Second COA Clerkship?

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Second COA Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:23 pm

Are there any scenarios in which a second COA clerkship would be worthwhile? I'd like to work in an Issues/Appeals group in DC/Chicago/San Francisco/(insert Tier 1 city). Although the COA judge I'm now clerking for is a wonderful boss, the clerkship isn't in a particularly geographically desirable area. I also clerked for a federal district court judge immediately after graduation; that clerkship was in flyover country too. My question is whether a second COA clerkship on either coast might better position me for a shot at an appellate group.

All input is welcome. Thank you.

lolwat
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Re: Second COA Clerkship?

Postby lolwat » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:15 pm

Best thing for you to do is to look at the firms that do that kind of thing and where their appellate group attorneys clerked. Pretty sure 2/9/DC will always give you a better shot in their respective markets. but Chicago might be okay with 7th Cir. --don't know.

ClerkAdvisor
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Re: Second COA Clerkship?

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are there any scenarios in which a second COA clerkship would be worthwhile? I'd like to work in an Issues/Appeals group in DC/Chicago/San Francisco/(insert Tier 1 city). Although the COA judge I'm now clerking for is a wonderful boss, the clerkship isn't in a particularly geographically desirable area. I also clerked for a federal district court judge immediately after graduation; that clerkship was in flyover country too. My question is whether a second COA clerkship on either coast might better position me for a shot at an appellate group.

All input is welcome. Thank you.


Honestly, a second COA will not be helpful for several reasons.

- To the extent that your COA clerkship matters for firms, what matters is the judge, not the circuit. In other words, a clerkship with Judge Gorsuch or Ebel on the 10th is going to be more attractive than a random 2d or 9th circuit clerkship.

- You'll be pretty hard pressed to find much appellate-only work in Chicago or SF. Almost all (if not all) major appellate practices are based in DC.

- Where you went to school and how you did in school will still matter for these groups.

- Plenty of people go from 'flyover' COA's to major DC/NYC/Coastal practices. You see lots of 2/9 people in those practices because they tend to choose to stay on the coast. Likewise, I'm sure plenty of 5th circuit clerks choose to stay in Texas because they prefer a low COL with NY/DC starting pay.

theaccidentalclerk
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Re: Second COA Clerkship?

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:33 am

Plus a third clerkship will be a bad signal for firms that you're not totally interested in working hard. (Yes, many clerkships entail a lot of hard work, but for better or worse, there's a vibe in firms -- especially among those who haven't clerked -- that most clerkships are cush.)

That said, I can think of about two reasons why you'd want to do another clerkship. First, if it's a reaaaally impressive judge -- like Gorsuch or Sykes or the like. It would give you a shot a SCOTUS, and even if not, that sort of clerkship carries a good bit of cache, even among firms. Second, I could see doing a third clerkship in the market where you want to practice, especially if it's not NYC or DC.

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Re: Second COA Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:29 am

I would only clerk for a second COA judge if he or she were a feeder judge. e.g., Kozinski, Kavanaugh, etc.

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Re: Second COA Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:34 am

To hijack the thread a bit, would it ever make sense to go back for a CoA clerkship after a 2 year district clerkship --> firm, or would that be a bad signal?

ClerkAdvisor
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Re: Second COA Clerkship?

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:To hijack the thread a bit, would it ever make sense to go back for a CoA clerkship after a 2 year district clerkship --> firm, or would that be a bad signal?


What's your goal? If you already have a 2 year district court clerkship and you're at a firm, then you should ask why you want the COA clerkship. What skills are you looking to gain? Or, what are you trying to transition to that requires a COA clerkship? Personal opinion, this would really only make sense if you needed/wanted to move to a new, insular market and the COA clerkship was a way of making the transition.

theaccidentalclerk
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Re: Second COA Clerkship?

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:35 am

What's your goal? If you already have a 2 year district court clerkship and you're at a firm, then you should ask why you want the COA clerkship. What skills are you looking to gain? Or, what are you trying to transition to that requires a COA clerkship? Personal opinion, this would really only make sense if you needed/wanted to move to a new, insular market and the COA clerkship was a way of making the transition.


Disagree. This is going to be firm by firm, and even group by group. If you're in a group -- or want to move to a group -- where a healthy percentage of the lawyers did appellate clerkships (everyone knows the usual suspects), then they'll understand why you want to do a second COA clerkship. There are also post-firm options that it opens up, like some DOJ sections, academia, etc.

This isn't to say that some firms won't like it (though I think the vast majority of shops in the major markets would let a fourth-ish year associate do it, however begrudgingly). You should ask around, and if your firm/group is one of the places that will hold it against you, come up with a different post-clerkship game plan.

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rayiner
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Re: Second COA Clerkship?

Postby rayiner » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:29 am

theaccidentalclerk wrote:Plus a third clerkship will be a bad signal for firms that you're not totally interested in working hard. (Yes, many clerkships entail a lot of hard work, but for better or worse, there's a vibe in firms -- especially among those who haven't clerked -- that most clerkships are cush.)

That said, I can think of about two reasons why you'd want to do another clerkship. First, if it's a reaaaally impressive judge -- like Gorsuch or Sykes or the like. It would give you a shot a SCOTUS, and even if not, that sort of clerkship carries a good bit of cache, even among firms. Second, I could see doing a third clerkship in the market where you want to practice, especially if it's not NYC or DC.


For god's sake it's cachet you unwashed plebes.




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