$$ for State Supreme Court Clerkships?

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$$ for State Supreme Court Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:53 pm

I'm a 2L interested in litigation. I go to a T14 but I have so-so grades, around the median. I get sad when I think about applying to AIII clerkships because I feel like I'm out of the running for most of them, but I would still LOVE to spend a year working for a judge.

Has anyone here applied to or worked in a state supreme court clerkship? Can anyone speak to the career or financial benefits? Like, will coastal Biglaw generally throw money at clerks from the CA Supreme Court or MA SJC or NY CoA? Would they do the same for a AK Supreme Court clerk? How competitive are these positions, and how do you even go about applying for them?

My school's clerkship office is not much help--any guidance, any anecdotes?

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BVest
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Re: $$ for State Supreme Court Clerkships?

Postby BVest » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:12 pm

I don't believe many Cal SC justices hire term clerks, and among the few who do, so-so grades don't cut it. I don't know anything about NY or MA. TX has 18 term clerkships (2 per justice) each year. They are also fairly competitive.

wwwcol
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Re: $$ for State Supreme Court Clerkships?

Postby wwwcol » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:00 am

BVest wrote:I don't believe many Cal SC justices hire term clerks, and among the few who do, so-so grades don't cut it. I don't know anything about NY or MA. TX has 18 term clerkships (2 per justice) each year. They are also fairly competitive.


MA is just as competitive, maybe more so, than many AIII clerkships. A significant number of clerks have good grades from HLS, so that's the pool you're competing with. Also don't know about NY but would assume it's also highly competitive.

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Re: $$ for State Supreme Court Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:02 am

BVest wrote:I don't believe many Cal SC justices hire term clerks, and among the few who do, so-so grades don't cut it. I don't know anything about NY or MA. TX has 18 term clerkships (2 per justice) each year. They are also fairly competitive.


Agreed. Only Justice Liu has hired term clerks for the CA S. Ct., and he expects CoA/SCOTUS-level credentials. And they're treated as such (i.e. firms will pay exactly the same bonuses/credit for this clerkship). Though, admittedly, it's hard to tell the independent value of this clerkship because most of these clerks have already clerked on CoA (and many for feeders). I'm uncertain as to whether the recently appointed justices will hire term clerks, but I'm sure those would be quite competitive as well.

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Re: $$ for State Supreme Court Clerkships?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:43 am

Not intended to pile on, but AK state clerkships are also pretty competitive. There's very little established law up there, so there are lots of cases of first impression (plus I think people think spending a year in Alaska will be cool), so the clerkships are fairly highly sought after. My sense is that the AK SC does recruit out of the T14, but again will be looking for higher grades.

If what you want is the experience of working for a judge, then basically any SSC will be a good experience. But I'm not sure coastal biglaw will really care if you clerk in Maine or Indiana or the like. I don't think anyone looks down on a SSC, but it's likely to look most enticing to firms that practice in the same state as the clerkship, preferably in state court a lot, to whom your knowledge of state law will be valuable. Similarly, you will probably find that state justices have the most connections and ties to local firms practicing in state court - which could be biglaw, but might not be.

I honestly don't know what firms do in terms of bonuses for SSCs.

As for how to apply to SSCs - get hold of the Vermont Law School State Clerkship guide. It's online, but requires an ID/password, but your CSO will have that. It outlines the timelines and procedures for all state clerkships.

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Re: $$ for State Supreme Court Clerkships?

Postby ZyzzBrah » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:50 am

ssc clerk here. Competitiveness greatly depends on the state and judge. In my state there's a variety of schools represented from t14 to ttt. The job prospects vary greatly on the person and their goals; but fwiw we don't (in my state) get letters from firms whereas the fed district court in the state does. Pay is also greatly varied, but tends to be below fed pay from what I've seen.

I'm going to biglaw after and was giving class credit and 50k--many firms give the same bonus for ssc as they do fed district court.

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Re: $$ for State Supreme Court Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BVest wrote:I don't believe many Cal SC justices hire term clerks, and among the few who do, so-so grades don't cut it. I don't know anything about NY or MA. TX has 18 term clerkships (2 per justice) each year. They are also fairly competitive.


Agreed. Only Justice Liu has hired term clerks for the CA S. Ct., and he expects CoA/SCOTUS-level credentials. And they're treated as such (i.e. firms will pay exactly the same bonuses/credit for this clerkship). Though, admittedly, it's hard to tell the independent value of this clerkship because most of these clerks have already clerked on CoA (and many for feeders). I'm uncertain as to whether the recently appointed justices will hire term clerks, but I'm sure those would be quite competitive as well.

