US Dist in Small City vs. State Supreme Court

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Anonymous User
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US Dist in Small City vs. State Supreme Court

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:51 pm

I know the federal spots generally look more prestigious but does that remain true even if its in a small city (>300,000)? In particular, I'm curious about the Texas Supreme Court vs something like a federal district court in some place like Amarillo or Laredo.

I'd imagine being stuck in a small city for a year could put put a hitch in your networking abilities at the very least...

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: US Dist in Small City vs. State Supreme Court

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:58 pm

Probably depends in part on what you want to do after the clerkship. Clerking in a district court teaches you about the federal court system no matter how small a city it is; a SSC clerkship will give you a great overview of state law. If where you want to work after focuses on one jurisdiction or the other, the clerkship in that jurisdiction is probably more helpful. Also there's the whole trial/appellate distinction (which will be more relevant to your future practice?).

I agree that networking is probably tougher from the small city, though.

theaccidentalclerk
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Re: US Dist in Small City vs. State Supreme Court

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:11 pm

It's totally dependent on where you want to work and (to a lesser extent) what SSC you are talking about. I think GENERALLY you probably get a bigger bump from a SSC if you want to work in that state, and a bigger bump from a USDC clerkship if you don't. Two exceptions to that general rule come to mind. First, there are a handful of super-prestigious SSC that might give you a bigger bump than a flyover USDC clerkship, at least in the broad region -- I'm thinking like Massachusetts SJC or NY COA. Second, if you want to work in the specific clerkship city, that might give you an advantage even over a SSC clerk from the same state.

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Re: US Dist in Small City vs. State Supreme Court

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:20 pm

If you want to practice outside of Texas, USDC wins out by far. If you want to practice in Texas, it's a bit closer. On the one hand, a USDC clerkship will net you a bonus if you end up at a big firm, and you will become familiar with procedural stuff that will help you in your early years. On the other hand, I happen to know about the dockets in the Laredo/Amarillo branches because I'll be clerking in one of them next year. It's mostly criminal, which might make it more difficult to sell your current/future firm on the relevance of your work. This is especially true if the firm is in Texas and knows the caseloads in each district. I happen to love criminal stuff, so it's perfect for me, but it's definitely something you should at least think about.




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