Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Clerkships

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Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:50 pm

It seems pretty difficult to get information about BAP clerkships. Based on some postings, it sounds as if people are hired specifically as BAP clerks, rather than hired as a clerk for a bankruptcy judge and happen to do BAP work as needed. Any current/former BAP clerks who would be willing to speak about their hiring experience and timeline? Or bankruptcy clerks who worked for a judge that sat on a BAP and who didn't have BAP clerks?

Also, if possible, please post which circuit you were in as I'm sure it varies. Thanks!

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Re: Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:06 pm

Former bankruptcy clerk (state in 8th circuit) checking in. I've never heard of a clerk who only did BAP work. I cannot imagine this is a thing - there just aren't enough appeals to justify the position. Maybe in the 9th circuit? The BAP judges I know are doing like 5-10 cases a year right now.

Odds are these postings are to be a regular clerk for a judge who happens to be on the BAP. All BAP judges have a regular docket in addition to taking appelate cases. Also, most bankruptcy judges either have 1 clerk and a judicial assistant or two clerks who split the administrative duties.

As far as hiring timeline - bankruptcy judges are far enough removed from the d.ct./COA that there really isn't any hiring timeline. Postings go up throughout the year. The one exception would be in major bankruptcy districts like DE/SDNY where all the clerks start in the fall.

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Re: Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:14 pm

OP here. I have spoken to one faculty member who said she was a BAP clerk (hired specifically to do the appellate work for a judge who sat on a BAP). It was in the 9th Circuit and over a decade ago though, so that could explain it.

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Re: Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:49 am

Some BAPs still have their own clerks, although a number of positions have been cut because of funding issues. BAP clerks do substantive opinions, but also motions panel stuff. However, they are usually career clerkships (as one year terms straight out of law school tend to be useless). It wouldn’t hurt to send an application to the clerk of court or chief BAP judge, though. Your other shot at doing BAP work is to simply get on as an elbow clerk with a bankruptcy judge that is on the BAP.

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Re: Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:23 pm

Current Bankruptcy Clerk. I have clerked for three BK judges in various Ninth Cir. Districts and two of them were on the BAP.

Judges on the Ninth Cir. BAP have their own clerks for their trial court calendar and are assigned a separate BAP clerk for their appellate calendar. The BAP clerks are spread all over the Circuit (my judges never had their BAP clerk in the same state) and work with the judges remotely. My judges both had BAP clerks they were/are career clerks that have like 20-30 years of experience. When judges do BAP calendars its always outside of their District, but in the Circuit so they have to travel. The night before oral argument, the BAP judges and the BAP clerks get together to discuss the panel's cases. Through that process (I was not there in an official capacity as clerk) I have seen the BAP clerks of the judges on the panel, other than mine, and they were all older and seasoned as well.

As far as hiring timelines of BK judges, in my experience, of the judges that prefer term clerks 75% would open up their OSCAR about a year in advance, although actual hiring depends on the application pool. The other 25%, open OSCAR and hire within 1-3 months of the start date. There is a logic to this. The 75%-judges want someone out of law school that the consensus opinion regards as outstanding (law review, ranking, demonstrated bankruptcy interest/knowledge, blah blah). The 75%-judges worry that those students will already have jobs or clerkships lined up if they aren't recruited earlier on. The 25%-judges don't really want applicants out of law school and prefer candidates with some real experience. Someone with a real job is far less likely to wait around for a year to start a clerkship just requires some adequate notice time.

Of the judges that prefer career clerks, there are no rules. They post and hire when needed.



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