portability of SSC clerkships

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objctnyrhnr
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portability of SSC clerkships

Postby objctnyrhnr » Sat May 25, 2013 7:28 pm

I want to practice in MA. I am debating applying to, for example, RI Supreme Court or NH Supreme Court clerkships. If you were evaluating my resume one year later, as a MA employer, how highly would you value those Cships? What about compared to, for example, MA Appeals. If it's relevant, I am interested in appellate-level prosecution for afterwards.

Anonymous User
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Re: portability of SSC clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 27, 2013 1:50 am

objctnyrhnr wrote:I want to practice in MA. I am debating applying to, for example, RI Supreme Court or NH Supreme Court clerkships. If you were evaluating my resume one year later, as a MA employer, how highly would you value those Cships? What about compared to, for example, MA Appeals. If it's relevant, I am interested in appellate-level prosecution for afterwards.


I'm a SSC. There isn't a job that an SSC prepares you better for than to work in the appeals unit of the DA or in one of the appellate defense services. They're before us the most, the court hears a ton of appeals, and chief prosecutor of the unit might get 5-10 cases before the court each year.

Obviously everywhere you'll go you'll be doing the same federal law, Strickland, Miranda, etc. But one thing I've learned is that each state is really different in how they interpret and apply those standards, especially re: statutory procedural rules. And the statutes might be different. See if MA is a MPC state and try to apply to other MPC states.

I think it would be a plus just based on the fact you spend all day evaluating appellate briefs, arguments, and your writing will be excellent, but the jobs you want are extremely competitive. If I was hiring you'd get a bump, but I'd rather have an intermediate appellate clerk or district clerk from the same state. Someone who knows the 5-7 relevant cases on each major issue cold.

Anonymous User
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Re: portability of SSC clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 27, 2013 10:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:If I was hiring you'd get a bump, but I'd rather have an intermediate appellate clerk or district clerk from the same state. Someone who knows the 5-7 relevant cases on each major issue cold.


Not OP, but can you explain the bold? I'm going to be clerking for my state's intermediate court of appeals, and am wondering about exit options.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: portability of SSC clerkships

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon May 27, 2013 11:18 am

Not the SSC clerk who answered, but I was in a state intermediate appellate clerkship, and the people on my court did do very well getting to appellate units at the AG/PD. I think the SSC person meant they'd rather hire an intermediate appellate clerk from the same state to do appellate in that state, rather than a SSC from another state - even though a SSC is technically more prestigious/competitive than the intermediate appellate court, being in the same state and knowing that state's law would give the intermediate clerk an edge over an out of state SSC clerk. (At least, that was what my experience would suggest.)

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Re: portability of SSC clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 27, 2013 11:50 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Not the SSC clerk who answered, but I was in a state intermediate appellate clerkship, and the people on my court did do very well getting to appellate units at the AG/PD. I think the SSC person meant they'd rather hire an intermediate appellate clerk from the same state to do appellate in that state, rather than a SSC from another state - even though a SSC is technically more prestigious/competitive than the intermediate appellate court, being in the same state and knowing that state's law would give the intermediate clerk an edge over an out of state SSC clerk. (At least, that was what my experience would suggest.)


I'm the SSC clerk above. This is generally what I meant. You need to have working knowledge of the laws and procedural provisions that come up the most, the major cases in each area, and the latest SSC cases. Aside from ineffectiveness of counsel (which includes a lot of USSC law, but each state has their own gloss on the doctrine), there are several specific statutes in my state where the doctrine is still being fleshed out. I'd want someone who knows where it's been and where it's going. In the civil cases, the parties often cite other SSCs and from the federal circuits, but in criminal cases they rely entirely on decisions of the SSC unless it is implicating a federal right or is a point of evidence law.

Practically, it's really just invaluable to have an IAC who knows how the panels work. If you're head of the Suffolk DA appeals unit you know all the IAC judges, but you also want your subordinates to know that, especially when your office does hundreds of appeals per year and you only take the ones that go all the way up. In more rural counties the PD/DA who took the case to trial tends to take it all the way up.

The drawback (at least in my state) is that the intermediate court tends to issue a lot of short memorandum opinions in criminal cases. However, that doesn't mean the clerks and judge don't know the entire doctrine.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon May 27, 2013 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hiima3L
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Re: portability of SSC clerkships

Postby hiima3L » Mon May 27, 2013 12:13 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Not the SSC clerk who answered, but I was in a state intermediate appellate clerkship, and the people on my court did do very well getting to appellate units at the AG/PD. I think the SSC person meant they'd rather hire an intermediate appellate clerk from the same state to do appellate in that state, rather than a SSC from another state - even though a SSC is technically more prestigious/competitive than the intermediate appellate court, being in the same state and knowing that state's law would give the intermediate clerk an edge over an out of state SSC clerk. (At least, that was what my experience would suggest.)


I know in CA that clerking for the Cal. Ct. App. pretty much makes you a shoo-in for any DA/PD/AG work. But that's if and when they're actually hiring, which is another issue.

I can't speak to the portability of other SSC clerkships, but I would imagine understanding the appellate process and standards of review, which are almost the same everywhere, would be hugely helpful. You'd also presumably know how to write a brief better than those without app. experience, which is important in any legal job.




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