State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

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State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:25 pm

I was no-offered by my 2L SA in a secondary market. The reason wasn't work product or economic, and I don't want to out myself by saying more. I'm in the the top few people in my class at a T20, LR, and some other good credentials.

So far, I've missed the boat on federal clerkships. What can I say?--we all know how competitive it is out there. However, there's a good chance I will be able to land a SSC clerkship, but not in one of the more competitive states. What is our collective sense of what my job search will look like coming off of a SSC clerkship? Will it essentially "reset" me to where I was before my no-offer, such that I could realistically get Vault interviews? Could I spin wanting to move to a bigger market as a justification for not going back to my 2L firm and avoid answering the offer question? Even though SSC isn't as prestigious as an AIII clerkship, wouldn't firms be interested in someone who is near the top of the class at a well-ranked school?

I'm asking because, given how bad 3L hiring is, it's starting to look like I won't recover from the no-offer this cycle. I have a few midlaw opportunities lined up, but I'm trying to decide what the best way to get back on track is: SSC clerkship, or midlaw for a few years and then either 1) liking it and staying or 2) lateraling.

Thanks, everyone.

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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:01 pm

Do you want to work in the state where you get the SSC clerkship? If you have a midlaw offer in a market where you want to work, and a SSC offer in a state halfway across the country, take the midlaw offer.

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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:15 pm

I didn't even have a 2L SA, and my (competitive) SSC clerkship got me BigLaw in a different state. I know of other people who've also pulled this off. Not to say it'll be easy, but possible. You should get some interviews if you cast a wide net. I think your SA and strong stats would help. I'd be more concerned if you had marginal stats and managed to squeak into the clerkship.

At the same time, it's hard to predict how major market BigLaw would view a really obscure SSC clerkship, like Idaho or Montana or something. I'd do the clerkship regardless - it'll be a great experience and you may be able to leverage into a second, federal stint.

lolwat
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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby lolwat » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:04 pm

I don't know how they'll view an obscure SSC either, but a SSC in any state is fairly good I think.

With your stats I think you'll be fine. I missed the boat on 2L SA, had a gap year between graduation & federal clerkship (in which I did some random shit that some firms seem to love but biglaw probably looks at and goes WTF), and have had a number of interviews with good firms (including V20s and high-end lit boutiques).

"Midlaw" is weird. Some midlaw firms have a really good reputation in the market and hire a ton of local/regional federal clerks, 1st-in-class-from regional schools, and the like. I think those are worth a very serious look at.

In the end though, I think you'll just want to be employed. :p The market is really terrible, even for someone with your credentials. You're better off than I am, but mine's pretty close.

badaboom61
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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby badaboom61 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:16 pm

Out of curiosity, does anyone know which states would qualify as "competitive" SSC clerkships?

lolwat
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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby lolwat » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:22 pm

NY and MA, at the very least? CA doesn't hire.

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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you want to work in the state where you get the SSC clerkship? If you have a midlaw offer in a market where you want to work, and a SSC offer in a state halfway across the country, take the midlaw offer.


OP here. The opposite; clerkship is in my home market, firm is in a random place I have no ties to. It would be an easier choice, otherwise.

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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I didn't even have a 2L SA, and my (competitive) SSC clerkship got me BigLaw in a different state. I know of other people who've also pulled this off. Not to say it'll be easy, but possible. You should get some interviews if you cast a wide net. I think your SA and strong stats would help. I'd be more concerned if you had marginal stats and managed to squeak into the clerkship.

At the same time, it's hard to predict how major market BigLaw would view a really obscure SSC clerkship, like Idaho or Montana or something. I'd do the clerkship regardless - it'll be a great experience and you may be able to leverage into a second, federal stint.


It's not *that* obscure, but it is in a flyover state. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:46 pm

lolwat wrote:I don't know how they'll view an obscure SSC either, but a SSC in any state is fairly good I think.