Cuellar has solicited applications for term clerks, although it appears that he will have similar threshold to Liu and is apparently seeking prior clerking experience (unclear whether this will be his general standard or if this is because he wants experienced clerks while he starts up his chambers). I have heard rumor that Kruger will hire term clerks as well, but I cannot independently confirm that.

hiima3L
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Re: $$ for State Supreme Court Clerkships?

Postby hiima3L » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BVest wrote:I don't believe many Cal SC justices hire term clerks, and among the few who do, so-so grades don't cut it. I don't know anything about NY or MA. TX has 18 term clerkships (2 per justice) each year. They are also fairly competitive.


Agreed. Only Justice Liu has hired term clerks for the CA S. Ct., and he expects CoA/SCOTUS-level credentials. And they're treated as such (i.e. firms will pay exactly the same bonuses/credit for this clerkship). Though, admittedly, it's hard to tell the independent value of this clerkship because most of these clerks have already clerked on CoA (and many for feeders). I'm uncertain as to whether the recently appointed justices will hire term clerks, but I'm sure those would be quite competitive as well.

Cuellar has solicited applications for term clerks, although it appears that he will have similar threshold to Liu and is apparently seeking prior clerking experience (unclear whether this will be his general standard or if this is because he wants experienced clerks while he starts up his chambers). I have heard rumor that Kruger will hire term clerks as well, but I cannot independently confirm that.


I bet $1 Cuellar hires his wife's clerks.

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Re: $$ for State Supreme Court Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:59 pm

hiima3L wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BVest wrote:I don't believe many Cal SC justices hire term clerks, and among the few who do, so-so grades don't cut it. I don't know anything about NY or MA. TX has 18 term clerkships (2 per justice) each year. They are also fairly competitive.


Agreed. Only Justice Liu has hired term clerks for the CA S. Ct., and he expects CoA/SCOTUS-level credentials. And they're treated as such (i.e. firms will pay exactly the same bonuses/credit for this clerkship). Though, admittedly, it's hard to tell the independent value of this clerkship because most of these clerks have already clerked on CoA (and many for feeders). I'm uncertain as to whether the recently appointed justices will hire term clerks, but I'm sure those would be quite competitive as well.

Cuellar has solicited applications for term clerks, although it appears that he will have similar threshold to Liu and is apparently seeking prior clerking experience (unclear whether this will be his general standard or if this is because he wants experienced clerks while he starts up his chambers). I have heard rumor that Kruger will hire term clerks as well, but I cannot independently confirm that.


I bet $1 Cuellar hires his wife's clerks.

Quoted anon. He might hire Koh clerks, but I don't think it's a given that he will be able to--many D. Ct. clerks might not want to clerk for a SSC, even Cal., particularly if they have federal CoA options. If he sends a clerk or two to SCOTUS as Liu has done, then of course there's a real possibility of Rakoff/Katzmann-style pipeline, but now we're at about five layers of speculation.

As for now, you'd think he'd be looking for clerks with appellate experience since his chambers is just getting started.

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Re: $$ for State Supreme Court Clerkships?

Postby elipad » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:28 pm

Quoted anon. He might hire Koh clerks, but I don't think it's a given that he will be able to--many D. Ct. clerks might not want to clerk for a SSC, even Cal., particularly if they have federal CoA options. If he sends a clerk or two to SCOTUS as Liu has done, then of course there's a real possibility of Rakoff/Katzmann-style pipeline, but now we're at about five layers of speculation.

As for now, you'd think he'd be looking for clerks with appellate experience since his chambers is just getting started.


I'm not sure I'd say FIVE layers, maybe one or two :P. The fact is, Cuellar is looking for competitive candidates and the Cal. S. Ct. is highly desirable and is on par with other very competitive federal clerkships.

Since this topic has been appearing with some frequency, I thought I'd point out an interesting article explicitly discussing the Cal. justices' hiring practices. The article is a little long and a bit convoluted, but intriguing nonetheless.

http://scocablog.com/scoca-chambers-sta ... s-or-both/

In relevant part:

* The chambers of the Chief Justice, and Justices Werdegar, Chin, and Corrigan are all staff attorneys, no annual clerks.
* Justice Liu has 1 staff attorney and 4 clerks.
* Justice Cuéllar has 3 staff attorneys and 2 clerks.
* Justice Kruger has 4 staff attorneys and 1 open slot – possibly for an annual clerk.

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Re: $$ for State Supreme Court Clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 07, 2015 1:35 pm

Any word on whether Kruger will be hiring a clerk?

elipad
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Re: $$ for State Supreme Court Clerkships?

Postby elipad » Sat May 09, 2015 8:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any word on whether Kruger will be hiring a clerk?


Well, she has certainly solicited applications. I don't know if she has hired already or for what term she was looking for.




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