Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

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Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:09 pm

I was wondering if any of you guys know of any clerks who were fired from their clerkship. I know of a clerk who was effectively fired because she/he basically pissed off the judge by saying he didn't want to be there anymore after 2 months (major personality conflict).

Have any clerks ever been fired for inability to do the work (as opposed to being a jerk)?

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:12 pm

Yes. Oddly, I interviewed with the judge and the judge/clerks told me about a clerk that "clearly couldn't cut it" after 1-2 weeks, so the judge asked the clerk to leave. A few weeks later, I told a friend that I interviewed with the judge but didn't get the job, and the friend told me he clerked there for 1-2 weeks, but the chambers restructured so the judge encouraged the clerk to take a different job that the judge had lined up for the clerk.

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pupshaw
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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby pupshaw » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yes. Oddly, I interviewed with the judge and the judge/clerks told me about a clerk that "clearly couldn't cut it" after 1-2 weeks, so the judge asked the clerk to leave. A few weeks later, I told a friend that I interviewed with the judge but didn't get the job, and the friend told me he clerked there for 1-2 weeks, but the chambers restructured so the judge encouraged the clerk to take a different job that the judge had lined up for the clerk.


awkward

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby lolwat » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:23 pm

the firings i've personally heard of were similar sort of "encourage the clerk to do something else" stories

don't think any of them were based on inability to do work, just personality clashes (

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:25 pm

cerealdan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yes. Oddly, I interviewed with the judge and the judge/clerks told me about a clerk that "clearly couldn't cut it" after 1-2 weeks, so the judge asked the clerk to leave. A few weeks later, I told a friend that I interviewed with the judge but didn't get the job, and the friend told me he clerked there for 1-2 weeks, but the chambers restructured so the judge encouraged the clerk to take a different job that the judge had lined up for the clerk.


awkward


Agreed. The gig the judge lined up was pretty sweet and the person is doing really well now, so no worries.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:47 pm

Yes, my DCt co-clerk was fired outright, with around 2-3 weeks' notice, about halfway through her clerkship due to performance issues - perceived inadequate writing ability. This was in a good economy and she bounced back quickly, landing BigLaw within weeks. I'm not sure her firm ever knew she was fired, and she lists the clerkship on her firm bio. (I've always wondered whether she asked for a clerkship bonus, too, but never asked.) She's now a midlevel associate doing well and remains partner track. I should note that my judge is not vindictive and would probably have been compassionate enough to give her a good (not glowing, but good) reference if explicitly asked for one.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:33 pm

I had a lawyer tell me that he was hired for a two-year clerkship and then partway through the judge told him it would only be a one-year clerkship and wouldn't give him a clear reason.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:Yes, my DCt co-clerk was fired outright, with around 2-3 weeks' notice, about halfway through her clerkship due to performance issues - perceived inadequate writing ability. This was in a good economy and she bounced back quickly, landing BigLaw within weeks. I'm not sure her firm ever knew she was fired, and she lists the clerkship on her firm bio. (I've always wondered whether she asked for a clerkship bonus, too, but never asked.) She's now a midlevel associate doing well and remains partner track. I should note that my judge is not vindictive and would probably have been compassionate enough to give her a good (not glowing, but good) reference if explicitly asked for one.



Was her writing that obviously bad to you?

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yes, my DCt co-clerk was fired outright, with around 2-3 weeks' notice, about halfway through her clerkship due to performance issues - perceived inadequate writing ability. This was in a good economy and she bounced back quickly, landing BigLaw within weeks. I'm not sure her firm ever knew she was fired, and she lists the clerkship on her firm bio. (I've always wondered whether she asked for a clerkship bonus, too, but never asked.) She's now a midlevel associate doing well and remains partner track. I should note that my judge is not vindictive and would probably have been compassionate enough to give her a good (not glowing, but good) reference if explicitly asked for one.


Was her writing that obviously bad to you?


Unfortunately, yes. I was assigned to rewrite a lot of writing in her cases, and I understood what the judge's concern was.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yes, my DCt co-clerk was fired outright, with around 2-3 weeks' notice, about halfway through her clerkship due to performance issues - perceived inadequate writing ability. This was in a good economy and she bounced back quickly, landing BigLaw within weeks. I'm not sure her firm ever knew she was fired, and she lists the clerkship on her firm bio. (I've always wondered whether she asked for a clerkship bonus, too, but never asked.) She's now a midlevel associate doing well and remains partner track. I should note that my judge is not vindictive and would probably have been compassionate enough to give her a good (not glowing, but good) reference if explicitly asked for one.


Was her writing that obviously bad to you?


Unfortunately, yes. I was assigned to rewrite a lot of writing in her cases, and I understood what the judge's concern was.


What made her writing bad? Typos/grammar mistakes, or weak legal analysis?

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:19 pm

Weak legal analysis. The former issue (grammar/typos) can be fixed quite easily, either by getting the clerk herself to pay more attention to detail or by having someone else do those edits. Deficits in analytical ability are not so easy to fix.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:49 pm

I know of a judge at my court who somehow manages to do almost all of the work. The judge's clerks basically do nothing but scheduling, cite checking, and orders on very routine motions that require little more than copying and pasting.

