Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

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Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:28 pm

Hi all,

When it comes to choosing between a Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate Court/SSC, is it always best to choose the federal court?

Though I'm going to gun hard for a Art. III clerkship, I'm worried that I won't be as competitive as the rest of the candidate pool.

To ensure I'll secure a good clerkship after law school, I am also going to apply to many other federal courts, and my state's COA and SSC.

But, which is better when it comes to employers looking to hire?

For example, would a federal bankruptcy court clerkship look better than clerking on the SSC?

In addition, I'm hoping to get some advice on the job hunt after the clerkship process. I'm currently a 2L who struck out at OCI, and even though I am mass-mailing, I don't know if I'll have an offer for this upcoming summer.

badaboom61
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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby badaboom61 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:50 pm

Outside of an AIII clerkship, which are generally considered "prestigious", the clerkship's value will depend on what you want to do after. For litigation, a state SSC or state appellate clerkship in the state you want to practice in would be much better than a bankruptcy clerkship. For bankruptcy practice, on the other hand, a bankruptcy clerkship would be much better than a SSC. Neither of these clerkships would be particularly helpful if you wanted to be an M&A attorney.

If you don't have a job lined up post graduation, however, you probably won't really be in a position to choose. Apply broadly and take the jerb if a judge offers you one.

audacious
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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby audacious » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:14 pm

badaboom61 wrote:Neither of these clerkships would be particularly helpful if you wanted to be an M&A attorney.


What about Delaware Supreme Court (not Chancery)?

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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:21 pm

OP here.

What is the best method on obtaining statistics for those who received a state COA or SSC clerkship?

I'm assuming those statistics will depend on the state, but would the OCS be a good place to reach out to? I feel like whenever I go to my OCS counselor, I just waste my time.

badaboom61
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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby badaboom61 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:24 pm

audacious wrote:
badaboom61 wrote:Neither of these clerkships would be particularly helpful if you wanted to be an M&A attorney.


What about Delaware Supreme Court (not Chancery)?


That would be better for M&A than a typical SSC clerkship, although it may partially depend on how many business appeals you deal with during your term there. And SSC clerkships generally would be viewed by many as a valuable experience that would be helpful in M&A career if you have the opportunity to do one. But if you don't already have a job lined up, it's very hard to sell the "I really wanted to do M&A so I decided to clerk for an SSC for a year" line.

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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby badaboom61 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

What is the best method on obtaining statistics for those who received a state COA or SSC clerkship?

I'm assuming those statistics will depend on the state, but would the OCS be a good place to reach out to? I feel like whenever I go to my OCS counselor, I just waste my time.


What do you mean by "statistics"?

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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby DelDad » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:46 pm

badaboom61 wrote:
audacious wrote:
badaboom61 wrote:Neither of these clerkships would be particularly helpful if you wanted to be an M&A attorney.


What about Delaware Supreme Court (not Chancery)?


That would be better for M&A than a typical SSC clerkship, although it may partially depend on how many business appeals you deal with during your term there. And SSC clerkships generally would be viewed by many as a valuable experience that would be helpful in M&A career if you have the opportunity to do one. But if you don't already have a job lined up, it's very hard to sell the "I really wanted to do M&A so I decided to clerk for an SSC for a year" line.


This.

Former Delaware Court of Chancery clerk here.

Chancery is an excellent clerkship for M&A, and, in my opinion, one of the few clerkships that worth doing for a non-litigator/non-bankruptcy type. Although I am a litigator, my co-clerk was not, and he was heavily recruited during the clerkship year.

In Chancery, a huge percentage of your cases involve dealing with the mistakes that M&A or other corporate-types made in drafting or their negotiations; its an excellent way to learn how to avoid making those mistakes. It's also good for figuring out how each of the members of the court think - which can be valuable when you are trying to push back against your acquiror client who wants to include a specific deal protection that you know your former judge (or one of his colleagues) thinks will justify an injunction.

