State Appellate Clerkship After State Trial Clerkship?

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randoname
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:36 pm

State Appellate Clerkship After State Trial Clerkship?

Postby randoname » Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:52 pm

Hey guys,

So I was recently invited to interview for a state appellate clerkship. I am currently doing a one year state trial level clerkship. The appellate clerkship would last for two years.

Basically, I was wondering if people thought this would be a good idea. I'm not opposed to the idea of career clerking at this point, but I feel like that may get old, and I would get more enjoyment out of actually practicing and litigating my own cases. I'm also worried that, having clerked for 3 years out of school, firms will have no idea what to do with me due to little practice experience but having been out of school for a few years, so I might be stuck in a career clerk path. Would this appellate clerkship hurt me or help me in terms of getting a firm/gov job?

What I have heard from attorneys is that a state appellate clerkship following a state trial clerkship won't add anything to a resume that's not already there in terms of piquing the interest of a hiring firm.

An attorney I've spoken with who has done a state appellate clerkship said the experience was invaluable in terms of improving writing skills. I do genuinely enjoy the writing aspect of my current clerkship, so this would seem to be of interest to me, at least intellectually.

My judge now thinks that the appellate clerkship wouldn't really help in getting a job, but that might just be my current judge being territorial.

About me: t4 grad (i know, right), latin honors, law review, had a scholly in school so only about $70k debt from ugrad and lawlschool combined, midwest. My current clerkship goes until this fall, and I've had some bites from firms, but I'm getting nervous about not having another job lined up after my current clerkship ends.

I'd appreciate any help the vast wisdom of the internet could offer.

Anonymous User
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Re: State Appellate Clerkship After State Trial Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:59 pm

I don't know what kind of state you're in, but coming off a SSC clerkship I absolutely think an appellate clerkship would be invaluable for government jobs. This is especially true at appellate bureaus from public defender and DA offices. Not only will it improve your writing skills, but you'll have an excellent substantive command of your state's criminal law that they should find appealing.

Three years is pushing it, but I don't think it would be a killer.

hiima3L
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:26 pm

Re: State Appellate Clerkship After State Trial Clerkship?

Postby hiima3L » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:37 pm

First off, if you don't have anything else right now, why not take it?

I don't see how it couldn't be a huge boost for a number of jobs. I interned with a SSC judge and he became a huge mentor and pulled a lot of strings for me. Also, the experience was amazing and I loved the work. I would go back to clerk there in a heartbeat, but CA appellate courts don't really hire clerks.

randoname
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:36 pm

Re: State Appellate Clerkship After State Trial Clerkship?

Postby randoname » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:03 am

First off, if you don't have anything else right now, why not take it?


Well, that's sort of the heart of the question I was asking. I'm in a dilemma right now, assuming I'm offered the spot, that I'd be accepting another clerkship with roughly 6 months to go in my current clerkship. For someone who wants to practice, rather than go the career clerk route, my real question was whether the appellate clerkship would hurt or help.

So, if I take this appellate clerkship, assuming it's offered, I may be cutting short my chances of practicing right out of my current state level clerkship.

But, I can also see what you're saying. Without a firm offer right now from either a firm or the gov, I'm not really losing anything. But, I may very well be losing the chance at a firm during the next 6-9 months, which I'm not entirely sure I'd like to foreclose upon right now.

Any more advice on the utility of a state appellate clerkship immediately following a state trial clerkship? Been kinda slow so far.

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legalese_retard
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Re: State Appellate Clerkship After State Trial Clerkship?

Postby legalese_retard » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:12 am

randoname wrote:
First off, if you don't have anything else right now, why not take it?


Well, that's sort of the heart of the question I was asking. I'm in a dilemma right now, assuming I'm offered the spot, that I'd be accepting another clerkship with roughly 6 months to go in my current clerkship. For someone who wants to practice, rather than go the career clerk route, my real question was whether the appellate clerkship would hurt or help.

So, if I take this appellate clerkship, assuming it's offered, I may be cutting short my chances of practicing right out of my current state level clerkship.

But, I can also see what you're saying. Without a firm offer right now from either a firm or the gov, I'm not really losing anything. But, I may very well be losing the chance at a firm during the next 6-9 months, which I'm not entirely sure I'd like to foreclose upon right now.

Any more advice on the utility of a state appellate clerkship immediately following a state trial clerkship? Been kinda slow so far.


In short, no it won't hurt you for future firm employment. Will it benefit you? Maybe. The writing experience and behind the scenes perspective of an appellate clerkship will be a benefit. But no matter what you decide, there will always be a missed opportunity. If you can afford the clerkship salary for another two years, I say go for applying for the clerkship. If you get a second clerkship, forget about the what ifs or look at job opportunities until your second clerkship ends. If you are viable candidate for a firm job now, you will not lose that qualification by pursuing a second clerkship. Maybe the second clerkship will not give you a big enough boost for a better firm in the future, but I don't think you will be in a worse off position by taking the second clerkship.

hiima3L
Posts: 837
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:26 pm

Re: State Appellate Clerkship After State Trial Clerkship?

Postby hiima3L » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:28 am

randoname wrote:
First off, if you don't have anything else right now, why not take it?


Well, that's sort of the heart of the question I was asking. I'm in a dilemma right now, assuming I'm offered the spot, that I'd be accepting another clerkship with roughly 6 months to go in my current clerkship. For someone who wants to practice, rather than go the career clerk route, my real question was whether the appellate clerkship would hurt or help.

So, if I take this appellate clerkship, assuming it's offered, I may be cutting short my chances of practicing right out of my current state level clerkship.

But, I can also see what you're saying. Without a firm offer right now from either a firm or the gov, I'm not really losing anything. But, I may very well be losing the chance at a firm during the next 6-9 months, which I'm not entirely sure I'd like to foreclose upon right now.

Any more advice on the utility of a state appellate clerkship immediately following a state trial clerkship? Been kinda slow so far.


I can't see how having a second appellate clerkship would do anything but help your chances later on. I assume you know how bad the market is and, well, a state trial clerkship probably isn't going to open up a whole lot of doors. I personally would take the second clerkship in a heartbeat to get more time to network and open up some opportunities. What's the rush to leave to private practice?

The only downside I can really see is potentially $. But, I assume you're not headed for biglaw, so it might actually make sense financially to stay at a clerkship.




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