Clerks Taking Questions

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rpupkin
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Given that you're probably going to have a bit of a rough time landing a post-clerkship job anyway


Also, why do you say this? Is it because my stats are sub-par and I only have transactional experience at a law firm, or you mean it is difficult in general, or both? Genuinely curious, not challenging your opinion.

Your stats are not a concern. Above median at PVM is plenty good enough. There are a few firms that would filter you out based on your school/grades even after a clerkship, but those firms are off the table regardless of how you handle the next few months.

Your main problem will be that you'll be four or five years out of law school and will have had only BK experience in practice. That's not a deal killer everywhere, but some firms will pass. And if you read past "clerks looking for employment" threads, you'll see clerks commenting that finding a post-clerkship job was harder than they thought it would be. Clerking isn't as much of a boost as many assume it is.

For the above reasons, I'd hesitate before doing something that might give a firm another reason not to hire (or even interview) you. When we see an an applicant who is several years out of law school who left a prior firm to clerk, the first thing we wonder is: "Does this person really want to work at a law firm?"

To be clear, when I wrote "a bit of a rough time landing a post-clerkship job," I meant the "a bit" part. I'm not suggesting that you're completely screwed if you leave your firm for this six-month temp clerkship. But I do think it could hurt you a little down the road--so, if your goal is to maximize your law-firm opportunities post-clerkship, I'd probably stick it out at your firm for a few more months.

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jrf12886
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby jrf12886 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a Bankruptcy associate beginning my second year at Biglaw firm in NYC. I have a district clerkship lined up for 18-19 in a flyover and am currently applying to COA clerk positions for the following year. I don't think I can make it another month at the firm. It's that bad, I hate it, and want to gtfo asap. I have the opportunity to take on a temporary, 6-month clerkship with an Associate Judge on the DC Superior Court (not magistrate judge).

Would it be foolish of me to take this position w/r/t my career? Will it affect my chances of coming back into biglaw (to do litigation of course)? Will future employers look at the DC clerkship and think, "she only got her district and circuit clerkships because of this?" Am I asking the wrong questions? I dont care about the money I would leave behind, and frankly, before this position came up I was simply thinking about straight-up quitting. It's been that bad for me (not asking for a pity party, just trying to give context), and while I want the money, I don't NEED it to survive / cover my loans. I have been saving aggressively and can make it to the next clerkship.

FYI, I am above median at PVM school range, but not law review.


I agree with rpupkin that this wouldn't be ideal. Perhaps if you can tolerate staying at your current job for a few more months, you could explain a 3-ish month gap as a inter-job vacation. It's not all that unusual for clerks to take about 2 months off before or after clerking. Make sure you end at the beginning of the month so your resume will reflect the shortest gap possible.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a Bankruptcy associate beginning my second year at Biglaw firm in NYC. I have a district clerkship lined up for 18-19 in a flyover and am currently applying to COA clerk positions for the following year. I don't think I can make it another month at the firm. It's that bad, I hate it, and want to gtfo asap. I have the opportunity to take on a temporary, 6-month clerkship with an Associate Judge on the DC Superior Court (not magistrate judge).

Would it be foolish of me to take this position w/r/t my career? Will it affect my chances of coming back into biglaw (to do litigation of course)? Will future employers look at the DC clerkship and think, "she only got her district and circuit clerkships because of this?" Am I asking the wrong questions? I dont care about the money I would leave behind, and frankly, before this position came up I was simply thinking about straight-up quitting. It's been that bad for me (not asking for a pity party, just trying to give context), and while I want the money, I don't NEED it to survive / cover my loans. I have been saving aggressively and can make it to the next clerkship.

FYI, I am above median at PVM school range, but not law review.


At the end of the day, is returning to biglaw even worth it if you're this miserable?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:43 am

I know SDNY is the golden ticket for district court clerkships but would EDNY be considered a close second? In terms of overall job prospects after clerkship/prestige.

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Lincoln
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Lincoln » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:I know SDNY is the golden ticket for district court clerkships but would EDNY be considered a close second? In terms of overall job prospects after clerkship/prestige.


I'd argue there is little difference in job prospects (other than maybe geographical) between SDNY, EDNY, CDCA, NDCA, and maybe even DDC, EDVA.

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jrf12886
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby jrf12886 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know SDNY is the golden ticket for district court clerkships but would EDNY be considered a close second? In terms of overall job prospects after clerkship/prestige.


