2 Clerkship? Is it worth it?

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ZyzzBrah
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2 Clerkship? Is it worth it?

Postby ZyzzBrah » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:20 pm

3L here, already have an SSC clerkship for 14-15 but am looking for fed. dist. clerkships for 15-16.

Its honestly a little nerve racking to apply for 15-16 so early because I could potentially lock myself into something for the next two years. I have no intention of being a career clerk, I ultimately want to go into private practice (one of the nlj 250s in my area--the midatlantic) or possibly the OAG.

So what's the benefit of a second clerkship for the purposes of my goals, especially if it means going from an appellate to trial level as this is probably seen as odd--in fact a fed. dist. judge Im interning for said as much (and I dont want two appellate clerkships because I dont see much utility in that)?

Stats fwiw: top 20%, school 30-40 (mason, umd, w&m), LR (not e-board), published, some awards, no SA (clerked at midlaw firm that doesnt make offers to unexperienced attorneys)

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legalese_retard
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Re: 2 Clerkship? Is it worth it?

Postby legalese_retard » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:30 pm

No it is not odd going from a state appellate clerkship to a federal district clerkship. In fact, it will make you a strong candidate, especially if you are looking for a firm job that is outside the state of the ssc clerkship. Plus, you will get a significant bump in pay if you do the federal clerkship second. Most state clerkships pay the same regardless of your experence level. Federal clerkships give you a bump for passing the bar and a bump for 1+ years of experience.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: 2 Clerkship? Is it worth it?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:41 pm

I did a federal district court clerkship after doing a state appellate clerkship, and no one thought it was weird. It's not as common to go appellate -> trial as the other way around, but it's not unusual, either. And it's easy to explain wanting to do both - the experiences are completely different and develop different skillsets (I mean, it's still all research and writing, but in different contexts).

You do have to accept that if you do this, you're locked into place for 2 years, well in advance, and yeah, that can be kind of frustrating - I'd see jobs come up that looked interesting but I couldn't apply because I knew I wouldn't be available for another 18 months or the like. My own experience was that having the federal clerkship helped in the job search, but that would depend a little on where you clerk and what you want to do, I suppose. I don't think doing both clerkships would hurt you, though, nor do I think it will make you look like you want to be a career clerk.

lolwat
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Re: 2 Clerkship? Is it worth it?

Postby lolwat » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:12 am

appellate -> trial isn't that weird. nor is state app. -> fed d.ct. in fact, two+ years clerkships only look kind of weird if they're at the same level (or, well, if the second clerkship is with like a magistrate judge or state trial judge, that might be weird too).

if you're looking to go into a firm after the clerkships, it doesn't matter too much that you're locked into 2 years of stuff. either the firm you're looking at is going to have somewhat of a schedule for clerkship applicants ("apply in spring") or they're going to be hiring based on need, which is pretty luck and timing based anyway.
Last edited by lolwat on Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2 Clerkship? Is it worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:13 am

Can anyone weigh in on the value or optics of a year of federal district followed by a year of state supreme court? For those of us with no shot at a federal COA...

lolwat
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Re: 2 Clerkship? Is it worth it?

Postby lolwat » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:Can anyone weigh in on the value or optics of a year of federal district followed by a year of state supreme court? For those of us with no shot at a federal COA...


value is probably quite a bit if you're staying in that state, but i have no data to support my gut feeling here.

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legalese_retard
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Re: 2 Clerkship? Is it worth it?

Postby legalese_retard » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can anyone weigh in on the value or optics of a year of federal district followed by a year of state supreme court? For those of us with no shot at a federal COA...


It will depend on your career goals after the clerkships. If you enjoy the clerkship experience, from an intellectual standpoint it can be very rewarding - your experience at each clerkship will be different. If you want to work at a "traditional" big law firm, a subsequent state supreme court clerkship might not be that much of an additional bump. Depending on the firm, you will get a second class year boost and a little "bump" to your clerkship bonus, but not sure beyond that. If your goal is to work in litigation or appellate boutique firms, then the state clerkship will be a huge benefit. The same is if you want to work for the OAG or a comparable state agency.

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Re: 2 Clerkship? Is it worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:52 am

The differences between a trial level clerkship and an appellate one, regardless of the courts, make doing both worth it, IMO. Appellate work is very, very different from trial work. Both have their ups and downs, especially depending on what you find interesting, but both will be very useful regardless.

I interned at a state COA and loved it. I did the same kind of work as the staff attorneys, so I think I got a good sense of what it's like in spite of only being there for 4 months. I'm now clerking at a trial court. I would take an appellate clerkship over a trial level one in a heart beat. I find writing decisions and deciding the legal issues, as opposed to the factual ones, is much, much more fun and interesting. A lot of trial work is drudgery and wholly up to the judge. This leads to us clerks not doing a whole lot aside from record and document review. Trials themselves are very fun, but most of the work leading up to them is not. On appeal, you get a nice, organized record (most of the time) and don't have to deal with figuring out the facts, which can be obnoxiously tedious.

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Re: 2 Clerkship? Is it worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:34 am

legalese_retard wrote:If your goal is to work in litigation or appellate boutique firms, then the state clerkship will be a huge benefit.
The emphasized is questionable. I think very highly of state clerkships at a court of last resort, not the least of which is because I am currently in one. Having my sights set on appellate boutique firms, I have scoured their associates pages, and you will see time and again federal appellate clerkships. Not state appellate clerkships.

Not saying it isn't some sort of boost, but most folks in appellate boutique firms follow the golden route of: latin honors at a T14 --> federal COA clerkship --> (not necessarily required) SCOTUS clerkship --> (not necessarily required) limited general litigation experience --> boutique firm. You will be hard pressed to find a young associate at a boutique firm who did a state appellate clerkship but not a federal COA clerkship.




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