Judicial internship questions

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Anonymous User
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Judicial internship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:02 pm

I'm a 1L who has two interviews scheduled next week for judicial internships on the same day (bc in the same city a couple hours away); first with a state supreme court justice, then with a federal magistrate judge.

1. From what I've seen on TLS, occasionally judges will make intern offers on the spot or shortly after. IF I'm offered either, is it standard practice to accept immediately with a judge/justice? If so, is it ok to accept the offer, tell them about the other interview, then see if they'd be willing to split the summer should I get the other offer as well? I just don't want to commit any legal employment faux pas as these are really my first non-OCI/interview program gigs, and first with a judge.

2. Is there a "better" internship between a state supreme court and federal magistrate? Neither are paid.

Thanks!

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Re: Judicial internship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 1L who has two interviews scheduled next week for judicial internships on the same day (bc in the same city a couple hours away); first with a state supreme court justice, then with a federal magistrate judge.

1. From what I've seen on TLS, occasionally judges will make intern offers on the spot or shortly after. IF I'm offered either, is it standard practice to accept immediately with a judge/justice? If so, is it ok to accept the offer, tell them about the other interview, then see if they'd be willing to split the summer should I get the other offer as well? I just don't want to commit any legal employment faux pas as these are really my first non-OCI/interview program gigs, and first with a judge.

2. Is there a "better" internship between a state supreme court and federal magistrate? Neither are paid.

Thanks!


IMO,

1) If you only have two interviews, I say take the offer you get first because that is the only one guaranteed. AFTER you get the offer, you can let the judge know that hey this is my priority and my first option, but I have another interview scheduled and would like to split the summer if possible. My 1L year judge allowed his interns to split but it really depends on the judge. Since you are dealing with state and federal court judges, it makes even more sense for you to do this so just ask them. Just be careful how you word it and communicate to the first offer judge that the first offer is your first option.

2) I say it depends on what you want to do after law school and where the state supreme court and federal mag internship is located. Generally, I don't know how much this translates to internships, but if it was a clerkship, I would definitely choose the state supreme court over fed magistrate. Generally, Mag judges usually deal with pre-trial, pro se, social securities, and other cases. Some mag judges may do more substantive work in certain districts (the type of cases mag judges work on are usually decided by the judges in the district I believe). So you have to look at the district. Also, State Supreme Court justices work on more substantive stuff so you can't go wrong there. If you are trying parlay that into a clerkship, I would go with state supreme court since it is less competitive than a federal district court clerkship but a better post-clerkship job prospect that a federal magistrate clerkship (although if you are committed to two year plan, I do see many people who clerk for a magistrate judge after law school and parlay that into a federal district clerkship after that). So it really depends on what you want to do after law school and where your interests are career wise (appellate v. trial). Splitting might be your best option, if not I say go with the State Supreme Court.

FYI: I have interned at both state supreme court and federal district court before and am currently clerking for a fed district judge.

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Re: Judicial internship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 1L who has two interviews scheduled next week for judicial internships on the same day (bc in the same city a couple hours away); first with a state supreme court justice, then with a federal magistrate judge.

1. From what I've seen on TLS, occasionally judges will make intern offers on the spot or shortly after. IF I'm offered either, is it standard practice to accept immediately with a judge/justice? If so, is it ok to accept the offer, tell them about the other interview, then see if they'd be willing to split the summer should I get the other offer as well? I just don't want to commit any legal employment faux pas as these are really my first non-OCI/interview program gigs, and first with a judge.

2. Is there a "better" internship between a state supreme court and federal magistrate? Neither are paid.

Thanks!


IMO,

1) If you only have two interviews, I say take the offer you get first because that is the only one guaranteed. AFTER you get the offer, you can let the judge know that hey this is my priority and my first option, but I have another interview scheduled and would like to split the summer if possible. My 1L year judge allowed his interns to split but it really depends on the judge. Since you are dealing with state and federal court judges, it makes even more sense for you to do this so just asked them. Just be careful how you word it and communicate that the first offer is your first option.

2) I say it depends on what you want to do after law school and where the state supreme court and federal mag internship is located. Generally, I don't know how much this translates to internships, but if it was a clerkship, I would definitely choose the state supreme court over fed magistrate. Generally, Mag judges usually deal with pre-trial, pro se, social securities, and other cases. Some mag judges may do more substantive work in certain districts (the type of cases mag judges work on are usually decided by the judges in the district I believe). So you have to look at the district. Also, State Supreme Court justices work on more substantive stuff so you can't go wrong there. If you are trying parlay that into a clerkship, I would go with state supreme court since it is less competitive than a federal district court clerkship but a better post-clerkship job prospect that a federal magistrate clerkship (although if you are committed to two year plan, I do see many people who clerk for a magistrate judge after law school and parlay that into a federal district clerkship after that). So it really depends on what you want to do after law school and where your interests are career wise (appellate v. trial). Splitting might be your best option, if not I say go with the State Supreme Court.

