Magistrate Clerkship Portability

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Magistrate Clerkship Portability

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:24 pm

Could any current/former magistrate clerks give any insight into the portability of magistrate clerkships in terms of moving up to larger firms (if possible), public service positions (specifically AUSA) or Art III clerkships all of which were not in the state in which you clerk? I have a few interviews coming up in several parts of states that would be considered "less desirable" by applicants none of which I am barred in. Would the clerkship essentially carry the same weight should I return to my home state or do these clerkships really hold the most clout directly in the area where the court is located? I know this is less of a concern for Art. III, just trying to get my arms around how these clerkships stack up. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Magistrate Clerkship Portability

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:37 am

I'm a D. Ct. clerk. The only thing I can speak to is that the DJs at my court look very favorably on MJ clerks if and when they apply. The clerk I replaced was a clerk for an MJ in our court prior and the clerk we recently hired was an MJ clerk in our court too. (The DJ I clerk for was an MJ before so I think that helps.)

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Re: Magistrate Clerkship Portability

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:27 am

I'm presently an MJ clerk in a "flyover" district quite far from where I'll enter practice. I hope the following helps.

Several weeks after I started this clerkship, I was hired by another MJ in the competitive urban district where I'm barred. As background, I and my MVBP law school lack strong ties to the bench in the second district, which consistently hindered my ability to get interviews there when I applied in 2014 cycle, despite my strong credentials.

That remained true as I applied during the 2015 cycle, despite having the MJ clerkship on my resume. Nevertheless, it worked out fairly quickly once my current Judge was able to put in a solid recommendation (regrettably, though, the DJ cycle had essentially concluded). Although I'd have preferred an article III gig, MJs in many (most?) major districts get a fair amount of consent cases. So, the work will be different, and the experience more akin to a DJ clerkship. My mentors/advisers anticipate that I'll have great options thereafter--with a DJ in the same district should I desire to clerk for a third year, or with a good firm in said city (based in part on the clerkships, but also my academic credentials).

In sum: in my experience, it is somewhat difficult to make the jump between an out-of-district MJ clerkship to an article III position far across the country. But, you'll learn a great deal--it is still a federal clerkship, after all--and the position may serve as a stepping stone, of varying degrees of directness.

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Re: Magistrate Clerkship Portability

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
But, you'll learn a great deal--it is still a federal clerkship, after all--and the position may serve as a stepping stone, of varying degrees of directness.


This a huge thing to consider. I sometimes think MJ clerks get better experience because they see a wider range of stuff. I can tell you all about MTDs and MSJs, but I don't know the first thing about discovery disputes.

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Re: Magistrate Clerkship Portability

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:40 pm

Interested in the same issue MJ clerkship in a part of a large state where I am not barred and would not want to practice. Does it increase marketability generally for firms anywhere or boost ability to get AUSA positions? (I did a state trial court clerkship right after graduation so I'm familiar with the struggles clerks have coming off a clerkship to find a job).




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