Am I aiming too high?

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Wild Card

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Re: Am I aiming too high?

Post by Wild Card » Thu May 28, 2020 2:18 pm

A clerkship anywhere and at any level is invaluable for your career in the long run, because 99.9% of associates do not make partner and are laid off eventually--most sooner than later. NYC biglaw employers may not care about El Paso (I regret what I wrote above), but boutiques, midlaw, and the state/federal government certainly.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Am I aiming too high?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu May 28, 2020 2:25 pm

cheaptilts wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 12:20 pm
The problem is that most NYC employers likely think of ED Ark and SD Ohio in a similar light. So, again, without taking into account the inherent benefits of a clerkship in the abstract, a young litigator hellbent on NYC biglaw should consider whether a clerkship in SD Ohio is worth missing a year of biglaw salary, networking, and development at her current firm (and worth the potential downsides of living in a new, random city without friends or family or SOs close) because her employer (and many other private law firms in NYC) will not care one way or another about the SD Ohio clerkship.

There’s pros and cons to every decision. I think some of us are just pushing back on the notion that the pros of doing *any* clerkship vs. starting at a firm outweigh all the cons.
Totally. A lot depends on why, and how much, OP wants to clerk (and I suspect a lot of the disagreement in this thread comes from people projecting their personal preferences here) and why, and how much, they want to do biglaw litigation.

It's not worth it just to check the box. Personally I'm bearish on clerking prestige and think only SDNY/EDNY/DDC or a coastal/feeder COA are going to add a lot of oomph in terms of box-checking. But it could be well worth it in terms of personal fulfillment, getting outside of the NYC bubble for a bit, etc., and it probably only hurts one's career trajectory if you're seeing nothing but drugs 'n' guns in El Paso (which, to be clear, would be awesome experience for other people).

lavarman84

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Re: Am I aiming too high?

Post by lavarman84 » Thu May 28, 2020 5:45 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 2:25 pm
It's not worth it just to check the box. Personally I'm bearish on clerking prestige and think only SDNY/EDNY/DDC or a coastal/feeder COA are going to add a lot of oomph in terms of box-checking. But it could be well worth it in terms of personal fulfillment, getting outside of the NYC bubble for a bit, etc., and it probably only hurts one's career trajectory if you're seeing nothing but drugs 'n' guns in El Paso (which, to be clear, would be awesome experience for other people).
I'm assuming we're still talking about NYC biglaw? Because I feel like my D. Ct. and COA clerkships (which weren't in those districts or coastal/feeder) added a lot of oomph in terms of box-checking. But I also had no interest in NYC biglaw.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Am I aiming too high?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu May 28, 2020 6:14 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 5:45 pm
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 2:25 pm
It's not worth it just to check the box. Personally I'm bearish on clerking prestige and think only SDNY/EDNY/DDC or a coastal/feeder COA are going to add a lot of oomph in terms of box-checking. But it could be well worth it in terms of personal fulfillment, getting outside of the NYC bubble for a bit, etc., and it probably only hurts one's career trajectory if you're seeing nothing but drugs 'n' guns in El Paso (which, to be clear, would be awesome experience for other people).
I'm assuming we're still talking about NYC biglaw? Because I feel like my D. Ct. and COA clerkships (which weren't in those districts or coastal/feeder) added a lot of oomph in terms of box-checking. But I also had no interest in NYC biglaw.
Yeah, to be clear, I only mean in terms of V20, NYC-based litigation departments, which is a pretty specific cultural context, and only in terms of the value-add for somebody who already has good grades at HYS and therefore doesn't need to do additional credential-signalling.

I agree with cheaptilts that most partners at those firms aren't going to value a flyover district clerkship appreciably more than an extra year of lit experience at a peer firm. It doesn't tell them anything new.

lavarman84

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Re: Am I aiming too high?

Post by lavarman84 » Thu May 28, 2020 6:42 pm

Got it. Yeah, that's not my world, so I'll defer to y'all on it.

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allezallez21

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Re: Am I aiming too high?

Post by allezallez21 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:01 pm

Also just want to reiterate to OP that their grades are very good for HLS. Like the other poster said, top 25% at least, if not approaching 15%.

Circuits are definitely in play for you.

dm1683

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Re: Am I aiming too high?

Post by dm1683 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:22 pm

allezallez21 wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:01 pm
Also just want to reiterate to OP that their grades are very good for HLS. Like the other poster said, top 25% at least, if not approaching 15%.

Circuits are definitely in play for you.
Pushing back a little on that. OP is probably around top 25% but not much higher. Remember magna is substantially all Hs and OP has 4Ps (2 if you count DSes but IIRC most judges don't calculate gpa they just go by #Ps/Hs). Circuits are in play but most people getting competitive judges with those grades are on LR.

allezallez21

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Re: Am I aiming too high?

Post by allezallez21 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:19 pm

dm1683 wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:22 pm
allezallez21 wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:01 pm
Also just want to reiterate to OP that their grades are very good for HLS. Like the other poster said, top 25% at least, if not approaching 15%.

