AIII clerkship before Skadden/EJW fellowship?

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AIII clerkship before Skadden/EJW fellowship?

Postby paisa_sandia » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:54 pm

Apologies if this has been discussed in more detail somewhere, but I couldn't find much mining through TLS threads. How do people think AIII clerkships are viewed by those evaluating applications for the more prestigious PI fellowships like Skadden and EJW? For context, I'm a rising 3L at a T30ish school with a federal district court clerkship lined up post-graduation. I'm wondering whether the clerkship would improve my chances--given that my stats don't make me a supremely compelling applicant--and whether it might be worth shooting for a COA clerkship to boost my chances further (setting aside the other related benefits of doing a COA clerkship). Alternatively, might a clerkship actually hurt my chances because I'd be farther along in my career than the law students who would be applying?


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Re: AIII clerkship before Skadden/EJW fellowship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:54 pm

I’m in such a clerkship now, planning to apply for those fellowships, and think it’s favorable, as long as it serves your narrative.

I did the clerkship because I knew in legal services I’d be litigating right away, so I wanted to learn how district court litigation works

While in my clerkship, I saw how pro se litigants too often lost meritorious claims, which inspired me to represent population x

But if it’s all about collecting gold stars so you can move into BigLaw after the fellowship, maybe less convincing.

Make sense?

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Re: AIII clerkship before Skadden/EJW fellowship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:06 pm

I clerked, was a Skadden semi-finalist, and ultimately received an EJW. In my experience with these application processes, clerking was a huge advantage. For Skadden, the gold star is definitely a big deal. They are prestige-oriented and aim to recruit attorneys with powerful networks. I am pretty confident that the EJW program itself doesn’t care about the clerkship, but the firm that ended up funding my project made clear in my interview that they did care, so it can be an advantage for that route too. I think most potential EJW funders will either be lawyers or connected enough to the legal world that they will see a clerkship as a strong signal of competence. I also think to a degree it signals commitment. When you’ve clerked, you have even greater opportunities / profit potential in the private sector than you’d have otherwise, yet you’ve decided to stick to the PI track.

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