"Volunteer" Clerkships?

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:but the top 10% at T10 will not serve as volunteer law clerks. They will get paid jobs.

Ya they will. Trust me. One of the judges in my chambers did this volunteer thing. I know, first hand, that the pulled stack was ALL t10 t10% (probably better).

This past cycle, in fact, a judge in this district offered a volunteer position for which we received 300+ applications. The stack of 15 candidates who made it past the eyeball test were ALL t10 top10% types, almost ALL law review.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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IAFG
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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby IAFG » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:but the top 10% at T10 will not serve as volunteer law clerks. They will get paid jobs.

Ya they will. Trust me. One of the judges in my chambers did this volunteer thing. I know, first hand, that the pulled stack was ALL t10 t10% (probably better).

1) What graduating class? 2) did they accept?

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:45 pm

IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:but the top 10% at T10 will not serve as volunteer law clerks. They will get paid jobs.

Ya they will. Trust me. One of the judges in my chambers did this volunteer thing. I know, first hand, that the pulled stack was ALL t10 t10% (probably better).

1) What graduating class? 2) did they accept?


Not going to say. There weren't that many vol positions on OSCAR this past cycle.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:45 pm

wow. The T10 people are really dying for 'prestige'.....

I think the dilution occurs in state clerkships.
I know a lot of you do not think much of state courts. Many people with good/great grades I know are clerking in Massachusetts/RI/New York ... though.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:wow. The T10 people are really dying for 'prestige'.....

I think the dilution occurs in state clerkships.
I know a lot of you do not think much of state courts. Many people with good/great grades I know are clerking in Massachusetts/RI/New York ... though.


and at least a few people I know, all with average/below average grades, are volunteering at state courts.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:wow. The T10 people are really dying for 'prestige'.....

I think the dilution occurs in state clerkships.
I know a lot of you do not think much of state courts. Many people with good/great grades I know are clerking in Massachusetts/RI/New York ... though.


Not really. They skip a year of doc review, get a fat bonus, and get incredible district court experience. I can assure you that folks who accept volunteer federal clerkships do not lack big law job offers.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:54 pm

how come the volunteer law clerks at state court levels are so much worse?! below average/middling grades at T25/30. I would expect state court level clerkships are also useful and some unemployed dudes with 1/3 GPA from T25 should consider them.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:wow. The T10 people are really dying for 'prestige'.....

I think the dilution occurs in state clerkships.
I know a lot of you do not think much of state courts. Many people with good/great grades I know are clerking in Massachusetts/RI/New York ... though.


Not sure what you're referring to with respect to "dilution." State court clerkships aren't valued by big law or the federal government as far as I know, so there's nothing to dilute. I've heard that state clerkships are very valuable for district attorney jobs for that particular county, but DAs don't really care about grades or prestige anyway so there's no dilution to be had. You neither get a bonus for a state court clerkship (unless it is the highest appellate court of a state, usually called the state supreme court), nor federal seniority for a government position.

My firm, and most firms I'm aware of, does not give bonus to even magistrate clerkships. Very prestige-obsessed, and that's a sad thing, because magistrate clerkships are probably ten times more relevant to big law than federal appellate stints.

A second-year associate at my firm clerked for a state court of appeals judge. He came out of that experience a phenomenal writer - better than any of the firm's appellate clerks. Was he bonus'd? No. Why not? That's the shitty side of this profession. He has superior writing ability, knows exactly how the sausage of law is "made," and has the exact same skill sets coming out of his clerkship as the federal circuit clerks, but is $50k poorer.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:59 pm

they may not be 'prestigious' but I've seen a number of 'prestigious'/ nice small boutique-type firms have a number of ex-state court clerks.
to the extent that they are useful, there is a fear of 'dilution' for want of a better word.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:45 pm

woah -- never realized i was supposed to list my clerkship as being with a senior judge -- the guy is a semi-feeder for god's sake. didn't realize my clerkship was second class.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:48 pm

Hey maybe I can call my 2L Fall + Spring externships with the same federal judge a "clerkship." And it's better than a volunteer unpaid job - I got academic credit!

Bonus please.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby traydeuce » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:49 pm

Volunteer clerks are non-real clerks. Senior judges' clerks are just as legitimate as any other judges' clerks. LOL at the conflation of the two.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:52 pm

traydeuce wrote:Volunteer clerks are non-real clerks. Senior judges' clerks are just as legitimate as any other judges' clerks. LOL at the conflation of the two.


senior judge clerks can actually end up becoming de facto article III judges. so, i shouldn't have gone there.
http://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorne ... -real.html

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby traydeuce » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
traydeuce wrote:Volunteer clerks are non-real clerks. Senior judges' clerks are just as legitimate as any other judges' clerks. LOL at the conflation of the two.


senior judge clerks can actually end up becoming de facto article III judges. so, i shouldn't have gone there.
http://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorne ... -real.html


I shouldn't say this as a clerk - it's not true of my own judge, happily - but active judge clerks can actually end up becoming de facto article III judges.

That said, the thing you're linking to was surely flame.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby IAFG » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:24 am

traydeuce wrote:Volunteer clerks are non-real clerks. Senior judges' clerks are just as legitimate as any other judges' clerks. LOL at the conflation of the two.

:? if a judge takes you on as a clerk, gives you clerk assignments, calls you a clerk... how are you not a clerk?

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby vamedic03 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:27 am

IAFG wrote:
traydeuce wrote:Volunteer clerks are non-real clerks. Senior judges' clerks are just as legitimate as any other judges' clerks. LOL at the conflation of the two.

