Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

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njdevils2626

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Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby njdevils2626 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:42 pm

Hi,

I am a Canadian citizen and came to the US for law school partially because of my affinity for bankruptcy law and a strong desire to practice Chapter 11 reorganizations. Last year, I was asked by a very prominent bankruptcy judge to clerk for him post-graduation but unfortunately had to decline as I cannot be paid to clerk in the 48 contiguous states. I am a 3L and am interning for him this semester and essentially acting as a second clerk for him. My 2L summer firm does not practice bankruptcy work and so over the last few months I have been looking at other options that would allow me to enter this practice.

One option I'm considering is a bankruptcy court clerkship in Hawaii, as there is a position available. I am concerned, however, that this clerkship would leave me without many options for employment outside of Hawaii post-clerkship. I am also concerned that Hawaii sees a fairly low volume of Chapter 11 cases, such that the clerkship may not be thought of as highly as one would expect. Does anyone have any experience with these non-contiguous clerkships and whether employment prospects are limited afterwards?

Thanks

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby gmail2 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:11 pm

The law makes a distinction for noncitizen fed clerks in Hawaii and Alaska? Hah!

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:08 pm

I very much doubt that any biglaw firm would care about a Hawaii bankruptcy clerkship.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby psu2016 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:36 pm

There were a grand total of 20 Chapter 11s in the last year in HI. I am willing to bet they were all very small and non-complex as far as Chapter 11s go.

http://www.uscourts.gov/statistics/tabl ... 2016/09/30

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby Torts Illustrated » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:45 pm

gmail2 wrote:The law makes a distinction for noncitizen fed clerks in Hawaii and Alaska? Hah!


IIRC, here's what happened:

The Defense Department originally distinguished between the CONtinental U.S. (CONUS) and Outside the CONtinental U.S. (OCONUS) for military reasons. Alaska and Hawaii, like other far-flung parts of the United States that might be harder to defend or more vulnerable to foreign attack, are OCONUS.

Then, in 2010, some members of Congress wanted to prohibit the federal government from employing noncitizens in the United States. (I assume this was part of the broader fight between Congressional Republicans and the Obama Administration over immigration, but I don't know the history here.) But, for obvious reasons, Congress didn't want to prohibit the federal government from employing noncitizens outside the United States. So Congress (read: some lazy and/or overworked legislative aide) basically just copied and pasted the Defense Department's CONUS/OCONUS distinction without really thinking about it too hard.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:40 pm

[WOW]....you were asked by a very prominent bankruptcy judge to clerk but turned it down because you won't get paid? Should have done it for free and then you'd be able to enter your dream practice at Weil/Kirkland or any of the major shops, assuming of course, this prominent bankruptcy judge is SDNY/Del.

Chance of going big law bankruptcy after clerking at SDNY/Del is 100%

Chance of going big law bankruptcy after clerking at other second-tier courts i.e. EDNY/DNJ/Texas/Northern CA or Ill. 25%-50%

Chance of going big law bankruptcy after clerking at remote bankruptcy courts, i.e. Hawaii. 1%??? even?

To find out, just goto the websites of big bankruptcy shops and see if anyone from there used to clerk in non-continental courts, I'd say, probably not.

Plus, Hawaii is probably 99% consumer. FYI.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby bk1 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Idiot....you were asked by a very prominent bankruptcy judge to clerk but turned it down because you won't get paid?

Let's chill on calling people idiots for deciding not to work for a year for free. Not everyone can survive that long without getting paid.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby zhenders » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:Idiot....you were asked by a very prominent bankruptcy judge to clerk but turned it down because you won't get paid? Should have done it for free and then you'd be able to enter your dream practice at Weil/Kirkland or any of the major shops, assuming of course, this prominent bankruptcy judge is SDNY/Del.

Chance of going big law bankruptcy after clerking at SDNY/Del is 100%

Chance of going big law bankruptcy after clerking at other second-tier courts i.e. EDNY/DNJ/Texas/Northern CA or Ill. 25%-50%

Chance of going big law bankruptcy after clerking at remote bankruptcy courts, i.e. Hawaii. 1%??? even?

To find out, just goto the websites of big bankruptcy shops and see if anyone from there used to clerk in non-continental courts, I'd say, probably not.

Plus, Hawaii is probably 99% consumer. FYI.


This is anon abuse AF.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby runinthefront » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:55 am

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Idiot....you were asked by a very prominent bankruptcy judge to clerk but turned it down because you won't get paid?

