Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:New anon checking in.

I HATE my clerkship. Hate, hate, hate it. My boss is cold, unhelpful, and not particularly smart. He puts very little effort into the job but nonetheless expects everything from the clerks to be perfect. The judge is also a terrible manager, and it has resulted in many, many administrative problems during my year. The most frustrating thing is that my judge has a good reputation - both among other judges and among clerkship applicants. But I've talked to my coclerks about it, and none of us thinks the judge is particularly smart or good at the job or a very good boss. We are interviewing all of these top tier candidates for clerkship positions and I just want to scream at them "you can find something better! run away!" The judge has a good reputation only because he is incredibly fake. He spends more time schmoozing other people (mostly other judges) than actually doing his fucking job. I know this is how law works, but it's just frustrating to see that this person is a federal judge not because he is actually in any way qualified to be one, but because he is politically well-connected and happened to be in the right place at the right time.

I know no one cares, but I just need to rant. As soon as I'm done with this job, I hope to never talk to this judge ever again. What a waste of a year.


Wow that sucks. And is worrisome to hear for someone going into a clerkship. Were you able to hint that at all during the interviews with applicants, or is all effusiveness all the time?

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:08 pm

I hate my clerkship. I hate my judge. Rude, sexist, often screams. I hate the work. Its boring af, its solitary, 90% of the stuff I work on is absolute garbage. I hate that I took a massive paycut for this. Yes the hours are better than biglaw but thats about the only pro I can see. I'm sure not every clerkship is like this but mine is. I don't know how I could have known this before I started - I talked to multiple former clerks and no one spoke about how difficult the judge is, probably out of fear. I know I've spoken to incoming clerks and not said as much as I should have.

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HillandHollow
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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby HillandHollow » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:22 pm

If someone already posted this experience, I missed it.
Has it happened to anyone here that you hate(d) your clerkship/judge, but that everyone you asked (former clerks, etc) absolutely and unambiguously loved the judge/clerkship?

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby pml87 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:44 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Plus, something I should have added in my original post: There was never a constructive learning process attached to writing. What happened was, I fucked up some shit, it was angrily corrected/fixed at the eleventh hour (which is when judges inevitably get around to the things they need to do) and I was expected to do it better the next time. For prospective clerks, I am going to go out on a limb and say that this is the norm rather than the exception.

It's also the norm for the practice of law. Last-minute corrections are often as constructive as the learning process gets. I'm not making excuses for your judge--especially for the "angrily" part--but he's basically behaving the way most lawyers (and many other judges) behave. Judges aren't writing tutors. I've heard stories of judges sitting down with clerks to discuss how the clerks could improve their writing, but those stories are pretty rare.


This. Partners are the same. Last minute angry emails asking why the associate screwed up something without telling the associate his expectation in the first place. It makes you treasure good mentor so much more.

jd20132013
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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby jd20132013 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:59 pm

This really upsets me. I wish there were a way for people to be able to know which judges suck

Lettow
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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Lettow » Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:03 pm

HillandHollow wrote:If someone already posted this experience, I missed it.
Has it happened to anyone here that you hate(d) your clerkship/judge, but that everyone you asked (former clerks, etc) absolutely and unambiguously loved the judge/clerkship?


They're likely not expressing their true opinions. Unless your dislike is for a particularly personal reason, which presumably you'd know if that were the case, it's probable that others in your situation had similar views.

Few talk about their clerkship experience in anything but 100% positive tones because to do so otherwise is nearly unthinkable.

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Lovely Ludwig Van
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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Lovely Ludwig Van » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:28 pm

jd20132013 wrote:This really upsets me. I wish there were a way for people to be able to know which judges suck


Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, bro.

jd20132013
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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby jd20132013 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:31 pm

If you've clerked you know that the almanac isn't always accurate

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rpupkin
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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:33 pm

jd20132013 wrote:If you've clerked you know that the almanac isn't always accurate

It was a joke.

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby jd20132013 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:54 pm

Oh cool

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:32 pm

Any other current clerks love their judge and the work, but hate the rest of chambers staff? Obviously the situation could be worse, but I feel like what would otherwise be a fantastic experience is being tarnished by career government employees who see me as an interloper and arrogant co-clerks.

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:46 pm

Any other current clerks love their judge and the work, but hate the rest of chambers staff? Obviously the situation could be worse, but I feel like what would otherwise be a fantastic experience is being tarnished by career government employees who see me as an interloper and arrogant co-clerks.


This is a very common experience, unfortunately. For better or worse, clerks come and go. In my appellate gig, our JA was wonderful and kind, but there were one or two on the same court who had reputations for being....less so. Meanwhile, stories abounded in District Court of tyrannical deputies, JA, etc.

Thing is, you encounter this in any office environment. It's the particularly cloistered and ephemeral nature of clerking that makes it more difficult. There's nowhere to hide and you Don't Talk About Chambers.

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:Any other current clerks love their judge and the work, but hate the rest of chambers staff? Obviously the situation could be worse, but I feel like what would otherwise be a fantastic experience is being tarnished by career government employees who see me as an interloper and arrogant co-clerks.


