Anonymous User wrote:
I wanted to get some opinions on the long-term career benefits of doing a Federal Court of Appeals clerkship, especially for someone who is not going straight from law school. Assume an interest in a career in litigation, either at a GP or a litigation boutique.
Here are some specific questions:
Does it meaningfully increase partnership chances?
Does it increase your marketability for lateraling later in your career?
Is there really something to the argument that you learn how a judge thinks?
Do you learn relevant skills that you would not otherwise learn at a law firm?
Is it worth it to forgo the experiences you will get at a firm to leave the firm to do a clerkship?
I'm sure there are other important considerations. Feel free to weigh in with all of those as well.
1 - Probably not.
2 - Maybe.
3 - Probably. There is certainly value in learning what arguments work and don't work. And, there's value in learning how judges go about the decision making process. I think that knowing how an opinion is written allows you to write better briefs/make better arguments in the first instance.
4 - Probably. Same as above. In a district court, especially, you'll get a lot of exposure to dispositive motions - far more than you'd get in a year at a firm.
5 - Yes. From a district court stand point, you'll trade off the discovery work you'd get in a year at a firm for far more exposure to dispositive motions. From a COA (and DCT) stand point, if you get a good boss, you'll get a lot of work on your writing.