Anonymous User wrote:This question raised some divisive comments a while back on TLS: what are the merits, if any, of two COA clerkships? Imagine, for instance, that the first is a semi-feeder or non-feeder, and the second would be a prominent feeder. Assume also that the individual was SCOTUS-competitive to begin with (otherwise this question is not worth posing) but for whatever reason had no idea what he was doing the first time he applied for COA clerkships. Would the second clerkship make a difference?
This is OP.
From a strictly SCOTUS perspective: yes, if the second clerkship is a feeder or CADC. Definitively yes.
Then again, you have to weigh the cost of lost income, a lost year, time away from spouse/family or finding a spouse/family, etc. against moving your chances of SCOTUS from, say, 2% to 10%. I would guess an otherwise SCOTUS-worthy candidate, say top 5% at HLS that is on LR but not LR president that has a COA gig but not CADC or feeder, has maybe a 2-4% shot. Add a feeder and they move to 10%.
Is the year's career diversion worth 6-8, even 12%, of a move? Well, that depends. How much does the income matter to you? I loved clerking. Most clerks love clerking! But most people also find the income loss a hardship, and most people don't like being moved all over the country, year over year.
Short answer. Yes. It undoubtedly helps. But there's more to life than a SCOTUS clerkship. Easy to say as a SCOTUS clerk, right?
For what it's worth, I thought a SCOTUS clerkship was the whole point of life too, like every gunner, before I had one. So I don't mean to belittle the urge. I know it as well as anyone else. But I swear it isn't worth the time most people spend on it.