Advice on preparing for clerkships

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Anonymous User
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Advice on preparing for clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:09 am

Maybe this can become a general advice thread.

Anybody with resources, guides, advice, tips, etc., feel free to provide!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Advice on preparing for clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:Maybe this can become a general advice thread.

I will be starting my clerkship this fall and I feel quite unprepared. I just remember when I interned for a judge, the law clerks seemed so on top of it and so knowledgeable. They seemed like clear, cogent writers, while I seemed like a newbie. I remember my law clerks churning out lots of drafts of court orders everyday and being so efficient about it What can I do to prepare for a clerkship, especially at the trial level? Any specific helpful resources or tips on how to reach that level before I start?

Thanks!


Take the current clerk out to lunch. Get a feel for how they do things - what worked what didn't and how they arrived at their current level of efficiency. Any good clerk will leave behind a bank of templates for certain actions that come up routinely with only minor variations. Also good to get a sense of the judge's preferences and some insight into any intra-chambers tensions that might exist (like the courtroom deputy resents the clerks).

lolwat
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Re: Advice on preparing for clerkships

Postby lolwat » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:09 am

Well, first, you're probably not going to reach that level before you start. That's kind of the whole point - if you're already at that level then the clerkship isn't teaching you a whole lot. :P

But do talk to the current clerk before you start - especially if you know who you'll be replacing (and thereby inheriting their cases).

Also, if your chambers has multiple clerks and you're on a staggered start date, if you're starting first (or second) you can poke the clerks that have already been there for a year+ for some help before they leave.
Last edited by lolwat on Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Advice on preparing for clerkships

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:45 am

It's also worth keeping in mind that it's a steep learning curve at first, and you'll just have to deal with that. But don't let it make you think you can't do the work - everyone goes through it.

Citizen Genet
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Re: Advice on preparing for clerkships

Postby Citizen Genet » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:50 am

Some other helpful tips.

-Brush up on civil and criminal procedure, especially by reading the local rules for your district. Local rules often answer obscure questions or resolve unnecessary motions by parties (e.g. filing extensions) so it's helpful to read them at least once.

-If there are any common areas of federal litigation (primarily Title VII and habeas corpus/AEDPA) see if you can find a section on it in a supplement to get a broad overview of the area. There's no way you will be able to answer most of the questions about those on Day 1, but it will help you give the big picture to see where areas being litigated fit in.

-Mentally prepare yourself that it will be a steep learning curve that will be difficult and know that's okay. Commit yourself to being very detailed oriented if you are not already (that means proof reading drafts at least three of four times before handing them to your judge).

-If you know who your co-clerk(s) is/are, send a brief email just to introduce yourself. Try to establish a good relationship with him/her/them early on. You're going to be in close quarters for the next year and your life will be infinitely easier if you enjoy being around everyone.

JusticeJackson
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Re: Advice on preparing for clerkships

Postby JusticeJackson » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:07 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Advice on preparing for clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:36 am

On a related note: Does anyone know where I can find salaries of law clerks by district? For example, what the salary of a law clerk (straight out of law school) is in ED Pa? I'm wondering not because I'm trying to be greedy or something. I'm trying to make financial plans and wanted some accurate data for next year.

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bk1
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Re: Advice on preparing for clerkships

Postby bk1 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:13 am

http://www.uscourts.gov/Careers/Compens ... Rates.aspx

Clerks start out at 11 right out of law school, iirc.




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