Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

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Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:47 pm

I've read a few threads with posters saying that getting a mag clerkship will help in attaining a district judge clerkship later and a few stories here and there about mag clerks making the jump to a circuit judge clerkship as well.

How much does having a magistrate clerkship help in getting a DJ position? I'm assuming its helpful to the extent you're trying to stay within the same district or courthouse.

How often do magistrate clerks move onto circuit judge clerkships? I assume its the same as above, but I'm interested to hear any other stories of this kind of jump.

timmyd

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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby timmyd » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:06 pm

I became good friends with the mag clerk when I clerked at the district level. My judge didn't feel like going through a slew of apps on OSCAR, so he asked me if knew of potential clerks. I recommended the mag clerk, and he's currently clerking at the district level. It happens. I also think the mag clerkship is incredible preparation for the district clerkship position. Of course, what a mag clerk does varies from chamber to chamber, but ours did a good amount of report and recommendations on motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment. So the mag clerk is especially well suited for a district position.

Is it guaranteed? No. But if you can't get a district position right out of law school, I'd say it's about as good as stepping stone job as you can get for a later district clerkship.

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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:37 pm

I did MJ -> DJ -> COA (which is a lot of clerking and I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to everyone). None of my judges knew any of the other ones, and they're all in different districts/circuits, so networking didn't really help me; I think it was just that prior clerkships showed my interest in and hopefully an aptitude for the work that clerks do. That said, I had stats that already made the DJ and COA positions an outside possibility; I'm not sure that the prior clerkships could have overcome a bad class rank or law school that the judges wouldn't have looked at otherwise. .

timmyd

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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby timmyd » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:53 pm

Just curious for potential apps I might be completing soon (private practice sucks) what type of stats did you have that allowed to run the trifecta of fed clerk positions?

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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:06 pm

timmyd wrote:Just curious for potential apps I might be completing soon (private practice sucks) what type of stats did you have that allowed to run the trifecta of fed clerk positions?

Just outside top 10% at lower T14. Applied as an alum over a fairly long period. DJ is flyover, COA is non-2/9/DC. (Don't get me wrong, stacking clerkships definitely helped.)

timmyd

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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby timmyd » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:20 pm

Thanks. Not to hijack the thread, but I was just curious. I was just outside top 10% at UT but transferred from ttt in the top 5%. Landed a district clerkship, and would do another one, but am also considering some COA positions.

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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:28 pm

I'm a MJ clerk, there's someone in our building who went MJ-DJ-COA, but I think it's fairly unusual. But that may be largely because 3 years of clerking is a lot. I also get the feeling that if you were a borderline DJ candidate but went MJ, you'd have a better shot at going COA eventually, unlike most MJ clerks (like me) who did not have the stats for a DJ much less a COA.

MJ -> DJ is pretty doable, if you're flexible, I'd say it's more likely than not, quite a few judges want to hire someone with a clerking background already.

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ndirish2010

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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby ndirish2010 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:27 pm

I clerk for a circuit judge and my co-clerk is a former MJ clerk. There are some circuit judges who prefer clerking experience and don't always care whether it's magistrate or district.

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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:34 pm

I clerked for an ALJ and it helped me get a DJ clerkship. I know tons of people, in this court and elsewhere, that have gone from MJ to DJ. My judge has hired MJ clerks from our court many times because he really values the opinions of other judges in our court.

Also, though no one is asking this, depending on the court, I think clerking for an MJ can actually be more worthwhile than clerking for a DJ. The MJs here do tons of F&Rs/R&Rs, so MJ clerks see everything you could possibly see as a clerk. I've been here for almost two years and don't know the first thing about discovery, which seems bad.

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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I clerked for an ALJ and it helped me get a DJ clerkship. I know tons of people, in this court and elsewhere, that have gone from MJ to DJ. My judge has hired MJ clerks from our court many times because he really values the opinions of other judges in our court.

Also, though no one is asking this, depending on the court, I think clerking for an MJ can actually be more worthwhile than clerking for a DJ. The MJs here do tons of F&Rs/R&Rs, so MJ clerks see everything you could possibly see as a clerk. I've been here for almost two years and don't know the first thing about discovery, which seems bad.

Yeah, you really have to do district-specific research before applying to MJs. In my district, MJs get virtually no R&Rs in normal cases (non-habeas, prisoner, or social security), but there's a pretty robust consent program along with the normal discovery and settlement stuff.

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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby Internationalist » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
timmyd wrote:Just curious for potential apps I might be completing soon (private practice sucks) what type of stats did you have that allowed to run the trifecta of fed clerk positions?

Just outside top 10% at lower T14. Applied as an alum over a fairly long period. DJ is flyover, COA is non-2/9/DC. (Don't get me wrong, stacking clerkships definitely helped.)


Mind shooting me a PM? I'm thinking of going the same route and have a few questions.

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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I clerked for an ALJ and it helped me get a DJ clerkship. I know tons of people, in this court and elsewhere, that have gone from MJ to DJ. My judge has hired MJ clerks from our court many times because he really values the opinions of other judges in our court.

