SSC to Federal Clerkship

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SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:11 am

2L, top 20% at a 30-40 school, LR (published), took a SSC, midatlantic area (have lived here all my life)

Question: I ultimately want to go to an NLJ250 but struck out at OCI so I don't have the SA option, is a SSC enough to get into a firm (it can be a firm outside V100; i just want one that's established in the midatlantic area) or should I apply for a federal clerkship at the dist. or appellate level?

If so, what would be the difficulty of going from a SSC directly to the fourth circuit?

theaccidentalclerk
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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:23 am

The problem isn't going to be going from a midatlantic SSC to the Fourth Circuit. I imagine that's not uncommon.

The problem is going to be that even with the SSC clerkship, with grades outside of the top 10-15% from a school in the 30-40 range, you're not very competitive for a federal COA. I mean, I doubt that someone from even a lower T14 with grades around that level would be competitive. (Someone from a CCN with a SSC clerkship probably would be, and someone from YHS definitely would be.)

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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:37 am

theaccidentalclerk wrote:The problem isn't going to be going from a midatlantic SSC to the Fourth Circuit. I imagine that's not uncommon.

The problem is going to be that even with the SSC clerkship, with grades outside of the top 10-15% from a school in the 30-40 range, you're not very competitive for a federal COA. I mean, I doubt that someone from even a lower T14 with grades around that level would be competitive. (Someone from a CCN with a SSC clerkship probably would be, and someone from YHS definitely would be.)


Dist. crt then? (assuming I don't get top 10%, which, according to historical cutoffs, would require me to get a 4.0 for the rest of law school :shock:) Is SSC to NLJ250 feasible?

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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:46 am

one of my SSC co-clerks went from a T1 to SSC to S&C. i think s/he had very good ls grades though, and this was one of the (apparently) top SSCs

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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:47 am

OP, I had similar stats to yours and went from state clerkship to federal district court. It was kind of idiosyncratic, but it's possible. (I can't comment on going to a firm after, though, as I haven't done that.)

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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:09 am

OP here, thanks for the advice


My main concern is avoiding shitlaw. Since I didn't get an SA, I'm willing to climb the clerk pyramid for however long is necessary to avoid that (especially since most shitlaw firms would pay roughly the same as a clerkship and would require a lot more time).


Is there a ranking of SSCs? Wasn't aware that some states are considered "better" although its intuitive now that I think about it.

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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:12 am

I've never seen any kind of rankings, but there seems to be some conventional wisdom that some of the better ones include NJ, MA, NY, maybe some others i'm forgetting.

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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:I've never seen any kind of rankings, but there seems to be some conventional wisdom that some of the better ones include NJ, MA, NY, maybe some others i'm forgetting.

Yeah, NY and MA are the ones I actually hear described as better. Though I think in part it's because there are so many cities in that area/states are small enough, a SSC clerkship just has more reach. Generally, I see SSC as being a big plus for working in the state where you clerk. Not that it's going to hurt you anywhere else, but I think one of the major benefits is getting an overview of state law, and most of the connections you make will be with people primarily appearing in state court (at least, IME. That part may vary). In the NE I think you have enough people appearing in different SSCs that the connections are a little different from, say, clerking for the Georgia SSC. But that's me speculating.

Also, OP, in my state, SSC clerks do well. I don't know anyone who's ended up in shitlaw.

theaccidentalclerk
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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:33 am

Dist. crt then?


Maybe, but I think that it's probably a Catch-22. You'd be competitive for alum-only judges with a couple of years of big firm experience -- but you want the district court clerkship so you can get that big firm experience.

The good news, though, is that you'll probably be competitive to go to a firm from your SSC clerkship, especially if it's anywhere except Maryland (nothing against Maryland, but all of the SSC from NY down to Virginia are pretty well-regarded). In my home state (medium sized, not on the coasts), in-state SSC clerkships generally fall between USDC and COA clerkships prestige-wise, and clerks place well at the big local firms and state government.

Yeah, NY and MA are the ones I actually hear described as better.