Delaware Supreme Court gets some of the most important cases on appeal, but not the volume, and you will spend a lot of time on criminal or other matters as well. The DSC is a great experience for a litigator, (Even as a Chancery clerk, I got the opportunity to work on a death penalty case when the judge I worked for sat by designation to fill the seat of a conflicted justice - it was great), but it is not as good an experience for a corporate lawyer.
Last edited by DelDad on Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:53 pm

badaboom61 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

What is the best method on obtaining statistics for those who received a state COA or SSC clerkship?

I'm assuming those statistics will depend on the state, but would the OCS be a good place to reach out to? I feel like whenever I go to my OCS counselor, I just waste my time.


What do you mean by "statistics"?

If you mean, what kinds of grades/other qualifications did those people have, yes, talk to your OCS. Also, most schools have some kind of clerkship committee, which includes profs who want to advise people on clerkships, and they should have a good sense of what someone with your stats from your school has been able to get in the past.

(I also agree with the poster above that which non-AIII clerkship would depend on your goals. If you're talking about a magistrate clerkship, too, that can depend on how the work is divided in that district, and what kinds of cases you'd be working on.)

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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:45 pm

OP here.

Thank you.

Are federal magistrate clerks recruited decently by firms?

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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Thank you.

Are federal magistrate clerks recruited decently by firms?


It would probably depend on the district. I know that district court clerks in competitive districts (SDNY, EDVA) get letters/recruited.

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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:35 pm

SSC in a competitive state here:

I haven't gone through the law firm hiring process, but my experience and that of my classmates during the clerkship hiring process is that it is harder to get a federal DC than our SSC, although I am not sure whether it holds true for district courts in out of the way cities, (for example, I don't know if it would be harder to get D. Mass in Springfield or Mass SJC?, or NY COA or NDNY?). If the more competitive students are getting federal clerkships, then naturally they will have an easier time on the employment market.

But assuming two equally credentialed clerks, and employers who see the courts as equally prestigious, then it's a tough call. In terms of substantive legal experience for biglaw, a federal district court is a much better option. While we get plenty of big name firms before us, it is undoubtedly true that more cutting edge commercial litigation is either exclusively federal (IP litigation, securities, antitrust, and class actions) or that firms would prefer to file or remove to federal court whenever possible. Furthermore, you do not get the motion practice and trial experience that a federal court can give you on a SSC, and appellate law is such a niche practice area that if I was hiring I'd probably rather have the federal district clerk.

That said, working for a court of last resort (not counting the maybe 5% of cases eligible for cert to the USSC) is a unqiue experience. You're not only deciding the case in front of you, but you're also making and clarifying the law of an entire state, being the final word on new statutes, and basically regulating how trial courts decide cases. It hones a very different skill set, and after doing this for a year I can see why so many law professors started out as appellate clerks. You also become an absolutely superb writer, although of course this varies by judge.

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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:SSC in a competitive state here:

I haven't gone through the law firm hiring process, but my experience and that of my classmates during the clerkship hiring process is that it is harder to get a federal DC than our SSC . . . .


Wow, that's pretty amazing. So it could be considered an upgrade if you were to clerk at a fed. d. ct. after your SSC clerkship?

Does that mean magistrate judge clerkship is approximately the same as an SSC clerkship in your state? Or is that going too far?

I ask because I know someone who went from fed DC to state SSC. He's hoping to go to fed COA after the state SSC.

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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:SSC in a competitive state here:

I haven't gone through the law firm hiring process, but my experience and that of my classmates during the clerkship hiring process is that it is harder to get a federal DC than our SSC . . . .


Wow, that's pretty amazing. So it could be considered an upgrade if you were to clerk at a fed. d. ct. after your SSC clerkship?

Does that mean magistrate judge clerkship is approximately the same as an SSC clerkship in your state? Or is that going too far?

I ask because I know someone who went from fed DC to state SSC. He's hoping to go to fed COA after the state SSC.


