Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
Anonymous User
Posts: 273586
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:26 am

Hey everyone. I know that the general idea is that clerkships are a great thing, is that still true for Common Pleas clerkships? I know that it is a pretty low court, the pay is minuscule ($22k-$38k from what I have found), and that the locations are generally less than desirable. I have landed an interview for a common pleas clerkship, and I think my chances are pretty good. As I have no other promising leads on a post-grad job right now, if I get the offer for the clerkship, should I take it? Or is a common pleas clerkship not worth my time?

About me: top 15% at a mid Tier 2, public interest law experience, no interest in working at a firm, want to work in juvenile, family and education law at a public interest organization or a university.

theaccidentalclerk
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:29 am

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:53 am

As I have no other promising leads on a post-grad job right now, if I get the offer for the clerkship, should I take it?


I mean, the bolded part kind of answers your question for you, right?

More generally, in my experience, a state trial court clerkship will give you a bit of a bump with the local DA/SA/state AG offices. It might make you more attractive to the mom-and-pop small firms in the area who want to pay entry level wages (I do mean wages -- think hourly pay, or maybe a third of what you bill/earn) but can't afford to take on someone with zero experience. It won't make you more attractive at the big firms. But you're not interested in those, so who cares.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273586
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:07 pm

theaccidentalclerk wrote:
As I have no other promising leads on a post-grad job right now, if I get the offer for the clerkship, should I take it?


I mean, the bolded part kind of answers your question for you, right?

More generally, in my experience, a state trial court clerkship will give you a bit of a bump with the local DA/SA/state AG offices. It might make you more attractive to the mom-and-pop small firms in the area who want to pay entry level wages (I do mean wages -- think hourly pay, or maybe a third of what you bill/earn) but can't afford to take on someone with zero experience. It won't make you more attractive at the big firms. But you're not interested in those, so who cares.


OP here, I want to clarify a little about what I said in the bolded - by that I meant that I have applied to a number of other things I am qualified for, but haven't heard back yet (still being considered though). I know if I get the offer, I should probably take it. However, it might also be important to note that it is in a small town, so there wouldn't be opportunities to work in the area after a year at the clerkship (nor would I have any desire to stay in the area).

User avatar
legalese_retard
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:14 pm

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby legalese_retard » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:47 pm

no interest in working at a firm, want to work in juvenile, family and education law at a public interest organization or a university


Since you have no interest in working in a big law firm, this type of clerkship will be a great opportunity. You will learn a lot about the judicial system that you will be practicing in front of. This is true even if you don't end up practicing in the same city. It may not be "prestigious" in the eyes of many on here, but the places you will apply to afterwards will look favorably on the experience.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273586
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:14 pm

legalese_retard wrote:
no interest in working at a firm, want to work in juvenile, family and education law at a public interest organization or a university


Since you have no interest in working in a big law firm, this type of clerkship will be a great opportunity. You will learn a lot about the judicial system that you will be practicing in front of. This is true even if you don't end up practicing in the same city. It may not be "prestigious" in the eyes of many on here, but the places you will apply to afterwards will look favorably on the experience.


OP here. Thanks. I thought it might be helpful for public interest work, as it will let me apply for jobs that require a year of experience in general or in family/education/juvenile law.

Any other opinions?

User avatar
OutCold
Posts: 419
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:57 pm

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby OutCold » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:47 pm

I spent a summer in a state AG office. A number of the DAG's had done clerkships with lower state court judges. Most firms won't be impressed by the credential unless it is a small local shop. This is totally anecdotal, so don't take it for anything more.

User avatar
johnnyutah
Posts: 1709
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:00 pm

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby johnnyutah » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey everyone. I know that the general idea is that clerkships are a great thing, is that still true for Common Pleas clerkships? I know that it is a pretty low court, the pay is minuscule ($22k-$38k from what I have found), and that the locations are generally less than desirable. I have landed an interview for a common pleas clerkship, and I think my chances are pretty good. As I have no other promising leads on a post-grad job right now, if I get the offer for the clerkship, should I take it? Or is a common pleas clerkship not worth my time?

About me: top 15% at a mid Tier 2, public interest law experience, no interest in working at a firm, want to work in juvenile, family and education law at a public interest organization or a university.

What assignment is the Common Pleas judge in? By this I mean, what kind of cases do they do.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273586
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:38 pm

johnnyutah wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey everyone. I know that the general idea is that clerkships are a great thing, is that still true for Common Pleas clerkships? I know that it is a pretty low court, the pay is minuscule ($22k-$38k from what I have found), and that the locations are generally less than desirable. I have landed an interview for a common pleas clerkship, and I think my chances are pretty good. As I have no other promising leads on a post-grad job right now, if I get the offer for the clerkship, should I take it? Or is a common pleas clerkship not worth my time?

About me: top 15% at a mid Tier 2, public interest law experience, no interest in working at a firm, want to work in juvenile, family and education law at a public interest organization or a university.

What assignment is the Common Pleas judge in? By this I mean, what kind of cases do they do.


Juvenile and family law cases mostly.

User avatar
johnnyutah
Posts: 1709
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:00 pm

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby johnnyutah » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
johnnyutah wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey everyone. I know that the general idea is that clerkships are a great thing, is that still true for Common Pleas clerkships? I know that it is a pretty low court, the pay is minuscule ($22k-$38k from what I have found), and that the locations are generally less than desirable. I have landed an interview for a common pleas clerkship, and I think my chances are pretty good. As I have no other promising leads on a post-grad job right now, if I get the offer for the clerkship, should I take it? Or is a common pleas clerkship not worth my time?

