Application Advice for Practicing Attorneys Forum

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Application Advice for Practicing Attorneys

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 03, 2024 3:13 pm

I graduated in Spring 2023 and am currently working as a biglaw litigation associate in the city I hope to practice in for the rest of my career. I'd really like to clerk for a district judge, but family circumstances make it impractical for me to move cities at this point in my life (even for just one year). I also like my firm and would want to return after clerking.

I applied to clerkships while I was in law school, but nothing panned out. My stats aren't stellar--top 25%, editorial board/note published in a secondary journal, and various other gold stars--and I only applied in my state, but I did get two interviews. I'm hoping to be able to secure a position after working for a year or two, but I have no idea how to go about that or if I stand a chance.

What do I use as a writing sample? I'm a first-year associate, so I don't do a lot of substantive drafting of briefs--just motions and research. Also, what do I do for recommendations? I'm nervous about telling anyone at my firm that I want to clerk because I don't want to impact my workflow (why would a partner invest in training me if they know I'm trying to leave to clerk for a year?), and I don't want to seem like a flight risk (I genuinely would want to return afterward). I'm just lost on what this process looks like once you start practicing. Any advice is appreciated.

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Re: Application Advice for Practicing Attorneys

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 03, 2024 5:20 pm

Is your firm a place where many associates leave to clerk? I don't think expressing an interest in clerking down the road makes you a flight risk or will push your seniors away from mentoring you. And a strong recommendation - i.e., a very enthusiastic phone call - from a former clerk or an attorney who regularly practices before the judge - would likely get you on the top of the pile as a candidate.

I would talk to midlevels you trust about how your firm would react to your leaving to clerk and go from there.

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Re: Application Advice for Practicing Attorneys

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 04, 2024 12:26 am

You’re a pretty recent grad. Could you use a legal writing sample from 2L or 3L year? And on that same note, you’re close enough to school so that you could probably still have your professors write your letters. I would just check in with the same folks who wrote your recs during the last cycle and ask if they’d be okay with you still using them/ask if they want to update the letters in any way.

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