Clerkships - To be or not to be?

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Clerkships - To be or not to be?

Postby UndecidedMN » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:17 am

Hello all,

In todays market, how much does a 1 year clerkship at a appeals court level (state) help with future job prospects? Top 20% of class in a T20 school.


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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerkships - To be or not to be?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:49 am

What are your alternatives?

I know a lot of state court of appeals clerks, most of whom were probably top-20%-ish at the local schools. It's very good experience for getting a job with the appellate division of your state AG or PD (assuming they're hiring). I have two friends who did not work for a firm 2L who hustled like MAD and each got legit biglaw (there's not a lot of NYC/DC/LA-style biglaw in this market so it's even more of an achievement). I don't know how much the clerkship really contributed compared to the serious serious networking each did, but it gave them time to do the hustling and networking they needed. Many others also went to firms (more regional, but good gigs in this market), but I don't know how many of them had offers going into the clerkship (at least a few, I know, got the jobs during the clerkship. Not sure if I should count the HYS grad who had a very close relative pull strings, though. :P ).

Conversely, though, I know people who took a second clerkship because they couldn't find anything else, and another who's doing a kind of glorified doc review project. So... It can help, but no guarantees. I think it really rewards hustle - gives you time to keep making connections. State COA judges are usually pretty well connected, and many are willing to help the clerks out, put them in contact with someone at a firm, that kind of thing. Some judges are uncomfortable with doing this, though, because they don't want anyone to feel they're taking advantage of their judicial position (after all, a lot of people don't feel they can so no to a judge!).

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