Magistrate Judge

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Magistrate Judge

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:07 am

Is it worth it to clerk for a magistrate judge? How is that type of clerkship viewed by Big Law afterward? Because I'm a transfer, I missed out on landing a big law job for 2L summer. My plan is to clerk and open up my options for post-clerkship. I always hear about District Ct and COA clerkships and how much that can help your career; but magistrate judges are all over OSCAR.

Thoughts?

gaddockteeg

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby gaddockteeg » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:31 pm

Better than nothing but if you dont graduate with big law stats, magistrate clerkship won't get you there.

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mjb447

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby mjb447 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:41 pm

General thoughts: in a lot of ways it's as good as or better than a DJ or COA clerkship for practical skills because it gives you exposure to discovery (and sometimes settlement). That said, they're easier to get and viewed as less 'prestigious,' so like the previous poster said they don't give your resume that much of a bump for employers who care about that. Also, my understanding is that most firms don't offer bonuses for them.

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rpupkin

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby rpupkin » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:47 pm

gaddockteeg wrote:Better than nothing but if you dont graduate with big law stats, magistrate clerkship won't get you there.

I don't agree with this. If you clerk for a well-respected magistrate judge in the city/region in which you want to work, there are big law firms that would consider you even if they had passed on you before.

Also, these magistrate clerkships can lead to district-court clerkships.

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anon sequitur

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby anon sequitur » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:34 am

I'm a mag clerk, I think it's a worthwhile job, have seen other mag clerks go on to good positions afterwards, though more luck in the direction of other government jobs than v100 firms. If your primary goal is biglaw, I'd be hesitant... but then again if your primary goal is biglaw and you don't have an offer or a district judge clerkship, not sure what other options would be better.

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby RaceJudicata » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:54 am

rpupkin wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:Better than nothing but if you dont graduate with big law stats, magistrate clerkship won't get you there.

I don't agree with this. If you clerk for a well-respected magistrate judge in the city/region in which you want to work, there are big law firms that would consider you even if they had passed on you before.

Also, these magistrate clerkships can lead to district-court clerkships.


If your heart is set on big law, this is the path I'd shoot for. Mag --> District clerkship --> hopefully big law.

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proleteriate

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby proleteriate » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:12 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:Better than nothing but if you dont graduate with big law stats, magistrate clerkship won't get you there.

I don't agree with this. If you clerk for a well-respected magistrate judge in the city/region in which you want to work, there are big law firms that would consider you even if they had passed on you before.

Also, these magistrate clerkships can lead to district-court clerkships.


If your heart is set on big law, this is the path I'd shoot for. Mag --> District clerkship --> hopefully big law.


I've been on this forum for like 7 months, and it seems to me that this is still super hard. Clerkship isn't the second chance at biglaw that many think it may be.

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rpupkin

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby rpupkin » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:44 pm

proleteriate wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:Better than nothing but if you dont graduate with big law stats, magistrate clerkship won't get you there.

I don't agree with this. If you clerk for a well-respected magistrate judge in the city/region in which you want to work, there are big law firms that would consider you even if they had passed on you before.

Also, these magistrate clerkships can lead to district-court clerkships.


If your heart is set on big law, this is the path I'd shoot for. Mag --> District clerkship --> hopefully big law.


I've been on this forum for like 7 months, and it seems to me that this is still super hard. Clerkship isn't the second chance at biglaw that many think it may be.

Don't exaggerate in the other direction. Yes, it's true that getting a clerkship isn't a panacea for someone with otherwise mediocre credentials. But a clerkship with the right judge really can open up doors in law firms in the city/region in which you're clerking. There's a lot of daylight between "sure thing" and "super hard."

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:48 pm

rpupkin wrote:
proleteriate wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:Better than nothing but if you dont graduate with big law stats, magistrate clerkship won't get you there.

I don't agree with this. If you clerk for a well-respected magistrate judge in the city/region in which you want to work, there are big law firms that would consider you even if they had passed on you before.