Massachusetts SJC and NY COA both have great reputations. NJ and Virginia SC are a slot below that, but generally well-regarded as well. Outside of the East Coast, Texas and has a good reputation. California doesn't hire clerks.

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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:15 pm

theaccidentalclerk wrote:The good news, though, is that you'll probably be competitive to go to a firm from your SSC clerkship, especially if it's anywhere except Maryland (nothing against Maryland, but all of the SSC from NY down to Virginia are pretty well-regarded). In my home state (medium sized, not on the coasts), in-state SSC clerkships generally fall between USDC and COA clerkships prestige-wise, and clerks place well at the big local firms and state government.


Does the unofficial ranking and chance of going to a firm after SSCs have to do with how competitive it is to get the position or how many firms there are or what? I would of thought MD has more firms than VA.

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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've never seen any kind of rankings, but there seems to be some conventional wisdom that some of the better ones include NJ, MA, NY, maybe some others i'm forgetting.

Yeah, NY and MA are the ones I actually hear described as better. Though I think in part it's because there are so many cities in that area/states are small enough, a SSC clerkship just has more reach. Generally, I see SSC as being a big plus for working in the state where you clerk. Not that it's going to hurt you anywhere else, but I think one of the major benefits is getting an overview of state law, and most of the connections you make will be with people primarily appearing in state court (at least, IME. That part may vary). In the NE I think you have enough people appearing in different SSCs that the connections are a little different from, say, clerking for the Georgia SSC. But that's me speculating.

Also, OP, in my state, SSC clerks do well. I don't know anyone who's ended up in shitlaw.


In NY and MA, due to the massive amount of commercial activity you are likely to see biglaw firms a lot. Some substantive areas (securities/antitrust/IP) are basically federal court only. For general commercial litigation and procedural stuff the state court makes the law the federal courts follow. And the state courts do constitutional cases and challenges to state law as well.

zomginternets
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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby zomginternets » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:18 pm

theaccidentalclerk wrote:California doesn't hire clerks.


They do, just not term clerks (which I guess for purposes of this thread isn't very relevant, but I just wanted to point it out for future readers of this thread).

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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:07 am

zomginternets wrote:
theaccidentalclerk wrote:California doesn't hire clerks.


They do, just not term clerks (which I guess for purposes of this thread isn't very relevant, but I just wanted to point it out for future readers of this thread).


Justice Liu hires term clerks.

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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:58 am

Tangerine Gleam wrote:
zomginternets wrote:
theaccidentalclerk wrote:California doesn't hire clerks.


They do, just not term clerks (which I guess for purposes of this thread isn't very relevant, but I just wanted to point it out for future readers of this thread).


Justice Liu hires term clerks.


Heh, with near-feeder stats.

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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby los blancos » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Question: I ultimately want to go to an NLJ250 but struck out at OCI so I don't have the SA option, is a SSC enough to get into a firm (it can be a firm outside V100;



The answer to this is ultimately going to depend on your judge and what the firm environment is like in your state. I know, for example, that in my state (a southern one not too far from yours I'd imagine) the State CoA/SSC judges will often hold on to their clerks until they find a decent landing spot. If your judge is well-connected and you see a lot of litigation from the types of firms you're interested in, it's entirely possible that you find your way there.

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Re: SSC to Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
theaccidentalclerk wrote:The good news, though, is that you'll probably be competitive to go to a firm from your SSC clerkship, especially if it's anywhere except Maryland (nothing against Maryland, but all of the SSC from NY down to Virginia are pretty well-regarded). In my home state (medium sized, not on the coasts), in-state SSC clerkships generally fall between USDC and COA clerkships prestige-wise, and clerks place well at the big local firms and state government.


Does the unofficial ranking and chance of going to a firm after SSCs have to do with how competitive it is to get the position or how many firms there are or what? I would of thought MD has more firms than VA.


I don't think the Maryland Court of Appeals is any less regarded than the VA (lol, certainly not) or PA high courts but there are fewer NLJ firms. There are a few in Bmore but generally anything in the state worth hiring a big firm over is within 30 min of DC. The DC firm cutting costs go to VA.




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