:? if a judge takes you on as a clerk, gives you clerk assignments, calls you a clerk... how are you not a clerk?


This is like a Special AUSA (and many SAUSA's are either volunteer or on temporary assignment from other parts of the federal government) calling themselves an AUSA. Sure, they have very similar roles, but they are not the same and to obfuscate the difference is quite misleading.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey maybe I can call my 2L Fall + Spring externships with the same federal judge a "clerkship." And it's better than a volunteer unpaid job - I got academic credit!

Bonus please.


Right, because as an intern you were responsible for reviewing and organizing incoming cases, keeping up with scheduling and conferences, handling your own dockets, communicating with the parties, and assisting the judge on the bench.

No you weren't, you were handed a habeas/social security motion by the clerk, submitted your draft to the clerk, and took orders from the clerk, who was the one actually responsible for the case.

In terms of their duties and responsibilities, volunteer clerks are a hell of a lot closer to (if not indistinguishable from) paid clerks than interns.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby R86 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:38 pm

:D
Last edited by R86 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:41 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
IAFG wrote:
traydeuce wrote:Volunteer clerks are non-real clerks. Senior judges' clerks are just as legitimate as any other judges' clerks. LOL at the conflation of the two.

:? if a judge takes you on as a clerk, gives you clerk assignments, calls you a clerk... how are you not a clerk?


This is like a Special AUSA (and many SAUSA's are either volunteer or on temporary assignment from other parts of the federal government) calling themselves an AUSA. Sure, they have very similar roles, but they are not the same and to obfuscate the difference is quite misleading.


No, it's like somebody saying an SAUSA is not a real prosecutor. Sure, their titles -- and statuses for HR purposes -- are different than regular AUSAs. But their roles are virtually identical. So yes, an SAUSA should not call himself an "AUSA," and a "Volunteer Clerk" should not call himself simply a "Clerk." But that's very different from saying a volunteer clerks is a "non-real clerk" as far his role in chambers goes.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby dmeals » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:37 pm

NVM

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:29 am

zomginternets wrote:People who are not US citizens who want to be a federal clerk might have to do a volunteer clerkship, even if s/he has the credentials that would otherwise have gotten him/her a paid clerkship.

Is this a viable strategy? I may be in this position and am finding conflicting information. OCSAR asks for citizenship status when you register, so does that mean your app will just be turned away automatically if you select non-citizen? I would definitely do a volunteer federal clerkship for a year, but am not even sure if I should go through the hassle of applying if that's not a possibility.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby IAFG » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:28 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
IAFG wrote:
traydeuce wrote:Volunteer clerks are non-real clerks. Senior judges' clerks are just as legitimate as any other judges' clerks. LOL at the conflation of the two.

:? if a judge takes you on as a clerk, gives you clerk assignments, calls you a clerk... how are you not a clerk?


This is like a Special AUSA (and many SAUSA's are either volunteer or on temporary assignment from other parts of the federal government) calling themselves an AUSA. Sure, they have very similar roles, but they are not the same and to obfuscate the difference is quite misleading.

It's somewhat like that, but it's not that, because the tasks, term, hours, etc are not just "similar;" they're identical. If your judge says you're a clerk with no qualifier, and approves of that being on your résumé, why the fuck wouldn't you put that down.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:26 pm

IAFG wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:
IAFG wrote:
traydeuce wrote:Volunteer clerks are non-real clerks. Senior judges' clerks are just as legitimate as any other judges' clerks. LOL at the conflation of the two.

:? if a judge takes you on as a clerk, gives you clerk assignments, calls you a clerk... how are you not a clerk?


This is like a Special AUSA (and many SAUSA's are either volunteer or on temporary assignment from other parts of the federal government) calling themselves an AUSA. Sure, they have very similar roles, but they are not the same and to obfuscate the difference is quite misleading.

It's somewhat like that, but it's not that, because the tasks, term, hours, etc are not just "similar;" they're identical. If your judge says you're a clerk with no qualifier, and approves of that being on your résumé, why the fuck wouldn't you put that down.


They're not identical. A volunteer clerk is not paid and has not gone through the gauntlet of clerkship hiring. I'm not sure why people are surprised that some current or future clerks are upset about volunteer clerks leaving off the qualifier. Once you have busted your butt to be in the top 5% of the class, developed the relationships with prof's for great recommendations, and then successfully navigated the miserable clerkship hiring process, then people get a bit touchy about it.

What some people seem to be missing is that a clerkship, in addition to providing an amazing learning experience, is also, for better or worse, a mark of distinction. After all, if there wasn't signaling value to the term "clerk", then no one would be asking whether it is appropriate to leave off the important "volunteer" qualifier.

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What some people seem to be missing is that a clerkship, in addition to providing an amazing learning experience, is also, for better or worse, a mark of distinction. After all, if there wasn't signaling value to the term "clerk", then no one would be asking whether it is appropriate to leave off the important "volunteer" qualifier.


I don't think too many people here are suggesting it's okay to leave off the "volunteer" qualifier; I think they're objecting to the insecure clerks who are trying to delegitimize their experience by labeling them "non-real clerks"

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Re: "Volunteer" Clerkships?

Postby cantaboot » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:41 pm

I totally understand why "real clerks" would feel touchy.
That said, I do not qualify to be a federal law clerk and would be tempted to put "law clerk" on my resume if I had opted for this route, especially if I happened to receive funding from the school to support my volunteer work.

Special assistant district attorney - I think these people will be the first to get hired if there is funding. SADA will likely turn into ADA. To that extent, there is a difference.




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