Anonymous User wrote:Question for those who went from District to Circuit clerkships: did you start applying for the next term even before you started your D. Ct. clerkship? I'm starting in late August and that is really close to the on-plan application date, isn't that too late for a lot of Circuit judges when applying for 2014? And it also seems too early because the D. Ct. judge could not recommend you after working with you for a week or so.
I did not do back-to-back DCt --> COA, partly for the reason you named. Here was my reasoning: I wanted to clerk specifically on the Ninth Circuit, ideally for an active judge in order to experience the court's robust en banc process fully. I felt that I wasn't a lock with active judges based on my grades (just outside of top ten percent) and my lack of law review. I didn't test that theory by applying to the Ninth Circuit my first time around; I applied exclusively to DCt judges in that cycle. But I felt that I'd have the best shot at nailing down the circuit clerkship that I wanted if my application was supported by my district judge once he was able to comment on my whole clerkship. So I decided to wait and apply as a law firm associate.
The advantages of this approach were:
- I was invited to interviews with judges who (1) preferred more than one year of work experience post-LS or (2) had worked at my biglaw firm.
- I was able to pay down the vast majority of my loans before leaving my firm.
- I started my second clerkship higher on the JSP scale because I was credited for my first clerkship and work experience, so that slightly eased the financial blow of leaving the firm - though the blow is immense, period.
- I wanted to move from biglaw to the public sector, and a clerkship is a time-honored way to leave a firm without really burning bridges.
The main disadvantage was a choppier first few years out of law school: clerkship 1 --> firm --> clerkship 2 --> non-firm job is a lot of career movement, even though I was lucky to remain in the same region throughout. For people with significant others or dependents, this might be much less feasible - especially if the clerkships require relocating out of region.