Why clerk?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
minnesconsin
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:26 am

Re: Why clerk?

Postby minnesconsin » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:50 pm

What I'm wondering about clerking is would it be beneficial to someone who has little to no interest in being a trial attorney? Would it be looked highly upon by firms if somebody wanted to focus on Corporate and/or Tax post-clerkship?

granitemuse
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:01 pm

Re: Why clerk?

Postby granitemuse » Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:00 pm

minnesconsin wrote:What I'm wondering about clerking is would it be beneficial to someone who has little to no interest in being a trial attorney? Would it be looked highly upon by firms if somebody wanted to focus on Corporate and/or Tax post-clerkship?


bump. does anyone know? if you do transactional law, should you still clerk?

sophie316
Posts: 374
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:08 pm

Re: Why clerk?

Postby sophie316 » Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:07 pm

Does anyone know if non US citizens can clerk?

User avatar
TTT-LS
Posts: 764
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:36 pm

Re: Why clerk?

Postby TTT-LS » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:05 pm

.
Last edited by TTT-LS on Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
edcrane
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:28 pm

Re: Why clerk?

Postby edcrane » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:09 pm

TTT-LS wrote:
granitemuse wrote:
minnesconsin wrote:What I'm wondering about clerking is would it be beneficial to someone who has little to no interest in being a trial attorney? Would it be looked highly upon by firms if somebody wanted to focus on Corporate and/or Tax post-clerkship?


bump. does anyone know? if you do transactional law, should you still clerk?

Yes, you should still consider it. There is no one right answer, and your individual goals are really what matter. That said, if you are open to the idea of clerking generally, but you don't want to waste your time with an experience that won't make you a better corporate attorney, then you do have some options. First, a Delaware Chancery clerkship would be pretty amazing for a corporate attorney. For that matter, D. Del. in the federal courts or the Del. supreme court would be a good fit too. More broadly, any federal bankruptcy court might be good experience, or the tax court if you want to do tax (those clerkships may require prior practice, however). If you have elite credentials, I think SDNY would be worthwhile too.


Can you explain why D. Del. would be a good fit? Are there really that many cases that get removed from the chancery to the district court?

Also, do you have a sense of how competitive the chancery is?

amped
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:15 am

Re: Why clerk?

Postby amped » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:37 pm

Also interested in the DE clerkships.


User avatar
Carnertine
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:07 pm

Re: Why clerk?

Postby Carnertine » Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:45 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:I've had the same experience trying to explain my interest in clerking- even to misinformed law students! They all look at me strangely when I say that getting a good clerkship or two (F. Dist-> CoA, or CoA->SCOTUS, or, what one of my school's alma matters did, F. Dist->CoA->SCOTUS) will set me up for a much more lucrative, successful career than jumping right in to Biglaw would.


That is the path I plan on following too. Well I will be realistic as of now and say SCOTUS is not in my ballpark. Hopefully one of the higher transfer schools will bite (*fingers crossed*) and that will give me a better shot.

*** Z'Barron- That was awesome. Thanks!

User avatar
biggamejames
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:27 pm

Re: Why clerk?

Postby biggamejames » Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:52 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:it seems like your basically someone's bitch for 2-3 years.

Enjoy Big Law.

User avatar
Carnertine
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:07 pm

Re: Why clerk?

Postby Carnertine » Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:54 pm

biggamejames wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:it seems like your basically someone's bitch for 2-3 years.

Enjoy Big Law.

I thought Big Law was where you get to argue in front of the SCOTUS? :lol:

billbob
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:51 pm

Re: Why clerk?

Postby billbob » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:43 pm

Snooker wrote:Maybe instead of saying "I am a clerk", you could say "I hold a clerkship". It's twice as long, and probably twice as impressive.


Actually it is "law-clerk"... the clerks are the guys who manage the docket, call the case, and deal with the jury. The law-clerks are the people who never say a word in court, but write the decisions and, to a large extent, decide the law.

billbob
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:51 pm

Re: Why clerk?

Postby billbob » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:50 pm

snotrocket wrote:You don't usually need connections to get judicial internships (summer spots, where you really work for the judge's clerk, in most cases, not the judge). They don't pay, or they pay very little, and lots of people turn to them as fallbacks when more desirable options don't pan out (i.e. paying firm jobs). They're not a huge value in terms of experience, but they're a whole lot better than non-legal work. And you might get lucky and get a semi-decent LOR out of it. You might also get some useful experience watching litigation happen from the other side of the bench, and maybe some writing skills, depending on how well you perform.


That really depends on the judge. I know some interns who get to write a significant number of decisions and who work very closely with the judge and have little to do with law clerks. Just like what a law clerk will do depends upon the judge, so does it what an intern will do. An internship in court is like any other summer job, it is something great to talk about during OCI.

User avatar
steve_nash
Posts: 256
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:35 pm

Re: Why clerk?

Postby steve_nash » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:28 pm

biggamejames wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:it seems like your basically someone's bitch for 2-3 years.

Enjoy Big Law.


+1

User avatar
Lily
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:01 pm

Re: Why clerk?

Postby Lily » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:32 pm

I have a friend who is in her 40s who took a law clerk position upon graduating law school. Her intent was for the position to be temporary, but she enjoyed the work so much that she has conitnued to do it and has made it her career. Some people are bookworms and love doing research and writing. (:

User avatar
DelDad
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:26 pm

Re: Why clerk?

Postby DelDad » Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:19 pm

You don't usually need connections to get judicial internships (summer spots, where you really work for the judge's clerk, in most cases, not the judge). They don't pay, or they pay very little, and lots of people turn to them as fallbacks when more desirable options don't pan out (i.e. paying firm jobs). They're not a huge value in terms of experience, but they're a whole lot better than non-legal work. And you might get lucky and get a semi-decent LOR out of it. You might also get some useful experience watching litigation happen from the other side of the bench, and maybe some writing skills, depending on how well you perform.



Internships might indeed fallbacks for some, but for those who want to clerk after school, they can be extremely valuable. First, some judges will not take someone as a clerk if they have not interened for a judge previously. Second, even if the judge you apply to doesn't have that rule, it is 100% guaranteed that if a judge is interested in having you as a clerk, they will call the judge you interned for for a candid opinion of you (you usually won't get a letter of recommendation out of it -at elast if you will be practicing law in the same area you intern in. There are ethics issues with a judge writing recs that will go to law firms that practice before them). Third, the writing experience and exposure to other lawyers' writing in a variey of practice areas is incredibly worthwhile (as an intern, I drafted a large number of opinions including a thirty-five pager, and saw what in other people's writing changed the judge's mind and what he basically ignored. Best educational experience with regard to writing that I've had since the start of law school. Got great writing sample out of it too.). Fourth, hour of one-on-one time with the judge, talking about averything from career advice to substantive law to fishing was just plain great. Finally, having interned with judge I was with last summer has helped my this summer in that there are several former clerks of the same judge Iat the firm I'm working at, and in that the judge is highly respected throughout the firm in general.

(Less directly valauble, but still a great part of the summer was getting to interact with people from various arms of the federal court system (US Attorney's Office, Medical Examiners Office [sat in on an autopsy], ATF[other interns fired automatic weapons at the shooting range; I was sick that day], federal public defender's office, etc.)

It is, undeniably, a low paying job compared to a firm job, which is an issue not to be ignored. But, if you want to do it and can afford the opportunity cost, and if you can find a good judge, I don't think there's a better 1L summer gig.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Downstairs_Mixup, LawHammer, Op_Diom, sr1986, TheSpanishMain and 14 guests