Judicial Clerkships

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
filtered
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:16 pm

Judicial Clerkships

Postby filtered » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:45 am

To provide some context, i'm a 1L at a top 20 with below median first semester grades. I have been offerred a judicial clerkship with a state trial court judge, and I'm not sure how to respond. I realize judicial clerkships are great experience and I definitely would love to experience it, but I'm wondering if I should wait for responses from higher courts or if it's not realistic to expect anything more given my grades.

For what it's worth, despite my subpar grades, my memo ended up getting the highest grade in my Section, so I probably have a pretty strong writing sample. I'm not sure this will do much, though, since it will likely be skimmed, at best.

User avatar
Unitas
Posts: 1387
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:03 pm

Re: Judicial Clerkships

Postby Unitas » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:52 am

I've always been told you shouldn't interview with a judge unless you plan on accepting. Don't know if this is really true, but may want to ask OCS about it.

Judges for internships seem to care about the person not the grades in my experience. So, you likely aren't out of the running for higher courts.

Just a side note, it is an internship, not a clerkship. Clerks are after graduation and are much harder to get and require great grades, great recommendations, or something great.

User avatar
megaTTTron
Posts: 980
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:26 pm

Re: Judicial Clerkships

Postby megaTTTron » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:57 am

Federal judicial internships look better. It would be worth it to wait to hear from a fed judge if that's an option.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11726
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Judicial Clerkships

Postby kalvano » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:59 am

If you wait, it probably won't be there later. I'd take it. Federal looks better, but any judicial internship beats working at Kinkos.

User avatar
megaTTTron
Posts: 980
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:26 pm

Re: Judicial Clerkships

Postby megaTTTron » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:38 am

kalvano wrote:If you wait, it probably won't be there later. I'd take it. Federal looks better, but any judicial internship beats working at Kinkos.


Yea, tough call.

missinglink
Posts: 946
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:49 am

Re: Judicial Clerkships

Postby missinglink » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:57 am

megaTTTron wrote:Federal judicial internships look better. It would be worth it to wait to hear from a fed judge if that's an option.

I hear this a lot, and I don't know. It may look marginally better; good grades will look much better.

You might also consider that you are more likely to work directly with a judge at the state trial level. At the federal level, you are more likely to be supervised by a clerk.

Whether or not a judge cares about grades seems to depend on the judges. I got some responses to my applications before grades were out. I also got some immediate responses after grades were sent out. And after talking to the judges, it was clear that the grades swayed them.

User avatar
megaTTTron
Posts: 980
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:26 pm

Re: Judicial Clerkships

Postby megaTTTron » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:23 am

missinglink wrote:
megaTTTron wrote:Federal judicial internships look better. It would be worth it to wait to hear from a fed judge if that's an option.

I hear this a lot, and I don't know. It may look marginally better; good grades will look much better.


Yes, but is this relevant? We're talking about state v federal clerkships.

missinglink wrote:You might also consider that you are more likely to work directly with a judge at the state trial level. At the federal level, you are more likely to be supervised by a clerk.


Yea, but you're also never likely to work with a supreme court justice, does that make a clerkship with a supreme court justice worth any less? I'm being harsh, but fed judicial internships >>>>>>>>> state judicial internships (from the mouths of interviewers). And regarding working for the clerk more than the judge, it's (a) not always true and (b) doesn't matter because you're doing the same work and getting the same LOR (which the clerk will almost always write anyways).

missinglink wrote:Whether or not a judge cares about grades seems to depend on the judges. I got some responses to my applications before grades were out. I also got some immediate responses after grades were sent out. And after talking to the judges, it was clear that the grades swayed them.


This is credited.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Judicial Clerkships

Postby keg411 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:13 am

OP, if you have an offer with the judge you have to take it; it is considered bad etiquette to turn down a judge. I have an interview with a state court judge this week, and even though I probably have the grades (so far) to be competitive for a district court internship in my state, if I get offered the state trial court internship, I will take it.

de5igual
Posts: 1463
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:52 pm

Re: Judicial Clerkships

Postby de5igual » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:39 am

Couldn't OP still go after the federal ones and, if successful, just split his summer? I've been told that while it's bad etiquette to turn down a judge, they are typically very flexible with scheduling.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CharlieAvocado, dagwood714, ididntwantsalmon and 6 guests