Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

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Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:21 pm

Current T-14 student with Biglaw SA lined up. I really want to clerk, but I want to be financially responsible. Is there any risk that taking a COA clerkship in a "flyover" district will make one less attractive to firms following the clerkship?

As in, outside of "anything is possible," do COA alums ever have a hard time finding employment in Biglaw (either at their summer firm, or other firms)? Or does having a COA clerkship pretty much mean Biglaw is available if you want it after clerking?

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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:32 am

Two things:
1) clerkship are always a positive, in particular right out of law school before you're established somewhere

2) There is no such thing as a flyover COA. That term is only relevant for district courts. Sure, 2nd/9th/DC may be even more prestigious simply by being even harder to get, but all COAs are COAs

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rpupkin
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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby rpupkin » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:Two things:
1) clerkship are always a positive, in particular right out of law school before you're established somewhere

2) There is no such thing as a flyover COA. That term is only relevant for district courts. Sure, 2nd/9th/DC may be even more prestigious simply by being even harder to get, but all COAs are COAs

1) Clerkships are not always a positive. For example, if you're interested in transactional work, clerking is probably counter-productive. You'd be better off working as a transactional associate instead.

2) I think the whole "flyover" thing is stupid for both district courts and COAs. But it's not true that "all COAs are COAs." Some judges, regardless of where they are located, are most respected than others. A clerkship with a feeder judge can get you more career mileage even if you don't end up clerking on the Supreme Court.

3) Why is this post anon? If you're posting general advice, there's no reason to post anonymously.

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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:Two things:
1) clerkship are always a positive, in particular right out of law school before you're established somewhere

2) There is no such thing as a flyover COA. That term is only relevant for district courts. Sure, 2nd/9th/DC may be even more prestigious simply by being even harder to get, but all COAs are COAs


This is OP. Thanks, this is what I thought. My fear was that my firm (or a firm from the same large market) would look and say "why would you clerk there?"and get scared off.


And to the poster above. (1) Are you then sayig that for transactional, a COA clerkship actually hurts you in terms of landing in Biglaw after the clerkship? I don't read you as saying that, I read you as saying "you'd get better work experience if you just did firm" which seems obvious enough but that wasn't really my question. (2) yes, a feeder clerkship is going to make a candidate more attractive than a non-feeder, but I am asking about a non-feeder versus no COA clerkship at all.

Thanks to you both for the advice

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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby Shaggier1 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:45 pm

No biglaw firm is going to look down on you for a COA clerkship. If you get it, take it.

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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby sundance95 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:33 pm

Shaggier1 wrote:No biglaw firm is going to look down on you for a COA clerkship. If you get it, take it.

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rpupkin
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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:56 pm

Sorry, OP....I got so distracted by the whole flyover/anon bullshit that I forgot to answer your question. Shaggier and Sundance are right: you're not going to hurt your big law career by doing a COA clerkship.

If you were a fourth-year associate or something, the answer might be different. But it sounds like you want to do it right after school or after no more than a year at a big law firm. You'll be fine.

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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:21 am

rpupkin wrote:Sorry, OP....I got so distracted by the whole flyover/anon bullshit that I forgot to answer your question. Shaggier and Sundance are right: you're not going to hurt your big law career by doing a COA clerkship.

If you were a fourth-year associate or something, the answer might be different. But it sounds like you want to do it right after school or after no more than a year at a big law firm. You'll be fine.


4th year associate here leaving for DCt and then COA. This worries me.

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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby seizmaar » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:22 am

are you using the clerkship to switch to gov't?

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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:24 pm

seizmaar wrote:are you using the clerkship to switch to gov't?


Hopefully. But also back to biglaw (firm or other) if that understandably doesn't work out.

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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:27 pm

This is OP. Out of curiously, how much would the calculus change if you took a Dist Ct clerkship in a "flyover" district? Is there a lot of risk that your summer firm won't want you back?

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Shaggier1
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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby Shaggier1 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:58 pm

This is OP. Out of curiously, how much would the calculus change if you took a Dist Ct clerkship in a "flyover" district? Is there a lot of risk that your summer firm won't want you back?


Do you realize how few people get Article III clerkships? You are looking at this the wrong way.

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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:44 pm

Shaggier1 wrote:
This is OP. Out of curiously, how much would the calculus change if you took a Dist Ct clerkship in a "flyover" district? Is there a lot of risk that your summer firm won't want you back?


Do you realize how few people get Article III clerkships? You are looking at this the wrong way.


OP again. Really? This is good news, because I am borderline competitive for COA clerkships and I think pretty competitive for Dist Cts. What I want to do is clerk, but I am just worried about giving up Biglaw and then not being able to get back to it.

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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:44 pm

My understanding is that if you already have Biglaw/are competitive for it, you're fine. Clerking can help you get a second bite at biglaw if you struck out the first time round, for whatever reason, but if you're really not competitive for biglaw and got your clerkship without having those biglaw credentials, you may struggle (clerkships can definitely help but it depends a lot on who you clerk for, what they can/will do for you, and your ability to make the most of what opportunities the year provides).

Anecdotally, I clerked in a flyover-ish D.Ct, and plenty of people went back/on to biglaw, in all different parts of the country (at least Chicago/DC/NYC/Philadelphia, none of which are remotely close to the district). Unless your firm has given you reason to think they disapprove of clerking, period, they're not going to care where you do it.

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Re: Any risk in taking "flyover" COA in different Cir than firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:22 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:My understanding is that if you already have Biglaw/are competitive for it, you're fine. Clerking can help you get a second bite at biglaw if you struck out the first time round, for whatever reason, but if you're really not competitive for biglaw and got your clerkship without having those biglaw credentials, you may struggle (clerkships can definitely help but it depends a lot on who you clerk for, what they can/will do for you, and your ability to make the most of what opportunities the year provides).

Anecdotally, I clerked in a flyover-ish D.Ct, and plenty of people went back/on to biglaw, in all different parts of the country (at least Chicago/DC/NYC/Philadelphia, none of which are remotely close to the district). Unless your firm has given you reason to think they disapprove of clerking, period, they're not going to care where you do it.


Thanks for this input Anony. I do think I have fairly good big law stats, and I've actually improved my grades a little since getting the summer offer. First things first, I will have to make sure I secure a permanent offer at the end of this summer. But would you say a V-25 firm in a major market, it's the "norm" to be ok with clerkships, both Dist and CoA?

Also, how does clerkship interviewing work during an SA? I'm assuming judges don't interview on the weekend.




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