Senior Status Judges

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Senior Status Judges

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:11 am

Wondering if there is any prestige, utility, or career differences between clerking for a senior status USDC judge v. a non-senior status USDC judge. I have an offer from a senior judge.

Thanks for any input!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Senior Status Judges

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:35 am

In general, no. Your judge will probably not be around as long to mentor you, and you might have an "easier" job if your judge has a lower case load, but I don't think that these are factors that should convince you not to clerk for a senior judge. (Full disclosure: I'm currently clerking for a senior district court judge and loving it).

PublicInterest
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:58 pm

Re: Senior Status Judges

Postby PublicInterest » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:03 pm

Depends. Some senior judges have fantastic reputations and are very prestigious. Some examples: weinstein (EDNY), rakoff (SDNY), calabresi (2d Cir.), etc.

Other senior judges checked out long ago and barely carry a caseload. I have a friend who clerked for a judge like that and basically sat alone in a room 4 days a week. The judge only came in on Wednesdays and just did everything in chambers because she didn't want tot walk all the way to court. She got in trouble when she did sentencings that way.

So basically you need to research exactly what the judge does and makes. Decision based on that.

ClerkAdvisor
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:38 pm

Re: Senior Status Judges

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Wondering if there is any prestige, utility, or career differences between clerking for a senior status USDC judge v. a non-senior status USDC judge. I have an offer from a senior judge.

Thanks for any input!


To reiterate what others have said, it depends on the judge. There are a number of senior district judges who are as prestigious, or in some cases more prestigious, than their active judge counterparts (e.g., Judges Weinstein, Rakoff, Breyer, Pollack (before he passed away), Motz, etc.). From a utility standpoint, it really depends on their docket; if the senior judge takes a full docket, or some high percentage of a full docket, then it's the same as an active judge. One thing I would be careful of is making sure that the senior judge hasn't opted out of some particular type of cases that you're interested in. For example, IIRC Judge Breyer in NDCA no longer takes patent cases, and the same goes for Judge Cacheris on EDVA. But, if you don't care about patent cases, then both those judges would be great to clerk for because they still take otherwise full dockets.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Senior Status Judges

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:09 pm

ClerkAdvisor wrote:There are a number of senior district judges who are as prestigious, or in some cases more prestigious, than their active judge counterparts (e.g., Judges Weinstein, Rakoff, Breyer, Pollack (before he passed away), Motz, etc.).


Judge Motz is particularly prestigious?

ZyzzBrah
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:39 pm

Re: Senior Status Judges

Postby ZyzzBrah » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Judge Motz is particularly prestigious?



in d.md yes

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Senior Status Judges

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:00 pm

Completely depends. In my court, some judges were asked to go on senior status for budgetary reasons and they keep a full caseload. Some are all but pushed out (i.e., not given cases) because they are so checked out. My friend clerks for one of these judges and he basically does nothing 3-4 days/week.

But, really, no employer is going to care. So it might actually be an awesome way to have an incredibly chill job with plenty of reward.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Senior Status Judges

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:35 pm

My clerkship with a senior judge was the best year of my life. The judge had a 2/3 caseload, so I really had the opportunity to enjoy the city I was in, take some vacations, and also work on some important cases. I wasn't in line to land SCOTUS or a feeder, and the clerkship really helped me land some big job interviews and offers.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Senior Status Judges

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:29 pm

I'm currently clerking for a senior COA judge. The judge has a reduced caseload, but we still get a number of interesting cases. I'd recommend the experience to anyone.

User avatar
legalese_retard
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:14 pm

Re: Senior Status Judges

Postby legalese_retard » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have an offer from a senior judge.



First off, why are having these questions now? You should have already accepted the position or not applied to begin with.

That being said, the only other thing to consider is that it may affect your job search after the clerkship (in case you don't have one already lined up). You will still get the "prestige" boost and generally encounter the same experience as a clerk with a non-senior judge; however, there is a preference for hiring clerks with active judges, especially for firms in the same district. Firms like having former clerks of judges who are currently on the bench and are likely to be around for several years. Part of the clerkship prestige a firm values is the fact that you worked for the judge and will have better insight on the judge's preferences.

Speaking from the outside though, I can't tell how much of a boost a non-senior judge will give you. Additionally, if you look at the NALP forms for some law firms, they indicate that clerkship bonuses are given on a "case-by-case basis." Not sure if the senior status of a judge might affect that, but I'd imagine that it can be a factor for some firms.

justinp
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:33 am

Re: Senior Status Judges

Postby justinp » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:29 pm

legalese_retard wrote:First off, why are having these questions now? You should have already accepted the position or not applied to begin with.


Don't buy the party line, dude. This is a 'rule' that serves the interests of judges and career services offices, not of students. It's a year of your life and it is perfectly reasonable to carefully consider your options.




Return to “Judicial Clerkships”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.