Circuits are definitely in play for you.
Pushing back a little on that. OP is probably around top 25% but not much higher. Remember magna is substantially all Hs and OP has 4Ps (2 if you count DSes but IIRC most judges don't calculate gpa they just go by #Ps/Hs). Circuits are in play but most people getting competitive judges with those grades are on LR.
I dunno. I am going by Latin Honors, in which case they have only a +2P differential. I think there is a pretty standard bell curve-type steep drop off moving along the curve. OP probably has around a 3.8, I think that could be top 20%.

Also, don't you think judges have to consider DSes? At lease super competitive ones. Otherwise it would be much harder to differentiate top candidates.

Overall, I think we largely agree: Circuits are possible, but the feeders and semi-feeders are a real stretch.

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HenryHankPalmer

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Re: Am I aiming too high?

Post by HenryHankPalmer » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:15 am

galba wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 8:06 pm
Another vote for the idea that clerking in a non-metro district is not especially helpful for career progression in NYC biglaw. More strongly, while nobody is going to "look down on" someone who clerked in that sort of district (and nobody in this thread has claimed that will happen), I think it's usually not a good idea for someone set on NYC biglaw to do such a clerkship.

It's simply not true that—even setting aside "prestige" and networking opportunities—a clerkship in SDNY or another major city is interchangeable with one in (say) a rural border state. It's absolutely valuable to see how the sausage is made in chambers, no matter where located. But learning the ins and outs of a district court that mostly sees drug and immigration cases and the occasional low-value commercial dispute is just not going to be massively relevant to practice as a lit associate at Cravath. And if your goal is to last for a while at an NYC firm, a year there—making connections, hopefully impressing people—is going to be more useful to you than a clerkship in a random non-metro district.

(To forestall the inevitable "but I had a beautiful time in my Wyoming clerkship, why are you such a snob"—I am only talking about the effect on an NYC biglaw litigation career. There are obviously many reasons to do a clerkship beyond career impact, and I'm not addressing those at all. I also have no basis to assess the upthread claims about impact on government employment or employment anywhere other than NYC biglaw, which is obviously relevant to many people. Finally, I'm assuming that one has the option to return to a good NYC firm instead of clerking; if that's not the case, calculus is likely different.)
I have no opinion on this argument, but I just wanted to note that it is very rare for Art. III judges to deal with immigration issues, even in border districts. And most clerks have minimal involvement in criminal cases aside from sentencing outlines. Source: interned in border district, multiple friends with D. Ct. clerkships in that district (all of whom are headed to BigLaw after).

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Re: Am I aiming too high?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:16 am

HenryHankPalmer wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:15 am
galba wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 8:06 pm
Another vote for the idea that clerking in a non-metro district is not especially helpful for career progression in NYC biglaw. More strongly, while nobody is going to "look down on" someone who clerked in that sort of district (and nobody in this thread has claimed that will happen), I think it's usually not a good idea for someone set on NYC biglaw to do such a clerkship.

It's simply not true that—even setting aside "prestige" and networking opportunities—a clerkship in SDNY or another major city is interchangeable with one in (say) a rural border state. It's absolutely valuable to see how the sausage is made in chambers, no matter where located. But learning the ins and outs of a district court that mostly sees drug and immigration cases and the occasional low-value commercial dispute is just not going to be massively relevant to practice as a lit associate at Cravath. And if your goal is to last for a while at an NYC firm, a year there—making connections, hopefully impressing people—is going to be more useful to you than a clerkship in a random non-metro district.

(To forestall the inevitable "but I had a beautiful time in my Wyoming clerkship, why are you such a snob"—I am only talking about the effect on an NYC biglaw litigation career. There are obviously many reasons to do a clerkship beyond career impact, and I'm not addressing those at all. I also have no basis to assess the upthread claims about impact on government employment or employment anywhere other than NYC biglaw, which is obviously relevant to many people. Finally, I'm assuming that one has the option to return to a good NYC firm instead of clerking; if that's not the case, calculus is likely different.)
I have no opinion on this argument, but I just wanted to note that it is very rare for Art. III judges to deal with immigration issues, even in border districts. And most clerks have minimal involvement in criminal cases aside from sentencing outlines. Source: interned in border district, multiple friends with D. Ct. clerkships in that district (all of whom are headed to BigLaw after).
I clerked in a border district. You are correct. The district courts do not have jurisdiction to review removal orders, so cases in the immigration courts only go to the circuits (after making their way through the immigration system). However, you'll get immigration-related issues. The most common are habeas petitions from noncitizens in immigration detention (which on occasion can actually be quite interesting and challenging because of the constitutional issues). Occasionally, you'll get TROs or injunction requests trying to prevent the federal government from removing a noncitizen. And you might also get constitutional or administrative challenges to immigration regulations/policies/laws, but those are much rarer. You may also get collateral attacks on removal orders in criminal cases.

As for criminal cases, it depends on the judge. I know of clerks who were very involved on the criminal side of things. In my chambers, we were only involved if the case went to trial or there was a motion filed that required something more than a routine order (like a motion to suppress, motion to dismiss, etc.). As for job opportunities, the district court clerks did well, unsurprisingly. In our courthouse, multiple clerks were going to clerk for a COA judge afterwards and the others generally landed what they wanted (whether that was biglaw in a major market or something in the government).

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