Kretzy wrote:If someone wants both an appellate and district court clerkship, does it really provide an advantage to focus on getting a d. ct. clerkship first? Or is is easier to snag a district court clerkship after a COA one?
If you want to do both, you should apply to both simultaneously. The order and timing of obtaining two clerkships is too idiosyncratic to say "focusing" one way or the other will give you an advantage. Some COA judges who are full for the upcoming year will be more likely to hire you if you already have a d. ct. clerkship lined up. Others will hire simultaneously with a d. ct. clerkship (this is rarer, but Katzmann comes to mind). On the other hand some COA judges are hiring for the upcoming year only, and wouldn't hire someone who already has a d. ct. clerkship for that year. Some district court judges may also be full for the upcoming year, but would still be interested in hiring someone who has a lined up a COA clerkship. And so on. So apply to any and all judges you would be happy clerking for.
If you don't end up getting both a COA and a d. ct. clerkship after you apply this year, apply again the following year. Clerk --> Work --> clerk is also becoming a more common path to doing both clerkships.