Also, these magistrate clerkships can lead to district-court clerkships.


If your heart is set on big law, this is the path I'd shoot for. Mag --> District clerkship --> hopefully big law.


I've been on this forum for like 7 months, and it seems to me that this is still super hard. Clerkship isn't the second chance at biglaw that many think it may be.

Don't exaggerate in the other direction. Yes, it's true that getting a clerkship isn't a panacea for someone with otherwise mediocre credentials. But a clerkship with the right judge really can open up doors in law firms in the city/region in which you're clerking. There's a lot of daylight between "sure thing" and "super hard."


At my T14 (lower ranked), I can think of 2 classmates who "missed the OCI boat" and didn't get biglaw 2L summer, but ended up getting biglaw after a federal clerkship. One was with a mag judge, the other was with a fed dist ct judge. However, both landed biglaw in secondary markets (and I believe, their home markets).

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proleteriate

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby proleteriate » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
proleteriate wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:Better than nothing but if you dont graduate with big law stats, magistrate clerkship won't get you there.

I don't agree with this. If you clerk for a well-respected magistrate judge in the city/region in which you want to work, there are big law firms that would consider you even if they had passed on you before.

Also, these magistrate clerkships can lead to district-court clerkships.


If your heart is set on big law, this is the path I'd shoot for. Mag --> District clerkship --> hopefully big law.


I've been on this forum for like 7 months, and it seems to me that this is still super hard. Clerkship isn't the second chance at biglaw that many think it may be.

Don't exaggerate in the other direction. Yes, it's true that getting a clerkship isn't a panacea for someone with otherwise mediocre credentials. But a clerkship with the right judge really can open up doors in law firms in the city/region in which you're clerking. There's a lot of daylight between "sure thing" and "super hard."


At my T14 (lower ranked), I can think of 2 classmates who "missed the OCI boat" and didn't get biglaw 2L summer, but ended up getting biglaw after a federal clerkship. One was with a mag judge, the other was with a fed dist ct judge. However, both landed biglaw in secondary markets (and I believe, their home markets).


2 classmates out of many? Or 2 classmates cuz not many ppl get a clerkship who can't get 2L summer?

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anon sequitur

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby anon sequitur » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:53 pm

rpupkin wrote:Don't exaggerate in the other direction. Yes, it's true that getting a clerkship isn't a panacea for someone with otherwise mediocre credentials. But a clerkship with the right judge really can open up doors in law firms in the city/region in which you're clerking. There's a lot of daylight between "sure thing" and "super hard."


For what it's worth, I definitely got the idea while I was in law school that biglaw after a clerkship was basically guaranteed, so I think some pushback on that notion is helpful. I don't know if super hard is the right term or not, but the idea that it's hard at all is news to many I think.

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proleteriate

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby proleteriate » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:58 pm

anon sequitur wrote:
rpupkin wrote:Don't exaggerate in the other direction. Yes, it's true that getting a clerkship isn't a panacea for someone with otherwise mediocre credentials. But a clerkship with the right judge really can open up doors in law firms in the city/region in which you're clerking. There's a lot of daylight between "sure thing" and "super hard."


For what it's worth, I definitely got the idea while I was in law school that biglaw after a clerkship was basically guaranteed, so I think some pushback on that notion is helpful. I don't know if super hard is the right term or not, but the idea that it's hard at all is news to many I think.


I'm glad that I'm clerking, no matter what. But what u said is spot on. I thought it would be a lot easier, and even my career services office treated me like I made it after getting my clerkship. I'm just struggling a bit because I will be clerking far away from where I hope to end up, and I have to sit on my hands until next year (where's i'd be applying from across the country, and I'm not a sit back and chill type of cat).

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rpupkin

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby rpupkin » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:03 pm

anon sequitur wrote:
rpupkin wrote:Don't exaggerate in the other direction. Yes, it's true that getting a clerkship isn't a panacea for someone with otherwise mediocre credentials. But a clerkship with the right judge really can open up doors in law firms in the city/region in which you're clerking. There's a lot of daylight between "sure thing" and "super hard."


