1 vs 2 clerkships?

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1 vs 2 clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:55 am

Does anyone see strong advantages in doing a second clerkship, especially if the first one is an appellate clerkship? The financial opportunity cost is steep, but want to contemplate all perspectives.

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Re: 1 vs 2 clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone see strong advantages in doing a second clerkship, especially if the first one is an appellate clerkship? The financial opportunity cost is steep, but want to contemplate all perspectives.


If the second clerkship is D. Ct., then yes there is a benefit. Most litigation attorneys don't do appellate work in their day-to-day practice, but do a lot of trial-based work. The district court will give that exposure and provides a different perspective that I don't think the appellate side can really provide.

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Re: 1 vs 2 clerkships?

Postby Rh1no » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone see strong advantages in doing a second clerkship, especially if the first one is an appellate clerkship? The financial opportunity cost is steep, but want to contemplate all perspectives.


If the second clerkship is D. Ct., then yes there is a benefit. Most litigation attorneys don't do appellate work in their day-to-day practice, but do a lot of trial-based work. The district court will give that exposure and provides a different perspective that I don't think the appellate side can really provide.


This - especially because many well-regarded District judges (inexplicably, to me) require or prefer previous appellate clerking experience. However, pretty much every clerk that I've spoken to has said that there is no point to (or they regret doing) multiple clerkships of the same type (appellate/trial)

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Re: 1 vs 2 clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:49 pm

Rh1no wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone see strong advantages in doing a second clerkship, especially if the first one is an appellate clerkship? The financial opportunity cost is steep, but want to contemplate all perspectives.


If the second clerkship is D. Ct., then yes there is a benefit. Most litigation attorneys don't do appellate work in their day-to-day practice, but do a lot of trial-based work. The district court will give that exposure and provides a different perspective that I don't think the appellate side can really provide.


This - especially because many well-regarded District judges (inexplicably, to me) require or prefer previous appellate clerking experience. However, pretty much every clerk that I've spoken to has said that there is no point to (or they regret doing) multiple clerkships of the same type (appellate/trial)


Thank you both for the perspectives. There certainly seems to be a lot of value in that. It just seems hard to justify the opportunity cost of losing approximately $120,000 or so in financial opportunity cost.

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Re: 1 vs 2 clerkships?

Postby Rh1no » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Rh1no wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone see strong advantages in doing a second clerkship, especially if the first one is an appellate clerkship? The financial opportunity cost is steep, but want to contemplate all perspectives.


If the second clerkship is D. Ct., then yes there is a benefit. Most litigation attorneys don't do appellate work in their day-to-day practice, but do a lot of trial-based work. The district court will give that exposure and provides a different perspective that I don't think the appellate side can really provide.


This - especially because many well-regarded District judges (inexplicably, to me) require or prefer previous appellate clerking experience. However, pretty much every clerk that I've spoken to has said that there is no point to (or they regret doing) multiple clerkships of the same type (appellate/trial)


Thank you both for the perspectives. There certainly seems to be a lot of value in that. It just seems hard to justify the opportunity cost of losing approximately $120,000 or so in financial opportunity cost.


Consider (though I don't know your current situation) that your clerkship may land you in a place where cost of living is not so high compared to the location of your average big law firm

jd20132013

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Re: 1 vs 2 clerkships?

Postby jd20132013 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:06 pm

I would save the second clerkship as an exit option from big law

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OutCold

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Re: 1 vs 2 clerkships?

Postby OutCold » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:26 pm

I've done both a district and circuit clerkship. My own opinion, based on my experience, is that a district court clerkship is tremendously more valuable in terms of development and applicability.

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Re: 1 vs 2 clerkships?

Postby Idon'tcare28 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:21 pm

Uh yeah, if you are eating 120k to do another clerkship no way would I do it. D. Ct. is less prestigious but much more practical. Maybe see if your firm will sweeten the pot a bit and give you an added clerkship bonus? You'd make around 75k in a clerkship second year, might be worth it if they agree to close the gap a bit through a bonus. Doubt they will.

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Re: 1 vs 2 clerkships?

Postby Jchance » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:40 pm

Assuming you can get it, I'd do 2nd clerkship as D. Ct. only in SDNY, DDC, NDIL, NDCA, CDCA, maybe EDNY (pretty much big cities). Otherwise I actually don't think it's worth it in the long-term.

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Re: 1 vs 2 clerkships?

Postby flawedargument » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:39 pm

Jchance wrote:Assuming you can get it, I'd do 2nd clerkship as D. Ct. only in SDNY, DDC, NDIL, NDCA, CDCA, maybe EDNY (pretty much big cities). Otherwise I actually don't think it's worth it in the long-term.


I think this argument should be given more weight by someone who is, for example, trying to parlay a district court clerkship into a prestigious firm job in a big city. The districts you mentioned certainly look "good" on your resume. But any district court will offer experience that is very valuable to your career--regardless of what flavor of litigation you end up practicing--above and beyond what you learned in an appellate clerkship. This is especially so if the judge you are working with cares about you becoming a better lawyer.

Here's my 2 cents for how to think about it, OP.

Start with the long view. Do you want to practice your whole life? If you love learning the law and want to become a great lawyer, do another clerkship. You have 30+ years to chase money. (This is not to say you won't become a great lawyer if you don't. But clerkships are great experience, and even as a young lawyer, it is easy to spot lawyers who never worked closely with a district judge.) Clerkships are many lawyers' fondest memories of their early practice years. Many judges become important mentors/connections for their clerks. And doing 2 clerkships can sometimes help you skip some of the drudgery work that 1st and 2nd years get at big firms.

Then balance your long view against the opportunity cost. The sheer amount of money you lose compared with working at a large firm is daunting--especially when you think about that amount with interest over the length of a career. If you have student loans, want to try to retire early, care about getting rich (rather than just being well-off), want the money for family reasons, etc., go to a firm and/or start your career with a higher-paying option. Having a significant other and/or family can add a whole other dimension, both financially and personally. You can always do a second clerkship later (or being in practice may show you that you really don't need or want one).

A final point: The judge matters a lot. If s/he is in a city where you want to work, has great connections there, and is an active mentor for former clerks, the experience might turn out to be priceless. In many cities, working for a well-known federal judge gives you a great amount of wealth in the sense of job security. If you work for one of the best judges in town, there will usually be lawyers around who will hire you for that reason alone. Generally speaking, district judges interact with the lawyers around town a hell of a lot more than appellate judges do.

Bottom line: If you are considering it carefully, you should do yourself a favor and apply. Reevaluate once you have interview(s)/offer(s).

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: 1 vs 2 clerkships?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:59 pm

Jchance wrote:Assuming you can get it, I'd do 2nd clerkship as D. Ct. only in SDNY, DDC, NDIL, NDCA, CDCA, maybe EDNY (pretty much big cities). Otherwise I actually don't think it's worth it in the long-term.

Really depends what the OP wants to do. If at some point they want to try fedgov, having a district court clerkship is going to be helpful, probably more so than COA, and it doesn't matter that much where it is. If they're just looking for biglaw, maybe you're right (but I would point out there are other big cities, like Atlanta or Houston or Dallas or Miami, where the experience would be useful, and wrt the basic TLS prestige metrics you've left out EDVA).



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