FYI: I have interned both a state supreme court and federal district court and am currently clerking for a fed district judge)
Federal magistrates in large cities (NY, Boston, Chicago, LA, etc.) will usually also hear most if not all settlement conferences for that district court. Those are something you may not experience at all with a state judge (or even a federal district judge), but can be a great experience (especially if you are interested in corporate work--you essentially see negotiations first hand). Magistrates also sit for full trials if the parties consent, and you will likely meet other judges in the building (including district judges).

I worked for a federal magistrate for 1L, and while I did work on four SSA opinions, I also did research assignments on a range of cases, including patent infringement, sexual harassment, discrimination, contract disputes, unlawful search & seizure, etc. I also sat in on at least 8-10 settlement conferences on a variety of topics.

Anonymous User
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Re: Judicial internship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 1L who has two interviews scheduled next week for judicial internships on the same day (bc in the same city a couple hours away); first with a state supreme court justice, then with a federal magistrate judge.

1. From what I've seen on TLS, occasionally judges will make intern offers on the spot or shortly after. IF I'm offered either, is it standard practice to accept immediately with a judge/justice? If so, is it ok to accept the offer, tell them about the other interview, then see if they'd be willing to split the summer should I get the other offer as well? I just don't want to commit any legal employment faux pas as these are really my first non-OCI/interview program gigs, and first with a judge.

2. Is there a "better" internship between a state supreme court and federal magistrate? Neither are paid.

Thanks!


IMO,

1) If you only have two interviews, I say take the offer you get first because that is the only one guaranteed. AFTER you get the offer, you can let the judge know that hey this is my priority and my first option, but I have another interview scheduled and would like to split the summer if possible. My 1L year judge allowed his interns to split but it really depends on the judge. Since you are dealing with state and federal court judges, it makes even more sense for you to do this so just ask them. Just be careful how you word it and communicate to the first offer judge that the first offer is your first option.

2) I say it depends on what you want to do after law school and where the state supreme court and federal mag internship is located. Generally, I don't know how much this translates to internships, but if it was a clerkship, I would definitely choose the state supreme court over fed magistrate. Generally, Mag judges usually deal with pre-trial, pro se, social securities, and other cases. Some mag judges may do more substantive work in certain districts (the type of cases mag judges work on are usually decided by the judges in the district I believe). So you have to look at the district. Also, State Supreme Court justices work on more substantive stuff so you can't go wrong there. If you are trying parlay that into a clerkship, I would go with state supreme court since it is less competitive than a federal district court clerkship but a better post-clerkship job prospect that a federal magistrate clerkship (although if you are committed to two year plan, I do see many people who clerk for a magistrate judge after law school and parlay that into a federal district clerkship after that). So it really depends on what you want to do after law school and where your interests are career wise (appellate v. trial). Splitting might be your best option, if not I say go with the State Supreme Court.

FYI: I have interned at both state supreme court and federal district court before and am currently clerking for a fed district judge.


Thank you for the input!

1. One other question: let's say I get lucky with the state supreme court internship and get an offer on the spot, but with another interview scheduled. It would seem uncool to cancel an interview a couple hours beforehand. I suppose if the justice isn't willing to split summers, it's best to call and cancel...but if splitting is a possibility, would I call ahead, tell them of the offer, and see what they say?

2. That's what I'm thinking as well; appellate work generally appeals to me more than trial/pre-trial stuff, not to mention it sounds like the more "prestigious" option (even if it's not). That said, I'd be happy to get any offer.

-OP

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Judicial internship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 1L who has two interviews scheduled next week for judicial internships on the same day (bc in the same city a couple hours away); first with a state supreme court justice, then with a federal magistrate judge.

1. From what I've seen on TLS, occasionally judges will make intern offers on the spot or shortly after. IF I'm offered either, is it standard practice to accept immediately with a judge/justice? If so, is it ok to accept the offer, tell them about the other interview, then see if they'd be willing to split the summer should I get the other offer as well? I just don't want to commit any legal employment faux pas as these are really my first non-OCI/interview program gigs, and first with a judge.

2. Is there a "better" internship between a state supreme court and federal magistrate? Neither are paid.

Thanks!


IMO,

1) If you only have two interviews, I say take the offer you get first because that is the only one guaranteed. AFTER you get the offer, you can let the judge know that hey this is my priority and my first option, but I have another interview scheduled and would like to split the summer if possible. My 1L year judge allowed his interns to split but it really depends on the judge. Since you are dealing with state and federal court judges, it makes even more sense for you to do this so just asked them. Just be careful how you word it and communicate that the first offer is your first option.

