clerking boring?

(Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:26 pm

anyone else start off their clerkship and find themselves bored?

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:43 am

I think it depends on your judge. My judge has been pretty busy with other things these last few weeks so writing opinions has been pretty utilitarian (like how I imagine working at a law firm to be). When he's around, the back and forth is pretty interesting. IMO, being a lawyer is just pretty boring. At least at a big firm you can stimulate yourself with the things money buys.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:50 pm

My appellate clerkship could be pretty boring at times, mostly between sittings when I was just cranking out bench memos. It does not help that a lot of briefs are terrible (and I don't just mean stylistically but in ways that make the job boring and frustrating at the same time). Sometimes a motion might come along to liven the day up, though. Debating with clerks in other chambers was also fun.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:17 pm

I'm on a two year district clerkship, and I can say without a doubt that the second year gets way more boring than the first. The first year was pretty exciting because we're in a courthouse with a lot of complex litigation and cool criminal cases, but even that wears off after a while. I have heard that appellate clerkships tend to be really dull when the judges aren't sitting, so district seems to be better.

It also depends on who you clerk with. My coclerks don't talk at work, and they don't go out afterward. I basically don't know them.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:24 pm

I think clerking can be really slow, especially at the appellate level. There isn't a lot of variety. You sit down at the computer and do the same thing: read, research, write. Even in the district court, you get a lot of that, if there isn't a trial or hearing going on (one of my district court predecessors managed to go the whole year without a trial). And at both the appellate and district court level, the learning curve can be steep, but once you get a hang of things, a lot of the same issues repeat over and over. Some people don't mind this, some people find it dull.

And it does depend on what your judge is like, and your co-clerks.

I'm glad I clerked (twice, even), but I couldn't be a career clerk

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:34 pm

OP here, I'm in an appellate clerkship so I guess others seem to have the same experience sometimes


I just find the pace very slow. Also like someone above said, briefs can be poorly written/make no sense, which makes me think (perhaps naively) I could do better.

edit: and the other clerks in the court rarely do anything together--I've suggested we go out after arguments multiple times and the resounding answer is "sorry I can't this week"
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:36 pm

Oh, you could definitely do better. Obviously it's a little easier to say that sitting in chambers, but there are LOTS of TERRIBLE lawyers out there (and/or terrible cases).

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Oh, you could definitely do better. Obviously it's a little easier to say that sitting in chambers, but there are LOTS of TERRIBLE lawyers out there (and/or terrible cases).
But the bad lawyers often make it even more boring in chambers, because you have to figure out what it is they want the court to do. Occasionally it can be a good learning experience, and I'm sure in practice I'll avoid a lot of the idiotic mistakes (e.g., filing a TRO without a proposed order), but having to fix the mistakes of people who make more money than you can be both tedious and aggravating. And unfortunately, for every case I get with a Boies Schiller, I get 20 from Dumbass LLP.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Oh, you could definitely do better. Obviously it's a little easier to say that sitting in chambers, but there are LOTS of TERRIBLE lawyers out there (and/or terrible cases).
But the bad lawyers often make it even more boring in chambers, because you have to figure out what it is they want the court to do. Occasionally it can be a good learning experience, and I'm sure in practice I'll avoid a lot of the idiotic mistakes (e.g., filing a TRO without a proposed order), but having to fix the mistakes of people who make more money than you can be both tedious and aggravating. And unfortunately, for every case I get with a Boies Schiller, I get 20 from Dumbass LLP.
Appellate clerk here. The briefs from a good firm can be worse if they have a bad case. Your first impression is that it looks good, but once you've read the record and the cases/statutes you realize "wtf?" They also tend to make a LOT of arguments that sound good but just take a lot of time to crank through, so the bench memo becomes long and convoluted.

I find plaintiff's-side tort lawyers also do the "throw everything against the wall and hope something sticks" strategy a lot. It's maddening because there is an argument worth developing, it's just buried within six arguments that are totally frivolous. You wonder whether they are just not seeing what you're seeing or that they are actively trying to confuse or trick you.

