Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

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timmyd

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Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby timmyd » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:36 am

As a new attorney, I've already been tasked with writing multiple briefs in both state and federal court. I work for a smaller firm, I don't know how common this would be in say, big law. I love this area and would like to make it my niche so to speak. I completed a federal district clerkship before joining the firm. However, I'm wondering if I need to try for an appellate clerkship at either the state supreme court level or federal level to truly unlock every ounce of potential in this area.

I talked to one of the partners about this, and he said it wasn't necessary. Instead, he recommended just doing as many appellate briefs as I can. on that note, I'm thinking about doing some pro se, if I can (I'm not sure the process). I just wanted thoughts from practitioners on the forum as to whether a good appellate lawyer needs to have clerked at that level. I understand some of the arguments in favor of clerking; they were the same arguments that led me to complete a district clerkship: understanding the procedure, understanding what sways the court, etc. However, I'm not sure my firm would support me leaving for a year and I want to be here long term.

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encore1101

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby encore1101 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:46 am

I work for in the appeals bureau of a prosecutor's office. We had someone who came to us after clerking at the state appellate court for a few years. IMO, i don't think her experience benefited her as much as you may think. She was definitely better than having no experience, but nothing that couldn't be replicated after working for the same amount of time as a litigant.

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Lincoln

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby Lincoln » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:40 am

timmyd wrote:As a new attorney, I've already been tasked with writing multiple briefs in both state and federal court. I work for a smaller firm, I don't know how common this would be in say, big law. I love this area and would like to make it my niche so to speak. I completed a federal district clerkship before joining the firm. However, I'm wondering if I need to try for an appellate clerkship at either the state supreme court level or federal level to truly unlock every ounce of potential in this area.

I talked to one of the partners about this, and he said it wasn't necessary. Instead, he recommended just doing as many appellate briefs as I can. on that note, I'm thinking about doing some pro se, if I can (I'm not sure the process). I just wanted thoughts from practitioners on the forum as to whether a good appellate lawyer needs to have clerked at that level. I understand some of the arguments in favor of clerking; they were the same arguments that led me to complete a district clerkship: understanding the procedure, understanding what sways the court, etc. However, I'm not sure my firm would support me leaving for a year and I want to be here long term.


Pro se means representing yourself. Are you planning on suing someone? Or do you mean pro bono (representing someone for free)?

As for an appellate clerkship, if you intend to stay at your firm, I don't see how it would be worth it. If you wanted to, say, go to a DC appellate boutique, it would be a different story.

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:33 pm

Aside from whatever help it would be for your career prospects, imo an appellate clerkship does wonders for the quality of your work. Clerks are always going to be reading your briefs first, and knowing firsthand what works for clerks is invaluable.

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:01 pm

Rookie Appeals Bureau Prosecutor (different office than encore). Got hired straight out of law school with no clerkship. People in my "year" had 2 year appellate clerkships and i go to them all the time with questions. I can tell already that by next year, it won't matter.

I know that you're civil but i believe (and hope) the appellate skill is transferable.

I agree, getting as many briefs under your belt and actually argued (vs. submitted) will get you up to speed quicker than clerking.

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:36 am

I'm in a similar spot at a smaller firm being assigned a lot of appellate briefs, and my supervisor has mentioned wanting me to specialize in appeals more down the road. I'm worried about not having a clerkship mostly from a credentials standpoint, just because it seems most of the real players have them. (Unlike OP, I didn't do a district court clerkship either. My other credentials are okay - T6, top 10%, writing award - but no clerkship and no LR).

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FullRamboLSGrad

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby FullRamboLSGrad » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:35 am

Lincoln wrote:
timmyd wrote:As a new attorney, I've already been tasked with writing multiple briefs in both state and federal court. I work for a smaller firm, I don't know how common this would be in say, big law. I love this area and would like to make it my niche so to speak. I completed a federal district clerkship before joining the firm. However, I'm wondering if I need to try for an appellate clerkship at either the state supreme court level or federal level to truly unlock every ounce of potential in this area.

I talked to one of the partners about this, and he said it wasn't necessary. Instead, he recommended just doing as many appellate briefs as I can. on that note, I'm thinking about doing some pro se, if I can (I'm not sure the process). I just wanted thoughts from practitioners on the forum as to whether a good appellate lawyer needs to have clerked at that level. I understand some of the arguments in favor of clerking; they were the same arguments that led me to complete a district clerkship: understanding the procedure, understanding what sways the court, etc. However, I'm not sure my firm would support me leaving for a year and I want to be here long term.


Pro se means representing yourself. Are you planning on suing someone? Or do you mean pro bono (representing someone for free)?

