Chance me - Circuit Clerkship followed by federal magistrate clerkship

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Chance me - Circuit Clerkship followed by federal magistrate clerkship

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:07 am

Went to T50, solid but not top grades, journal, etc. I am willing to do all kinds of different things. BigLaw would definitely be the priority if the opportunity was there.

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Re: Chance me - Circuit Clerkship followed by federal magistrate clerkship

Post by decimalsanddollars » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:01 am

Need much more context. Do you already have one clerkship or the other? Why do you want to do both, and why in that order? Do you think that order will somehow increase your chances at either? Just to clarify, are you talking about federal circuit court of appeals clerkships, or an intermediate state clerkship? You say you "went to" a T50---does that mean you graduated? If so, are you currently looking for postgrad employment, and do you have something else lined up? You said "BigLaw would definitely be the priority if the opportunity was there"---does that mean you'd rather just do biglaw than clerk, but can't or didn't get a biglaw job? Do you have biglaw-competitive credentials?

If you are a current (let's say rising 3L) T50 student with not-top grades, federal COA clerkships may be entirely out of the cards unless you have significant personal connections to a specific judge, are EIC of law review, and have very impressive other credentials. The next term is mostly full for basically all federal judges on- and off-plan, with a handful of exceptions. You may be able to get a federal mag or state appellate clerkship on shorter notice, but it sounds like you want to do COA first. You are probably out of luck there.

Assuming (based on your post) that you've graduated and don't currently have either clerkship or a biglaw job lined up, your chances at either clerkship will depend on the kind of work you're doing, the connections you have, and how geographically flexible you are for each clerkship. I still think federal COA is out of the cards unless you meet a judge somehow that decides to hire you despite being underqualified.

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Re: Chance me - Circuit Clerkship followed by federal magistrate clerkship

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:24 am

OP here - have both lined up, in that order - one year each - nothing planned after

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Re: Chance me - Circuit Clerkship followed by federal magistrate clerkship

Post by decimalsanddollars » Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:16 pm

Did you do a biglaw Summer Associate position? Where is each clerkship---i.e., is your mag clerkship in your target market?

Assuming the circuit clerkship you have is a federal COA clerkship, you're likely to have some opportunities for biglaw litigation jobs in the market(s) where (1) your law school is located; (2) your clerkships are; and (3) you have substantial ties. I also think NYC lit is on the table regardless of where you are, and the Houston boutiques will probably also bite. If it's a state appellate clerkship, you may have a shot at biglaw in the state where you did that clerkship, especially if it's the same state as the mag clerkship or your school. It's a harder sell to biglaw in major markets if your clerkship was with, say, a Michigan appellate court judge. Much easier if you're taking that kind of clerkship local.

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Re: Chance me - Circuit Clerkship followed by federal magistrate clerkship

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:55 pm

decimalsanddollars wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:16 pm
Did you do a biglaw Summer Associate position? Where is each clerkship---i.e., is your mag clerkship in your target market?

Assuming the circuit clerkship you have is a federal COA clerkship, you're likely to have some opportunities for biglaw litigation jobs in the market(s) where (1) your law school is located; (2) your clerkships are; and (3) you have substantial ties. I also think NYC lit is on the table regardless of where you are, and the Houston boutiques will probably also bite. If it's a state appellate clerkship, you may have a shot at biglaw in the state where you did that clerkship, especially if it's the same state as the mag clerkship or your school. It's a harder sell to biglaw in major markets if your clerkship was with, say, a Michigan appellate court judge. Much easier if you're taking that kind of clerkship local.
No to SA. Both clerkships are fed - and in same market.

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decimalsanddollars

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Re: Chance me - Circuit Clerkship followed by federal magistrate clerkship

Post by decimalsanddollars » Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:36 pm

Ok, so it sounds like you'll have a pretty good shot at biglaw in the market where those clerkships are. I would recommend you do as much networking as you can during the COA year and start interviewing during your mag judge year. Also, you'd have a pretty good shot at both NYC (general biglaw lit) and Houston (most boutiques), as indicated above.

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Re: Chance me - Circuit Clerkship followed by federal magistrate clerkship

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:52 pm

decimalsanddollars wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:01 am
Need much more context. Do you already have one clerkship or the other? Why do you want to do both, and why in that order? Do you think that order will somehow increase your chances at either? Just to clarify, are you talking about federal circuit court of appeals clerkships, or an intermediate state clerkship? You say you "went to" a T50---does that mean you graduated? If so, are you currently looking for postgrad employment, and do you have something else lined up? You said "BigLaw would definitely be the priority if the opportunity was there"---does that mean you'd rather just do biglaw than clerk, but can't or didn't get a biglaw job? Do you have biglaw-competitive credentials?

If you are a current (let's say rising 3L) T50 student with not-top grades, federal COA clerkships may be entirely out of the cards unless you have significant personal connections to a specific judge, are EIC of law review, and have very impressive other credentials. The next term is mostly full for basically all federal judges on- and off-plan, with a handful of exceptions. You may be able to get a federal mag or state appellate clerkship on shorter notice, but it sounds like you want to do COA first. You are probably out of luck there.

Assuming (based on your post) that you've graduated and don't currently have either clerkship or a biglaw job lined up, your chances at either clerkship will depend on the kind of work you're doing, the connections you have, and how geographically flexible you are for each clerkship. I still think federal COA is out of the cards unless you meet a judge somehow that decides to hire you despite being underqualified.
I don't disagree about COA clerkship being difficult to get if you didn't go to a T20 and have great grades. However, I do take issue with your classification of those applicants as "underqualified." We all know how the clerkship hiring game goes. Those with top credentials frequently get the jobs. That doesn't make other applicants "underqualified"; it makes them "undercredentialed."

I went to an unranked, Tier 4 school. I had good grades (Top 15%) and was on Law Review, but at the end of the day I went to a not-so-great law school. Despite that, I went straight into a SSC clerkship, and then - after a short stint in private practice - went to a District Court and am now at a COA.

OP: Don't let anyone ever tell you that you're underqualified. I don't know your specific situation, but you may well be very qualified. You're just going to have to work harder than everyone else. Here's the thing people don't tell you - all of that hard work will ultimately make you a *far better* COA clerk than the clerks who just graduated from HYS and have no actual experience in the legal field.

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Re: Chance me - Circuit Clerkship followed by federal magistrate clerkship

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:59 pm

It seems odd that one would go to a magistrate judge following an appellate clerkship, but I guess that a clerkship is a clerkship. So long as you have a good narrative, I think you can explain it to just about any employer, and you should be in high demand with an appellate clerkship.

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Re: Chance me - Circuit Clerkship followed by federal magistrate clerkship

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:17 am

decimalsanddollars wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:36 pm
Ok, so it sounds like you'll have a pretty good shot at biglaw in the market where those clerkships are. I would recommend you do as much networking as you can during the COA year and start interviewing during your mag judge year. Also, you'd have a pretty good shot at both NYC (general biglaw lit) and Houston (most boutiques), as indicated above.
Is this true for COA clerkships in flyover territory? (10th, 8th, 6th)

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Re: Chance me - Circuit Clerkship followed by federal magistrate clerkship

Post by lavarman84 » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:17 am
decimalsanddollars wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:36 pm
Ok, so it sounds like you'll have a pretty good shot at biglaw in the market where those clerkships are. I would recommend you do as much networking as you can during the COA year and start interviewing during your mag judge year. Also, you'd have a pretty good shot at both NYC (general biglaw lit) and Houston (most boutiques), as indicated above.
Is this true for COA clerkships in flyover territory? (10th, 8th, 6th)
Yes, generally.

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