clerkship after externship

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Anonymous User
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clerkship after externship

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:57 pm

2L at T30, top 20%/secondary but struck out at OCI, interested in doing a clerkship. Doing an externship with a federal court judge next semester in a field in which I have some background and a strong interest (think Bankruptcy, International Trade, etc). How often do judges offer interns positions as clerks, and how common is it for judges to have a policy of never hiring interns? Does doing a judicial externship improve my chances of getting a clerkship in any significant way? Lastly, how much damage does a B in legal writing do to my chances of landing a clerkship? Thanks for your help.

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ph14
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Re: clerkship after externship

Postby ph14 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2L at T30, top 20%/secondary but struck out at OCI, interested in doing a clerkship. Doing an externship with a federal court judge next semester in a field in which I have some background and a strong interest (think Bankruptcy, International Trade, etc). How often do judges offer interns positions as clerks, and how common is it for judges to have a policy of never hiring interns? Does doing a judicial externship improve my chances of getting a clerkship in any significant way? Lastly, how much damage does a B in legal writing do to my chances of landing a clerkship? Thanks for your help.


This is all highly judge specific. See if you can find clerks/former clerks for this judge who can provide some more information.

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Re: clerkship after externship

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2L at T30, top 20%/secondary but struck out at OCI, interested in doing a clerkship. Doing an externship with a federal court judge next semester in a field in which I have some background and a strong interest (think Bankruptcy, International Trade, etc). How often do judges offer interns positions as clerks, and how common is it for judges to have a policy of never hiring interns? Does doing a judicial externship improve my chances of getting a clerkship in any significant way? Lastly, how much damage does a B in legal writing do to my chances of landing a clerkship? Thanks for your help.


100% depends on the judge.

I externed with a judge who, during the course of the semester, spoke with me for a total of about 20 minutes. 15 were during one sit down on a complicated issue. He was not a very nice guy. The other judge I externed with has become a mentor of sorts and has a spot open for me in a year when his current clerk,who also interned for him, is done.

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thesealocust
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Re: clerkship after externship

Postby thesealocust » Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:39 pm

While it totally depends on the judge, unpaid internships and externships with judges are usually waaaaay easier to get than clerkships. You shouldn't assume it gives you an "in" even if your judge isn't one who has a policy of not hiring former interns (which at least some won't).

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: clerkship after externship

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:18 pm

Everyone is right that it's completely judge-specific. I also don't think the fact of having an externship with a judge does much for you, because as people have pointed out, they're not usually very hard to get, and you don't always have a lot of contact with the judge. (Plus, I'd bet almost everyone who wants to clerk interns with a judge at some point, so it doesn't exactly set you apart.) What is helpful is if you end up with a judge who likes you/likes your work and is willing to call his/her colleagues on your behalf; IME, judges hate hiring, and anything that helps them weed through the pile of resumes - like a colleague saying, "Look at so-and-so, they did a great job as an intern" - is very very welcome. It's hard to guarantee you'll get that out of the externship, of course.

(I have no idea whether getting a B in Legal Writing would have any effect on your chances - again, I think whether a judge [or their clerks] would look that closely at the transcript is chambers-specific. The best thing to do is beef up other evidence of your writing ability - have a really great writing sample, do a journal, publish a note somewhere or win a writing competition.)

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Re: clerkship after externship

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:22 pm

I do not want to hijack thread, but I think it is a related question. Does it look bad if the judge that I externed with is not named as a reference when I apply for clerkships?

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Re: clerkship after externship

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:56 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Plus, I'd bet almost everyone who wants to clerk interns with a judge at some point, so it doesn't exactly set you apart.)


I go to one of HYS (so we place a ton of clerks) and this couldn't be further from the truth. Almost no one does a judicial externship (largely because my school does not give summer funding to judicial externs) and those who do generally don't end up clerking.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: clerkship after externship

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Plus, I'd bet almost everyone who wants to clerk interns with a judge at some point, so it doesn't exactly set you apart.)

I go to one of HYS (so we place a ton of clerks) and this couldn't be further from the truth. Almost no one does a judicial externship (largely because my school does not give summer funding to judicial externs) and those who do generally don't end up clerking.

Okay. No idea what it's like to be at HYS and obviously that's a big chunk of the people who clerk, but not maybe as big a chunk of the pool of applicants. Perhaps I should say that outside the rarefied heights of HYS, judicial externships are really common. (I went to a T1; many of my classmates did judicial externships, in part because doing externships during the school year is really common here, in part because my school doesn't give summer funding to much of anything so you might as well extern for a judge as do anything else, and paid 1L summer work is really rare. And at least some people I know did judicial externships to get a better sense of what it's like to clerk.)
Last edited by A. Nony Mouse on Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

omg clay aiken !
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Re: clerkship after externship

Postby omg clay aiken ! » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Plus, I'd bet almost everyone who wants to clerk interns with a judge at some point, so it doesn't exactly set you apart.)


I go to one of HYS (so we place a ton of clerks) and this couldn't be further from the truth. Almost no one does a judicial externship (largely because my school does not give summer funding to judicial externs) and those who do generally don't end up clerking.


not a lot of law students do a summer judicial externship, but tons do one during a semester of law school with the hopes of getting a clerkship of some sort after graduation. and it's true that externships are not difficult to get at all. based on my experience as a summer extern and now as a federal law clerk, the summer externs typically get more face time with the judge and do more meaningful work than those working during the semester

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ggocat
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Re: clerkship after externship

Postby ggocat » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:33 pm

Highly judge specific, but at least at my court (state appellate), having a judicial internship is a boost for clerkship applications. Many clerks have been former interns at the same/similar courts. Many people who apply have top grades from the local schools or decent grades from top schools; a judicial internship or high grade in legal writing can make the difference between getting an interview or not.

So, IMO, it's a good idea to do a judicial internship, but don't do it with any expectations of boosting your app above better candidates (or actually getting hired by that judge unless told otherwise).

theantiscalia
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Re: clerkship after externship

Postby theantiscalia » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:56 pm

Everybody else above is correct: it is highly judge specific. The judge I'll be clerking for frequently hires externs as clerks, but I know another federal judge who refuses to do so.

And even if you have the externship with a judge that does hire, it may still be an upward climb for that clerkship. Many of my classmates externed for federal judges, but I only know of one person (myself) who got a clerkship following the externship. And it wasn't for a lack of trying. I know my judge had at least one other extern, and she wasn't offered a clerkship spot. So while it can help, getting the clerkship is still far more difficult.




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