Clerks Taking Questions

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:04 pm

About the above advice, is it really bad to send 3 rec ltrs when the judge only 'requires' 2?

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forza
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby forza » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:About the above advice, is it really bad to send 3 rec ltrs when the judge only 'requires' 2?


No.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:30 pm

Are clerkships with bankruptcy courts / court of federal claims "worth it" in terms of enhancing employment prospects? Or do firms not really care that much? Not necessarily Biglaw firms, but if you wanted to go to a decent mid-law firm in the general area of the clerkship afterwards.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:54 pm

There was a lot of discussion back when GTL was in this thread about the strategy of law review board positions. Some said that EIC, though the best credential you can have, isn't worth it because of the probable hit to your grades. Maybe our school operates differently from others. but this doesn't make sense to me. We select our board members in the spring of 2L year, but I don't believe they have real responsibilities until the summer. Meaning, even if you apply to on-plan judges, your grades haven't been impacted yet. And if you are lucky enough to snag a clerkship before 2L spring grades come out, then there's no way you've been effected.

What am I missing? I've never heard of a judge rescinding an offer for a 3L grade drop. Or maybe those people are SCOTUS candidates, or are looking to parlay a clerkship into a better one, so their grades still matter?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:42 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:There was a lot of discussion back when GTL was in this thread about the strategy of law review board positions. Some said that EIC, though the best credential you can have, isn't worth it because of the probable hit to your grades. Maybe our school operates differently from others. but this doesn't make sense to me. We select our board members in the spring of 2L year, but I don't believe they have real responsibilities until the summer. Meaning, even if you apply to on-plan judges, your grades haven't been impacted yet. And if you are lucky enough to snag a clerkship before 2L spring grades come out, then there's no way you've been effected.

What am I missing? I've never heard of a judge rescinding an offer for a 3L grade drop. Or maybe those people are SCOTUS candidates, or are looking to parlay a clerkship into a better one, so their grades still matter?


The vast majority of law reviews select (indeed, AFAIK every T10 law review) their executive boards in the very early spring (most transitions, if I recall correctly, were in February this past year). Typically, there is a very heavy workload for the executive board in the spring once they transition because the vast majority of articles are selected in the spring. Thus, many EIC's experience a grade drop in the spring of their 2L year.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:50 pm

This maybe a stupid question but what is the difference between a judge and a justice? I don't want to make a mistake in regards to cover letters.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:58 pm

Just want to see how screwed I am - had a blood disease during 1L that was misdiagnosed and resulted in an awful 1L GPA. No SA position 2L - did gov't work. Since the diagnosis, I've pulled straight A's but that has basically brought me up to slightly above median at my Tier 1. Secondary Journal, note published in outside law review, Moot Court with competition wins. I am insane to believe that any district or magistrate judge is going to seriously consider me correct?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby forza » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just want to see how screwed I am - had a blood disease during 1L that was misdiagnosed and resulted in an awful 1L GPA. No SA position 2L - did gov't work. Since the diagnosis, I've pulled straight A's but that has basically brought me up to slightly above median at my Tier 1. Secondary Journal, note published in outside law review, Moot Court with competition wins. I am insane to believe that any district or magistrate judge is going to seriously consider me correct?


These are all really good things, so I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility. Did you apply to geographic areas/judges with which you have ties?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are clerkships with bankruptcy courts / court of federal claims "worth it" in terms of enhancing employment prospects? Or do firms not really care that much? Not necessarily Biglaw firms, but if you wanted to go to a decent mid-law firm in the general area of the clerkship afterwards.



Bump. Anyone know?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby GertrudePerkins » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This maybe a stupid question but what is the difference between a judge and a justice? I don't want to make a mistake in regards to cover letters.
"Justice" is frequently used for judges who sit on the highest appellate court in a given jurisdiction (e.g., SCOTUS, Massachusetts's Supreme Judicial Court). Note, however, that not all state supreme courts refer to their judges as "Justices"; for example, the members of New York's Court of Appeals (yes, that's the highest court) are called "Judges." Obviously no federal judges (except SCOTUS) are called "Justices" -- as for states, you just need to double check.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:22 pm

forza wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just want to see how screwed I am - had a blood disease during 1L that was misdiagnosed and resulted in an awful 1L GPA. No SA position 2L - did gov't work. Since the diagnosis, I've pulled straight A's but that has basically brought me up to slightly above median at my Tier 1. Secondary Journal, note published in outside law review, Moot Court with competition wins. I am insane to believe that any district or magistrate judge is going to seriously consider me correct?


