Pro Se Career Law Clerk Opening

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Pro Se Career Law Clerk Opening

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:06 pm

In case anyone is looking for a career law clerk position, I know the federal court in Dallas is looking to hire someone immediately and are doing video interviews right now. If you have prior habeas or prisoner litigation experience and are okay with moving to Dallas, you should apply ASAP. You only need to send a resume and law school transcript.

Job posting details here: http://www.txnd.uscourts.gov/current-job-openings/12176

kiwi50

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Re: Pro Se Career Law Clerk Opening

Post by kiwi50 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:10 pm

Although I am not currently looking for a job, this looks awesome. Do you happen to have any info on what it's like to be a pro se law clerk? Also, are pro se law clerks usually career positions or can they be one or two years?

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mjb447

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Re: Pro Se Career Law Clerk Opening

Post by mjb447 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:46 pm

kiwi50 wrote:Although I am not currently looking for a job, this looks awesome. Do you happen to have any info on what it's like to be a pro se law clerk? Also, are pro se law clerks usually career positions or can they be one or two years?
It varies depending on the district and the individual judges you work with, but, when I was clerking, most of the pro se law clerk positions in my districts were permanent jobs (at least at the district court level - the appellate courts have similar staff attorney jobs that are more often one-to-two-year positions). Tended to be 9-to-5 gigs, endlessly interpreting pro se filings in habeas, 1983, and sometimes social security cases.

kiwi50

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Re: Pro Se Career Law Clerk Opening

Post by kiwi50 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:51 pm

Thanks for the feedback. So it seems it serves an important function while also being tedious.

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Re: Pro Se Career Law Clerk Opening

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:10 pm

kiwi50 wrote:Although I am not currently looking for a job, this looks awesome. Do you happen to have any info on what it's like to be a pro se law clerk? Also, are pro se law clerks usually career positions or can they be one or two years?
I clerked at a court with a very heavy pro se docket. It was almost exclusively prisoner litigation, with a mix of other typical pro se stuff. I think this is the case for every pro se position throughout the country.

Every pro se clerk at my court was a career position because that was what the judges wanted, though I know there are term positions elsewhere. Most had been there for a decade or more. Each clerk was assigned to a group of DJs and MJs and was responsible for assigned cases from filing to trial, although the overwhelming majority of them did not make it past the pleading stage, or would quickly settle after screening/MTD.

The work is highly repetitive (Eighth Amendment/qualified immunity) and generally not that complicated. Every now and then, though, there would be some really interesting cases, legally and factually. Some went all the way to trial, and the pro se clerk was responsible for the trial like an elbow clerk.

I actually find prisoner litigation pretty interesting, so I think it would be a great position for the right person. All the pro se clerks in my court worked 9-5, had their own offices away from everyone (meaning they could come and go as they pleased), and seemed to have complete job security. I'm pretty sure they were all making over six figures too. Pretty good job if you ask me.

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Outis Onoma

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Re: Pro Se Career Law Clerk Opening

Post by Outis Onoma » Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:50 pm

Pro se clerk ships are career positions, except they are tied to filings. If filings go down, the position may get cut. So ask how stable the filings are. If the position says term, it’s because the court got special funding from the administrative office, the circuit, or a judge donated their term position. Career clerk ships are fairly precarious, the administrative office routinely proposes to eliminate them. The Clerks of Court also want them cut so they can get more money for the Clerks office for case managers, etc.

lavarman84

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Re: Pro Se Career Law Clerk Opening

Post by lavarman84 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:06 pm

mjb447 wrote:
kiwi50 wrote:Although I am not currently looking for a job, this looks awesome. Do you happen to have any info on what it's like to be a pro se law clerk? Also, are pro se law clerks usually career positions or can they be one or two years?
It varies depending on the district and the individual judges you work with, but, when I was clerking, most of the pro se law clerk positions in my districts were permanent jobs (at least at the district court level - the appellate courts have similar staff attorney jobs that are more often one-to-two-year positions). Tended to be 9-to-5 gigs, endlessly interpreting pro se filings in habeas, 1983, and sometimes social security cases.
Same. I'd hate the job, but if you're looking for a relatively laid back 40-hour a week job making six figures with federal benefits, it's a good one.

kiwi50

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Re: Pro Se Career Law Clerk Opening

Post by kiwi50 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:24 pm

Thanks everyone. This is very useful feedback. I'm definitely interested.

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