Thoughts on leaving my state dis. court clerkship...

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Thoughts on leaving my state dis. court clerkship...

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:46 pm

I've been clerking at a state district court for one year next month. When I initially interviewed it was sort of left open as to how long I would actually clerk for (I think most judges prefer two years).

Anyway, I saw and applied to an in-house counsel position that I thought looked really great. I actually got a phone call to interview (the very same day) this past week for the job. I told my interviewers that I would like to at least complete a year and have time to train a new clerk. They are definitely in the preliminary stages of the hiring process and didn't really give me a timeline (but seemed to be receptive to my timeline). So, nothing is solid at this point.

I'm nervous about telling my judge that i *might* be leaving. Do I tell the Judge I'm being considered for this job OR wait till it's a little more of a sure thing so it's not so awkward if I don't get an offer...hmmmmm.....

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Re: Thoughts on leaving my state dis. court clerkship...

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:56 pm

I'm in somewhat of a similar position. At my court, however, it's understood that you are expected to stay at least a year, preferably two, but they encourage you to look for positions during your second year. The unspoken agreement is you should only leave during your second year if it's a job you can't pass up, and that determination is at your discretion.

I think you're the only one who can really gauge how the judge would react. Regardless, you should have the discussion if it's unclear. I can't imagine the harm of bringing it up if you're unsure of the policy after a year of being there. I'm sure it's crossed the judge's mind.

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Re: Thoughts on leaving my state dis. court clerkship...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:38 pm

What is a state district court? Do some states call their trial courts the same thing the fed calls theirs?

Sounds like a tough situation. I'd personally probably wait until the job offer was on more solid ground.

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Re: Thoughts on leaving my state dis. court clerkship...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:03 pm

It's trial court for the state. There's a court below us for smaller dollar amount cases, etc and our decisions get appealed to the SC.

Anyway, I've gotten a bunch of mixed reviews on this. I think I'm going to wait and see if I hear back from them on a second round of interviews. I don't feel like dropping this on the court just yet.

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Re: Thoughts on leaving my state dis. court clerkship...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:04 am

I'm in a similar situation--state court clerkship with no time commitment. During the interview process, my judge seemed to understand that people begin looking for another job almost as soon as they get one. I've only been at my clerkship for five months and am starting to apply to positions in a larger metropolitan area where my SO lives and works. Moreover, I'm considering applying to other district court judges in the state so I can develop stronger connections in the area. I greatly fear my strategy will backfire and offend my current judge, whom I actually really like.

Maybe I am significantly more brazen, but I think a one-year stint at the state trial court is a sufficient showing when you've made no time commitment. Taking the time to train a new law clerk is a nice, professional courtesy. After one year, I would have no problem telling the judge I had begun my job search. My guess is the judge would appreciate the candor. He may even want to help out. But as someone else said, only you can really gauge the judge's reaction.




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