These are all really good things, so I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility. Did you apply to geographic areas/judges with which you have ties?


Yes, I am only applying to judges in the same district where I externed for a year and half and from where I grew up. I've read on here how judges are as critical if not more than firms are regarding grades. I tried to take courses that were extensions of 1L core classes to show that once my illness was under control I performed well. I just don't know if judges really look at applicants holistically initially or whether it's more like firms with gpa cutoffs, etc.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are clerkships with bankruptcy courts / court of federal claims "worth it" in terms of enhancing employment prospects? Or do firms not really care that much? Not necessarily Biglaw firms, but if you wanted to go to a decent mid-law firm in the general area of the clerkship afterwards.



Bump. Anyone know?



New poster bumping. Also curious. Interested in transactional work, wondering if these clerkships are worth it.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are clerkships with bankruptcy courts / court of federal claims "worth it" in terms of enhancing employment prospects? Or do firms not really care that much? Not necessarily Biglaw firms, but if you wanted to go to a decent mid-law firm in the general area of the clerkship afterwards.



Bump. Anyone know?



New poster bumping. Also curious. Interested in transactional work, wondering if these clerkships are worth it.


Yes and no.
Bankruptcy courts are prestigious generally only in NY and Delaware. That is where the expert judges are, and for that reason that is where all the corporations go to file chapter 11. Corporations do not want to risk bankruptcy at a district where the law is not really well developed.
Outside of those areas, I mean places like Chicago, Boston SF and other good cities are a decent choice. Local corporations file chapter 11.
Other than that, you might be stuck in a place that only does Chapter 7 and 13. For big law, these are not interesting. For mid law, who knows... I would guess probably yes, but only within the region.

The thing about mid-law though is that any clerkship can be a help or nothing. Grades and resume do not get you those jobs as much as work experience and need on their part for new attorneys.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:48 pm

What about mag judges and specialty courts, like federal claims?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:44 pm

How are benefits like health insurance? Standard govt employee package?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby democrattotheend » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:58 pm

Just bumping this so it doesn't get lost as we wait for Friday.

Has anyone who applied to supposedly on-plan judges but already been contacted?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:13 pm

Is it more typical for someone going straight from school to a clerkship to take the bar before or after their clerkship(s)? Is bar admission required to clerk?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:17 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:Is it more typical for someone going straight from school to a clerkship to take the bar before or after their clerkship(s)? Is bar admission required to clerk?


Bar admission is not required to clerk

I'll add a separate and related question: has anyone taken the two bar exams before finishing a clerkship? I am thinking of sitting for the bar in the state where my clerkship is and also in Indiana.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are clerkships with bankruptcy courts / court of federal claims "worth it" in terms of enhancing employment prospects? Or do firms not really care that much? Not necessarily Biglaw firms, but if you wanted to go to a decent mid-law firm in the general area of the clerkship afterwards.


I've worked at the court of federal claims, so I'll speak only to that part of your question. The clerkships are definitely worth it if you are interested in doing the kind of work the court does. For example, I knew several clerks going to government contracts groups at DC firms who practice regularly before the court and value the experience with both the judges and the type of work. That being said, the court is unique in that it has a 100% civil docket, so it is also a solid credential for general litigation. I also knew multiple clerks going to V20 lit groups in DC, and getting the standard biglaw bonus. Can't say if midlaw would be different, but I would assume midlaw firms with relevant practice areas (e.g., gov't contracts) would still value the experience. Obviously if you want to do criminal work, CFC would not be helpful.

