Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:56 pm

I experienced both - my first judge was all about mentorship wrt the writing and analysis and would spend as long as I needed talking over issues in a case, every draft went through like 5 versions, s/he was happy to explain exactly why s/he'd changed everything he'd changed, and s/he'd talk about oral argument and what was effective and wasn't. S/he didn't usually tell me how a case *should* come out, but s/he did tell me what s/he thought was the likely outcome. My second judge relied on the clerks to do the research and writing so s/he could do all the rest of the stuff. If s/he had questions about your analysis s/he'd discuss it with you and of course s/he read everything and wouldn't send it out if s/he didn't agree, but the expectation was that you were there to take care of the bulk of the analysis/writing without needing a lot of guidance.

Maybe pertinent that the first judge was an appeals judge and the second was a district court judge - I think that the different courts lend themselves to different approaches. (That said, I know of a judge on the appeals court whose clerks would get given a case, research and draft the opinion, turn it in to the judge, and then never see it or hear about it again until the opinion came out, sometimes pretty much as they'd given it to the judge, sometimes completely transformed. So it's certainly not just about level of court.)

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ggocat

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby ggocat » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:11 pm

Yeah Nony, I think that has less to do with the court and more with the person wearing the robe. I've worked for, and heard many stories about, both types of people in appellate.

Quichelorraine

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Quichelorraine » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:20 pm

ggocat wrote:Yeah Nony, I think that has less to do with the court and more with the person wearing the robe. I've worked for, and heard many stories about, both types of people in appellate.


Precisely. And I think both approaches are completely valid. As long as there isn't a complete dereliction of duty--clerks write the opinion, judges issue it without even so much as taking a glance--all is fine. Nobody expects partners to have written the briefs their names adorn; nobody thinks that United States Senators actually draft every Eagle Scout letter or ceremonial address. (Posner's criticism here is unrealistic.)

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:57 pm

I'm someone hating clerkship. I'm just bored at work all the time and as a result of my boredom I really don't want to focus on work and hence productivity sucks. Kill me. Can't wait for a year to be over. My judge notices my slowness and he is aware of it. It's toxic, not from the people, just from the work.

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm someone hating clerkship. I'm just bored at work all the time and as a result of my boredom I really don't want to focus on work and hence productivity sucks. Kill me. Can't wait for a year to be over. My judge notices my slowness and he is aware of it. It's toxic, not from the people, just from the work.


I am very bored as well despite being on an allegedly busy court. I keep up with the workload but my quality is definitely suffering. I'm almost done so yay but I'm worried that this type of disengagement will continue back at my firm (I am straight through from law school to clerkship). Is this melancholy limited to my clerkship? Does anyone have experience with this?

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:34 am

Hay Im the anon above, I'm confident about joining my firm but still got almost half a year to go at clerkship. I think I just cannot keep going to this old place without being depressed. There is something about working for one person and that person has all the say about your work. And in the meantime that person is only in for a limited time and does not matter at all for the future. Chambers is not for every soul, clerkship is a good gig to certain extent. I'm sure the admin of this board is gonna argue against whatever I said. But I'm pulling my heart out here- people who tell you clerkships are interesting are defending their experience/ credentials to a certain extent. We are all marketers for ourselves.

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bruinfan10

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby bruinfan10 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hay Im the anon above, I'm confident about joining my firm but still got almost half a year to go at clerkship. I think I just cannot keep going to this old place without being depressed. There is something about working for one person and that person has all the say about your work. And in the meantime that person is only in for a limited time and does not matter at all for the future. Chambers is not for every soul, clerkship is a good gig to certain extent. I'm sure the admin of this board is gonna argue against whatever I said. But I'm pulling my heart out here- people who tell you clerkships are interesting are defending their experience/ credentials to a certain extent. We are all marketers for ourselves.

so sorry to hear this. valuable cautionary tale. research your judge prior to interviewing. i went with an appellate and a d.ct judge who were both known for being both great judges and great bosses. i declined interviews with several other judges who were known to be terrible. not everyone has the luxury of choosing between multiple clerkship offers, but know that if you go in blind and accept that exploding offer sight-unseen, you could land with a bad boss for a year. still better than biglaw though, where you can land with a terrible partner who can literally destroy your career.

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:05 pm

Edit: though better of this, I actually really like my judge. Just having a stressful moment.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Quichelorraine

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Quichelorraine » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Me, I hate mine. I don't mind the actual work-- it's pretty easy and the hours are manageable. I am 99% certain my judge does not read any of the bench memos I write (which comprise 80% of my work). I think s/he maybe reads the first 3 pages. If s/he disagrees with my conclusion (without reading my reasoning) s/he will lecture me for hours on end. These lectures are mostly the judge repeating the same thing over and over. It makes me want to ram my head into a wall. When I first started I just put up with it. But I am nearing the end of my term now and I can't take it any more. I don't even care if the judge wants to rule in a way that blatantly violates the statute. It's not my name on the opinion. I just want the lectures to stop. My bladder cannot take it.


To put it mildly, this relationship with a boss or supervisor is hardly unique to the judiciary. Get ready for more of this if you're headed to a law firm...

jd20132013

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby jd20132013 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:49 pm

Yeah they read less of your work at the law firm bro. Lol

jd20132013

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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby jd20132013 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:16 pm

And actually this is one of
The ways in which every clerkship prepares you well to practice. You have to figure out ways to write things that don’t allow the reader to go off half cocked on something stupid



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