Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

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Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:34 pm

Currently clerking for a fed mag judge. T2 school, top 50% grades, no LR or MC. I snagged the job because I worked in the same court during law school and had great LORs. I'm starting to look for jobs after my term is up later this year. Am I screwed for biglaw? What about medium-size regional firms? I'm also applying to a few Art. III judges in my same district; but I'm not sure how much that will improve my job prospects. Any input/advice would be greatly appreciated:)

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby lawyerwannabe » Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:43 pm

I would start to mass mail firms in your hometown or any other place where you have ties (probably avoiding all BigLaw firms).

Fed. Magistrate is not particularly prestigious and pretty much all median students from lower T1 schools do not even get BigLaw. However, I would see if your judge has any connections to some firms near your clerkship. If he can help you get an interview and write you a nice letter, I could easily see that turning into a permanent job offer. Good luck!

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Re: Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:55 pm

This has been discussed before, but my advice is this: Do your best and make good connections at the court, and then apply for a District Judge clerkship after you're done with the mag. Your career prospects will probably be a lot better.

Right now, firms are still going to frown on your grades. If you're lucky enough to snag a District Judge job next year, you'll have two solid years of experience by the time you apply to firms, so your grades will be less of an issue by then. You're still going to have to answer for your grades though (I can imagine the puzzled look on a recruiting manager's face when he/she sees median grades and two federal clerkships - those usually don't reconcile...). Best of luck, mate.

augusta1985
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Re: Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby augusta1985 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:52 pm

I'm curious as to whether firms' GPA cutoff requirements would still apply in this case, especially if you're able to snag a DJ gig...Anyone?

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Re: Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby augusta1985 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:37 pm

Still waiting for an answer. Anyone know anything about this? (how would big firms look at lackluster grades after 2 federal clerkships?)

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Re: Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:28 pm

I'm interested in any answers to this question too.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby lawyerwannabe » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm interested in any answers to this question too.


First, clerking for a magistrate judge is not really considered a "federal" clerkship on TLS.

Second, I would doubt anyone on these boards is going to be able to give you even anecdotal evidence because TT median --> district court clerkship just does not happen very often (if ever?).

I would assume if you could land a district court clerkship from such a position, some BigLaw firms may relax their standards a little bit. However, I do not know if they would relax them to the point of offering a similar student -- district clerkship or not. I mean, some T14 median students do not even land BigLaw. Generally speaking, landing a prestigious Art. III clerkship is a product of school, rank/GPA, and professor recommendations. Thus, people who get great jobs afterwards normally would get these jobs without the clerkship because the clerkship simply encapsulates the totality of their law school accomplishments. The same cannot be said for a TT median student.

Third, ask your question in the "Clerks, taking questions" thread. Maybe someone will be able to give you actual advice.

augusta1985
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Re: Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby augusta1985 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:52 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm interested in any answers to this question too.


First, clerking for a magistrate judge is not really considered a "federal" clerkship on TLS.

Second, I would doubt anyone on these boards is going to be able to give you even anecdotal evidence because TT median --> district court clerkship just does not happen very often (if ever?).

I would assume if you could land a district court clerkship from such a position, some BigLaw firms may relax their standards a little bit. However, I do not know if they would relax them to the point of offering a similar student -- district clerkship or not. I mean, some T14 median students do not even land BigLaw. Generally speaking, landing a prestigious Art. III clerkship is a product of school, rank/GPA, and professor recommendations. Thus, people who get great jobs afterwards normally would get these jobs without the clerkship because the clerkship simply encapsulates the totality of their law school accomplishments. The same cannot be said for a TT median student.

Third, ask your question in the "Clerks, taking questions" thread. Maybe someone will be able to give you actual advice.


I disagree that this doesn't qualify as a "federal clerkship." Sure, it's less 'prestigious' than a DJ clerkship, but it's a clerkship nonethless, and the mag clerks pretty much handle everything up to trial (except dispositive motions). Those clerks are definitely building some solid litigation chops. It definitely makes sense that OP is an aberration from most of the 'clerk types', who have sterling grades from top schools. However, if OP is lucky enough to work up the ladder and get with a DJ, he's going to have a hell of a skillset after he's through; so I would think he'd be more competitive than someone fresh out of school.
Last edited by augusta1985 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:57 pm

augusta1985 wrote:
lawyerwannabe wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm interested in any answers to this question too.


First, clerking for a magistrate judge is not really considered a "federal" clerkship on TLS.

Second, I would doubt anyone on these boards is going to be able to give you even anecdotal evidence because TT median --> district court clerkship just does not happen very often (if ever?).

I would assume if you could land a district court clerkship from such a position, some BigLaw firms may relax their standards a little bit. However, I do not know if they would relax them to the point of offering a similar student -- district clerkship or not. I mean, some T14 median students do not even land BigLaw. Generally speaking, landing a prestigious Art. III clerkship is a product of school, rank/GPA, and professor recommendations. Thus, people who get great jobs afterwards normally would get these jobs without the clerkship because the clerkship simply encapsulates the totality of their law school accomplishments. The same cannot be said for a TT median student.

