Applying as a 3L

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Anonymous User
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Applying as a 3L

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:15 pm

Hi,

I was not able to get my stuff ready on time this year (was not really sure whether I wanted to clerk), but I would like to apply next year. I will be a 2014 graduate. Is there something different about my application process as opposed to that of a 2L. Anything that I need to be worried about? Do judges see 3Ls as they would see 2Ls applying?
And does the type of work that you will be doing prior to the clerkship matter? Does that turn off judges (maybe they think it is not fair to employer to lose a person only after a year).

Any info. would be appreciated...

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Applying as a 3L

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:46 pm

Quite a few judges now seem to prefer hiring clerks with some kind of legal experience, so I don't think there's any stigma or disadvantage to applying as a 3L - if anything, it's probably an advantage. There is an argument floating around that judges like fresh grads because they like to play a mentoring role to their clerks, but I don't really see one year as making a significant difference in a clerk's need for mentoring, and really haven't seen evidence to support this argument in practice. But anyway, clerkship hiring is idiosyncratic enough that what one judge likes, another may hate, and so on, so I wouldn't worry about being a 3L (that is, even if some judges want fresh grads, lots won't).

Also, I wouldn't worry that a judge will think it's unfair to the employer to lose someone after only a year - first, judges just want to get the best candidates they can and don't really care about their previous employers, and second, enough firms like having their associates clerk that there's no reason a judge would assume a firm would object to you leaving after a year. (If it's firm work, of course.)

The type of work you're doing won't really make a difference in a generalizable way. Again, because clerkship hiring is idiosyncratic, different judges may like to see different kinds of experience, either for personal reasons (for instance, I know a judge who started in Legal Aid and he always hires public service/Legal Aid types; other judges who came out of big firms probably favor candidates from big firms; etc.), or based on the nature of their docket. A judge in a district with a heavy criminal docket may favor someone with criminal experience more than a judge in a district that sees mostly complex civil lit. But that's not really something you can do anything about (you can't do all the jobs to be attractive to all the judges), so again, it's not worth worrying about.

The biggest difference in your application is simply that you can send it in whenever and don't have to worry about the plan timelines. Granted, as more and more judges abandon the plan, 2Ls don't really have to worry about it, either, but you really don't. I would start sending out applications as soon as you get this fall's grades, maybe? Other than that, there really isn't any difference I can think of - you'll still be applying while you're in school, so nothing significantly different from the 2Ls.

lolwat
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Re: Applying as a 3L

Postby lolwat » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:49 pm

I don't think there's any real substantive differences, other than the timing of your applications.

Judges will look at your resume a little differently--you're applying for one year out, after all. So you aren't at a level where you have all this experience that you're bringing to the table, but you're not going to be a completely fresh law school grad coming in either.

Personally, I'd just suggest you do something that gets you some legal experience. It doesn't really matter what it is. Something where you research and write. Something where you talk to other attorneys that you either work with or for. Acquire/develop/improve some of the general skills that will transfer over to a clerkship rather than focusing on any particular area of legal work.

And nah I don't think judges really care that you'll be leaving something after a year. I think they'll just assume the firm is willing to hire you back after you're done anyway.

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Re: Applying as a 3L

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:29 pm

Is it different if you're applying for a second clerkship and will have the first one on your resume even though you're applying as a 3L? I have a clerkship lined up for next year and am interested in doing a second one after that.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Applying as a 3L

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is it different if you're applying for a second clerkship and will have the first one on your resume even though you're applying as a 3L? I have a clerkship lined up for next year and am interested in doing a second one after that.

I think having a first clerkship is generally a plus when applying for a second. Otherwise, it's the same as applying as a 3L - you have work experience (judges generally count clerking as experience), and can apply earlier than 2Ls.

lolwat
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Re: Applying as a 3L

Postby lolwat » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:56 pm

You have a higher likelihood of getting a follow-up clerkship than you would without the one already lined up. That's pretty much the only difference.




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