SSC/D.Ct Clerk Chances, PI Goals

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SSC/D.Ct Clerk Chances, PI Goals

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 16, 2017 2:13 pm

Questioning some life-decisions...

Rising 3L at T10, top 25-33%. Current post-grad plan is to apply to a million public interest gigs/fellowships and hope for the best. Several people have recently encouraged me to apply for a state court clerkship right out of law school, especially NJ, bc I want to end up in NYC. Curious what people think. In my perfect world, I would get an entry-level gig/PI fellowship then clerk at the district court level. I didn't apply to federal clerkships as a 2L because I wasn't competitive, but am wondering if I have a decent chance applying as a 3L/alum as my grades went up and I would have work experience.

As someone lit-focused, SSC-> D.Ct. seems like it could be a good sell (and would help with jobs that don't want to hire fresh grads), but again just don't know how competitive I am. Also, does NJ really help for NYC?

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HillandHollow

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Re: SSC/D.Ct Clerk Chances, PI Goals

Postby HillandHollow » Tue May 16, 2017 4:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Questioning some life-decisions...

Rising 3L at T10, top 25-33%. Current post-grad plan is to apply to a million public interest gigs/fellowships and hope for the best. Several people have recently encouraged me to apply for a state court clerkship right out of law school, especially NJ, bc I want to end up in NYC. Curious what people think. In my perfect world, I would get an entry-level gig/PI fellowship then clerk at the district court level. I didn't apply to federal clerkships as a 2L because I wasn't competitive, but am wondering if I have a decent chance applying as a 3L/alum as my grades went up and I would have work experience.

As someone lit-focused, SSC-> D.Ct. seems like it could be a good sell (and would help with jobs that don't want to hire fresh grads), but again just don't know how competitive I am. Also, does NJ really help for NYC?



First, I have no real idea about your NJ--->NYC question. My guess is that you'd want to get on the NY state court if you want to go to NYC, but that NJ would be more helpful than Idaho, ya know?

I did a public interest fellowship right out of school, and will be going to a dist ct clerkship after this. I don't think that I could have landed the clerkship without the fellowship, even though I also had a pre-law school career. What's your long-term/post-clerkship goal?

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Re: SSC/D.Ct Clerk Chances, PI Goals

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 16, 2017 4:37 pm

Thanks for the response. My goal is a plaintiff's firm like Sanford Heisler but I'm also open to starting in direct services.

As for NY/NJ-apparently NY state clerk hiring is pretty rare, selective & happens after the first big wave of NJ hiring so it seems risky to gamble on...One solution would be to add NY state clerk apps in addition to the fellowships I guess. All comes down to risk tolerance? Will kick myself if I end up unemployed at graduation and didn't try everything to get a job, but at the same time, not my first choice.

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Re: SSC/D.Ct Clerk Chances, PI Goals

Postby HillandHollow » Tue May 16, 2017 4:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the response. My goal is a plaintiff's firm like Sanford Heisler but I'm also open to starting in direct services.

As for NY/NJ-apparently NY state clerk hiring is pretty rare, selective & happens after the first big wave of NJ hiring so it seems risky to gamble on...One solution would be to add NY state clerk apps in addition to the fellowships I guess. All comes down to risk tolerance? Will kick myself if I end up unemployed at graduation and didn't try everything to get a job, but at the same time, not my first choice.



I had conversations with several partners from Sanford Heisler-type places, and the take away was always that I *had* to have a district court clerkship to even be considered. Some of them hinted at this, others said it outright.

You are correct that it comes down to risk tolerance, but there are not many scenarios in which you would be better off unemployed than employed at a second choice. Subsequent interviewers are going to want to know why you aren't working (I assume that grads from your school generally graduate with a job in hand).

In general, work experience (in lit) OR clerking experience will be extremely valuable additions to a resume when applying to a district court clerkship, or to a sanford heisler. Whether a public interest fellowship is more valuable than a state court, I don't know. That will depend a lot on the nature of the fellowship (and the hosting organization's reputation), I think. Anyway, there are a lot of other factors that are important here as well (are you K-JD? any journals? any awards? any clinical experience?). If you want to get more specific, feel free to PM me.



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