Clerks Taking Questions

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Anonymous User
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:26 am

How hard is it to go State Supreme Court - COA, if they're in the same state? Let's say grades are good enough for COA; would a State Supreme Court beforehand be a detriment?

twistedwrister
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby twistedwrister » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:I notice a substantial portion of federal circuit court judges ask for undergraduate transcripts. Any sense on how big of a role these play?


If you're talking about the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in D.C., then undergrad grades do make a big difference. A friend of mine will be clerking on the Fed. Cir., and according to him, all the judges talked about his undergrad grades / courses / transcript during his interviews. In the patent world, undergrad grades seem to matter (to both judges and law firms).

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:50 pm

Hey G.T.L. Thanks for answering all of our questions! Your information is enormously helpful.

Given your knowledge of appellate lit practice... Assuming that someone has the necessary credentials, would you recommend going to a highly-regarded appellate dept at a big firm (e.g., Wilmer, Gibson) or a boutique (e.g., Kellogg Huber)? While hearing objective pros and cons is always helpful, I'd especially love to hear your subjective opinion if you have one. Thanks again!

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Cavalier
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Cavalier » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:53 pm

tag

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patrickd139
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:07 pm

Cavalier wrote:tag

QFGunning

J/K
<----has read all 10 pages so far

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:00 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey G.T.L. Thanks for answering all of our questions! Your information is enormously helpful.

Given your knowledge of appellate lit practice... Assuming that someone has the necessary credentials, would you recommend going to a highly-regarded appellate dept at a big firm (e.g., Wilmer, Gibson) or a boutique (e.g., Kellogg Huber)? While hearing objective pros and cons is always helpful, I'd especially love to hear your subjective opinion if you have one. Thanks again!

Honestly, I don't feel very well equipped to answer this question. I have never worked at a botique, so all I know of them is what I have read, what I have heard from former clerks, and what my judge has said. I do get the sense that associates are better compensated at the high-end botiques (comparatively huge signing bonuses at some); that they probably get more substantive work early on; and that they work marginally longer hours. On the other hand, I do not know what the "exit options" picture looks like as between those two types of firms.


Thanks for the response, GTL!

The problem is that almost no one out there seems to feel well-equipped to answer this question (including my school's career counselors and appellate attorneys I have spoken with at large firms), haha, since people who have worked at those types of boutiques are few and far between and are not usually active in reaching out to law students the way that big firms are. So I really appreciate hearing your thoughts.

I'm definitely interested in learning more specifics about the pay and hours differential and exit options. (And if you know any of that information and wouldn't mind sharing, I can PM you.) For now, I'll just keep trying to glean information wherever I can until (and if!) it comes time to actually start talking with boutiques about post-LS employment.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby quiver » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:44 pm

In your experience, what types of 2L summer employment do judges look for? I'm sure it depends on the judge, but do most look for you to have been a SA at a firm or are internships with certain government bodies looked upon favorably as well?

I'm also wondering how multiple clerkships work. I've seen people who have both a district court and COA clerkship (or 2 COA) lined up for consecutive years. Is this because they were hired for the first clerkship as a 2L/rising 3L and then got the second one as a 3L/alum? If I wanted to do 2 consecutive years of clerkships right out of law school, is it possible to do this without having both lined up by graduation (for example, by applying while in the first clerkship)? Not that I have to worry about it, but how does SCOTUS fit in; are the justices interviewing 3L's and recent alumni or is this hiring done later while you're in the middle of a clerkship?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:21 pm

Do you think it ever makes sense for a 2L to mail an off-plan application to a circuit judge despite no announcement of the judge accepting off-plan applications on OSCAR nor any institutional connection that would make it known that the judge was starting to hire off-plan? I'm finding it difficult to determine how to approach applying to judges that I've heard are generally "off-plan" but whom I don't really have any way but OSCAR for finding out that they are accepting application.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you think it ever makes sense for a 2L to mail an off-plan application to a circuit judge despite no announcement of the judge accepting off-plan applications on OSCAR nor any institutional connection that would make it known that the judge was starting to hire off-plan? I'm finding it difficult to determine how to approach applying to judges that I've heard are generally "off-plan" but whom I don't really have any way but OSCAR for finding out that they are accepting application.


I'm also curious about this, mainly for judges who state on OSCAR: "Don't contact chambers."