2) I say it depends on what you want to do after law school and where the state supreme court and federal mag internship is located. Generally, I don't know how much this translates to internships, but if it was a clerkship, I would definitely choose the state supreme court over fed magistrate. Generally, Mag judges usually deal with pre-trial, pro se, social securities, and other cases. Some mag judges may do more substantive work in certain districts (the type of cases mag judges work on are usually decided by the judges in the district I believe). So you have to look at the district. Also, State Supreme Court justices work on more substantive stuff so you can't go wrong there. If you are trying parlay that into a clerkship, I would go with state supreme court since it is less competitive than a federal district court clerkship but a better post-clerkship job prospect that a federal magistrate clerkship (although if you are committed to two year plan, I do see many people who clerk for a magistrate judge after law school and parlay that into a federal district clerkship after that). So it really depends on what you want to do after law school and where your interests are career wise (appellate v. trial). Splitting might be your best option, if not I say go with the State Supreme Court.

FYI: I have interned both a state supreme court and federal district court and am currently clerking for a fed district judge)
Federal magistrates in large cities (NY, Boston, Chicago, LA, etc.) will usually also hear most if not all settlement conferences for that district court. Those are something you may not experience at all with a state judge (or even a federal district judge), but can be a great experience (especially if you are interested in corporate work--you essentially see negotiations first hand). Magistrates also sit for full trials if the parties consent, and you will likely meet other judges in the building (including district judges).

I worked for a federal magistrate for 1L, and while I did work on four SSA opinions, I also did research assignments on a range of cases, including patent infringement, sexual harassment, discrimination, contract disputes, unlawful search & seizure, etc. I also sat in on at least 8-10 settlement conferences on a variety of topics.


These internships are in medium sized cities in a fairly large (not NY/CA/TX/FL) state. Think Austin, Sacramento, Raleigh, Richmond, Nashville, etc. I don't know if that's large enough to get really substantial work or not at the magistrate.

-OP

hiima3L
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Re: Judicial internship questions

Postby hiima3L » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:53 am

Totally fine to say you have an interview elsewhere and want to consider it. It's very unlikely, but the judge may give an exploding offer and want an answer right away. I've never heard of this happening for interns. That seems nuts to me.

If you can figure out what you'd be working on in chambers as an intern, that may be the best way to figure out which one you'd want to do. Unsurprisingly, interns get assigned the least important and least complex cases/tasks. At both the SSC and MJ level, this can be very routine copy and pasting work. It is very hard to gauge and can vary a lot district to district, chambers to chambers.

whats an updog
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Re: Judicial internship questions

Postby whats an updog » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:09 pm

For a judicial internship, what's the protocol for following up with chambers to ask about timeline?

Several chambers reached out to me in mid-February to confirm my interest, but then after I confirmed, none of them gave me anything else to go off of. I'm getting a little antsy about not having something lined up for summer and wondering how pushy it would seem to inquire as to when hiring decisions are made.

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sundance95
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Re: Judicial internship questions

Postby sundance95 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 1L who has two interviews scheduled next week for judicial internships on the same day (bc in the same city a couple hours away); first with a state supreme court justice, then with a federal magistrate judge.

1. From what I've seen on TLS, occasionally judges will make intern offers on the spot or shortly after. IF I'm offered either, is it standard practice to accept immediately with a judge/justice? If so, is it ok to accept the offer, tell them about the other interview, then see if they'd be willing to split the summer should I get the other offer as well? I just don't want to commit any legal employment faux pas as these are really my first non-OCI/interview program gigs, and first with a judge.

2. Is there a "better" internship between a state supreme court and federal magistrate? Neither are paid.

Thanks!

FWIW, I was given an offer on the spot for an internship with a district court judge and accepted on the spot, and the judge seemed (pleasantly) surprised. This was in a very competitive district too (DDC/SDNY/NDCA/CDCA).

If you want to do trials, magistrate will be useful--you'll see the chambers side of discovery. Worth of SSC frankly depends on the state--I would probably do CA or NY over the magistrate.

Also absolutely would second basing the decision based on what your substantive workload. I wrote opinions and orders on dispositive motions at my internship, and the experience was incredibly valuable.

Anonymous User
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Re: Judicial internship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:28 pm

OP here.

Thanks for the additional input! I just did interviews with the federal magistrate judge, state supreme court justice, and a (senior) federal district court judge.

The SSC internship sounded interesting at first, but they'll have like 10 interns, which makes me think I won't get as much interaction with the clerks or justice. It's not a major SSC...think a state between #8 and 12 in population.

The magistrate judge was just appointed a few months ago, so I don't know what impact that may have on how well everything is run. Maybe being his first intern will give me a good shot to make an impression, I don't know.

Anyway, I should hear back in the next several days.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Judicial internship questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:31 pm

I will say that the benefit to having a gaggle of interns is that they often put more effort into programs and so on when there's a bunch of interns than when there's just one. Also it's more fun to have other interns around (though admittedly that's less pertinent for employment in the future).

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Re: Judicial internship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:02 am

OP here.

Was offered and accepted the magistrate position, mainly because he was the first to call and I didn't have the stones to say "thanks, but I' gonna wait a few days and see if something better comes along" to a federal judge lol. Should work out well since he worked for large firm in the city I want to work in, he and the couple clerks seem cool, and the other intern happens to be a friend in my section.

Thanks for the input!




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