AllAboutTheBasis wrote: ↑
Fri May 29, 2020 11:51 am
kilgoretrout7 wrote: ↑
Fri May 22, 2020 5:39 am
As a former Court of International Trade clerk, I think that you definitely have a strong application for that court (and a competitive application for the districts you mentioned generally), though, of course, clerkships are always somewhat of a crapshoot. I would echo previous comments to apply to SDNY/EDNY as well; you have a shot with your qualifications and it can't hurt.
Going back to the Court of International Trade, I had a great experience there. My judge was awesome, and, because of the court's quasi-appellate jurisdiction (in part, reviewing Dep't of Commerce determinations with an already established factual record), the work has more of an appellate feel (and you don't have to deal with the motion work of a district court). Cases are almost always decided at the summary judgment stage (a motion for judgment on the agency record) after an oral argument. You will have to explain in your cover letter/in the interview why you are interested in international trade, but, if you are, you should definitely apply. I note that probably half of the clerks during my term went into general lit and the other half stayed in trade (or international arbitration), some with firms and some with the government (Dep't of Commerce, U.S. Trade Representative, or Customs). A number also went on to COA clerkships. Happy to answer any specific CIT questions you have, if any.
I am definitely interested in International Trade, at the very least as an intellectual matter. I think some of my specific experiences lends itself well to CIT as well. What is the work in trade like? I've had a hard time getting a feel for it -- I haven't met any attorneys in the space. I know a little bit about the USTR jobs and they seem pretty interesting. It could be particularly interesting combining that with tax.
Basically, I think I'm committed to tax (I think), and I think a CIT clerkship would be interesting, help expose me to another area of law I would be interested in, and benefit my future tax practice because, at least as I understand it, it is very technical and statute based. Are those good enough reasons or is there something more?
I definitely dig the appellate feel, that's pretty cool.
Also, do you have any opinions on the two judges hiring this year, Baker and Katzmann? Good bosses?
Well, there is international trade work, generally, and then there is the specific jurisdiction of the CIT, which is far more narrow. International trade work, generally, is pretty broad--WTO litigation, domestic anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations/annual reviews at the Dep't of Commerce (and appealed to the CIT), Customs work (e.g., classification of entered goods), sanctions work, export controls, anti-boycott regs, CFIUS/national security issues, trade and investment policy, investor-state dispute settlement (which is generally in the int'l arb group at a firm, but USTR does it for the U.S.), etc.
The CIT's docket is primarily comprised of challenges to Dep't of Commerce determinations in antidumping and countervailing duty cases, and challenges to Customs' decisions. Cases are primarily decided by looking at the statute/legislative history, and regs, not case law.
That all being said, if you're committed to tax, I would do the tax court over the CIT. I don't think the CIT would hurt you, but I don't think it would help as much. But if you are open to int'l trade work, or general lit, and would prefer to be in NYC, it is a pretty great job and a great court to work at. To a later comment about only doing a CIT clerkship if you want to do trade, I think that is fair (given that is what you'll do every day, unless your judge sits by designation elsewhere, which many do) but I don't think it is as limiting for the post-clerkship job as it is perceived. The clerks that I knew that didn't want to stay in trade didn't have too hard of a time getting out (a few did COA clerkships, one is an AUSA, some went to firms for general lit). I think a lot of clerks stay in trade because they choose to. But it is obviously a question that comes up during interviews. Overall, it probably makes it slightly harder to get out of trade, but not significantly so. Frankly, the clerks that had trouble finding what they wanted after were those with lesser credentials. Top 10% from a T14, you'd be fine.
With regard to your last question, Judge Katzmann is awesome. He is smart, incredibly kind, and really goes to bat for his clerks. I don't know Judge Baker that well, but he was nice when I met him.
Feel free to DM me if you want to talk about more specifics.