State Clerkship Question

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Anonymous User
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State Clerkship Question

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:50 pm

I'm top 10% at a t14 school. I'm ME of a secondary journal and will be doing a clinic in the fall. I am interested in working at a PD office after graduation. I worked at a law firm as a 1L and am working at a PD office this summer.

I'm wondering if I should try to do a state clerkship (supreme, intermediate or trial?) or just try to get an entry-level position with a PD office? I'm very geographically flexible.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: State Clerkship Question

Postby Scotusnerd » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:07 pm

The answer depends on where your school is in comparison to where you want to work. If you want to work in the same state as your school, a trial clerkship is a good, solid choice.

But if you want out of that state, a trial clerkship in the state you want to practice in is probably your best shot at a PD position. I'd try knocking on professor's doors (or the law firm, in case they know anyone who practices in the state you want to get into) to see if anyone knows a trial judge in that state they can recommend. I don't think it'll be easy: at least around here, most trial judges hire locally, and would probably prefer to keep it that way. But if you have someone who can speak for you and your abilities, that will help.

I hope that helps. I'm no expert in this field, but I know that my state is not too warm to out-of-state graduates, and I'm guessing we're not alone, particularly in this economy.

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Opinions_R_Us
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Re: State Clerkship Question

Postby Opinions_R_Us » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm top 10% at a t14 school. I'm ME of a secondary journal and will be doing a clinic in the fall. I am interested in working at a PD office after graduation. I worked at a law firm as a 1L and am working at a PD office this summer.

I'm wondering if I should try to do a state clerkship (supreme, intermediate or trial?) or just try to get an entry-level position with a PD office? I'm very geographically flexible.


I am a judge on my state's Court of Appeals and I can assure you that for any kind of a litigation job, a clerkship, appellate court or trial court, is terrific training. Appellate clerkships open a few more doors but I guarantee that clerking at either level will make you a better trial lawyer and help you get a job as a PD or prosecutor.

Most state judges prefer to hire clerks who will practice in their state so the advice offered by others about applying where you plan to practice is good.

I answered some questions about state court clerkships over in this thread which may help:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=212684
Last edited by Opinions_R_Us on Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

hiima3L
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Re: State Clerkship Question

Postby hiima3L » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:17 am

If you want to be a PD, I'd recommend focusing on trial-level clerkships. As far as I know, most states have entirely different departments to handle the appeals, and criminal appellate work is a whole different ball game.

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ggocat
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Re: State Clerkship Question

Postby ggocat » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:41 am

The best people to ask for advice about hiring practices would be people making hiring decisions at the pd office.

Regardless of whether it gives you a "boost" for getting hired, a clerkship is great. If your pd office hires new grads (sounds like they do), then I recommend an appellate clerkship or both. Many skills you learn or develop will be different from the trial court clerkship, and many trial skills you will learn in the job with the pd office. You can't go wrong with either clerkship though.




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