Clerking for older Judge?

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Anonymous User
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Clerking for older Judge?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:30 pm

Are there downsides to clerking for an older judge besides them not being able to a mentor as long? I’m interested in a judge in their mid to late 80s but am worried it would be viewed as less prestigious or something. Maybe I just need to check my own unconscious ageism though

Reese1

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Re: Clerking for older Judge?

Post by Reese1 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:30 pm
Are there downsides to clerking for an older judge besides them not being able to a mentor as long? I’m interested in a judge in their mid to late 80s but am worried it would be viewed as less prestigious or something. Maybe I just need to check my own unconscious ageism though
You will be fine. Older judges have the advantage of having more former clerks in the prime of their career. Furthermore, they often have better name recognition. I doubt anyone would slight you because your judge was in their mid-80s. Young judges have their advantages, old judges have their advantages.

namefromplace

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Re: Clerking for older Judge?

Post by namefromplace » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:46 pm

I would think it depends entirely on the judge and what judge you're comparing to. If it's a senior judge that is well-known as having slowed down and taken a reduced caseload, then maybe that wouldn't look as good as clerking for a younger judge. But it would definitely look better than clerking for no judge.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerking for older Judge?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:52 pm

So I actually have a district lined up a year out with a Judge I’m excited to work for in a fun city, but this would be for a circuit the year before. The older circuit judge is still taking on a full caseload, although they’d be 86-88 by the time I’d start.


Also for reference, I don’t think I’d have an issue getting a circuit the year after my district. It’d just be more convenient to do both back to back and then get on with life

SamuelDanforth

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Re: Clerking for older Judge?

Post by SamuelDanforth » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:55 pm

I seriously doubt that anyone is going to parse "active" old judges vs. "less active" old judges when they look at your resume. To do so they would need to be extremely in-the-know about the current state of the court in question. As others have said, the experience might be different, but I think there are a lot of positives. There are plenty of senior judges on my circuit, including ones that are on reduced caseloads, that I wouldn't mind clerking for after getting to know their clerks. The only risk with someone in that age range is mortality, sadly.

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nixy

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Re: Clerking for older Judge?

Post by nixy » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:24 pm

No, clerking for an elderly judge isn't less "prestigious" than clerking for a younger judge. (See: a significant proportion of SCOTUS justices.) To the extent which judge you clerk for matters, it will be based on their individual reputation, not their age.

ConfusedNYer

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Re: Clerking for older Judge?

Post by ConfusedNYer » Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:46 am

I clerked for an older judge, so I'll throw in my two cents.

It has literally never come up except when I tell people. I was in a major city outside my current market and honestly most people I work with vaguely know I clerked and probably the people I've actually been on cases with know the state. No one even knows my judge's name (except the website bio people.) So... nobody is going to care on the prestige front.

In terms of more practical concerns. Old people are old, they have less energy, less time to mentor, and most people by their mid to late 80s have some mental slippage. In many ways it was frustrating because it felt like I did not get the clerkship experience people rave about. On the other hand I did a lot of stuff that other clerks don't necessarily get to do since my judge kind of just didn't give a fuck anymore.

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