For NY firms, they typically invite 2d Cir., SDNY, and EDNY clerks to their clerk hiring events. I believe clerking at any of those courts will get your application seriously considered at most NY firms. I assume the general preference is 2d Cir>SDNY>EDNY, but that may be more correlation that causation, since that's also the general order of selectivity of those clerkships. Also, it is hard to get any of those clerkships, so I am not sure firms really make these fine distinctions.
Last edited by jrf12886 on Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:46 pm

In terms of job post-clerkship, I don't have any interest in going back to a firm. I was thinking more USAO for SDNY or EDNY or main justice (assuming Trump is no longer president) and how an EDNY vs. SDNY clerkship compares for those.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:38 pm

jrf12886 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know SDNY is the golden ticket for district court clerkships but would EDNY be considered a close second? In terms of overall job prospects after clerkship/prestige.


For NY firms, they typically invite 2d Cir., SDNY, and EDNY clerks to their clerk hiring events. I believe clerking at any of those courts will get your application seriously considered at most NY firms. I assume the general preference is 2d Cir>SDNY>EDNY, but that may be more correlation that causation, since that's also the general order of selectivity of those clerkships. Also, it is hard to get any of those clerkships, so I am not sure firms really make these fine distinctions.


And this is largely a geographical thing. NDCA/CDCA/DDC clerks logistically cannot make it out to NYC clerk receptions. I think that by and large the SDNY clerk pool probably has stronger credentials than CDCA/NDCA, but if your credentials are the same I don't think you're going to suffer for having clerked in LA or SF rather than NYC.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:37 pm

FascinatedWanderer wrote:I think that by and large the SDNY clerk pool probably has stronger credentials than CDCA/NDCA.


-rolls eyes-

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:00 am

Yeah, I guess I was looking for a more granular comparison for SDNY vs. EDNY clerkships, specifically in regards to government jobs like USAO and main justice.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:32 pm

The temporary, 6-month clerkship is going to signal that you quit abruptly or were fired. Given that you're probably going to have a bit of a rough time landing a post-clerkship job anyway (I'm assuming your goal is general lit in big law), I'd stick it out at your firm until two or three months before your district-court clerkship.


Your stats are not a concern. Above median at PVM is plenty good enough. There are a few firms that would filter you out based on your school/grades even after a clerkship, but those firms are off the table regardless of how you handle the next few months.

Your main problem will be that you'll be four or five years out of law school and will have had only BK experience in practice. That's not a deal killer everywhere, but some firms will pass. And if you read past "clerks looking for employment" threads, you'll see clerks commenting that finding a post-clerkship job was harder than they thought it would be. Clerking isn't as much of a boost as many assume it is.

For the above reasons, I'd hesitate before doing something that might give a firm another reason not to hire (or even interview) you. When we see an an applicant who is several years out of law school who left a prior firm to clerk, the first thing we wonder is: "Does this person really want to work at a law firm?"

To be clear, when I wrote "a bit of a rough time landing a post-clerkship job," I meant the "a bit" part. I'm not suggesting that you're completely screwed if you leave your firm for this six-month temp clerkship. But I do think it could hurt you a little down the road--so, if your goal is to maximize your law-firm opportunities post-clerkship, I'd probably stick it out at your firm for a few more months.


I agree with rpupkin that this wouldn't be ideal. Perhaps if you can tolerate staying at your current job for a few more months, you could explain a 3-ish month gap as a inter-job vacation. It's not all that unusual for clerks to take about 2 months off before or after clerking. Make sure you end at the beginning of the month so your resume will reflect the shortest gap possible.


OP here with an update: District court judge has an unexpected opening. I can start in January, but it would still run through July 2019. If I accept, I imagine it addresses the bold above, but I still would have to address the underlined part, which makes me think that this will be an issue regardless of whether I stay at the firm or accept either of the positions. Is that true? Besides money and the above, is there any reason to stay at the firm? Are there negatives to taking what will effectively be a 1.5 year clerkship?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby lavarman84 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
The temporary, 6-month clerkship is going to signal that you quit abruptly or were fired. Given that you're probably going to have a bit of a rough time landing a post-clerkship job anyway (I'm assuming your goal is general lit in big law), I'd stick it out at your firm until two or three months before your district-court clerkship.


Your stats are not a concern. Above median at PVM is plenty good enough. There are a few firms that would filter you out based on your school/grades even after a clerkship, but those firms are off the table regardless of how you handle the next few months.

Your main problem will be that you'll be four or five years out of law school and will have had only BK experience in practice. That's not a deal killer everywhere, but some firms will pass. And if you read past "clerks looking for employment" threads, you'll see clerks commenting that finding a post-clerkship job was harder than they thought it would be. Clerking isn't as much of a boost as many assume it is.