With your stats I think you'll be fine. I missed the boat on 2L SA, had a gap year between graduation & federal clerkship (in which I did some random shit that some firms seem to love but biglaw probably looks at and goes WTF), and have had a number of interviews with good firms (including V20s and high-end lit boutiques).

"Midlaw" is weird. Some midlaw firms have a really good reputation in the market and hire a ton of local/regional federal clerks, 1st-in-class-from regional schools, and the like. I think those are worth a very serious look at.

In the end though, I think you'll just want to be employed. :p The market is really terrible, even for someone with your credentials. You're better off than I am, but mine's pretty close.


You're right, I feel lucky to have options at all. That's why I'm hesitant to pass up the firm job. What if the market gets worse over the next year and I can't find anything out of my clerkship? The firm is definitely the type that is well-respected in its (small) market and hires from local top of the class. Just happened to get the opportunity through a random connection.

lolwat
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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby lolwat » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:34 pm

I'd see if the midlaw firm might be willing to defer the offer for a clerkship. It's a bit different of a situation from a 2L SA offer being deferred for a clerkship, but hey maybe...

I mean, it'd be the best of everything -- you get to clerk, have that on your resume, shop around for prestigious firms, and if that fails, you have the midlaw offer to fall back on.

If that doesn't work, then you'll really need to think about what you want to do. Good permanent employment (even if not your first choice) looks pretty damn good from where I am...

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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:47 pm

lolwat wrote:I'd see if the midlaw firm might be willing to defer the offer for a clerkship. It's a bit different of a situation from a 2L SA offer being deferred for a clerkship, but hey maybe...

I mean, it'd be the best of everything -- you get to clerk, have that on your resume, shop around for prestigious firms, and if that fails, you have the midlaw offer to fall back on.

If that doesn't work, then you'll really need to think about what you want to do. Good permanent employment (even if not your first choice) looks pretty damn good from where I am...


Good idea. What is the typical protocol for reneging on an offer while deferring to clerk for a year? Is it common? The only reason I even have this opportunity is that a close friend went out on a limb for me, and I don't want to be rude by shopping around during my clerkship. Is it silly for that to be a consideration?

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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Good idea. What is the typical protocol for reneging on an offer while deferring to clerk for a year? Is it common? The only reason I even have this opportunity is that a close friend went out on a limb for me, and I don't want to be rude by shopping around during my clerkship. Is it silly for that to be a consideration?

To my limited knowledge, it is not uncommon for clerks with deferred offers to shop around. I think it would be a bit rude to switch firms when your friend went out on a limb for you, but I don't think it's any ruder than turning down the offer in the first place after your friend did work to get you the offer. Overall, I think how you should feel about it should be based on how much work your friend did to get you the job and how the firm will think of your friend if you turn them down. In the end, you have to do what's best for you though.

lolwat
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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby lolwat » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:22 pm

It's very common to shop around during a clerkship even if you have an offer from a firm, though it's typically an offer to return to the 2L SA firm, so I'm not sure how yours might work out. And actual workings may also depend on the judge since some might not allow you to accept offers during the clerkship, etc.

I think it's entirely reasonable to consider your personal relationship with that close friend and what effect you turning down the offer from that firm might have on that friend/your relationship with him/her. That would go into the consideration of what's best for you, though. If there isn't going to be any damage there, or if it's very minimal/temporary, then the choice is pretty obvious.

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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:53 pm

Ok, makes sense. That's helpful. Thanks for the advice!

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Re: State Supreme Court --> second bite at the apple?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do you want to work in the state where you get the SSC clerkship? If you have a midlaw offer in a market where you want to work, and a SSC offer in a state halfway across the country, take the midlaw offer.


OP here. The opposite; clerkship is in my home market, firm is in a random place I have no ties to. It would be an easier choice, otherwise.


I'd do what the other posters said, if not I'd take the SSC, but that's mostly because it's awesome working for a SSC. I'm doing one on the coasts and everyone seems to be finding employment within the state, but I can't think someone working for the Indiana SC would have a tough time finding a job with Indiana biglaw or with the state government.




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