Third, ask your question in the "Clerks, taking questions" thread. Maybe someone will be able to give you actual advice.


I disagree that this doesn't qualify as a "federal clerkship." Sure, it's less 'prestigious' than a DJ clerkship, but it's a clerkship nonethless, and the mag clerks pretty much handle everything up to trial (except dispositive motions). Those clerks are definitely building some solid litigation chops. It definitely makes sense that OP is an aberration from most of the 'clerk types', who have sterling grades from top schools. However, if OP is lucky enough to work up the ladder and get with a DJ, you're going to have a hell of a skillset after you're through; so I would think you'd be more competitive than someone fresh out of school.


Federal magistrate judges provide great clerking opportunities. That said, it's really not what people are talking about when they say "federal clerkship". Generally when people say "federal clerkship", they mean a clerkship with an Article III judge (district, circuit, or CIT (technically)).

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby lawyerwannabe » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
augusta1985 wrote:
lawyerwannabe wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm interested in any answers to this question too.


First, clerking for a magistrate judge is not really considered a "federal" clerkship on TLS.

Second, I would doubt anyone on these boards is going to be able to give you even anecdotal evidence because TT median --> district court clerkship just does not happen very often (if ever?).

I would assume if you could land a district court clerkship from such a position, some BigLaw firms may relax their standards a little bit. However, I do not know if they would relax them to the point of offering a similar student -- district clerkship or not. I mean, some T14 median students do not even land BigLaw. Generally speaking, landing a prestigious Art. III clerkship is a product of school, rank/GPA, and professor recommendations. Thus, people who get great jobs afterwards normally would get these jobs without the clerkship because the clerkship simply encapsulates the totality of their law school accomplishments. The same cannot be said for a TT median student.

Third, ask your question in the "Clerks, taking questions" thread. Maybe someone will be able to give you actual advice.


I disagree that this doesn't qualify as a "federal clerkship." Sure, it's less 'prestigious' than a DJ clerkship, but it's a clerkship nonethless, and the mag clerks pretty much handle everything up to trial (except dispositive motions). Those clerks are definitely building some solid litigation chops. It definitely makes sense that OP is an aberration from most of the 'clerk types', who have sterling grades from top schools. However, if OP is lucky enough to work up the ladder and get with a DJ, you're going to have a hell of a skillset after you're through; so I would think you'd be more competitive than someone fresh out of school.


Federal magistrate judges provide great clerking opportunities. That said, it's really not what people are talking about when they say "federal clerkship". Generally when people say "federal clerkship", they mean a clerkship with an Article III judge (district, circuit, or CIT (technically)).


This. And re-read what I bolded. I didn't say it wasn't a federal clerkship, only that on TLS it is not generally included when federal clerkships are being discussed because they are way less prestigious and much easier to get.

And while you may be right about the developed skill set, being median from a TT I think will still lead to an uphill climb at most of the V100.

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Re: Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:18 am

First, clerking for a magistrate judge is not really considered a "federal" clerkship on TLS.
[/quote]

While it's true that magistrate judges aren't appointed under Art. III, and no one is arguing that they are as prestigious as district court clerkships or court of appeals clerkships, I sometimes wonder why the attitude is so harsh towards clerking for magistrate judges. It seems that magistrate clerkships take an awful lot of flak for "boring work" and "not writing dispositive motions." This seems like a huge generalization, especially given that the scope of magistrate judge duties varies greatly from district to district. Some, it's true, will spend most of their work writing social security cases and reports and recommendations. Others however treat magistrate judges almost as district judges with the assumption that the parties automatically consent to the jurisdiction of the magistrate judge if the parties do not affirmatively indicate otherwise. I worked as an intern to a magistrate judge in law school (in a big metro district), and I worked on a couple summary judgment motions and even a bench trial decision.

In addition, I think the view that working for a district judge is "less boring" seems mostly wrong. Yes, it is true that the cases are often more developed in the district court, there are less discovery matters, and more trials -- but a large portion of the work that you are going to see as a clerk in the district court is 12(b) motions. Couldn't get more boring than that.

To be clear, I don't think anyone thinks that magistrate clerkships are just as "resume good" as a district clerkship. But it does seem like they really take an unnecessary beating around here (and perhaps in the world of biglaw), especially given how competitive they are becoming especially in the bigger districts. I wonder why.

augusta1985
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Re: Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby augusta1985 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:42 am

Lawyerwannabe: I'm curious about this...do you think OP's chances at V100 would dramatically improve if he can work his/her way up to an Art III gig?

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Exit Options after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby lawyerwannabe » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:02 am

See my earlier post. If you want an answer with any sort of real substance, post in the thread I suggested above. Otherwise, everything is going to be pure speculation.




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