Is a 1L federal court judicial internship better than state?

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Is a 1L federal court judicial internship better than state?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:45 am

Both in terms of what I'll be learning and how it looks on my resume...which is better?

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Re: Is a 1L federal court judicial internship better than state?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:Both in terms of what I'll be learning and how it looks on my resume...which is better?


Doesnt matter that much. If state, make it the state where you wanna practice.

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Mce252
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Re: Is a 1L federal court judicial internship better than state?

Postby Mce252 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:29 am

Federal court internships are typically more prestigious on a surface level. Not because you might be doing more valuable work but because they probably are more selective in their choices.

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Re: Is a 1L federal court judicial internship better than state?

Postby The Duck » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:55 am

Than state trial court? You'll learn way more in a district court. Less so if it's a state supreme court.

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Re: Is a 1L federal court judicial internship better than state?

Postby Geist13 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:20 am

The Duck wrote:Than state trial court? You'll learn way more in a district court. Less so if it's a state supreme court.


Please be specific about the things you will learn at both levels. Then please explain why those things you listed for the federal court amount to "way more" than those things you listed for the state court.

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Re: Is a 1L federal court judicial internship better than state?

Postby rad lulz » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:23 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is a 1L federal court judicial internship better than state?

Postby nol607 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:29 am

The Duck wrote:Than state trial court? You'll learn way more in a district court. Less so if it's a state supreme court.


Which you should do will totally depend on your goals. I have to disagree with the above though. A friend interned in a state trial court and learned the Fourth Amendment cold. She then effortlessly got an A in crimpro and ended up at a prestigious PD's office (for the summer). The point is, don't make the decision based on prestige.

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Re: Is a 1L federal court judicial internship better than state?

Postby The Duck » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:31 am

Geist13 wrote:
The Duck wrote:Than state trial court? You'll learn way more in a district court. Less so if it's a state supreme court.


Please be specific about the things you will learn at both levels. Then please explain why those things you listed for the federal court amount to "way more" than those things you listed for the state court.


In state trial court, there is much less writing as most rulings happen orally from the bench. The cases are also generally less complex and the caseloads are too high to spend too much time on any one case. There is also much greater variation in the quality of judges you may encounter.

In federal court, work loads are much lighter because the cases are more complex. Therefore you spend much more time doing research on complex issues and writing formal opinions (or the memos they are based off depending on the judge). The entire summer I interned I never once saw my judge or any other issues an oral ruling from the bench. When we visited state court, nearly every ruling was and the interns acted more as traditional interns (fetching coffee, etc) than as junior clerks.

My previous experiences in state courts in several states back up this generalization about workload, issues, and writing experience.

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Re: Is a 1L federal court judicial internship better than state?

Postby The Duck » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:34 am

nol607 wrote:
The Duck wrote:Than state trial court? You'll learn way more in a district court. Less so if it's a state supreme court.


Which you should do will totally depend on your goals. I have to disagree with the above though. A friend interned in a state trial court and learned the Fourth Amendment cold. She then effortlessly got an A in crimpro and ended up at a prestigious PD's office (for the summer). The point is, don't make the decision based on prestige.


Your goals certainly play into it and I'm not at all basing my opinion on prestige. I'm basing it on the experience obtained. You can learn Crim Pro anytime. We also got a great deal of 4A experience, including while writing habeas opinions from the state courts below. Some state court judges would be fantastic...the problem is they are much fewer and further between.

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Re: Is a 1L federal court judicial internship better than state?

Postby nol607 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:39 am

The Duck wrote:
nol607 wrote:
The Duck wrote:Than state trial court? You'll learn way more in a district court. Less so if it's a state supreme court.


Which you should do will totally depend on your goals. I have to disagree with the above though. A friend interned in a state trial court and learned the Fourth Amendment cold. She then effortlessly got an A in crimpro and ended up at a prestigious PD's office (for the summer). The point is, don't make the decision based on prestige.


Your goals certainly play into it and I'm not at all basing my opinion on prestige. I'm basing it on the experience obtained. You can learn Crim Pro anytime. We also got a great deal of 4A experience, including while writing habeas opinions from the state courts below. Some state court judges would be fantastic...the problem is they are much fewer and further between.


I wasn't suggesting that your opinion was based on prestige - I was directing that advice toward the anon OP

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Re: Is a 1L federal court judicial internship better than state?

Postby The Duck » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:46 am

nol607 wrote:
The Duck wrote:
nol607 wrote:
The Duck wrote:Than state trial court? You'll learn way more in a district court. Less so if it's a state supreme court.


Which you should do will totally depend on your goals. I have to disagree with the above though. A friend interned in a state trial court and learned the Fourth Amendment cold. She then effortlessly got an A in crimpro and ended up at a prestigious PD's office (for the summer). The point is, don't make the decision based on prestige.


Your goals certainly play into it and I'm not at all basing my opinion on prestige. I'm basing it on the experience obtained. You can learn Crim Pro anytime. We also got a great deal of 4A experience, including while writing habeas opinions from the state courts below. Some state court judges would be fantastic...the problem is they are much fewer and further between.


I wasn't suggesting that your opinion was based on prestige - I was directing that advice toward the anon OP


Ah, got ya. If you want to be a local PD...state court could be good. The problem is its locking you in. The experience isn't super great in relation to any other career path. I worked on bankruptcy appeals, criminal, contract, infringement, etc...particularly jurisdiction, disability periods to SoLs, evidentiary issues, takings clause issues, review of administrative agencies. We also spent at least half our time observing trials and hearings before the various judges. Watching good/bad lawyers, jury voir dire, opening/closing arguments.

The people from other schools that I know of that did state spent their entire time working on a special subset of issues (like your friend's 4A) and had little exposure to anything else.

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Re: Is a 1L federal court judicial internship better than state?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:52 pm

In the long run, neither will matter. Do what you'd genuinely like to do more.

One thing to consider that most people don't seem to, and I'm not sure if you can figure it out, is try to see what the judges' letter of rec writing policies are. A solid LOR from a judge is infinitely better than any 1L summer experience, IMO.

As far as what you'll learn, from my and friends' experience, state courts move WAY faster and thus you're exposed to a lot more substantive law. I spent my 1L summer at a law and motion dept. in a state court and wrote about 60 memos. In contrast, my friend spent her entire summer on a 12(b)(6) motion, and another friend worked on 3 cases, one of which was a pro bono habeas petition.

But, still tl;dr it probably doesn't matter.




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