How much less competitive is magistrate hiring compared to A3 D.Ct.?

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How much less competitive is magistrate hiring compared to A3 D.Ct.?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:09 pm

How deep are mag. judges (in any district) willing to dip?

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Re: How much less competitive is magistrate hiring compared to A3 D.Ct.?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:26 pm

From my school, there have been (1 or 2) people who clerked for SDNY mag judges and then also went on to do COA clerkships.

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mjb447

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Re: How much less competitive is magistrate hiring compared to A3 D.Ct.?

Postby mjb447 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:25 am

It varies immensely from district to district. Anecdotally, I think local/regional schools often get more of a bump among MJs than DJs, particularly in competitive districts.

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Re: How much less competitive is magistrate hiring compared to A3 D.Ct.?

Postby stacker4414 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:29 am

^This is quite true. I clerked for a mag in a major city although a secondary legal market. The hiring varies a lot by judge (I think more so than by district), as is true of all judges, honestly. My colleagues came from good law schools, some T1, some T2. It was a great experience, I clerked 4 trials over the course of a year (all civil given the nature of mag jurisdiction), which is more than any district clerk I know (which is not to claim that a district clerkship is inferior, but mag clerkships do have some advantages). If you can find a mag judge with a solid reputation (i.e. one that litigants will frequently consent to), you get to do a heck of a lot more than habeas, SSD, and discovery work.

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Re: How much less competitive is magistrate hiring compared to A3 D.Ct.?

Postby jimmythecatdied6 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:54 am

It is much less competitive.

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Re: How much less competitive is magistrate hiring compared to A3 D.Ct.?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 17, 2016 2:39 pm

Current fed mag clerk here. It's much less difficult to get one of these jobs. I was well below median at MVPB, no LR, no journal, no moot court, never took fed courts, had basically no civil experience on my resume (I was a former crim gunner who decided I didn't want to try to live on a state DA/PD salary). Got two interviews out of 20ish applications after I had passed the bar, one job offer, withdrew from the other, think I had a good shot at that. No local ties, no prof recommendations, basically was hired off of a writing sample and post-grad fellowship doing fed crim work. Honestly no idea how important school rank was with my judge, but since my gpa was so low, it's hard for me to believe that mattered.

As for the job itself, there's a reason it's less competitive, like 70% of my day is spent on stuff any paralegal could do. But we do get to do some serious writing, and the track record for former mag clerks in my district is pretty good, lots go on to firms, some fed gov work, and a decent amount go on to article iii judges.

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Re: How much less competitive is magistrate hiring compared to A3 D.Ct.?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:48 pm

Don't magistrates deal with tons of discovery? If you're just going to discovery for a year, why not get paid $180K for it at a firm?

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Re: How much less competitive is magistrate hiring compared to A3 D.Ct.?

Postby wwwcol » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:Don't magistrates deal with tons of discovery? If you're just going to discovery for a year, why not get paid $180K for it at a firm?


Yes, at least in my district, the work is mostly discovery but magistrate judges also handle a few other, more substantive categories of cases. If the parties consent (which happens more often than you think), the magistrate disposes of the case, and D. ct. judges regularly refer summary judgment motions to the magistrates for a report and recommendation

The answer to your question is probably similar to the answer to, "If you're just going to do Rule 12(b) and 56 motions all day, why not get paid $180k for it at a firm?", i.e. you learn a lot about how to effectively conduct discovery. Also, clerking can be a nice transition from law school to firm life (40-50 hour workweeks).

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Re: How much less competitive is magistrate hiring compared to A3 D.Ct.?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:29 am

wwwcol wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Don't magistrates deal with tons of discovery? If you're just going to discovery for a year, why not get paid $180K for it at a firm?


Yes, at least in my district, the work is mostly discovery but magistrate judges also handle a few other, more substantive categories of cases. If the parties consent (which happens more often than you think), the magistrate disposes of the case, and D. ct. judges regularly refer summary judgment motions to the magistrates for a report and recommendation

The answer to your question is probably similar to the answer to, "If you're just going to do Rule 12(b) and 56 motions all day, why not get paid $180k for it at a firm?", i.e. you learn a lot about how to effectively conduct discovery. Also, clerking can be a nice transition from law school to firm life (40-50 hour workweeks).

As this commenter and others have acknowledged, the work varies immensely from district to district and from judge to judge. The matters that get assigned to MJs as a matter of course are determined by the district judges in a district. Some districts give their MJs almost exclusively discovery/habeas/social security/prisoner civil rights, while others might encourage the assignment of substantive R&Rs in civil matters of all types. Whether the parties will consent to MJ jurisdiction in a particular case is subject to the judge's reputation and many other factors, which means that the work can also vary a lot even between judges in the same district. The work can be hugely varied and interesting but, before applying to MJ positions, it's best to do some investigation specific to your district (and judge, if you can).

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Re: How much less competitive is magistrate hiring compared to A3 D.Ct.?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:47 pm

Here're some numbers for you. I started this process about 6 weeks ago; mediocre candidate (work experience but not a lot, good school but no latin honors, several publications but no journal.)

Applied to 15 COA judges, 0 interviews
Applied to 76 District judges, 4 interviews (not DC/NY/CA)
Applied to 2* Magistrate judges, 1 interview (DC/NY/CA)

* Stopped after firm said they won't pay the clerkship bonus for magistrate clerkships. Would do it for the experience, but I have debts.

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grand inquisitor

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Re: How much less competitive is magistrate hiring compared to A3 D.Ct.?

Postby grand inquisitor » Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:20 pm

you can just say d. ct.



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