Three clerkships (Clerk--clerk--firm--clerk)?

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Three clerkships (Clerk--clerk--firm--clerk)?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:55 am

Hi all,

I'm in a jam, and I want to know if the following would be completely crazy:

Graduate-->1 year D.Ct. clerkship-->1 year Circuit clerkship-->BigFirm (less than a year)-->1 year Circuit clerkship*--> ... BigFirm or lit boutique?

*The last circuit clerkship would be with one of the few judges who might, perhaps, make this worth it (2/9/DC regular feeder)...but I obviously don't know if it is worth it, or I wouldn't be asking.

What might my exit options from the third clerkship look like being four years out of school with less than one year of bigfirm experience? Will biglaw or a lit boutique still be possible, or will I be blacklisted?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:25 am, edited 3 times in total.

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rpupkin

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Re: Three clerkships (Clerk--clerk--firm--clerk)?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:21 am

If that third clerkship really is with a feeder, then you're probably fine. But I get the sense that you're asking this hypothetically. Most feeders wouldn't hire someone with the trajectory you're outlining here.

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Re: Three clerkships (Clerk--clerk--firm--clerk)?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:46 am

rpupkin wrote:If that third clerkship really is with a feeder, then you're probably fine. But I get the sense that you're asking this hypothetically. Most feeders wouldn't hire someone with the trajectory you're outlining here.



OP here. Thanks. Can you please say a little more re: "probably fine" in light of some of the questions above? The question is not hypothetical, but providing more information on the who/why/how would make me easily identifiable.

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Re: Three clerkships (Clerk--clerk--firm--clerk)?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:22 am

Edit: accidental post when I meant to edit.

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Re: Three clerkships (Clerk--clerk--firm--clerk)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:58 am

Bump, anybody?

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Re: Three clerkships (Clerk--clerk--firm--clerk)?

Postby jrf12886 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:11 pm

Several recent SCOTUS clerks have done two circuit clerkships, with the second being more of a "feeder." If you have an opportunity to clerk for a feeder, it seems like it wouldn't be a bad choice to make. (plus you'd get the raise to JSP-14, which is nice).

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Re: Three clerkships (Clerk--clerk--firm--clerk)?

Postby clerk1251 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

I'm in a jam, and I want to know if the following would be completely crazy:

Graduate-->1 year D.Ct. clerkship-->1 year Circuit clerkship-->BigFirm (less than a year)-->1 year Circuit clerkship*--> ... BigFirm or lit boutique?

*The last circuit clerkship would be with one of the few judges who might, perhaps, make this worth it (2/9/DC regular feeder)...but I obviously don't know if it is worth it, or I wouldn't be asking.

What might my exit options from the third clerkship look like being four years out of school with less than one year of bigfirm experience? Will biglaw or a lit boutique still be possible, or will I be blacklisted?


I just don't understand why you would want to do this? I don't see the purpose of the extra clerkship. If the goal is to get you to a particular big firm, or a particular lit boutique, you can most likely just go after your first two clerkships. If the goal is to relocate, you can also likely do that after your first two. I see no added benefit of the extra clerkship, and it will be harder to get into a firm as a fourth year than a second year.

The only reason I could see someone doing this is to go to a feeder judge the second time, with the anticipation of SCOTUS. But that's not what you've indicated in your interests above.

Also, just to respond to what the poster above said, JSP 14 is only available in chambers where there is no one else already on JSP 14 (only one person can be on this level per chambers). In my experience, chambers almost always has a career clerk, who would be at this level.

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Re: Three clerkships (Clerk--clerk--firm--clerk)?

Postby mjb447 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:55 pm

clerk1251 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

I'm in a jam, and I want to know if the following would be completely crazy:

Graduate-->1 year D.Ct. clerkship-->1 year Circuit clerkship-->BigFirm (less than a year)-->1 year Circuit clerkship*--> ... BigFirm or lit boutique?

*The last circuit clerkship would be with one of the few judges who might, perhaps, make this worth it (2/9/DC regular feeder)...but I obviously don't know if it is worth it, or I wouldn't be asking.

What might my exit options from the third clerkship look like being four years out of school with less than one year of bigfirm experience? Will biglaw or a lit boutique still be possible, or will I be blacklisted?


I just don't understand why you would want to do this? I don't see the purpose of the extra clerkship. If the goal is to get you to a particular big firm, or a particular lit boutique, you can most likely just go after your first two clerkships. If the goal is to relocate, you can also likely do that after your first two. I see no added benefit of the extra clerkship, and it will be harder to get into a firm as a fourth year than a second year.

The only reason I could see someone doing this is to go to a feeder judge the second time, with the anticipation of SCOTUS. But that's not what you've indicated in your interests above.

Also, just to respond to what the poster above said, JSP 14 is only available in chambers where there is no one else already on JSP 14 (only one person can be on this level per chambers). In my experience, chambers almost always has a career clerk, who would be at this level.

I'll admit I don't know very much about this topic, but I had basically the same question. Lots of people (most, really) land biglaw/lit boutique with fewer clerkships, and it sounds like you acknowledge that there's a risk of being "blacklisted." Assuming that no one's forcing you to clerk, why are you contemplating this? For the extra bump that a feeder might get you at some firm? I don't think it's worth it given the downside, but that may just be me.

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Re: Three clerkships (Clerk--clerk--firm--clerk)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

I'm in a jam, and I want to know if the following would be completely crazy:

Graduate-->1 year D.Ct. clerkship-->1 year Circuit clerkship-->BigFirm (less than a year)-->1 year Circuit clerkship*--> ... BigFirm or lit boutique?

*The last circuit clerkship would be with one of the few judges who might, perhaps, make this worth it (2/9/DC regular feeder)...but I obviously don't know if it is worth it, or I wouldn't be asking.

What might my exit options from the third clerkship look like being four years out of school with less than one year of bigfirm experience? Will biglaw or a lit boutique still be possible, or will I be blacklisted?


In the abstract, it's a fine idea if you're gunning for SCOTUS and didn't have access to feeders right out of the gate (lower ranked school, grades not quite up to snuff). Otherwise it's completely unnecessary. But the tricky thing, as rpupkin pointed out, is that most feeders don't hire except for right out of school or following the "right" district court clerkship. As someone who attempted this, I can attest that this is very much the case. Not to say you shouldn't do it or try to do it, but you should be realistic about it. And if your goals are anything outside of a shot at SCOTUS, it's not likely worth it.



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