I was unclear. I'm not saying that any federal DC would be harder to get than all SSCs, just that within my state, the fed DC clerks from my law school generally had better credentials. I'd be shocked if anyone could form an informed opinion about whether it's harder to get a job with the Texas Supreme Court or the W.D. Wisconsin or if some Boston biglaw firm would rather hire someone who clerked for the DDC or the Mass SJC. It all depends on what you want to do afterwards.

Off the top of my head, I know clerks who went fed DC > fed COA > SSC or SSC > fed dct and vice versa. Others who went fed COA > SSC.

It's also kind of odd to think about it as an "upgrade or downgrade," although I can understand since I was a law student once. Working for another appellate court is going to be a huge plus for your friend's COA application.

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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:SSC in a competitive state here:

I haven't gone through the law firm hiring process, but my experience and that of my classmates during the clerkship hiring process is that it is harder to get a federal DC than our SSC . . . .


Wow, that's pretty amazing. So it could be considered an upgrade if you were to clerk at a fed. d. ct. after your SSC clerkship?

Does that mean magistrate judge clerkship is approximately the same as an SSC clerkship in your state? Or is that going too far?

I ask because I know someone who went from fed DC to state SSC. He's hoping to go to fed COA after the state SSC.


I was unclear. I'm not saying that any federal DC would be harder to get than all SSCs, just that within my state, the fed DC clerks from my law school generally had better credentials. I'd be shocked if anyone could form an informed opinion about whether it's harder to get a job with the Texas Supreme Court or the W.D. Wisconsin or if some Boston biglaw firm would rather hire someone who clerked for the DDC or the Mass SJC. It all depends on what you want to do afterwards.

Off the top of my head, I know clerks who went fed DC > fed COA > SSC or SSC > fed dct and vice versa. Others who went fed COA > SSC.

It's also kind of odd to think about it as an "upgrade or downgrade," although I can understand since I was a law student once. Working for another appellate court is going to be a huge plus for your friend's COA application.



Since my end goal after a potential clerkship is litigation, should my targets be federal d.c. & fed. magistrate? Although I'm going to apply for the circuit courts, I just don't think I have the credentials for it.

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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:SSC in a competitive state here:

I haven't gone through the law firm hiring process, but my experience and that of my classmates during the clerkship hiring process is that it is harder to get a federal DC than our SSC . . . .


Wow, that's pretty amazing. So it could be considered an upgrade if you were to clerk at a fed. d. ct. after your SSC clerkship?

Does that mean magistrate judge clerkship is approximately the same as an SSC clerkship in your state? Or is that going too far?

I ask because I know someone who went from fed DC to state SSC. He's hoping to go to fed COA after the state SSC.


I was unclear. I'm not saying that any federal DC would be harder to get than all SSCs, just that within my state, the fed DC clerks from my law school generally had better credentials. I'd be shocked if anyone could form an informed opinion about whether it's harder to get a job with the Texas Supreme Court or the W.D. Wisconsin or if some Boston biglaw firm would rather hire someone who clerked for the DDC or the Mass SJC. It all depends on what you want to do afterwards.

Off the top of my head, I know clerks who went fed DC > fed COA > SSC or SSC > fed dct and vice versa. Others who went fed COA > SSC.

It's also kind of odd to think about it as an "upgrade or downgrade," although I can understand since I was a law student once. Working for another appellate court is going to be a huge plus for your friend's COA application.



Since my end goal after a potential clerkship is litigation, should my targets be federal d.c. & fed. magistrate? Although I'm going to apply for the circuit courts, I just don't think I have the credentials for it.


Why would you not target SSC's?

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Re: Non-Art. III Court v. State Appellate/SSC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:02 am

Why would you not target SSC's?



Oh, sorry, I meant just for federal clerkships. For example, I won't be targeting any of the circuits.

I will also be applying for state clerkships as well.




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