NJ State Appellate Clerkship

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NJ State Appellate Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:13 pm

I am a 3L at Rutgers and have the opportunity to apply for a NJ State Appellate Clerkship. Is it worth it to apply? As in will it be considered prestigious enough by employers in the future or should I continue to seek other employment opportunities?

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Re: NJ State Appellate Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:19 pm

Depends on your end goal I think. I would venture to say that NJ State Appellate isn't a great boost when it comes to BigLaw. My understanding is that it doesn't even count towards seniority or bonus. But maybe it could help you get a district court clerkship in the same circuit? Do you have a SA lined up?

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Re: NJ State Appellate Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:24 am

I was an NJ State Appellate clerk, and I think it's a good opportunity if (1) you want to stay in NJ; and (2) you want to practice in government or a medium-sized NJ firm. Pretty much everyone I worked with had jobs lined up for after the clerkship, and those that didn't obtained employment within a month of their clerkship ending.

Another thing to consider is that a clerkship is generally viewed as a prerequisite for some NJ employers. There are a lot of these clerkships in NJ, and their ubiquity has led some employers to almost expect a clerkship. Again, I think this is certainly the case with PDs/Prosecutors/AGs office, and even some firms. A few folks also found employment in NYC/Philly, but the majority stayed within NJ, and a majority of those went on to the state AG offices. I would say that it's a pretty good gig, but like any other clerkship, a lot of it depends on who you want to clerk for. Hope this helps!

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transferror

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Re: NJ State Appellate Clerkship

Postby transferror » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:28 am

Do you have another job lined up? Where did you summer after 2L? Are your grades above or below a 3.5?

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Re: NJ State Appellate Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:55 am

transferror wrote:Do you have another job lined up? Where did you summer after 2L? Are your grades above or below a 3.5?

Didn't get an offer at the job I was a summer associate at. It wasn't big law, but it was in Philadelphia. My GPA is a 3.56, top 20% and I have experience on one of the school's other journals as staff editor and research editor.

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Re: NJ State Appellate Clerkship

Postby transferror » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:24 am

You should take an app div clerkship if it's on the table. Your only entry level options in Philly will be insurance defense or public service, and those are still difficult to get. Basically all NJ employers expect you to clerk first. Small and midsize NJ firms hire a lot of people out of clerkships, and if you apply to any entry level listings, you'll be competing with current clerks who are looking for their first job out of the clerkship. I know people who didn't clerk and then got passed up during 3L for a lot of entry level spots in Philly and Jersey by current clerks who interviewed and got the job.

App div is marginally more "prestigious" than trial level, but it doesn't really matter -- both are valuable to the extent you learn about local practice and your judge has connections in the area. Both are good if you want to stay South Jersey or Philly. Neither is particularly helpful if you want to leave. Both give you a year to get experience, find your bearings, and build a network before having to strike off into the real world.

Know that if you don't take a clerkship (which 30-40% of the class will do), you will likely graduate unemployed, will have a small likelihood of getting a job after the bar but before results are released (August - November), but more likely will only realistically get a job around the time bar results are released, making you unemployed from August to November. This also assume you land anything -- a fair chunk of people are still unemployed or in non-legal positions 9 months after graduation.

Btw, a 3.56 may not be enough for top 20% at graduation. Cum laude started above a 3.6 the last two years, but I'm not sure how the merger will affect that.

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Re: NJ State Appellate Clerkship

Postby tonidee » Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:14 pm

I am a former NJ SSC clerk, and I think you should accept the appellate clerkship, if offered. Chances are that if it is being offered, the judge was recently elevated or the intended-clerk rescinded his or her acceptance. Either way, your experience will be very different from a trial-level law clerk.



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