Let's chill on calling people idiots for deciding not to work for a year for free. Not everyone can survive that long without getting paid.

it was a very dumb post but the post also sounds like heavy sarcasm/sass unless i am really over-analyzing it and anon is reallllllly dumb
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:38 pm

Not op here and don't mean to hijack the thread. I am a noob non-U.S. citizen looking for clerkship opportunities. So are non-citizens with work permit able to clerk for an Article 3 district court judge in Hawaii or AK? My clerkship director (to my astonishment) did not know the answer.

Thank you.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby njdevils2626 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not op here and don't mean to hijack the thread. I am a noob non-U.S. citizen looking for clerkship opportunities. So are non-citizens with work permit able to clerk for an Article 3 district court judge in Hawaii or AK? My clerkship director (to my astonishment) did not know the answer.

Thank you.


Non-US citizens are allowed to work (and receive compensation) for Article III judges in Alaska, Hawaii, and all US territories

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:19 pm

sorry if this is a dumb question but I'm also a non-citizen looking to clerk post-law school. A question for OP or for other non-citizens who know, how do you get enough OPT time for clerking? In my understanding, most judges look for at least 12-month term, starting August at the earliest. However, OPT tends to start 2 month after graduation and lasts for only 12 months, which means OPT time would fall short of 1 month for the clerkship. Has anyone used OPT for this and how did it work for you? Or are there alternative ways to get around this, as I believe judges don't sponsor H1B?

Thank you!

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby runinthefront » Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:sorry if this is a dumb question but I'm also a non-citizen looking to clerk post-law school. A question for OP or for other non-citizens who know, how do you get enough OPT time for clerking? In my understanding, most judges look for at least 12-month term, starting August at the earliest. However, OPT tends to start 2 month after graduation and lasts for only 12 months, which means OPT time would fall short of 1 month for the clerkship. Has anyone used OPT for this and how did it work for you? Or are there alternative ways to get around this, as I believe judges don't sponsor H1B?

Thank you!

Judges can be flexible. The only 9th/1st non-citizen clerk I know talked the judge into allowing for an 11-month stint. Many citizens do 11-month or 13+ month stints, too, depending on the judge's needs and the clerk's needs
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby njdevils2626 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:sorry if this is a dumb question but I'm also a non-citizen looking to clerk post-law school. A question for OP or for other non-citizens who know, how do you get enough OPT time for clerking? In my understanding, most judges look for at least 12-month term, starting August at the earliest. However, OPT tends to start 2 month after graduation and lasts for only 12 months, which means OPT time would fall short of 1 month for the clerkship. Has anyone used OPT for this and how did it work for you? Or are there alternative ways to get around this, as I believe judges don't sponsor H1B?

Thank you!


There are a few ways to get around this. From what I know, you're right that judges don't sponsor for H1B. But like the above poster said, judges can be flexible if you're the candidate they want. As for me, I'm a Canadian which helps because NAFTA exists (at least for now). Under NAFTA, it's super quick and easy to apply for a TN visa which would allow me to work for the full 12 months even without an H1B visa. Of course, this only works for Canadian and Mexican citizens (and it's a more burdensome process for a Mexican citizen if I'm not mistaken). Hope that helps!

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:43 pm

Anon from before. Not sure why my post is Anon abuse unless someone has a different view / take on what I had posted. I do have real, personal exp. to share if students here are interested, having clerked as a foreigner on OPT.

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Idiot....you were asked by a very prominent bankruptcy judge to clerk but turned it down because you won't get paid?

Let's chill on calling people idiots for deciding not to work for a year for free. Not everyone can survive that long without getting paid.


Agree, but check out the OSCAR posting for several EDNY, SDNY and Del. bankr. judges. You'd be surprise how many judges are hiring volunteer clerks.

runinthefront wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Idiot....you were asked by a very prominent bankruptcy judge to clerk but turned it down because you won't get paid?

Let's chill on calling people idiots for deciding not to work for a year for free. Not everyone can survive that long without getting paid.

it was a very dumb post but the post also sounds like heavy sarcasm/sass unless i am really over-analyzing it and anon is reallllllly dumb


Really dumb, why? When I clerked, almost every judge in my district had a volunteer clerk.

njdevils2626 wrote:
There are a few ways to get around this. From what I know, you're right that judges don't sponsor for H1B. But like the above poster said, judges can be flexible if you're the candidate they want. As for me, I'm a Canadian which helps because NAFTA exists (at least for now). Under NAFTA, it's super quick and easy to apply for a TN visa which would allow me to work for the full 12 months even without an H1B visa. Of course, this only works for Canadian and Mexican citizens (and it's a more burdensome process for a Mexican citizen if I'm not mistaken). Hope that helps!


