2L OCI Strike Out w/ Judicial Clerkship Option

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2L OCI Strike Out w/ Judicial Clerkship Option

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:52 pm

Like the title says, I struck out w/ big law at OCI. I'm in a mass mail campaign right now to secure employment for the summer. A family friend, works for a federal judge in a very insular area where ties are very important (I'm talking a small town and I'm from that small town and they have stated preference for people in that small town), recommended I apply to his judge.

My question is, should I apply for that federal clerkship for my 2L summer or keep grinding away and get a firm/corp?

Also, if I clerk there after 3L does it matter when going to find employment post clerkship that this is from a small town? It is ~2 hours away from two major markets (one where I go to school) so my question would it be hard to crack that market with a large/mid firm?

Thank.

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bk1
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Re: 2L OCI Strike Out w/ Judicial Clerkship Option

Postby bk1 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My question is, should I apply for that federal clerkship for my 2L summer or keep grinding away and get a firm/corp?

Do you mean apply for a clerkship for after graduation or an externship for the summer? If you mean clerkship then the correct answer is to keep applying to firms/corps and apply to this judge as well. If you mean externship then you shouldn't apply since an externship is unlikely to lead to postgrad opportunities whereas a firm/corp might. If this judge does hire a significant number of his externs as clerks then that might change the calculus, but I wouldn't apply to be an extern unless there was a high likelihood that he would hire you on as a clerk afterwards.

Anonymous User wrote:Also, if I clerk there after 3L does it matter when going to find employment post clerkship that this is from a small town? It is ~2 hours away from two major markets (one where I go to school) so my question would it be hard to crack that market with a large/mid firm?

It depends. A clerkship is generally impressive but of course the hiring patterns of firms vary. For example, some firms in Chicago may be less impressed with an SDIL clerkship than with an NDIL clerkship. That said, a clerkship even from a small town will likely still be very helpful in looking for a job at a firm.

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Re: 2L OCI Strike Out w/ Judicial Clerkship Option

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:15 pm

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My question is, should I apply for that federal clerkship for my 2L summer or keep grinding away and get a firm/corp?

Do you mean apply for a clerkship for after graduation or an externship for the summer? If you mean clerkship then the correct answer is to keep applying to firms/corps and apply to this judge as well. If you mean externship then you shouldn't apply since an externship is unlikely to lead to postgrad opportunities whereas a firm/corp might. If this judge does hire a significant number of his externs as clerks then that might change the calculus, but I wouldn't apply to be an extern unless there was a high likelihood that he would hire you on as a clerk afterwards.

Anonymous User wrote:Also, if I clerk there after 3L does it matter when going to find employment post clerkship that this is from a small town? It is ~2 hours away from two major markets (one where I go to school) so my question would it be hard to crack that market with a large/mid firm?

It depends. A clerkship is generally impressive but of course the hiring patterns of firms vary. For example, some firms in Chicago may be less impressed with an SDIL clerkship than with an NDIL clerkship. That said, a clerkship even from a small town will likely still be very helpful in looking for a job at a firm.


That is great info. Thanks. Sorry to confuse the words. I want a clerkship for when I graduate. I didn't know if I should also be trying to get an externship for the 2L summer. My initial thought was no.

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EtherOne
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Re: 2L OCI Strike Out w/ Judicial Clerkship Option

Postby EtherOne » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:24 pm

Try to secure employment at a smaller firm for your 2L summer so that you can get valuable experience. Apply to clerkships widely (in case your family friend's judge hires another person), and then Big Law will be potentially available again.

Good luck!

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Re: 2L OCI Strike Out w/ Judicial Clerkship Option

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:56 pm

EtherOne wrote:Try to secure employment at a smaller firm for your 2L summer so that you can get valuable experience. Apply to clerkships widely (in case your family friend's judge hires another person), and then Big Law will be potentially available again.

Good luck!


