Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

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legalese_retard
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Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

Postby legalese_retard » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:04 am

Currently clerking for a federal district judge feeling completely dejected about my post-clerkship employment options. I've been working 12 hour days because several of the civil cases assigned to me have gone to trial, and a flood of patent cases have landed on my docket. What's worse, there are a couple of 2Ls interning with the court who have SAs secured at prominent big law firms. I keep getting asked by interns and others on where I will be going after clerking, and I have no answer. I'm finding it difficult to log these long work days (and weekends) knowing there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Plus I am fielding daily phone calls from the attorneys in these cases that are from V100 firms.

On the positive side, I do enjoy the work and I am receiving great experience, but it seems pointless if I can't even get a law firm to interview me. The only job openings I see are for patent and IP lawyers with technical backgrounds and for corporate transactional attorneys. What was a "real kick to the balls" for me was a rejection letter from a mid-sized firm looking for an entry level staff attorney to do doc review type work in litigation. Again, no interview, just a straight rejection.

Anyone else in the same position?

09042014
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Re: Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:56 am

Apply for the patent jobs and hype the experience you have from clerking on patent trials.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:25 am

Most clerks I knew got their jobs between March and August of their clerkship term, so while it's frustrating and hard emotionally not to have things settled, your options are far from foreclosed. And the mid-sized firm probably rejected you because they needed someone right away/didn't think a clerk would want their doc review job/would be too expensive.

(I'm assuming you're on a standard September-August term. If you're not, then ignore me.)

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legalese_retard
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Re: Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

Postby legalese_retard » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:30 pm

This is my second clerkship, which I only took because I couldn't find a job the first go-around. My clerkship will end in August, but I am getting rejection letters from firms that are accepting law clerk applications now.

And in reference to the staff attorney position I referenced, I found out that the person the firm hired is a current 3L who won't start until after she takes the bar exam at the end of July.

I'm not necessarily upset that I don't have a job yet. It is more the fact that no firm has even shown a remote interest in me. I've spoken with several clerks that have had informal meetings with law firms and received solicitation letters to apply at their firms. When I send my application to those same firms, I either get a rejection letter or no response.

Anonymous User
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Re: Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:31 pm

It would help if you told us a little about your UG and law school credentials. School, class standing, Law review, publications, summer jobs, social skills, recommendations?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:39 pm

legalese_retard wrote:This is my second clerkship, which I only took because I couldn't find a job the first go-around. My clerkship will end in August, but I am getting rejection letters from firms that are accepting law clerk applications now.

And in reference to the staff attorney position I referenced, I found out that the person the firm hired is a current 3L who won't start until after she takes the bar exam at the end of July.

I'm not necessarily upset that I don't have a job yet. It is more the fact that no firm has even shown a remote interest in me. I've spoken with several clerks that have had informal meetings with law firms and received solicitation letters to apply at their firms. When I send my application to those same firms, I either get a rejection letter or no response.

Oh dear. Well, I don't have any helpful advice, but you do have my sympathy. (Are these clerks on the same court as you? Is your judge willing to talk to anyone for you?)

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nevdash
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Re: Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

Postby nevdash » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:33 pm

Also no helpful advice, but I feel you, brother. In my third criminal trial in as many weeks, and wondering how firms are going to find my twelve hour days working on drug trafficking cases in flyover land relevant.

JusticeJackson
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Re: Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

Postby JusticeJackson » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:49 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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legalese_retard
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Re: Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

Postby legalese_retard » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:It would help if you told us a little about your UG and law school credentials. School, class standing, Law review, publications, summer jobs, social skills, recommendations?


Went to a top-50 law school, graduated with latin honors from UG and law school, secondary journal, a couple of publications, and summered at a firm but was no-offered for "economic reasons." Since I can't get interviews, social skills doesn't seem to be an issue. I have several attorneys, judges, and professors that would write recommendations or call on my behalf, but no firm has shown an interest in me yet. If that happens, I would see if they could call them.

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legalese_retard
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Re: Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

Postby legalese_retard » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:23 am

JusticeJackson wrote:Do the judges you clerked for have any advice? They certainly have a ton of pull. Also, be nice to the lawyers that call in (i.e., don't pull the I'm a federal clerk and so my time is worth bricks of gold attitude I get now and then when I call a clerk). After a case is over, call up some of them and see if they have any advice about the job market or set up a meeting regarding advice about their field. I'd ask your judge first though.


Unfortunately no. One judge has been on the bench for his entire legal career. The other judge was a solo criminal attorney before becoming judge. They are not involved in the local bar scene. Both are respected, they just aren't very social off the bench.

And I'm definitely cordial with the attorneys that do call. I approach the clerkship with the mindset that I want to be the kind of law clerk that I would want to work with if I was the attorney handling the case.

09042014
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Re: Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:19 am

If you had to guess why did you get two Clerkships. It can't even get an interview at a firm?

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legalese_retard
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Re: Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

Postby legalese_retard » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:41 am

Desert Fox wrote:If you had to guess why did you get two Clerkships. It can't even get an interview at a firm?


I interned with the first judge during law school. I got the second clerkship because a last-minute position opened up and the judge wanted someone who already had clerkship experience.

run26.2
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Re: Anyone else experiencing the law clerk blues?

Postby run26.2 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:34 am

I suggest trying to look at life from a more positive perspective. Not trying to be a jerk, but just to remind you that you have done well to get where you are. Plus, I often need this advice myself, as I tend to be a pessimist.

For instance, I would guess the judicial internship you secured in law school was probably (highly) competitive. And I doubt the judge you are clerking for now would have accepted someone that wasn't a decent clerk. So you have both the ability to convince a judge to hire you, and an ability to do well as a judicial clerk. These are great assets!

Keep these things in mind and keep applying! Sell yourself positively. Based on what others have said, there are still doors to be unlocked and possibly opened.




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