District Courts--Oklahoma/Alabama and other Mid-West

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: 273269
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

District Courts--Oklahoma/Alabama and other Mid-West

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:52 am

Anyone clerk (or knows someone) in Oklahoma or similar near by places? if so, can you please share your experience on what it was like to clerk in that area? In addition, I am wondering how much these clerkships weigh for post-clerkship big law job prospects in NY/DC area. Thank you for your time and any input you might have.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273269
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: District Courts--Oklahoma/Alabama and other Mid-West

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:00 am

What is similar and near by to Oklahoma and Alabama? Arkansas?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273269
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: District Courts--Oklahoma/Alabama and other Mid-West

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:00 am

Yes, where exactly do you mean? Oklahoma & Alabama aren't exactly near each other, nor would I call either of them the midwest.

I clerk in a district - well, let's say equally far from DC/NY, culturally/distance-wise, as those you've mentioned. I know a number of clerks in this circuit have ended up in DC and NY biglaw. However, two of them also did federal COA clerkships, so they had biglaw credentials already, and may well have had the offers in hand before clerking here. (Both had personal reasons/ties for clerking out here.) There are also clerks who seem to end up working locally, but I think they're generally the "top 1-5 student of the local school" kind of clerk, rather than people from national schools. Where are you in school? Personally, I'm not going the biglaw route, so can't speak from personal experience what the options are like.

As for what it's like to clerk in Oklahoma/nearby places - it will be hard to get much info about this without more details. Do you mean, what's it like to clerk outside of the major cities of the coasts? or do you want to know specifically about certain districts?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273269
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: District Courts--Oklahoma/Alabama and other Mid-West

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:01 am

I mean places like Ok, ark, az, ks, Mo. Stats wise: tier 1 school, top of the class, law review etc. I gather that it is a very feasible transition to big law in normal market conditions. However,I am not sure how optimistic I should feel in this market. I am fine with not landing big law but it would be very helpful to be able to pay student loans faster.

I am a city person from north east area so I was wondering what clerking is like in slower paced not heavily populated areas (both life style and in chambers)

Any further advice based on these details?

-OP

P.s. I did not summer as a 2l

Anonymous User
Posts: 273269
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: District Courts--Oklahoma/Alabama and other Mid-West

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:23 am

Depends a lot on the judge and the district (I'm in the far-from-NY district above). Border states have extremely heavy criminal dockets, which can create a heavier workload than in the civil-heavy districts (it's a different kind of workload, and you have speedy trial issues). Also, the kind of work the clerks do depends on how the work is allotted - here, district court clerks don't do habeas petitions (it's usually magistrate judges who handle that), and we have a couple of career clerks dedicated to pro se prisoner cases, but that's not the case in every district. As for civil cases, we get tons of section 1983 suits, and a pretty wide range of the usual other civil stuff, but probably not the same kinds of complex civil lit you're going to see in, say, DC or SDNY (a lot of smaller parties).

My judge is very sane/mellow about hours (e.g. we never stay after 5, we almost always get out early on Fridays), unless we're in trial (then we're here as long as the jury is). But another judge here regularly has his clerks working 7 to 7 during the week and at least one day on the weekend (not for any good reason that I can see, mind you, but that's what he does).

So really, it's hard to generalize, because there isn't anything really linking the non-northeast city districts (except perhaps fewer really big complex civil lit cases). It's even hard to generalize about the lifestyle - after all, Phoenix and Topeka are very very different (and in fact, I'd bet Topeka and Little Rock are pretty different, too). The one thing you can count on is that it's cheaper to live out here (where here = not a northeast city). Also, if you do apply to districts out here, I wouldn't lump OK, AZ, AR, KS, MO etc. together in talking about them just because they're not the northeast - they're really different places.

To be completely honest, I'm not sure that clerking in one of these regions will get you NY/DC biglaw, unless you have some kind of connection already, or can create one through hustling/networking - I think that a lot of the less "prestigious" clerkships tend to foster more local connections. But that might be overly pessimistic. Try looking at the websites for NY/DC firms you're interested in and see where people have clerked.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273269
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: District Courts--Oklahoma/Alabama and other Mid-West

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:Depends a lot on the judge and the district (I'm in the far-from-NY district above). Border states have extremely heavy criminal dockets, which can create a heavier workload than in the civil-heavy districts (it's a different kind of workload, and you have speedy trial issues). Also, the kind of work the clerks do depends on how the work is allotted - here, district court clerks don't do habeas petitions (it's usually magistrate judges who handle that), and we have a couple of career clerks dedicated to pro se prisoner cases, but that's not the case in every district. As for civil cases, we get tons of section 1983 suits, and a pretty wide range of the usual other civil stuff, but probably not the same kinds of complex civil lit you're going to see in, say, DC or SDNY (a lot of smaller parties).