The timing won't work if you're applying for H1B (won't find out in time to start, also you may have to leave the US before you find out). OPT will work, but most clerkships start in September, which means you'll eat up 3 months before you start. But Judges are flexible, esp. when they like you enough to hire you.

However, I'd be careful with using TN for clerkships, I mean, what exactly do you qualify as? TN lawyer? unless you're in a jurisdiction where you become admitted in November of the same year, I'm not sure how you qualify as a lawyer. Further, you won't even be working as a lawyer, but rather a law clerk. (ICE officials are very particular about job descriptions) Safest way is to do OPT over a reduced term. Assuming your OPT goes from July 2017 to July 2018, you'll have just enough time to take a month off before starting at a firm in September.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:48 pm

Your previous post was anon abuse because it didn't reveal any personal information about you or your job - it just gave an opinion on odds and called a previous poster an idiot. And no one's an idiot for not wanting/being able to volunteer for a year without pay, even if lots of people do manage to do it and many judges hire people to do it.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:09 pm

I [said WOW] because the poster came to the US for law school because of his/her "affinity for bankruptcy law and a strong desire to practice Chapter 11 reorganizations." Yet, he/she turned down a chance to clerk for a prestigious judge because he/she cannot get paid.

Yes, I understand that not everyone can work unpaid for a year (or ~10 months at most because of visa limitation) but there are ways to make it work. Since the poster is not a U.S. citizen, I doubt he/she qualifies for US financial aid. As such, his/her tuition and living expenses are paid by either private loans/canadian gov't loans or family support. I know as a fact that the Canadian Gov't isn't all that generous. So where's the $$ coming from? Why assume that the poster cannot support his/herself from family?

For some, doing the volunteer clerkship def. paid off. I've heard of a clerk volunteering for less than 6 mths and landed a amlaw 200 gig. 160k over 2 years is still better than 60k per year.

Just my 2 cents, though.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:43 pm

I tend not to assume someone's not independently wealthy until proven otherwise.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby Monday » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:22 am

.
Last edited by Monday on Wed May 10, 2017 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:43 am

I would agree that attending law school without family support is quite common for US law students. But for international students, not so much. Esp. considering the tuition disparity between school in US and Canada.

For example, McGill Law charges only CDN$2,300 in-province/state and CDN$6,500 out-of-province/state per year. This is why I stayed in Canada for undergrad, $5k/yr as opposed to $25-40k/yr at US colleges. Why come to US for law school? #1 way easier to get in; #2 US Big law pay. see http://abovethelaw.com/2016/06/the-view ... -stagnant/

Even accounting for merit scholarships, living expenses aren't covered. International Students on F-1 visas cannot work for pay, if they do, they will use up precious OPT time. Institutional loans and grants are only available to highly qualified students, not generously given away like US financial-aid.

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby njdevils2626 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I [said WOW] because the poster came to the US for law school because of his/her "affinity for bankruptcy law and a strong desire to practice Chapter 11 reorganizations." Yet, he/she turned down a chance to clerk for a prestigious judge because he/she cannot get paid.

Yes, I understand that not everyone can work unpaid for a year (or ~10 months at most because of visa limitation) but there are ways to make it work. Since the poster is not a U.S. citizen, I doubt he/she qualifies for US financial aid. As such, his/her tuition and living expenses are paid by either private loans/canadian gov't loans or family support. I know as a fact that the Canadian Gov't isn't all that generous. So where's the $$ coming from? Why assume that the poster cannot support his/herself from family?

For some, doing the volunteer clerkship def. paid off. I've heard of a clerk volunteering for less than 6 mths and landed a amlaw 200 gig. 160k over 2 years is still better than 60k per year.

Just my 2 cents, though.


I appreciate your input and agree in principle with this. Luckily, I am in a position where I can potentially afford to take a year without pay as an investment in my future. I have arranged with the judge in question to volunteer clerk for him should I prove unable to find a restructuring gig between now and then with an option to leave at a moment's notice should an opportunity arise. Right now, that is my backup plan as I continue to search for any potential open positions but it's nice to have a good volunteer clerkship opportunity as a fallback option

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Re: Clerking in Hawaii/Alaska - The Post-Clerkship Outlook

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:13 am

njdevils2626 wrote:
I appreciate your input and agree in principle with this. Luckily, I am in a position where I can potentially afford to take a year without pay as an investment in my future. I have arranged with the judge in question to volunteer clerk for him should I prove unable to find a restructuring gig between now and then with an option to leave at a moment's notice should an opportunity arise. Right now, that is my backup plan as I continue to search for any potential open positions but it's nice to have a good volunteer clerkship opportunity as a fallback option


Good call. Best of luck going forward.



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