I love my judge and all our staff, but I loathe my co-clerk. She is the most insufferable person I've ever met, no exaggeration. I avoid her at all costs. It has taken all of my willpower not to say anything to her. I can't even begin to explain why she's so awful. Plus, her writing is atrocious.

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:New anon checking in.

I HATE my clerkship. Hate, hate, hate it. My boss is cold, unhelpful, and not particularly smart. He puts very little effort into the job but nonetheless expects everything from the clerks to be perfect. The judge is also a terrible manager, and it has resulted in many, many administrative problems during my year. The most frustrating thing is that my judge has a good reputation - both among other judges and among clerkship applicants. But I've talked to my coclerks about it, and none of us thinks the judge is particularly smart or good at the job or a very good boss. We are interviewing all of these top tier candidates for clerkship positions and I just want to scream at them "you can find something better! run away!" The judge has a good reputation only because he is incredibly fake. He spends more time schmoozing other people (mostly other judges) than actually doing his fucking job. I know this is how law works, but it's just frustrating to see that this person is a federal judge not because he is actually in any way qualified to be one, but because he is politically well-connected and happened to be in the right place at the right time.

I know no one cares, but I just need to rant. As soon as I'm done with this job, I hope to never talk to this judge ever again. What a waste of a year.


Wow that sucks. And is worrisome to hear for someone going into a clerkship. Were you able to hint that at all during the interviews with applicants, or is all effusiveness all the time?


No, there were no indications, and that's a huge problem. The pressure to not say anything bad about your judge is far too strong. For example, my coclerk has told me multiple times that he thinks our judge is a bad boss and a bad judge and that he preferred biglaw life to clerking. But if a clerkship applicant/interviewee asks him what he thought of the year, he answers "I have loved clerking for Judge [X]." It's just ridiculous.

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:22 pm

I've done two and loved both my judges. But it is a very close working arrangement so I guess I could see problems arising if y'all didn't click. This is supposed to be a great experience. Sorry to hear some of you are having issues. Probably should have been apparent during the interview frankly.

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Barrred » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've done two and loved both my judges. But it is a very close working arrangement so I guess I could see problems arising if y'all didn't click. This is supposed to be a great experience. Sorry to hear some of you are having issues. Probably should have been apparent during the interview frankly.

Brave anon, so insightful.

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:34 pm

It was 6 months too long

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've done two and loved both my judges. But it is a very close working arrangement so I guess I could see problems arising if y'all didn't click. This is supposed to be a great experience. Sorry to hear some of you are having issues. Probably should have been apparent during the interview frankly.


This seems unfair. As the above posters make clear, current and even past clerks are loathe to say anything remotely negative about their experiences. During the interview with the judge, most applicants are probably too concerned with coming off well and will contribute anything short of a truly off-putting judge to the awkwardness of the interview situation. On top of that, it's intensely frowned upon at my T-14 to turn down a clerkship offer.

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby mjb447 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've done two and loved both my judges. But it is a very close working arrangement so I guess I could see problems arising if y'all didn't click. This is supposed to be a great experience. Sorry to hear some of you are having issues. Probably should have been apparent during the interview frankly.

Well, quit holding out on us: what should we be looking for?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Probably should have been apparent during the interview frankly.

Yeah, I agree that this is wrong. It's going to be very hard to tell any of this from an interview, especially if a judge is trying to make a good impression (like I think if there are red flags in an interview you should take them seriously, but absence of red flags in an interview isn't dispositive).

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've done two and loved both my judges. But it is a very close working arrangement so I guess I could see problems arising if y'all didn't click. This is supposed to be a great experience. Sorry to hear some of you are having issues. Probably should have been apparent during the interview frankly.


This seems unfair. As the above posters make clear, current and even past clerks are loathe to say anything remotely negative about their experiences. During the interview with the judge, most applicants are probably too concerned with coming off well and will contribute anything short of a truly off-putting judge to the awkwardness of the interview situation. On top of that, it's intensely frowned upon at my T-14 to turn down a clerkship offer.


Same at mine. I was explicitly told that I was required to take the first offer I got.

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ggocat
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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby ggocat » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:49 am

jd20132013 wrote:This really upsets me. I wish there were a way for people to be able to know which judges suck

Old website, doesn't have many recent reviews for some judges, but it's a start for anyone searching: http://www.therobingroom.com

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:01 am

The problem is that those are mostly from aggrieved parties/lawyers appearing before the judge, which doesn't tell you much about what they're like to clerk for.

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grand inquisitor
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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby grand inquisitor » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:09 am

agree. i would have shit my pants if i had to appear before my judge but he was sweet as georgia tea to us clerks.

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ggocat
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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby ggocat » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:53 am

Yeah, I agree it's not the best resource. But at least it's a resource. Would be a better resource if some of the clerks in this thread provided reviews.

ETA: I will say, however, just looking at my local judges, I think the ratings are pretty consistent with general perception.




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