The judge told the current about how she/he fired a past clerk after a few weeks because the clerk complained multiple times to the judge about being treated like nothing more than a secretary.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:48 pm

I worked over the summer with someone who had been let go from his CoA clerkship because, as he described it, he didn't really get along with the other clerks. After working with him myself, I can't imagine why that was the case.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:49 pm

I wonder what's harder to overcome, (1) being fired from a clerkship or (2) explaining a no-offer.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby hiima3L » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I wonder what's harder to overcome, (1) being fired from a clerkship or (2) explaining a no-offer.


The former has to be. No offers can occur for a variety of reasons, e.g., economic ones. Being fired from a clerkship is extremely rare and means you're socially and/or intellectually incompetent.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:21 am

Reviving this very old thread to either solicit new opinions or to hear from those here about what occurred after a co-clerk was fired in chambers as far as work load etc....am worried I will be left in that situation

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:Reviving this very old thread to either solicit new opinions or to hear from those here about what occurred after a co-clerk was fired in chambers as far as work load etc....am worried I will be left in that situation

Wasn't in chambers when it happened, but I knew a career clerk who was in chambers when a term clerk got fired a month or two in. It sounds as awful as you'd expect, and you mostly just triage until you can find someone to come in on short notice.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:58 pm

Heard about a clerk in another district being fired for sharing details of pending cases on social media. Fucking millennials.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:20 pm

My previous judge fired a clerk a few years before my term with him/her. On top of being incompetent, the clerk often fell asleep in the clerk box during hearings/trials without any explanation (i.e. narcolepsy or the like). From what I understand, its an exceedingly high bar to be fired.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby mjb447 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Heard about a clerk in another district being fired for sharing details of pending cases on social media. Fucking millennials.

I thought people like that were just a thought experiment dreamed up by the authors of Maintaining the Public Trust.
Anonymous User wrote:My previous judge fired a clerk a few years before my term with him/her. On top of being incompetent, the clerk often fell asleep in the clerk box during hearings/trials without any explanation (i.e. narcolepsy or the like). From what I understand, its an exceedingly high bar to be fired.

I'm sure it depends on the judge.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:16 pm

Heard a story about a clerk at a federal circuit court who was working on an appeal that had significant impact on a particular industry that the clerk's dad owned a business in. When the opinion came out, it just so happened that it was good news for that industry. The clerk emailed the opinion to his dad, after it was published, with a tongue-in-cheek message like "You owe me for this one!"

It got back to the judge somehow and the clerk was quietly let go. This judge still tells the story when they're talking about "appearance of impropriety" type things. The judge was adamant (for obvious reasons) that the clerk had no impact on the actual outcome of the appeal, but that he just couldn't be kept on if he was willing to say things like that even in jest.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby lavarman84 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Heard a story about a clerk at a federal circuit court who was working on an appeal that had significant impact on a particular industry that the clerk's dad owned a business in. When the opinion came out, it just so happened that it was good news for that industry. The clerk emailed the opinion to his dad, after it was published, with a tongue-in-cheek message like "You owe me for this one!"

It got back to the judge somehow and the clerk was quietly let go. This judge still tells the story when they're talking about "appearance of impropriety" type things. The judge was adamant (for obvious reasons) that the clerk had no impact on the actual outcome of the appeal, but that he just couldn't be kept on if he was willing to say things like that even in jest.


Pretty dumb to put that sort of thing in writing, even if it is a joke.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:58 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Heard a story about a clerk at a federal circuit court who was working on an appeal that had significant impact on a particular industry that the clerk's dad owned a business in. When the opinion came out, it just so happened that it was good news for that industry. The clerk emailed the opinion to his dad, after it was published, with a tongue-in-cheek message like "You owe me for this one!"

It got back to the judge somehow and the clerk was quietly let go. This judge still tells the story when they're talking about "appearance of impropriety" type things. The judge was adamant (for obvious reasons) that the clerk had no impact on the actual outcome of the appeal, but that he just couldn't be kept on if he was willing to say things like that even in jest.


Pretty dumb to put that sort of thing in writing, even if it is a joke.

The most interesting part of the story is untold: how did the clerk's email to his dad get back to the judge?

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby lavarman84 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:14 pm

rpupkin wrote:
lavarman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Heard a story about a clerk at a federal circuit court who was working on an appeal that had significant impact on a particular industry that the clerk's dad owned a business in. When the opinion came out, it just so happened that it was good news for that industry. The clerk emailed the opinion to his dad, after it was published, with a tongue-in-cheek message like "You owe me for this one!"

It got back to the judge somehow and the clerk was quietly let go. This judge still tells the story when they're talking about "appearance of impropriety" type things. The judge was adamant (for obvious reasons) that the clerk had no impact on the actual outcome of the appeal, but that he just couldn't be kept on if he was willing to say things like that even in jest.


Pretty dumb to put that sort of thing in writing, even if it is a joke.

The most interesting part of the story is untold: how did the clerk's email to his dad get back to the judge?


I'm going to guess that the clerk told a co-worker about the joke, and it inevitably got back to the judge.

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Re: Know anyone who was fired from a clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:40 pm

Two clerks in the courthouse I work at were notoriously hostile to one another and after a few months they apparently had an argument that came close enough to a fistfight that the judge intervened and sent both of them home. He fired one of them, though I don’t really know if that was who was at fault or just the one the judge was most okay with losing. The one who got fired got hired with a local firm pretty quickly, so must have gotten a decent reference.




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