State supreme court clerkship to fed clerkship?

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State supreme court clerkship to fed clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:58 am

I have a couple interviews coming up with state supreme court judges. I was just wondering how hard it is to get a fed district court clerkship after doing a state sc. My current stats are top 10% at a T20 secondary journal senior editorial board. Assuming things stay the same, would I be competitive for 2014 for fed court?

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Re: State supreme court clerkship to fed clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:25 am

This was in the late 90s, so I don't know if it applies, but I recently spoke with an alum from my school (T40) who did a state trial court clerkship then got a fed one.

In his words, he claims fed judges wouldn't have even looked at his resume, but the state clerkship and the strength of the LOR he got from it got him into the fed one.

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Re: State supreme court clerkship to fed clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:56 am

If by "federal" you also mean magistrate/bankruptcy, and you're willing to apply widely, then I think your chances look quite good.

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Re: State supreme court clerkship to fed clerkship?ha

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:06 am

OP here, what if only limited to district court?

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Re: State supreme court clerkship to fed clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:19 pm

If those stats are right, you'd be very competitive applying to off plan USDC judges who prefer experience. Probably the relative handful of COA judges who like clerks on a second clerkship as well, especially if you can get the grades up a little.

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Re: State supreme court clerkship to fed clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:28 pm

I did a state supreme court clerkship and then a federal COA clerkship. For what its worth, my stats are: (1) Top 5% at a top 30 law school, (2) managing editor of the law review, (3) 3 publications (2 during law school and 1 while I was clerking at the state supreme court), and (4) national moot court participant.

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Re: State supreme court clerkship to fed clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:48 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If those stats are right, you'd be very competitive applying to off plan USDC judges who prefer experience. Probably the relative handful of COA judges who like clerks on a second clerkship as well, especially if you can get the grades up a little.

Maybe true wrt the district judges, but almost certainly false wrt COA judges.


I think this also depends on what state supreme court you'll be clerking for (some are much more competitive than others), and whether the state court judge/justice you'll be clerking for will be willing to reach out to their contacts and advocate for you.

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Re: State supreme court clerkship to fed clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:59 pm

Thanks, I don't want to out myself too much but think north east / mid-Atlantic not one of the realy well recognized ones( NY NJ MASS). Im just afraid I'm selling myself short if I do get it bc I think I'm somewhat competitive for district court right now ( I know odds would still be against me). I guess I just wanted to know if the state sc clerkship would help. I talked to some of te clerks at my externahip and they said they like applicants who have clerked previously assuming they have the numbers.

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Re: State supreme court clerkship to fed clerkship?

Postby lobolawyer » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have a couple interviews coming up with state supreme court judges. I was just wondering how hard it is to get a fed district court clerkship after doing a state sc. My current stats are top 10% at a T20 secondary journal senior editorial board. Assuming things stay the same, would I be competitive for 2014 for fed court?



I know two people currently clerking for District Court Federal Judges in New Mexico who came from Supreme Court Clerkships. This may be somewhat unique to NM, though. Both graduated from UNM and work for judges w/ reputations for hiring UNM grads.

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Re: State supreme court clerkship to fed clerkship?

Postby ggocat » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I guess I just wanted to know if the state sc clerkship would help.

Short answer: "generally, yes."
Anonymous User wrote: Im just afraid I'm selling myself short if I do get it bc I think I'm somewhat competitive for district court right now.

If you are somewhat competitive now, you will not be less competitive with a year of clerking for state supreme. So you can't be "selling yourself short," unless you think some judges will not hire you because you are a graduate with work experience.

And I agree that state supreme to USCOA, although unlikely, is a possibility just from anecdotal experience.
Last edited by ggocat on Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: State supreme court clerkship to fed clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:20 pm

OP-- Thanks for the reassurances everyone.




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