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:17 pm

I find the shitty lawyering endearing, like when they cite some shit pretending that it is supportive, but really they are stretching the shit out of the law.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I find the shitty lawyering endearing, like when they cite some shit pretending that it is supportive, but really they are stretching the shit out of the law.
Oh wow, your shitlawyers cite things?! I had one guy write--I shit you not-- that he "recalled a case filed by the supreme court over the last couple of years that held [xyz]."

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:14 pm

We had this older attorney who probably should have retired citing to pre-twombly cases as the standard for Motion to Dismiss and finally the opposing counsel stated in his reply brief "that may be the standard in 1980 when counsel last attended his CLE", it was an epic burn, I couldn't stop laughing!!

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:10 pm

I'm getting the impression that the workload of my appellate clerkship is not normal, but I haven't had time to be bored. So much work.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:24 pm

I am doing a DC clerkship. I love it and rarely find myself bored.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:29 pm

I am in the second year of a 2 year district clerkship. The first year was fun, superbusy and interesting. The second year tends to be boring at times since you pretty much are doing all the same things you did the first year with few factual and case law differences.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am in the second year of a 2 year district clerkship. The first year was fun, superbusy and interesting. The second year tends to be boring at times since you pretty much are doing all the same things you did the first year with few factual and case law differences.

Could you elaborate a little? Is it shoot-myself boring, or just slightly more so than the first year? Still better than a big firm?

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am in the second year of a 2 year district clerkship. The first year was fun, superbusy and interesting. The second year tends to be boring at times since you pretty much are doing all the same things you did the first year with few factual and case law differences.

Could you elaborate a little? Is it shoot-myself boring, or just slightly more so than the first year? Still better than a big firm?
Not at all (re shoot myself boring comment). This could just be me but I think you tend to procrastinate more because you get a feel for how long most of the opinions and orders are going to take (digging through exhibits is not as fun when you don't have that fire under your ass lol); you pretty much can handle anything that comes through the door and you can do it efficiently so it is less of a challenge (but usually as soon as you say that you end up with an insanely complex case where no one in the entire court house has come across making you regret comments like this lol). It is sort of like your last semester of high school, college, or 3L year in a sense that since you know in the back of your mind you are pretty much done with that phase of your life and are just waiting for the next thing to begin. I am also clerking at a place where I will not be practicing and don't really have any connection to this city so that plays a factor too. Having said that, over all, I still enjoy it because the coworkers are great, the boss is awesome, and the level of daily autonomy and responsbility I get is just astondoing giving that I am just starting my career. Knowing what I know, if this gig was in my hometown (east coast) and can afford to take the pay cut, I would take it over any big law (or any legal job for that matter) as a career in a heart beat. So I don't think I have shoot-myself boring (atleast not yet lol); I will be shocked if I hear any district court clerk say that.

Get unlimited access to all forums and topics

Register now!

I'm pretty sure I told you it's FREE...


Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am in the second year of a 2 year district clerkship. The first year was fun, superbusy and interesting. The second year tends to be boring at times since you pretty much are doing all the same things you did the first year with few factual and case law differences.

Could you elaborate a little? Is it shoot-myself boring, or just slightly more so than the first year? Still better than a big firm?
Not at all (re shoot myself boring comment). This could just be me but I think you tend to procrastinate more because you get a feel for how long most of the opinions and orders are going to take (digging through exhibits is not as fun when you don't have that fire under your ass lol); you pretty much can handle anything that comes through the door and you can do it efficiently so it is less of a challenge (but usually as soon as you say that you end up with an insanely complex case where no one in the entire court house has come across making you regret comments like this lol). It is sort of like your last semester of high school, college, or 3L year in a sense that since you know in the back of your mind you are pretty much done with that phase of your life and are just waiting for the next thing to begin. I am also clerking at a place where I will not be practicing and don't really have any connection to this city so that plays a factor too. Having said that, over all, I still enjoy it because the coworkers are great, the boss is awesome, and the level of daily autonomy and responsbility I get is just astondoing giving that I am just starting my career. Knowing what I know, if this gig was in my hometown (east coast) and can afford to take the pay cut, I would take it over any big law (or any legal job for that matter) as a career in a heart beat. So I don't think I have shoot-myself boring (atleast not yet lol); I will be shocked if I hear any district court clerk say that.
Thanks for the thoughtful response. I'm about to start a 2 year dist. ct. clerkship in the state (but not city) I will practice in and found this very useful.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:25 am

