PMF v. Federal Magistrate Clerk

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
GoGators1153
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:18 pm

PMF v. Federal Magistrate Clerk

Postby GoGators1153 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:39 pm

I was accepted several weeks ago for the job fair portion of the PMF happening in late March. I also interviewed with a Magistrate Judge recently in flyover country where I wouldn't want to work after I finished the clerkship. The interview went extremely well and I think I have a really good shot at getting an offer.

If the magistrate offers me the position should I take that over PMF, or PMF over the magistrate position? I would like to practice law for the forseeable future, does PMF hurt those prospects later? I really have little background regarding which sets me up better for the future. I like the DC area (I have some family there), and wouldn't plan on staying in the area after the clerkship. Thanks.

LawIdiot86
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: PMF v. Federal Magistrate Clerk

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:41 pm

GoGators1153 wrote:I was accepted several weeks ago for the job fair portion of the PMF happening in late March. I also interviewed with a Magistrate Judge recently in flyover country where I wouldn't want to work after I finished the clerkship. The interview went extremely well and I think I have a really good shot at getting an offer.

If the magistrate offers me the position should I take that over PMF, or PMF over the magistrate position? I would like to practice law for the forseeable future, does PMF hurt those prospects later? I really have little background regarding which sets me up better for the future. I like the DC area (I have some family there), and wouldn't plan on staying in the area after the clerkship. Thanks.


If you want to practice law, take the magistrate. PMF will be non-legal work and put you on a career path for more non-legal work in the government. While a magistrate won't help you get a job, it will be legal work and will probably look good to a midlaw/small law trial lawyer.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273337
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: PMF v. Federal Magistrate Clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:39 pm

GoGators1153 wrote:I was accepted several weeks ago for the job fair portion of the PMF happening in late March. I also interviewed with a Magistrate Judge recently in flyover country where I wouldn't want to work after I finished the clerkship. The interview went extremely well and I think I have a really good shot at getting an offer.

If the magistrate offers me the position should I take that over PMF, or PMF over the magistrate position? I would like to practice law for the forseeable future, does PMF hurt those prospects later? I really have little background regarding which sets me up better for the future. I like the DC area (I have some family there), and wouldn't plan on staying in the area after the clerkship. Thanks.


If you are interested in Federal work generally, I'd say PMF. Although you can't be called an "Attorney" under the PMF program, it doesn't mean that you won't be able to get legal experience. I'm a 2011 PMF, and have met a wide range of PMFs doing legal things, under legal titles, such as "Regulatory Counsel" for DOL, or "Tax Law Specialist" at the IRS. I just have the title of "PMF," and have been doing a mix of legal-ly and policy things, including writing internal and external regulatory guidance, and handling appeals requests from case determinations under the law my office enforces.

Additionally, you can use your rotations to gain legal experience. The PMFs in my immediate office have rotated to DOJ, The DC USAO, and the Lawyers' Committee on Civil Rights, and were all given litigation stuff straight out of the gate. And there are a few former PMFs in my agency's OGC, who moved over there after their two year fellowship. All that to say, don't be scared off of the PMF program because you don't think you can get legal experience. The opportunities are there, you might just have to work for it a bit. At the very least, I'd recommend going to the Job Fair to check it out the jobs they have available this year before you rule it out.

LawIdiot86
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: PMF v. Federal Magistrate Clerk

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
GoGators1153 wrote:I was accepted several weeks ago for the job fair portion of the PMF happening in late March. I also interviewed with a Magistrate Judge recently in flyover country where I wouldn't want to work after I finished the clerkship. The interview went extremely well and I think I have a really good shot at getting an offer.

If the magistrate offers me the position should I take that over PMF, or PMF over the magistrate position? I would like to practice law for the forseeable future, does PMF hurt those prospects later? I really have little background regarding which sets me up better for the future. I like the DC area (I have some family there), and wouldn't plan on staying in the area after the clerkship. Thanks.


If you are interested in Federal work generally, I'd say PMF. Although you can't be called an "Attorney" under the PMF program, it doesn't mean that you won't be able to get legal experience. I'm a 2011 PMF, and have met a wide range of PMFs doing legal things, under legal titles, such as "Regulatory Counsel" for DOL, or "Tax Law Specialist" at the IRS. I just have the title of "PMF," and have been doing a mix of legal-ly and policy things, including writing internal and external regulatory guidance, and handling appeals requests from case determinations under the law my office enforces.

Additionally, you can use your rotations to gain legal experience. The PMFs in my immediate office have rotated to DOJ, The DC AUSA's Office, and the Lawyers' Committee on Civil Rights, and were all given litigation stuff straight out of the gate. And there are a few former PMFs in my agency's OGC, who moved over there after their two year fellowship. All that to say, don't be scared off of the PMF program because you don't think you can get legal experience. The opportunities are there, you might just have to work for it a bit. At the very least, I'd recommend going to the Job Fair to check it out the jobs they have available this year before you rule it out.


Interesting. I knew several PMFs at my agency who admitted they were doing legal work, but said the fact they came in as non-905s made it extremely unlikely they would ever practice as lawyers or be able to lateral to private firms. The general feeling was if you could find an agency OGC who would transfer you from a 343/301 to a 905, you would need to take a demotion to a GS-9.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273337
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: PMF v. Federal Magistrate Clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:54 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:Interesting. I knew several PMFs at my agency who admitted they were doing legal work, but said the fact they came in as non-905s made it extremely unlikely they would ever practice as lawyers or be able to lateral to private firms. The general feeling was if you could find an agency OGC who would transfer you from a 343/301 to a 905, you would need to take a demotion to a GS-9.


Huh. I guess it varies by agency. The agency I interned with in the spring of my 3L year had an attorney who went from PMF --> 905 without any issues, and was told she was hired because of her PMF policy experience. That being said, she wasn't in OGC, but another office with 905 positions. I also think it helps that both the agency I interned for, and the one I'm with now are considered much less "desirable" than State, DOJ, Defense and the like.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.