About me: top 15% at a mid Tier 2, public interest law experience, no interest in working at a firm, want to work in juvenile, family and education law at a public interest organization or a university.

What assignment is the Common Pleas judge in? By this I mean, what kind of cases do they do.

Juvenile and family law cases mostly.

I think this is a no-brainer. Take the clerkship. The judge you're going to be working for presides over the kind of cases you want to handle in the jurisdiction you want to work in. The employers you're going to be interested in will see this experience as a plus, but more importantly, you'll get a serious leg up on how to succeed at handling these kinds of cases.

There are four states in the country that have Courts of Common Pleas. If you're in Pennsylvania, PM me and I can tell you more.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273586
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:56 pm

johnnyutah wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
johnnyutah wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey everyone. I know that the general idea is that clerkships are a great thing, is that still true for Common Pleas clerkships? I know that it is a pretty low court, the pay is minuscule ($22k-$38k from what I have found), and that the locations are generally less than desirable. I have landed an interview for a common pleas clerkship, and I think my chances are pretty good. As I have no other promising leads on a post-grad job right now, if I get the offer for the clerkship, should I take it? Or is a common pleas clerkship not worth my time?

About me: top 15% at a mid Tier 2, public interest law experience, no interest in working at a firm, want to work in juvenile, family and education law at a public interest organization or a university.

What assignment is the Common Pleas judge in? By this I mean, what kind of cases do they do.

Juvenile and family law cases mostly.

I think this is a no-brainer. Take the clerkship. The judge you're going to be working for presides over the kind of cases you want to handle in the jurisdiction you want to work in. The employers you're going to be interested in will see this experience as a plus, but more importantly, you'll get a serious leg up on how to succeed at handling these kinds of cases.

There are four states in the country that have Courts of Common Pleas. If you're in Pennsylvania, PM me and I can tell you more.


It is not necessarily the jurisdiction that I want to work in, but it is in the general region in the US that I want to work in. I've applied very broadly geographically, so this was just a hit that I heard back on. Thanks very much for the advice!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273586
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote: As I have no other promising leads on a post-grad job right now . . .

mid Tier 2


This is the only info needed to conclude that, yes, it would be worth it.

FamilyLawEsq
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:30 pm

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby FamilyLawEsq » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:48 pm

Having practiced family law for 32 years, I can tell you that you will have a leg up on other candidates when applying for positions post clerkship if you remain in the county or surrrounding counties upon completion. Clerking for a family law Common Pleas judge exposes you to all the family attorneys/potential employers, the other judges, and row offices. This is invaluable.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273586
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:02 pm

FamilyLawEsq wrote:Having practiced family law for 32 years, I can tell you that you will have a leg up on other candidates when applying for positions post clerkship if you remain in the county or surrrounding counties upon completion. Clerking for a family law Common Pleas judge exposes you to all the family attorneys/potential employers, the other judges, and row offices. This is invaluable.


OP here. Thanks for this reply. The location of this clerkship is very rural, in a pretty small town with the nearest city just about an hour away. I wouldn't mind working in the nearby city after my year in the clerkship, but I am SO sick of living in small towns. Would working in the small town make me stuck there in terms of the connections I would get?

FamilyLawEsq
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:30 pm

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby FamilyLawEsq » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:10 pm

To the above poster: The beauty of family law is that there are all kinds of networking opportunities and continuing ed programs which will most likely be held in the city, rather than the local town. Go and network. There are state wide family law programs held in the summer and the winter over a weekend. Go and network. You could be trained as a mediator while you clerk. You will meet and deal with the attorneys from the neighboring city with whom you can interact while seeking a job. Talk to the local family law practioners at the Bar functions, we typically know attorneys in the adjoining counties and can put in a good word for the youngsters!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273586
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:10 am

I'm in a similar position as the OP (might even be interviewing for the same job) - my question is, if I get the clerkship and accept it, how bad is it to keep applying to and even interviewing for other positions? If another, better opportunity comes alone, can I take it?

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22888
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:16 am

It is generally a really really really bad idea to renege on an acceptance to a judge.

FamilyLawEsq
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:30 pm

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby FamilyLawEsq » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:43 am

A Common Pleas Court clerkship is usually only one year (some allow you to stay 2 years). To accept the job and quit during the year is not acceptable. If you do quit you better be taking a job outside the area because judges have loooooooooooooong memories.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273586
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:46 am

FamilyLawEsq wrote:A Common Pleas Court clerkship is usually only one year (some allow you to stay 2 years). To accept the job and quit during the year is not acceptable. If you do quit you better be taking a job outside the area because judges have loooooooooooooong memories.


I would only even consider accepting another position up to 3 months before I started. But the chances of finding anything else are super slim anyway.

User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 2428
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:07 pm

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby BlueLotus » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:18 pm

How important is making LR for CCP clerkships? Interested in PA.

Myself
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:36 pm

.

Postby Myself » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:33 pm

.
Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

FamilyLawEsq
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:30 pm

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby FamilyLawEsq » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:18 pm

BlueLotus wrote:How important is making LR for CCP clerkships? Interested in PA.



What part of PA?

User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 2428
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:07 pm

Re: Court of Common Pleas Clerkship worth it?

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:41 pm

^Philly area.

Have ties (grew up there) and know of at least 2 alums who are CCP judges in Philly (both in crim division)




Return to “Judicial Clerkships”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.