superbloom wrote:I have a similar concern. It looks like Seton Hall seems to outperform Rutgers with regard to Federal clerkships. (c/o 2011 data says R-N had 3, up from 0 the previous year.
Speaking of clerkships, I've always been suspicious of the absurdly high number of state and local level clerks R-N and SH pump out. I'm not sure if you have any way of knowing this, but do you kow what happens to most of these clerks following their clerkships? Are there a lot of post clerks unemployed?
I PM'ed 2012DeeJay about this myself, and (I hope he doesn't mind me posting his answer here) here was his response:
What are the good kinds of clerkships that people are getting out of Rutgers that usually lead to big/mid firm employment afterwards? What are the kinds of clerkships that aren't as valuable?
I don't know if law students really can get a bad clerkship. There's a lot of talk about schools sending people to clerk at traffic court to raise their clerkship numbers. I don't know where this comes from and I highly doubt it's accuracy since traffic court doesn't have clerks. A clerkship is not just some part time job that law students get to pass time. When you clerk for a state or federal judge you are applying for a very selective process. For full-time clerkships (after graduation) you are applying to be the Judge's right-hand person, basically the judge's jr. partner. You will write the judge's opinons. Those opinions will be read directly out loud, in court, and on the record. All litigators know the judge's clerk is one of the most important people in the courtroom, next to the judge of course. So there are basically 3 levels of clerk for State court. Trial, Appellate, Supreme. There are more judges at trial level so more spaces are available. Less at appellate and even less at supreme. Each clerkship last a maximum of 1 year. That's it. After you clerk at the state level you can apply to clerk at the federal level. There are a number of way to get to the federal level. Apply after a state clerkship, apply after working for a year (at a firm or in government or public interest), apply directly to the federal judge.
Most law firms will give you a bonus and class credit for a federal clerkship. So if you clerk for one year and then go to a firm you will be paid as a 2nd year associate. If you go to a firm, and then clerk, and then go back to the firm, you will be paid as a 3rd year.
Some firms give bonuses for state level clerkships--some but not all. But most all firms give class credit for a clerkship.
Since clerkships are only 1 year the judge is going to be the best recommendation for your next job. A job working for the Public defender, District Attorney, Atty General and those types of jobs are almost a lock if you do a state or federal clerkship. The judge can just make a phone call. Firm jobs after clerking can be the ticket into a firm if you didn't get one right out of OCI but this will definitely depend on the type of firm you want, where you want to work, the judge's connections, or a firm's likelihood to bring you on. Firms are more likely to take you 1 year out from a clerkship even if you weren't otherwise employable by them during your 2L year, purely based on the research and writing you gain working for the judge. This is especially true if you want litigation. If you clerk in NJ and want to work at a firm in NJ, and especially in the jurisdiction that your judge sits you'll have a great chance of going to a firm.
That's a lot of info about clerkships and it may not all make sense and that's because there's a lot of what ifs and moving parts. You'll kind of learn a little more as you go along through school. But as a rule of thumb you can never go wrong working for a judge. The higher up the food chain the court the better the clerkship. But because there really aren't any really low courts that hire clerks it's almost impossible to have a "bad" clerkship.