Upcoming Clerkship Ending After Six Months - What Do I Do?

(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: 348897
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Upcoming Clerkship Ending After Six Months - What Do I Do?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:40 pm

I graduated in the upper quartile of my class from a low T1 school (editorial board of a secondary journal, AIII externship, all that jazz). For many reasons, not least of which were the utter implosion of our career services department and my own cluelessness about the 2L summer hiring process, post-grad job offers were slim (I was constantly informed that while I interviewed well, hiring for entry-level positions was just "so competitive," which I took to mean that my stats were okay, not great, and they had someone interview with better stats). I did receive an offer from one firm, but the firm itself seemed pretty sketchy and I wasn't enthusiastic about the practice group.

I turned to clerkship applications, as a way to try to boost my resume and try again for jobs at somewhat better firms. As you may be able to tell from my stats, I didn't get a TON of interviews, but I was offered a magistrate clerkship in a city I like a lot (necessitating a cross-country move). I figured I could try to leverage that into a district court clerkship in a nearby district (I even started applying and have had some interviews, but no bites), or get in at a firm in that city. At the interview for this magistrate clerkship, which I'm supposed to begin in about three weeks, I was informed that the judge was up for re-appointment, but it was sort of glossed over as a near-impossibility.

Well, last week, I got a phone call-- and my judge was not reappointed. As a result, my clerkship will be ending after six months, not twelve. The judge gave me the option to not do the clerkship at all, or to show up, start job hunting, and leave whenever I got a job. They also promised to do the best they could to either help me find a job, or convince another judge in the same courthouse to take me on. Even so, I'm not exactly reassured.

I don't have any other job opportunities on the table, have already made a lot of preparations for moving, and have pretty much resolved to go ahead and do the clerkship while enthusiastically job searching-- I figure some clerkship on my resume is better than a period of unemployment. I will receive bar results a month into this foreshortened clerkship, which should help (if I passed, which my current luck makes doubtful). All that said, is there some other option I'm missing, or anything else I should be doing to secure employment? Should I note something on my resume to explain the short duration of this clerkship when applying to jobs?

I'm open to any helpful advice at this point. If you've read this far, thank you.

Anonymous User
Posts: 348897
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Upcoming Clerkship Ending After Six Months - What Do I Do?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:02 pm

Speaking as someone who also had a clerkship end early (8 months though, not 6), a couple thoughts:

- I’d just put the dates on your resume without a separate explanation. I don’t think anyone will assume you were fired if you’re listing it on your resume- you might get a question about it, but you have a great explanation.

- I doubt anyone will treat it as “not a real clerkship.” You got the job, you presumably will work the job. Most of the benefits of clerking in terms of knowledge, in my opinion, come in the first six months anyway.

- Is there anything keeping you from reaching out to your judge’s successor? Presumably they’ll need a clerk to start right away, and it would certainly ease the transition to have someone already in place.


Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:08 pm

Re: Upcoming Clerkship Ending After Six Months - What Do I Do?

Post by ND2018 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:18 pm

In my view this is a no brainier to take the clerkship and try to leverage the judge's connections during that time to find a new gig. Especially considering you can leave whenever you want.

Magistrate Judges are generally well connected within their districts; plus taking the abbreviated clerkship basically gives you a 6-month period to look for new jobs, make connections, and gain relevant practice experience. With no other offer on the table I don't see how you turn this down.


Posts: 1985
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Upcoming Clerkship Ending After Six Months - What Do I Do?

Post by albanach » Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:23 pm

I also agree that the Clerkship is the best offer you have at present. You'll need to be job hunting from day one. I'd make clear in your job hunt that you're doing so with the judge's support. If anyone doesn't know the judge won't be continuing in that role, they may be reluctant to steal their new clerk.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!

Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Judicial Clerkships”