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:43 pm

How is this generally received? I have an interview coming up in one courthouse, and this would be helpful, though perhaps too early in the process for some other judges in the same courthouse. I thought it would seem rude, especially to the judge who called me in for an interview. Is it sort of expected that applicants will try and do this?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby JusticeJackson » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:52 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

czelede
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby czelede » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:07 pm

Tagging for future reference. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all these questions :)

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby lightbulb1986 » Mon May 02, 2011 3:55 am

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Last edited by lightbulb1986 on Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby vamedic03 » Mon May 02, 2011 5:27 pm

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Last edited by vamedic03 on Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JusticeJackson
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby JusticeJackson » Mon May 02, 2011 9:44 pm

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imchuckbass58
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon May 02, 2011 10:50 pm

lightbulb1986 wrote:I haven't read the whole thread, so sorry if this has been covered: What if any, is the difference if you clerk for a CoA judge with senior status? What implications might this have? question is intentionally broad.


It really depends on the judge and what sort of caseload he/she is taking on. Some judges treat senior status as a semi-retirement. Some treat it exactly the same as being active. For instance, many judges on the Second Circuit go senior as soon as they are eligible to free up appointment spots, but still hear full caseloads for years or even decades in some circumstances.

I interned for a COA judge who had recently gone senior and as far as I could tell everything were pretty similar compared to before he took senior status. Had 3 clerks instead of 4 (and was hearing a 3/4 caseload as a result), but was still highly regarded, still wrote lots of opinions in important cases and still sent a clerk to SCOTUS every couple of years. So aside from the whole en banc thing, it was basically the same. Keep in mind some very high profile and very influential are senior - Calabresi, Leval, Silberman and Randolph are a few that come to mind, but I am sure there are others.

I imagine things are different if you get a judge who has ramped down his or her workload significantly and is in a sort of semi-retirement. In that case, there's probably reduced opportunities to write important opinions, less of a caseload, etc.

TL;DR version: There's nothing inherently different (aside from the en banc stuff). Your experience could be exactly the same if you have a judge who is still very active and involved, or very different if you get someone who's pretty much retired.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby lakerfanimal » Thu May 05, 2011 2:43 am

I apologize if this has been asked already, but does doing an externship with a judge your 1L summer give you a big advantage when applying to clerk after graduating?

Thanks for answering all of these questions.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby JusticeJackson » Thu May 05, 2011 1:05 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 06, 2011 2:27 am

Can you rate my chances at a federal district clerkship?

top 20% at MVP, Managing Board of Secondary Journal, will summer at V20

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 06, 2011 3:05 am

If a student wants to be a litigator but will be spending his 1L summer externing for a district court, is it worth clerking for a district court judge post-graduation? How about an appellate court judge?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 06, 2011 5:33 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can you rate my chances at a federal district clerkship?

top 20% at MVP, Managing Board of Secondary Journal, will summer at V20

This post illustrates an important point with respect to clerkship hiring: it is not like law school admissions or law firm hiring. Your school, approximate rank range, journal, and summer job do not give enough info to answer the question. To give you a useful answer, one must also know (1) how broadly you will be applying, with a few specific courts thrown in to illustrate; (2) how strong your recs will be and whether you anticipate anyone making calls on your behalf; and (3) your class year, since 3Ls and alumni often have better odds than 2Ls, all other things being equal. I guess I could assume that the poster above is a 2L based on the V20 comment, but it would help to be explicit.

So, reply with that info and I will gladly offer a rough prediction!


1) I will be applying for federal district clerkships anywhere in the entire state of California.

2) I don't anticipate anyone making calls for me, but my recs should be average I suppose.

3) I'm 2L (soon to be 3L), but I'd be willing to work for a few years and then clerk if my firm lets me.

Also, assume that I have a very strong IP background and that I'll be practicing mostly IP litigation. I'm shooting for NDCal, but I've heard it's extremely difficult to get, especially since my school is not in California.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 08, 2011 9:51 am

DUMB QUESTION: When you clerk for an article III judge, do you work at his/her duty station or at the courthouse itself?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 08, 2011 10:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:DUMB QUESTION: When you clerk for an article III judge, do you work at his/her duty station or at the courthouse itself?


You work wherever the judge wants you to work. Usually it's at the judge's chambers. For district court judges, their chambers are typically located in the courthouse where the courtrooms are. For circuit judges, however, that may not be true.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby zomginternets » Sun May 08, 2011 6:53 pm

You mentioned networking as a clerk as being a plus over being an extern. Could you elaborate? Besides networking/socializing with your fellow clerks, what networking opportunities do you get? I always thought of clerks (esp. COA clerks.. no offense!) as being shoveled into a desk in the corner of an office somewhere researching/writing memos for 10 hours each day, not having much chance to interact with the outside world.

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Tron
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Tron » Sun May 08, 2011 7:29 pm

Any insight on minority clerk hiring? Some judges care, some don't? AA male, T-25, top 1/3, secondary journal editor, note, strong govt work...thoughts?




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