My judge is very sane/mellow about hours (e.g. we never stay after 5, we almost always get out early on Fridays), unless we're in trial (then we're here as long as the jury is). But another judge here regularly has his clerks working 7 to 7 during the week and at least one day on the weekend (not for any good reason that I can see, mind you, but that's what he does).

So really, it's hard to generalize, because there isn't anything really linking the non-northeast city districts (except perhaps fewer really big complex civil lit cases). It's even hard to generalize about the lifestyle - after all, Phoenix and Topeka are very very different (and in fact, I'd bet Topeka and Little Rock are pretty different, too). The one thing you can count on is that it's cheaper to live out here (where here = not a northeast city). Also, if you do apply to districts out here, I wouldn't lump OK, AZ, AR, KS, MO etc. together in talking about them just because they're not the northeast - they're really different places.

To be completely honest, I'm not sure that clerking in one of these regions will get you NY/DC biglaw, unless you have some kind of connection already, or can create one through hustling/networking - I think that a lot of the less "prestigious" clerkships tend to foster more local connections. But that might be overly pessimistic. Try looking at the websites for NY/DC firms you're interested in and see where people have clerked.


Thank you for the thoughtful response. I have an offer to clerk for a well known chief judge (had another offer from a judge when I posted this but had to make quick decision) in that region so looking at options. I have stong ties to the dc/ny area and have had interviews/call backs with v30 firms. I was certain I wanted to clerk and wasnt sure if i wanted to do big law so I did not really take it seriously and ended up not going that route. I have now changed my mind and so trying to gauge my options.

I assumed clerking will consume my life so I am expecting long hours. In fact 7-7 seemed a relief to me lol I can't believe you get to leave at 5. Even as an intern, I didn't get to leave at 5 nor non of my friends who interned/clerked got to leave that early. You must love your clerkship!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273269
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: District Courts--Oklahoma/Alabama and other Mid-West

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:11 am

Also, if you do apply to districts out here, I wouldn't lump OK, AZ, AR, KS, MO etc. together in talking about them just because they're not the northeast - they're really different places.


This. Within those districts, you could be anywhere from St. Louis to OKC to Little Rock to Topeka to Tucson. Those are drastically diffferent cities -- you've got the Midwest and the Plains and the South and the Southwest. And that's not even mentioning some of the more far-flung places (Ft. Smith, Muskogee, etc.).

I assumed clerking will consume my life so I am expecting long hours. In fact 7-7 seemed a relief to me lol I can't believe you get to leave at 5.


This depends on the judge. Mine is great -- s/he wants you in the office 8 hours but doesn't care if it's 7:30 to 3:30 or 9:30 to 5:30 (and we have clerks that do both). One thing to think about with your potential judge -- s/he's probably going to have an extra clerk as the chief judge, so it's more likely that you'll be closer to 9-5 than 7-7.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22835
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: District Courts--Oklahoma/Alabama and other Mid-West

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for the thoughtful response. I have an offer to clerk for a well known chief judge (had another offer from a judge when I posted this but had to make quick decision) in that region so looking at options. I have stong ties to the dc/ny area and have had interviews/call backs with v30 firms. I was certain I wanted to clerk and wasnt sure if i wanted to do big law so I did not really take it seriously and ended up not going that route. I have now changed my mind and so trying to gauge my options.

I assumed clerking will consume my life so I am expecting long hours. In fact 7-7 seemed a relief to me lol I can't believe you get to leave at 5. Even as an intern, I didn't get to leave at 5 nor non of my friends who interned/clerked got to leave that early. You must love your clerkship!

Oh, you have an offer! Never mind what I said about applying, then.

If you have ties and have had interviews/callbacks, I think that makes a difference - often people ask about exit options from clerking based on not having been able to get into biglaw at all, and I don't think it transforms people to that extent (though most people with clerking stats should be competitive for biglaw. Not me :lol: but generally). But it's certainly always a plus.

And yes, my clerkship is a good gig. :D

Anonymous User
Posts: 273269
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: District Courts--Oklahoma/Alabama and other Mid-West

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:17 pm

I have four friends currently clerking in Oklahoma. Two of them are happy, one's a pro se clerk, the other does 80% OASDI.

That is to say: it's depends on what your judge assigns, just like everywhere else. Only difference I can glean from talking to them and browsing this forum is that they have to live in Oklahoma.




Return to “Judicial Clerkships”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.