State appellate judge clerkship worth it?

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Anonymous User
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State appellate judge clerkship worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:40 am

I have a good friend who is close friends with a state judge (went to law school together, families know each other, etc.) My friend's said he could go to bat for me multiple times if I want to clerk for the state judge. I have a job lined up, but do you think I should do this down the road? I've always been interested in clerking but just missed the boat as a current 3L.

rad lulz
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Re: State appellate judge clerkship worth it?

Postby rad lulz » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:31 am

I wouldn't quit a job to work for state trial (I assume trial) unless my job was utter shit. Though it depends on the state.

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dingbat
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Re: State appellate judge clerkship worth it?

Postby dingbat » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:41 am

rad lulz wrote: it depends on the state.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: State appellate judge clerkship worth it?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:07 am

It does depend on the state, and also, do you mean intermediate court of appeals or supreme court? That makes a difference, too. I did a state intermediate court of appeals clerkship, and for me it was an amazing learning experience, where I became a much better writer (but a lot of that can depend on what the judge is like) and I got a crash course in a wide range of areas of state law. I think it's great experience if you're going to be practicing in that state's courts.

I would say that employment outcomes out of the state COA were mixed. For me, it was great, because having that clerkship helped me get a federal clerkship, which helped me get the job I'll be going to in the fall. More generally, a lot of people did very well, but some struggled, and it was probably mostly about the qualifications they had coming into the position. The SSC clerks usually do well (but I think a lot of them came in with offers from firms, that kind of thing). Some judges are more connected than others, or more willing to use connections on their clerks' behalf. These were all local positions, though - clerking in a different state from where you want to work isn't going to hurt you, but it isn't always going to help you as much as clerking in the state where you want to work.

So it probably depends on what you want out of it. If you want the experience of clerking, I think state appellate is a great way to go. If you're looking to bolster your job prospects, it depends on what you're hoping to do (and where).

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Re: State appellate judge clerkship worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:04 pm

It's a state intermediate appellate (i.e., one step after trial, one step before SSC). I do want to eventually do a A3 clerkship too though. The state clerkship would be in a midwestern state (think something like Nebraska), and I plan to work there, though not on state matters (more federal litigation).

Citizen Genet
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Re: State appellate judge clerkship worth it?

Postby Citizen Genet » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It's a state intermediate appellate (i.e., one step after trial, one step before SSC). I do want to eventually do a A3 clerkship too though. The state clerkship would be in a midwestern state (think something like Nebraska), and I plan to work there, though not on state matters (more federal litigation).


If you can tactfully find out whether that judge has connections to any federal judges, that would be helpful. There's a state intermediate court judge who routinely hires from my school and then feeds his clerks into one of three district court judges. Even if he doesn't routinely feed, see if he's done it all.

If you're planning on being in this Nebraska-like state long term, knowing a state COA judge can be a fantastic connection for things other than just feeding into federal clerkships. (Political connections, connections with state agencies, etc.) I wouldn't count it out, you just have to determine whether its worth the cost.




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