Anonymous User wrote:I think a district court clerkship would be helpful prior to a circuit clerkship and vice versa. I'm a current district court clerk and the bulk of my job is also research and writing. We just do extra stuff on top of drafting opinions that the circuit clerks don't do (i.e., preparing the judge for courtroom proceedings, taking notes during proceedings, dealing with letters that come in from parties). When my judge sat by designation on a circuit panel, there was essentially no difference between the type of research and writing I did for the circuit court and the type of research and writing I do for the district court (well, there were minor differences, like standards of review, but basically the same).
This is not to knock circuit clerkships (I actually have a circuit clerkship lined up for later, and I'm sure it will be great), but just to dispel a common misconception about district clerkships, which is that a district court clerk does fundamentally different work re: research and writing. We don't.
I have to disagree.
While both DCt and COA clerks research and write, the type of work and the day-in and day-out duties vary dramatically, at least in my experience.
In my DCt clerkship, we drafted bench memo, orders, OSCs, and opinions. We also sat in during trials and researched evidentiary issues or other issues that may come up at trial. TROs/PIs were also something that I never did as a COA clerk. (My clerkship was pre-Booker, so no real sentencing issues to speak of)
At COA level, it was purely research and writing -- panel memos and opinions. It was like being a research librarian; whereas it was much more dynamic at the DCt. And when our judge was not sitting on a panel, we basically had nothing to do except work on publishing our articles.
Both were great experiences, but very different in my opinion.