Also, though no one is asking this, depending on the court, I think clerking for an MJ can actually be more worthwhile than clerking for a DJ. The MJs here do tons of F&Rs/R&Rs, so MJ clerks see everything you could possibly see as a clerk. I've been here for almost two years and don't know the first thing about discovery, which seems bad.

Yeah, you really have to do district-specific research before applying to MJs. In my district, MJs get virtually no R&Rs in normal cases (non-habeas, prisoner, or social security), but there's a pretty robust consent program along with the normal discovery and settlement stuff.


Good point. I should have emphasized "depending on the court." Even more specifically, it can depend on the MJ. There are also some MJs who are very highly regarded, so parties consenting before them is pretty common. There are some who get far less consent cases, for whatever reason. I can think of one MJ in my court who never gets them, and let's just say I'm not surprised.

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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I clerked for an ALJ and it helped me get a DJ clerkship. I know tons of people, in this court and elsewhere, that have gone from MJ to DJ. My judge has hired MJ clerks from our court many times because he really values the opinions of other judges in our court.

Also, though no one is asking this, depending on the court, I think clerking for an MJ can actually be more worthwhile than clerking for a DJ. The MJs here do tons of F&Rs/R&Rs, so MJ clerks see everything you could possibly see as a clerk. I've been here for almost two years and don't know the first thing about discovery, which seems bad.

Yeah, you really have to do district-specific research before applying to MJs. In my district, MJs get virtually no R&Rs in normal cases (non-habeas, prisoner, or social security), but there's a pretty robust consent program along with the normal discovery and settlement stuff.


Good point. I should have emphasized "depending on the court." Even more specifically, it can depend on the MJ. There are also some MJs who are very highly regarded, so parties consenting before them is pretty common. There are some who get far less consent cases, for whatever reason. I can think of one MJ in my court who never gets them, and let's just say I'm not surprised.

Nah, I was just agreeing with you and providing an example of how things can vary a lot district to district (and that's a good point about consent cases - some districts let parties select a specific MJ from a list to consent to, and I bet some judges are a lot busier than others).

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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I clerked for an ALJ and it helped me get a DJ clerkship. I know tons of people, in this court and elsewhere, that have gone from MJ to DJ. My judge has hired MJ clerks from our court many times because he really values the opinions of other judges in our court.

Also, though no one is asking this, depending on the court, I think clerking for an MJ can actually be more worthwhile than clerking for a DJ. The MJs here do tons of F&Rs/R&Rs, so MJ clerks see everything you could possibly see as a clerk. I've been here for almost two years and don't know the first thing about discovery, which seems bad.

Yeah, you really have to do district-specific research before applying to MJs. In my district, MJs get virtually no R&Rs in normal cases (non-habeas, prisoner, or social security), but there's a pretty robust consent program along with the normal discovery and settlement stuff.


Good point. I should have emphasized "depending on the court." Even more specifically, it can depend on the MJ. There are also some MJs who are very highly regarded, so parties consenting before them is pretty common. There are some who get far less consent cases, for whatever reason. I can think of one MJ in my court who never gets them, and let's just say I'm not surprised.

Nah, I was just agreeing with you and providing an example of how things can vary a lot district to district (and that's a good point about consent cases - some districts let parties select a specific MJ from a list to consent to, and I bet some judges are a lot busier than others).


Which districts let parties choose their MJ (off the top of your head)?

Anonymous User
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Re: Mag Clerk to District or Circuit Judge Clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I clerked for an ALJ and it helped me get a DJ clerkship. I know tons of people, in this court and elsewhere, that have gone from MJ to DJ. My judge has hired MJ clerks from our court many times because he really values the opinions of other judges in our court.

Also, though no one is asking this, depending on the court, I think clerking for an MJ can actually be more worthwhile than clerking for a DJ. The MJs here do tons of F&Rs/R&Rs, so MJ clerks see everything you could possibly see as a clerk. I've been here for almost two years and don't know the first thing about discovery, which seems bad.

Yeah, you really have to do district-specific research before applying to MJs. In my district, MJs get virtually no R&Rs in normal cases (non-habeas, prisoner, or social security), but there's a pretty robust consent program along with the normal discovery and settlement stuff.


Good point. I should have emphasized "depending on the court." Even more specifically, it can depend on the MJ. There are also some MJs who are very highly regarded, so parties consenting before them is pretty common. There are some who get far less consent cases, for whatever reason. I can think of one MJ in my court who never gets them, and let's just say I'm not surprised.

Nah, I was just agreeing with you and providing an example of how things can vary a lot district to district (and that's a good point about consent cases - some districts let parties select a specific MJ from a list to consent to, and I bet some judges are a lot busier than others).


Which districts let parties choose their MJ (off the top of your head)?

I know that CD Cal lets parties pick from a list of several (not all). See https://www.cacd.uscourts.gov/judges-re ... es-program

I don't think it's at all common, but it just goes to the point about doing district- and judge-specific research to find out what you're likely to see.



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