relevance of district clerkship for DA job?

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Anonymous User
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relevance of district clerkship for DA job?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:02 pm

Is a federal district court clerkship beneficial at all for someone interested in becoming a career dep public defender or dep district attorney?

I have a friend in a position to easily land a federal district court clerkship (excellent personal relationship with recently confirmed judge). But she wants to know whether this has any career upside to her to-be career as a deputy public defender/district attorney.

The pay for the clerkship will be higher than her first-year pay as a deputy district attorney.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: relevance of district clerkship for DA job?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:04 pm

It will be helpful, but not as helpful as if she wanted to do biglaw litigation or AUSA. She'll learn a lot about federal motions practice, and while that translates to litigation experience in general (which helps with ADA work), it's not the same as state prosecution.

Cinderella
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Re: relevance of district clerkship for DA job?

Postby Cinderella » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:48 pm

Any career upside? Of course. She'll have much better exit options with firms, for one. She'll be a good candidate for an AUSA or FPD position later on. She'll probably learn many relevant skills, and get to watch many excellent attorneys.

It just probably won't be that big of a boost in getting hired, and it may alienate her from her future co-workers. But if she has otherwise relevant experience, the benefits probably outweigh any cost.

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Re: relevance of district clerkship for DA job?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:21 pm

Cinderella wrote:it may alienate her from her future co-workers.

why?

Cinderella
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Re: relevance of district clerkship for DA job?

Postby Cinderella » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Cinderella wrote:it may alienate her from her future co-workers.

why?


There can be a weird anti-elitism in these offices. I mean, they’ll respect her, but they might make fun of her for being dorky. It’s mostly all in good fun. And if she’s not actually dorky, that will help.

Anonymous User
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Re: relevance of district clerkship for DA job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:33 am

There can be a weird anti-elitism in these offices. I mean, they’ll respect her, but they might make fun of her for being dorky. It’s mostly all in good fun. And if she’s not actually dorky, that will help.


I can vouch for this. I work in a government office that runs the gamut from probably median graduates of the local second tier law school to probably borderline feeder clerks (I don't think we've ever had a SCOTUS clerk). I work in a unit that is primarily comprised of the former. I'm probably closer to the latter (not that I was a borderline feeder clerk, but I did have decent grades at a top 5 law school, AIII clerkship, worked at V20 firm, etc.). I get a lot of crap -- I think about 90% is good-natured or intended to be, but there is definitely a slightly hostile undertone.

Though that doesn't stop them from funneling all appellate work to me, and I frequently get called in on cases outside of the unit that the better-credentialed attorneys are handling.




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