calling OP's opportunity a "clerkship" would be seen as misleading.

I would agree that it would be wrong, but it would be so wrong as to not be misleading. No one is going to be confused, you just make yourself look like an ass.

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Re: 2 hour a day clerkship?

Postby wiseowl » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:48 pm

I'm not sure why we're wasting our time arguing about clerkship v. internship when this is neither. If OP isn't working on motions, memos, opinions, etc., he is a member of the public watching trials who happens to get to have lunch with the judge every once in a while. It might be a good networking opportunity but if you can get anything else I would.




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