For the above reasons, I'd hesitate before doing something that might give a firm another reason not to hire (or even interview) you. When we see an an applicant who is several years out of law school who left a prior firm to clerk, the first thing we wonder is: "Does this person really want to work at a law firm?"

To be clear, when I wrote "a bit of a rough time landing a post-clerkship job," I meant the "a bit" part. I'm not suggesting that you're completely screwed if you leave your firm for this six-month temp clerkship. But I do think it could hurt you a little down the road--so, if your goal is to maximize your law-firm opportunities post-clerkship, I'd probably stick it out at your firm for a few more months.


I agree with rpupkin that this wouldn't be ideal. Perhaps if you can tolerate staying at your current job for a few more months, you could explain a 3-ish month gap as a inter-job vacation. It's not all that unusual for clerks to take about 2 months off before or after clerking. Make sure you end at the beginning of the month so your resume will reflect the shortest gap possible.


OP here with an update: District court judge has an unexpected opening. I can start in January, but it would still run through July 2019. If I accept, I imagine it addresses the bold above, but I still would have to address the underlined part, which makes me think that this will be an issue regardless of whether I stay at the firm or accept either of the positions. Is that true? Besides money and the above, is there any reason to stay at the firm? Are there negatives to taking what will effectively be a 1.5 year clerkship?


Is that the clerkship you already had lined up? If so, jump on it. Get out of the job you hate.

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rpupkin
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:05 am

lavarman84 wrote:Is that the clerkship you already had lined up? If so, jump on it. Get out of the job you hate.

Agreed.

OP: The problem with the six-month superior court clerkship is that it would signal that something went wrong at your current firm. A district court clerkship—regardless of whether it's for 12 or 18 months—won't have that effect.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby lavarman84 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:58 am

Is having a professor call a judge he/she doesn't know worthwhile? I am very interested in a certain clerkship because of the judge and location, and I'm trying to figure out a way to get my application pulled.

Also, would it be taboo for me to ask my judge to call this judge's chambers? I don't know if that's something that judges tend not to do (recommend a clerk to a judge at a different level for a subsequent clerkship).

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby mjb447 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:04 pm

lavarman84 wrote:Is having a professor call a judge he/she doesn't know worthwhile? I am very interested in a certain clerkship because of the judge and location, and I'm trying to figure out a way to get my application pulled.

Also, would it be taboo for me to ask my judge to call this judge's chambers? I don't know if that's something that judges tend not to do (recommend a clerk to a judge at a different level for a subsequent clerkship).

In my chambers, an unsolicited call from an unknown prof probably wouldn't get your app pulled. What the judge wants from a prof will be in your letter of rec. If the judge wants more, he'll ask for it later in the process.

Wouldn't be taboo to ask my judge(s), mostly because they're pretty approachable, but the answer would probably be a polite "no" if I were just a few months in (as I think you might be?) and hadn't done something truly outstanding. YMMV a lot on this one, though.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:23 pm

As a follow up to the above question, would it be crazy to have professors call a judge in a competitive circuit who the professor doesn't have ties with (2nd/9th) if they have established ties with judges in less competitive circuits (3rd/4th/10th)? Assuming professors are only going to make a limited number (say 3-5) calls, a call to one judge who the professor doesn't have connections to would mean one less call to a judge who the professor does have connections to.

Would it be overkill to have 2 professors call the same judge if they both have ties to the judge? What if they have no connections to the judge?

I'm asking these questions because my professors are considered "feeders" to one of 3/4/10 but not 2/9, and I want to know how I should best allocate my resources (phone calls professors are willing to make for me). I prefer 2/9 because of geographical/family reasons but would also be ok (though not the most happy) with working at 3/4/10 for a year.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby mjb447 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a follow up to the above question, would it be crazy to have professors call a judge in a competitive circuit who the professor doesn't have ties with (2nd/9th) if they have established ties with judges in less competitive circuits (3rd/4th/10th)? Assuming professors are only going to make a limited number (say 3-5) calls, a call to one judge who the professor doesn't have connections to would mean one less call to a judge who the professor does have connections to.

Would it be overkill to have 2 professors call the same judge if they both have ties to the judge? What if they have no connections to the judge?

I'm asking these questions because my professors are considered "feeders" to one of 3/4/10 but not 2/9, and I want to know how I should best allocate my resources (phone calls professors are willing to make for me). I prefer 2/9 because of geographical/family reasons but would also be ok (though not the most happy) with working at 3/4/10 for a year.

Have your profs make calls to the judges they know on 3/4/10 as long as you're okay working there - that's going to be by far the most effective use of your profs. I probably wouldn't have them make unsolicited calls to a 2/9 chambers where they don't have any connections. (I don't think two profs making calls to a judge is overkill if they both know the judge, but that's another thing that different posters and different judges may feel differently about.)