For what it's worth, I definitely got the idea while I was in law school that biglaw after a clerkship was basically guaranteed, so I think some pushback on that notion is helpful. I don't know if super hard is the right term or not, but the idea that it's hard at all is news to many I think.

I agree with pushing back on that notion, as I've done in this forum for years. But I suggest fighting exaggerated notions with reality-based assessments, not with more exaggerated notions.

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby magnum_law » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:29 pm

So is the general consensus that a magistrate judge clerkship can make sense for someone who has almost zero chance at a D.Ct. clerkship but always wanted to clerk?

Or is it silly to take a Fed. Mag. over just going straight to biglaw?


ETA: at a T13, with good enough grades for BL but not for AIII clerkship

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rpupkin

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby rpupkin » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:41 pm

magnum_law wrote:So is the general consensus that a magistrate judge clerkship can make sense for someone who has almost zero chance at a D.Ct. clerkship but always wanted to clerk?

Or is it silly to take a Fed. Mag. over just going straight to biglaw?

It depends. If you're pleased with your firm, and if you don't have a particular desire to clerk, then it probably makes more sense to go straight to your firm.

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mjb447

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby mjb447 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:45 pm

magnum_law wrote:So is the general consensus that a magistrate judge clerkship can make sense for someone who has almost zero chance at a D.Ct. clerkship but always wanted to clerk?

Or is it silly to take a Fed. Mag. over just going straight to biglaw?


ETA: at a T13, with good enough grades for BL but not for AIII clerkship

Suppose it might depend on why you "always wanted to clerk."

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:28 pm

So at the end of the day, if I want to end up in a Dallas, Houston, Denver, etc. type market, does Magistrate clerkship make sense?

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rpupkin

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby rpupkin » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So at the end of the day, if I want to end up in a Dallas, Houston, Denver, etc. type market, does Magistrate clerkship make sense?

It does if the magistrate clerkship is in ND Tex, SD Tex, or D. Colo—and if the magistrate is well respected. That last part is key. As for finding out if the magistrate is respected, you're going to have to ask people who work in those districts.

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:27 pm

How grade selective are magistrate judges in SDNY and EDNY? I'm targeting NYC biglaw and I'm looking to get litigation experience. My grades aren't hot, though.

Note: NYC is my home market, so I don't have any other choice wrt markets.

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby mecarey » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:13 am

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So at the end of the day, if I want to end up in a Dallas, Houston, Denver, etc. type market, does Magistrate clerkship make sense?

It does if the magistrate clerkship is in ND Tex, SD Tex, or D. Colo—and if the magistrate is well respected. That last part is key. As for finding out if the magistrate is respected, you're going to have to ask people who work in those districts.


Commenting specifically re: Denver. The magistrate judges here are incredibly well-respected as a whole, and take on a full caseload. Denver can be a tough market to crack in general, but I have spoken with many attorneys who have successfully gone the magistrate judge route. Make sure to check out their dockets if there is anything in particular you are interested in. For example, if you look up Judge Michael Hegarty (https://dockets.justia.com/), you'll see that he has a heavy IP docket with a lot of etc. sprinkled throughout. Take that into consideration as you're applying.

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Re: Magistrate Judge

Postby OutoftheWoods » Mon May 08, 2017 11:29 pm

I'm clerking for a magistrate judge in 2018 so take this with a grain of salt, it's just what I learned from looking up countless TLS threads and asking people.

A district court clerkship is more portable, while magistrate is likely only to help you in the district where you reside. MJ exit options are better if that district is prestigious (i.e., SDNY, CDCAL), but still not nearly as good as district court. midlaw should be in play if that's your thing, biglaw is low chances but possible. Best available option for biglaw (since biglaw isn't readily available) is usually dist/COA for judges that value prior clerkship experience.



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