COA here. Very busy. Very bored. If did it over again, would 100% not clerk.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:30 am

D. ct. clerk here.

It all depends on your personality and interests. I personally find it to be the best job an attorney can have, but some people would loathe clerking. I've described my job to a few of my more out-going, client-oriented lawyer friends and they candidly say it sounds awful. I can understand why someone would find it boring. It's oftentimes very academic and tedious and can be very solitary. 90% of the time I'm sitting at a desk staring at a Word doc and Westlaw, so I fully see why it's not for everyone.

GOATlawman

Bronze
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:40 pm

Re: clerking boring?

Post by GOATlawman » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:34 am

JW, how many clerks also have to be the stenographer? With the audio recognition software and sit there and correct all the words. This seems freaking awful, and would ruin the enjoyment of trial., imho, as an outsider..

Communicate now with those who not only know what a legal education is, but can offer you worthy advice and commentary as you complete the three most educational, yet challenging years of your law related post graduate life.

Register now, it's still FREE!


User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Diamond
Posts: 29296
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:21 am

GOATlawman wrote:JW, how many clerks also have to be the stenographer? With the audio recognition software and sit there and correct all the words. This seems freaking awful, and would ruin the enjoyment of trial., imho, as an outsider..
What? I've never seen a clerk do this. Court reporters are specially trained and certified and clerks aren't qualified to do the work, at all. If there isn't a reporter, the court just audio records and sends the recordings out to be transcribed as necessary.

GOATlawman

Bronze
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:40 pm

Re: clerking boring?

Post by GOATlawman » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:30 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
GOATlawman wrote:JW, how many clerks also have to be the stenographer? With the audio recognition software and sit there and correct all the words. This seems freaking awful, and would ruin the enjoyment of trial., imho, as an outsider..
What? I've never seen a clerk do this. Court reporters are specially trained and certified and clerks aren't qualified to do the work, at all. If there isn't a reporter, the court just audio records and sends the recordings out to be transcribed as necessary.
Hmm maybe I received some bad info then. In this court the clerk sits there with his headphones staring at his monitor. I was told that there's some sort of voice recognition software that transcribes everything for him and he needs to follow along and correct for errors. No steno in the room. At trial, so i assume the litigants would be getting nightly transcripts.. I suppose it def could have been bad intel though

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Diamond
Posts: 29296
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: clerking boring?

Post by A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:20 am

AFAIK, that's not the law clerk. That's the court reporter. Or possibly a courtroom clerk, but not the judge's law clerk. (There are lots of people associated with the courts who get labeled "clerk.")

Or, I suppose possibly, it's a state trial level court and the "clerk" does more bailiffing/docket management/admin than research/writing. Some state trial level clerkships are really more judicial assistant-type positions than what people here think of a law clerk. But in any case, federal clerks don't have anything to do with transcripts (no one would/should trust law clerks with them).

Also, parties so totally don't get nightly transcripts. You don't get transcripts until you order them after trial is over. (Unless state court is totally different from federal and really weird and profligate with transcripts.)

GOATlawman

Bronze
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:40 pm

Re: clerking boring?

Post by GOATlawman » Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:45 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:AFAIK, that's not the law clerk. That's the court reporter. Or possibly a courtroom clerk, but not the judge's law clerk. (There are lots of people associated with the courts who get labeled "clerk.")

Or, I suppose possibly, it's a state trial level court and the "clerk" does more bailiffing/docket management/admin than research/writing. Some state trial level clerkships are really more judicial assistant-type positions than what people here think of a law clerk. But in any case, federal clerks don't have anything to do with transcripts (no one would/should trust law clerks with them).

Also, parties so totally don't get nightly transcripts. You don't get transcripts until you order them after trial is over. (Unless state court is totally different from federal and really weird and profligate with transcripts.)
Hmm, I'll need to find what was up with that then, thanks for the clarifications!

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Judicial Clerkships”