As for transactional work, I don't see the value in most clerkships for those folks, so the CFC isn't any different. Maybe if you wanted to get in on the transactional side of government contracting it would be useful?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:58 pm

Any thought on the whether completing a bankruptcy clerkship makes someone more marketable for a district or circuit court clerkship the following year?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:56 pm

Likely a dumb question, but...

Do you HAVE to work on a journal to get a fed clerkship? I'm talking district ct (assuming COA would be foreclosed) in Midwest towns in states to which I have ties. I'm talking courts in towns of about 100k people. I'm a 2L, top 10% at YSH. Hoping to have 1-2 articles accepted for publication by summer.

Why don't I just bite the bullet and start working my tail off for a 2ndary journal? I used to edit a nationally published (non-law) journal and therefore dread the drudgery of working on a periodical. I know the work well and it no longer has any appeal for me. Plus I'm loaded up on clinics and am loving the practice of law -- what a drag to take time away from that to exchange emails with article authors and wade through a slush pile.

Is this hopeless? Do I just need to quit whining and get on board a secondary journal?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby ph14 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Likely a dumb question, but...

Do you HAVE to work on a journal to get a fed clerkship? I'm talking district ct (assuming COA would be foreclosed) in Midwest towns in states to which I have ties. I'm talking courts in towns of about 100k people. I'm a 2L, top 10% at YSH. Hoping to have 1-2 articles accepted for publication by summer.

Why don't I just bite the bullet and start working my tail off for a 2ndary journal? I used to edit a nationally published (non-law) journal and therefore dread the drudgery of working on a periodical. I know the work well and it no longer has any appeal for me. Plus I'm loaded up on clinics and am loving the practice of law -- what a drag to take time away from that to exchange emails with article authors and wade through a slush pile.

Is this hopeless? Do I just need to quit whining and get on board a secondary journal?


You could always just do some secondary journal with a minimal workload. There has to be one of those out there at your school.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby ClerkAnon » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:07 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:Is it more typical for someone going straight from school to a clerkship to take the bar before or after their clerkship(s)? Is bar admission required to clerk?


Bar admission is not required to clerk

I'll add a separate and related question: has anyone taken the two bar exams before finishing a clerkship? I am thinking of sitting for the bar in the state where my clerkship is and also in Indiana.


A clerk whom I replaced in one of my chambers did this. He took one bar exam during his pre-clerkship summer, then took a second bar exam during the February of his clerkship. It worked out for him; he passed both bars. However, the judge barred future clerks from taking the bar during their clerkship. My second judge has always had that ban in place. For a law clerk to take a bar exam during a clerkship is almost always disruptive to the work of chambers. You will require at least one week off (the bar week itself, especially if you have to travel to take the bar) and may want 1-2 more for full-time study. You'll also likely be distracted for a few weeks before, as you are doing bar prep while working. This usually affects both your co-clerk(s) and your judge, which is why bar taking is disfavored or outright banned in my chambers. Talk to your judge and see what their policy is. If you decide to take a bar exam during your clerkship, make sure that you do it in a way that is sensitive to your co-clerk(s)' workload and chambers output. Honestly, I would not encourage this unless your circumstances mean that you HAVE to be admitted in both states by the end of your clerkship and no other test-taking schedule is possible.

If, on the other hand, you mean that you want to take two exams back-to-back in July before your clerkship starts, that should be fine if the exam schedules permit.
Last edited by ClerkAnon on Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:08 pm

Honestly, if you get those articles published, and you already have journal editing experience, I don't see that doing a secondary journal would help you any. Journals are mostly proxies for writing ability, so if you can demonstrate it in other ways, I don't think they're necessary. The only thing is that they can also be proxies for willingness to do slog work for other people on stuff you don't personally care about at all, so a judge might want to see journal membership for that reason. But otherwise, I would think you'd be fine.

(Current district court clerk - I did have LR, but judges seemed much more interested in my pre-LS writing/research/publishing experience. As with everything, though, I'm sure it varies by the judge.)

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:26 pm

Just landed a clerkship with the US Tax Court. Taking Qs about the selection process (all I can speak to at this point). Will try to return later once the actual clerkship begins to field questions about the day to day, exit ops, etc.




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