Which seat should I choose? (which clerkship?)

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Do I go for the State Supreme Court Clerkship?

1. Go for the state supreme court clerkship. If you don't get it, then you can apply for the federal and other state supreme court clerkships.
5
31%
2. Hold out for the federal.
1
6%
3. ???
2
13%
4. Profit (forget the clerkship, keep working for the firm)
4
25%
5. Steal fifth base.
4
25%
 
Total votes: 16

Anonymous User
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Which seat should I choose? (which clerkship?)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:02 pm

Long time poster, first time listener.

I'm currently a summer associate at a firm. I like the people, and figure I'm about as happy as I can be at a firm. I've recently decided to pursue a clerkship with my firm's blessing.

This fall, I'll be commuting a few hours every week to extern at the federal bankruptcy courthouse in an area I grew up. I plan on using the time to kiss up and attempt to get the clerkship position (that's how they typically hire their clerks at this courthouse). However, I recently made a connection with a former clerk for a state supreme court justice. The connection offered to make a phone call for me to his old boss with one stipulation--if I'm offered the clerkship, I must accept. This position is also in the area I grew up.

Here's the small dilemma, if I'm offered the state supreme court clerkship, I will have to accept before I even begin my federal externship or apply for federal clerkships. Given a choice, I think I'd rather have a federal clerkship but I'm not completely sure I want to do bankruptcy law. Likewise, there are other state supreme court justices who pick their clerks later on, so I still might be able to get a state supreme court clerkship for a different justice if I don't get the federal clerkship.

I get the clerkship bonus from the firm regardless of which one I work for.

sharklasers
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:52 pm

Re: Which seat should I choose? (which clerkship?)

Postby sharklasers » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:09 pm

when people talk about prestigious "federal clerkships" they mean (1) district court and (2) court of appeals. not bankruptcy, magistrate, or whatever else.

so, these two clerkships are basically on the same plane, and, for once, the SSC is the better choice if you plan on working in this state. (or even if you don't. really, bankruptcy clerkships aren't worth much, even if you plan to go into bankruptcy.)

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Which seat should I choose? (which clerkship?)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:13 pm

sharklasers wrote:when people talk about prestigious "federal clerkships" they mean (1) district court and (2) court of appeals. not bankruptcy, magistrate, or whatever else.

so, these two clerkships are basically on the same plane, and, for once, the SSC is the better choice if you plan on working in this state. (or even if you don't. really, bankruptcy clerkships aren't worth much, even if you plan to go into bankruptcy.)


I am seriously considering going into bankruptcy. I hadn't heard, however, that federal bankruptcy was on par with SSC. I actually spoke with my school career office about that one and they tended to think federal beat state regardless.

And no, there's very little chance of me practicing in that state. My firm job's in another state.

Edit: It is also worth mentioning that the current clerk to the federal appeals judge at the courthouse I'm going to is from my school and was a TA in my writing class who promised to put in a good word. So the bankruptcy one is not the only one I'm going for.

sharklasers
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:52 pm

Re: Which seat should I choose? (which clerkship?)

Postby sharklasers » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:47 pm

it sounds like you really, really should just start the firm job. I'll repeat what I've heard, which is that a bankruptcy clerkship isn't worth doing even if you plan to do bankruptcy. ignore me, but at least check with at least 3 of your LS alums who are doing bankruptcy to find out if that's true.

federal appellate is very hard to get; judging by your thread, no offense, but it doesn't sound like you have the credentials for it even with a former clerk's rec (which I don't think, based on my own experience, takes you very far--it'll take you some distance, but won't defeat the usual school/rank/journal cutoffs).

edit: your career office is wrong, which isn't surprising, because you don't end up working in LS OCS unless you failed at being a lawyer ... there isn't really a set hierarchy for SSC vs. non-Article III federal but regional biglaw/midlaw firms do like and respect former clerks from their state's SSC

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ggocat
Posts: 1663
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:51 pm

Re: Which seat should I choose? (which clerkship?)

Postby ggocat » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:00 am

bird in hand better than two in the bush. go for the state court clerkship unless the pay is horrendously lower than federal clerkships.




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