That is what I wanted to hear. Do you have any insight on how different markets are viewed? My main market is super competitive and is hard to get a clerkship from, that is why I'm excited for the clerkship possibility in my podunk hometown. In your experience, will large firms care that it was from a podunk town, because it is still a federal judge after all.

Also, what is the process of trying to get a big firm after a clerkship like? Or any firm at all? I have to imagine you have a tremendous leg up on recent grads for that year.

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Re: 2L OCI Strike Out w/ Judicial Clerkship Option

Postby EtherOne » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:20 pm

Clerking in NY or DC is better than clerking in a small town. But in my opinion, it is equally valuable, since you will still be clerking for a federal judge. I think the only difference is that it will be easier to secure the clerkship in the small town because the judge will have a less talented pool to choose from. But, if you have the school and grades for Big Law, I don't think employers will care too much about it. Also, I assume you already have contacts in the primary (& competitive) market you mentioned, so I don't think it will be a problem. Law firms, in general, really like clerks.

Re: your second question, you would just apply directly as you did when you mass mailed. If you check the "Career Hiring" Tab in firms websites you will see that it says, contact "X person" if you wish to apply and you are a student or clerk. So you would be in competition with other 3Ls, which will definitely help you.

Another advantage of clerking for a judge is that the judge would be able to help you network with the best firms in town (if you desire to stay in the small town).

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Re: 2L OCI Strike Out w/ Judicial Clerkship Option

Postby bk1 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:That is great info. Thanks. Sorry to confuse the words. I want a clerkship for when I graduate. I didn't know if I should also be trying to get an externship for the 2L summer. My initial thought was no.

Externing definitely isn't worth it compared to either making money during the summer or working somewhere that can lead to a full time postgrad offer.

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Re: 2L OCI Strike Out w/ Judicial Clerkship Option

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:27 pm

Extening for a judge is about as close to clerking for a judge while in law school. It's a great experience. However, I agree that it's not ideal to do it your 2L summer because you want to work an SA or some sort of job that can lead to a full-time offer.

What you could try to do is extern for a judge during the school year. Either part time or full-time. I know several people who did this and they loved it! Depending on your school, you can even do this for credit.

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Re: 2L OCI Strike Out w/ Judicial Clerkship Option

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Extening for a judge is about as close to clerking for a judge while in law school. It's a great experience. However, I agree that it's not ideal to do it your 2L summer because you want to work an SA or some sort of job that can lead to a full-time offer.

What you could try to do is extern for a judge during the school year. Either part time or full-time. I know several people who did this and they loved it! Depending on your school, you can even do this for credit.


Yeah, my school is in a major market so I have been thinking about externing next Spring.

Thanks for the advice everyone.

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Re: 2L OCI Strike Out w/ Judicial Clerkship Option

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:35 pm

So what kind of grades do I need to have a shot at a clerkship?


I'm right now 15% LR (other good softs) at a T1.

Barring a miracle of straight As, I assume I'm out of the running for a clerkship in a major market.

However, what do you think I need to be around for a smaller, rural, region?

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Re: 2L OCI Strike Out w/ Judicial Clerkship Option

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:38 pm

However, what do you think I need to be around for a smaller, rural, region?


Ask your CSO how many people - on average -- clerked for an AIII judge the past few years (I assume you're talking AIII). Multiply that by 1.5. That's about the class rank you need to have a decent chance. It's hard to say without knowing the specific T1 school. Some you'd probably need to be in the top five or so students in the class. Some you'd have a fighting chance around the 10% mark, maybe even a tick or two lower. Grossly oversimplifying, I think outside the T14 and a handful of strong regional schools just outside of that (UT, UCLA, etc.), you probably need to be in the 5-7% range. But like I said, that's a big generalization.

(My district had (well, has) divisions in a big market, and divisions outside of the big market. There really wasn't a drop-off in credentials between the districts. All of the clerks either had good grades from top 5 schools, really good grades from the rest of the T14, or great grades from the rest.)




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