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby lavarman84 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:59 am

mjb447 wrote:
lavarman84 wrote:Is having a professor call a judge he/she doesn't know worthwhile? I am very interested in a certain clerkship because of the judge and location, and I'm trying to figure out a way to get my application pulled.

Also, would it be taboo for me to ask my judge to call this judge's chambers? I don't know if that's something that judges tend not to do (recommend a clerk to a judge at a different level for a subsequent clerkship).

In my chambers, an unsolicited call from an unknown prof probably wouldn't get your app pulled. What the judge wants from a prof will be in your letter of rec. If the judge wants more, he'll ask for it later in the process.

Wouldn't be taboo to ask my judge(s), mostly because they're pretty approachable, but the answer would probably be a polite "no" if I were just a few months in (as I think you might be?) and hadn't done something truly outstanding. YMMV a lot on this one, though.


How much of a difference do you think a call from a judge would make?(if the judges don't know each other)

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:16 pm

Probably a really stupid question, but I have my first clerkship interview in about a week. I’ve looked through my school’s clerkship list, and there are no former grads who have clerked for him. Would it be proper for me to ask his current clerk if she could provide me with a former clerk’s contact info?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Probably a really stupid question, but I have my first clerkship interview in about a week. I’ve looked through my school’s clerkship list, and there are no former grads who have clerked for him. Would it be proper for me to ask his current clerk if she could provide me with a former clerk’s contact info?


That's a little awkward. Have you searched Google and LinkedIn? Also, if you summered at a big firm, are there any former clerks of the judge there?

Even if it isn't possible to find former clerks through publicly available means, I'm not sure it'd be a good idea to ask the current clerk for the contact info of former clerks, unless you have some personal connection.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:40 pm

BlackAndOrange84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Probably a really stupid question, but I have my first clerkship interview in about a week. I’ve looked through my school’s clerkship list, and there are no former grads who have clerked for him. Would it be proper for me to ask his current clerk if she could provide me with a former clerk’s contact info?


That's a little awkward. Have you searched Google and LinkedIn? Also, if you summered at a big firm, are there any former clerks of the judge there?

Even if it isn't possible to find former clerks through publicly available means, I'm not sure it'd be a good idea to ask the current clerk for the contact info of former clerks, unless you have some personal connection.


Agreed. I think you'll be able to find former clerks without asking the current clerk.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby mjb447 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:43 pm

BlackAndOrange84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Probably a really stupid question, but I have my first clerkship interview in about a week. I’ve looked through my school’s clerkship list, and there are no former grads who have clerked for him. Would it be proper for me to ask his current clerk if she could provide me with a former clerk’s contact info?


That's a little awkward. Have you searched Google and LinkedIn? Also, if you summered at a big firm, are there any former clerks of the judge there?

Even if it isn't possible to find former clerks through publicly available means, I'm not sure it'd be a good idea to ask the current clerk for the contact info of former clerks, unless you have some personal connection.

Another possible plus - even assuming that chambers would provide contact info (doubtful), they’d probably only let you know about clerks that got along well in chambers. Google is haphazard but it doesn’t discriminate in that way if you’re trying to get the full picture.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby BulletTooth » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:55 pm

BlackAndOrange84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Probably a really stupid question, but I have my first clerkship interview in about a week. I’ve looked through my school’s clerkship list, and there are no former grads who have clerked for him. Would it be proper for me to ask his current clerk if she could provide me with a former clerk’s contact info?


That's a little awkward. Have you searched Google and LinkedIn? Also, if you summered at a big firm, are there any former clerks of the judge there?

Even if it isn't possible to find former clerks through publicly available means, I'm not sure it'd be a good idea to ask the current clerk for the contact info of former clerks, unless you have some personal connection.


I would always email former clerks of judges that I was going to interview. Most will snub you (if they're not from your school), but a few respond. Talking with the former clerks can really give you info on what the interview will be like and why (or why not) you would want to clerk for that judge.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby runinthefront » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:16 am

I'm just going to add that you don't need to reach out to former clerks to ace a clerkship interview. The vast majority of clerks don't speak to any former clerks before interviewing, I'd bet. So don't feel like you're at a disadvantage if you end up not having anyone to talk to about the interview process.

Whatever you do, don't ask any of the judge's current clerks to put you in contact with former clerks.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:07 am

Thanks everyone! I found nothing via the usual methods. I guess I’ll just try to be prepared for anything. TBH, I’m a borderline candidate anyway (was shocked to get an interview) and probably will just consider this as “practice” for state court interviews (none of which I currently have, but would be more in line with my expectations).




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