clerkship

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SilenceDoGood
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:11 pm

clerkship

Postby SilenceDoGood » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:25 pm

1L here

As I understand it, a clerkship is a highly regarded position.

Does it matter which court? The reason I'm asking is because most people, when talking about a clerkship, refer to federal courts. Any reason why?

Thanks.

anongoodnurse
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: clerkship

Postby anongoodnurse » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:38 pm

Yes, the court matters. There is a continuum of "prestige" that goes something like:

SCOTUS
Federal COA
Federal District Court
State Supreme Court
Federal Non-Article III (bankruptcy and magistrate)
State Intermediate Appellate
State Trial Court

There is some overlap there, however -- a few district court clerkships (SDNY, CD Cal, etc.) are probably a little more "prestigious" than a few of the "lesser-regarded" federal COA. And there is a lot of variance in state SC clerkships -- some (Delaware Chancery, NY COA) are probably nearly as prestigious as most federal COA clerkships, and more prestigious than most district court clerkships. Also, bankruptcy clerkship in one of the bigger districts (Delaware, again, probably SDNY as well) would probably be on par with the best district court clerkships if that's what you want to practice.

In terms of when a clerkship stops having any cache with future employers, it's probably the line between a state SC clerkship and a non-Article III federal clerkship (again, with the above bankruptcy caveat). Though some would probably argue that even a state SC clerkship will only have value if it's in the state in which you want to practice.

SilenceDoGood
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:11 pm

Re: clerkship

Postby SilenceDoGood » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:54 pm

thanks, the info is very helpful I appreciate it.

so, in general, which of the following is a better choice if given the opportunity.

a clerkship at a state intermediate appellate court or working at a mid-size firm, which specializes in the area of law that you want to practice?

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:45 am

Re: clerkship

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:56 pm

SilenceDoGood wrote:thanks, the info is very helpful I appreciate it.

so, in general, which of the following is a better choice if given the opportunity.

a clerkship at a state intermediate appellate court or working at a mid-size firm, which specializes in the area of law that you want to practice?


Firm, no question.

anongoodnurse
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: clerkship

Postby anongoodnurse » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:07 pm

a clerkship at a state intermediate appellate court or working at a mid-size firm, which specializes in the area of law that you want to practice?


Firm, with one caveat. I could see an argument that if you are looking to trade up your state appellate clerkship -- either for a state SC clerkship in the state you want to practice, or for a federal Article III clerkship -- in order to move up to a better firm, then that is a plausible career strategy, provided you're not too risk adverse. (Because it would be a risky decision.)

But why don't you ask the firm if they'd hold the spot for you? A clerkship bonus is probably out of the question, but they might save the job. Then apply for the more prestigious clerkships anyway.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:14 pm

Here is the thing. You are a 1L. it's fine to ask questions, and to want to research in advance. But you need at least a year of grades before anyone can give you advice on what would be better for you. You need a 2L summer position either lined up or not. You need to have enough experience to have a career plan (corp v lit v nonfirm? bankruptcy? IP? etc).

Then, we can give advice about what would be a realistic clerkship for you to apply for, and whether that'd be better than going straight to your firm. People will weigh in on whether a clerkship would help your career and if so, what kind would be best. Just know that great grades will always help you with your career, and focus on that.

Good luck this semester and ask again in a year!

User avatar
Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: clerkship

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:22 pm

SilenceDoGood wrote:thanks, the info is very helpful I appreciate it.

so, in general, which of the following is a better choice if given the opportunity.

a clerkship at a state intermediate appellate court or working at a mid-size firm, which specializes in the area of law that you want to practice?


Are you referring to post-law school? Because you can potentially do both (most firms will automatically let you go do a federal clerkship and many will allow you do a clerkship at the highest state court). It's more iffy if it's not the highest state court though and firms would probably handle this on a case by case basis. If they do allow it, you do the clerkship for a year (some are two), and then you come to the firm as a second year associate.

If you are referring to summer jobs while IN law school, then those are judicial internships (and not judicial clerkships). If you have a choice between a mid-size firm you wouldn't mind working at after law school, most people would choose that for your 1L summer. Most everyone would choose the mid-size firm for their 2L summer, because your 2L summer will be how you land your job after law school for a lot of people.




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