As for an appellate clerkship, if you intend to stay at your firm, I don't see how it would be worth it. If you wanted to, say, go to a DC appellate boutique, it would be a different story.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro_se_clerk

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FullRamboLSGrad

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby FullRamboLSGrad » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:46 am

If you like your firm I'd just stay and practice, but if you want to maybe try to move then I'd go for it.

I did the Pro Se Clerk thing in LS and it was helpful,but honestly the best way to learn is to do. And since your firm does appellate practice I don't see how you would t have to quit to do the Clerking.

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Lincoln

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby Lincoln » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:08 pm

FullRamboLSGrad wrote:
Lincoln wrote:
timmyd wrote:As a new attorney, I've already been tasked with writing multiple briefs in both state and federal court. I work for a smaller firm, I don't know how common this would be in say, big law. I love this area and would like to make it my niche so to speak. I completed a federal district clerkship before joining the firm. However, I'm wondering if I need to try for an appellate clerkship at either the state supreme court level or federal level to truly unlock every ounce of potential in this area.

I talked to one of the partners about this, and he said it wasn't necessary. Instead, he recommended just doing as many appellate briefs as I can. on that note, I'm thinking about doing some pro se, if I can (I'm not sure the process). I just wanted thoughts from practitioners on the forum as to whether a good appellate lawyer needs to have clerked at that level. I understand some of the arguments in favor of clerking; they were the same arguments that led me to complete a district clerkship: understanding the procedure, understanding what sways the court, etc. However, I'm not sure my firm would support me leaving for a year and I want to be here long term.


Pro se means representing yourself. Are you planning on suing someone? Or do you mean pro bono (representing someone for free)?

As for an appellate clerkship, if you intend to stay at your firm, I don't see how it would be worth it. If you wanted to, say, go to a DC appellate boutique, it would be a different story.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro_se_clerk


I'm aware of pro se clerks, but, as far as I'm aware, federal pro se clerks are full-time employees of the court, and it sounds like OP is planning to stay at his firm while "doing some pro se." Also, being a pro se clerk is not a route to appellate litigation.

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LeDique

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby LeDique » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:10 pm

for whatever its worth, i met with a few people here in co about how they developed a primarily appellate practice. never once was their answer "clerking." but then again this is tls and y'all are probably trying to the appellate work with david boies so advice about developing your own appellate practice is probably immaterial.

(i agree with the partner and don't understand why everyone is giving you irrelevant advice. you seem pretty set – make it known you want that work and do a great job when you get it.)

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LeDique

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby LeDique » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:16 pm

let's spend 4 more posts arguing about OP confusing pro se and pro bono tho!

1styearlateral

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:02 pm

LeDique wrote:let's spend 4 more posts arguing about OP confusing pro se and pro bono tho!

---E

timmyd

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby timmyd » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:14 pm

My bad. I obviously meant pro bono--not pro se.

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encore1101

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby encore1101 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:53 am

To be fair, I've seen judgments reversed because of arguments raised in a pro se supplemental brief, but not in the appellant's main (through an attorney) brief.

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FullRamboLSGrad

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Re: Appellate clerkship necessary for appeals specilization?

Postby FullRamboLSGrad » Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:45 pm

Lincoln wrote:
FullRamboLSGrad wrote:
Lincoln wrote:
timmyd wrote:As a new attorney, I've already been tasked with writing multiple briefs in both state and federal court. I work for a smaller firm, I don't know how common this would be in say, big law. I love this area and would like to make it my niche so to speak. I completed a federal district clerkship before joining the firm. However, I'm wondering if I need to try for an appellate clerkship at either the state supreme court level or federal level to truly unlock every ounce of potential in this area.

I talked to one of the partners about this, and he said it wasn't necessary. Instead, he recommended just doing as many appellate briefs as I can. on that note, I'm thinking about doing some pro se, if I can (I'm not sure the process). I just wanted thoughts from practitioners on the forum as to whether a good appellate lawyer needs to have clerked at that level. I understand some of the arguments in favor of clerking; they were the same arguments that led me to complete a district clerkship: understanding the procedure, understanding what sways the court, etc. However, I'm not sure my firm would support me leaving for a year and I want to be here long term.


Pro se means representing yourself. Are you planning on suing someone? Or do you mean pro bono (representing someone for free)?

As for an appellate clerkship, if you intend to stay at your firm, I don't see how it would be worth it. If you wanted to, say, go to a DC appellate boutique, it would be a different story.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro_se_clerk


I'm aware of pro se clerks, but, as far as I'm aware, federal pro se clerks are full-time employees of the court, and it sounds like OP is planning to stay at his firm while "doing some pro se." Also, being a pro se clerk is not a route to appellate litigation.

Right,but State pro se clerks can be.



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