Do Judges Care If You Worked at Biglaw v.s Midlaw?

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Do Judges Care If You Worked at Biglaw v.s Midlaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:58 pm

2L at T14 considering two offers right now. I have an offer for a big law firm in a large market I don't want to live in (but not NY/DC/LA/SF/Chicago) and an offer for a strong medium sized firm in a secondary market I want to live in (its my home market).

However, I think I would be more inclined to go to the big law firm if it meaningfully boosts my chance at a federal district court clerkship down the road. When one plans to apply to clerk after one year of firm experience, do judges care much if the applicant worked at biglaw v.s midlaw? For context, the biglaw firm is a v50 and the midlaw firm is a top 150 under 150.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Do Judges Care If You Worked at Biglaw v.s Midlaw?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:30 pm

This is going to be completely judge-dependent. I'm sure there are plenty of judges who came up through biglaw and look for clerks who have that experience. There are also tons of judges who didn't take that path and probably couldn't name many biglaw firms who won't care. I think you're probably better off choosing which firm you want based on the non-clerking factors.

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Rowinguy2009
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Re: Do Judges Care If You Worked at Biglaw v.s Midlaw?

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:36 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:This is going to be completely judge-dependent. I'm sure there are plenty of judges who came up through biglaw and look for clerks who have that experience. There are also tons of judges who didn't take that path and probably couldn't name many biglaw firms who won't care. I think you're probably better off choosing which firm you want based on the non-clerking factors.


I agree with this. FWIW I went to a district clerkship after two years at a midsize firm. The firm I was at gave me some really solid substantive experience, which I think impressed my judge during the interview and ultimately helped me land the clerkship.

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Re: Do Judges Care If You Worked at Biglaw v.s Midlaw?

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:49 pm

I think the firm you're at will have only a marginal effect on your clerkship chances. The more meaningful inquiry is if there's anyone at either of those firms that has connections with judges you'd want to clerk for.

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mjb447
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Re: Do Judges Care If You Worked at Biglaw v.s Midlaw?

Postby mjb447 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:02 pm

I don't think it's likely to be a big enough boost that it should affect your decision.

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los blancos
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Re: Do Judges Care If You Worked at Biglaw v.s Midlaw?

Postby los blancos » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:25 am

What do you want to do long-term? This is partially a personal decision but IMHO life is too short to live somewhere you don't want to be just for the chance that it'll give you a boost with some judges.

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Re: Do Judges Care If You Worked at Biglaw v.s Midlaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:05 am

+1 to what's already been said. As someone currently screening clerkship apps, I wouldn't even look at your firm. Other chambers may vary. Don't structure your life around judges' hypothetical preferences.




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