Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

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Anonymous User
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Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:04 am

Anyone have any experience with this? Was considering it as a possible career path -- i.e., do a few clerkships and then try to be a career clerk. Is this a viable option? All thoughts welcome.

MrT
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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby MrT » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:12 am

A judge may consider you for a career clerk role right now. I wouldn't rule it out.

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mjb447
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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby mjb447 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:14 am

Are you geographically limited at all? Are you ultimately Art. III chambers clerk or bust, or are you also open to roles with MJs or outside chambers (pool clerk/staff atty)? Permanent court gigs can be hard to come by, so the more flexible you are the better.

Otherwise, I know some people with stories similar to yours who have gone that route and seem to enjoy it.

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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:40 am

OP

Need to be in NY metro area. I'd prefer chambers clerk as I believe that pays the most but wouldn't rule out other positions.

I suppose I could just keep perpetually applying for 1-2 year clerkships if I couldn't land the career gig.

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los blancos
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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby los blancos » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:03 pm

It's probably not farfetched but be sure that's the road you want to go down because it can and probably will put you into a box.

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rpupkin
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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby rpupkin » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:54 pm

Generally, you need at least 10 years of experience to qualify for an Article III career-clerk position. But your five years should be sufficient for an Article I career clerk; I suggest applying to Article I judges.

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mjb447
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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby mjb447 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I suppose I could just keep perpetually applying for 1-2 year clerkships if I couldn't land the career gig.

Maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't you ultimately be limited to four years of term clerking?

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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:06 pm

mjb447 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I suppose I could just keep perpetually applying for 1-2 year clerkships if I couldn't land the career gig.

Maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't you ultimately be limited to four years of term clerking?


OP

I have no idea. Is that a rule?

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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
mjb447 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I suppose I could just keep perpetually applying for 1-2 year clerkships if I couldn't land the career gig.

Maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't you ultimately be limited to four years of term clerking?


OP

I have no idea. Is that a rule?

Yup. Unless you officially become a career clerk, it's 4 years max. (In the federal system - state is separate/different, but they usually pay WAY less.)

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mjb447
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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby mjb447 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:31 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
mjb447 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I suppose I could just keep perpetually applying for 1-2 year clerkships if I couldn't land the career gig.

Maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't you ultimately be limited to four years of term clerking?


OP

I have no idea. Is that a rule?

Yup. Unless you officially become a career clerk, it's 4 years max. (In the federal system - state is separate/different, but they usually pay WAY less.)

See https://oscar.uscourts.gov/qualificatio ... y_benefits under Law Clerk (Chambers): "Term federal judicial law clerks serve on an appointment limited to a total of four years (accounting for all term law clerk service completed on or after September 18, 2007), but are generally one or two years in duration."

That page has some other basic information about career and term clerking. FWIW, I've never heard of the 10-year thing that pupkin was talking about as a formal requirement for a career clerk, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's a de facto requirement (particularly in a competitive place like the NYC metro area).

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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:19 pm

mjb447 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
mjb447 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I suppose I could just keep perpetually applying for 1-2 year clerkships if I couldn't land the career gig.

Maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't you ultimately be limited to four years of term clerking?


OP

I have no idea. Is that a rule?

Yup. Unless you officially become a career clerk, it's 4 years max. (In the federal system - state is separate/different, but they usually pay WAY less.)

See https://oscar.uscourts.gov/qualificatio ... y_benefits under Law Clerk (Chambers): "Term federal judicial law clerks serve on an appointment limited to a total of four years (accounting for all term law clerk service completed on or after September 18, 2007), but are generally one or two years in duration."

That page has some other basic information about career and term clerking. FWIW, I've never heard of the 10-year thing that pupkin was talking about as a formal requirement for a career clerk, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's a de facto requirement (particularly in a competitive place like the NYC metro area).


Thanks. I have read that page before but I guess I forgot about the 4-year thing.

I hadn't heard of the 10-year thing either.

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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
mjb447 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
mjb447 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I suppose I could just keep perpetually applying for 1-2 year clerkships if I couldn't land the career gig.

Maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't you ultimately be limited to four years of term clerking?


OP

I have no idea. Is that a rule?

Yup. Unless you officially become a career clerk, it's 4 years max. (In the federal system - state is separate/different, but they usually pay WAY less.)

See https://oscar.uscourts.gov/qualificatio ... y_benefits under Law Clerk (Chambers): "Term federal judicial law clerks serve on an appointment limited to a total of four years (accounting for all term law clerk service completed on or after September 18, 2007), but are generally one or two years in duration."

That page has some other basic information about career and term clerking. FWIW, I've never heard of the 10-year thing that pupkin was talking about as a formal requirement for a career clerk, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's a de facto requirement (particularly in a competitive place like the NYC metro area).


Thanks. I have read that page before but I guess I forgot about the 4-year thing.

I hadn't heard of the 10-year thing either.


The ten-year requirement is definitely not a hard and fast rule. A good friend is an Art. III career clerk who returned to clerking after 2 years of practice. He revels in figuratively waiving to his former Biglaw colleagues when he hits the links on late Friday summer afternoons.

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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby rpupkin » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The ten-year requirement is definitely not a hard and fast rule. A good friend is an Art. III career clerk who returned to clerking after 2 years of practice. He revels in figuratively waiving to his former Biglaw colleagues when he hits the links on late Friday summer afternoons.

For the record, my "ten-year requirement for Article III" versus "five-year requirement for Article I" comment was a total joke. I was making fun of OP for specifying an "Article III" career clerkship. If you're going to be a career clerk (which is a dead-end job pretty much by definition), why does it have to be for an Article III court? Why care? There are career clerkships for Article I tribunals (and certain state supreme courts) that pay just as well.

In all seriousness, the hiring of career clerks is very idiosyncratic, and usually depends on luck. When judges look for career clerks, I've noticed they pretty much exclusively hire people with prior clerkship experience (and they usually hire people who previously clerked for them, or for a judge with whom they are friends).

My advice is that the OP try to get a clerkship with a judge who is friends with lots of other judges.

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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:56 am

Thanks man

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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:55 pm

"In all seriousness, the hiring of career clerks is very idiosyncratic, and usually depends on luck. When judges look for career clerks, I've noticed they pretty much exclusively hire people with prior clerkship experience (and they usually hire people who previously clerked for them, or for a judge with whom they are friends)."

100% true. I have been a federal term clerk for a couple of years - career clerks are usually prior term clerks who stayed.

Sign up for Oscar - you can get set up alerts for judges in the geographic area in which you are interested. Some judges will only consider 1-year term clerks, some will consider longer terms, with option to renew. Look for one of the latter, and if you like it, broach the topic of a more permanent arrangement. Max salary is JS 14, but as long as your judge is working, and likes you, you have a job. Just know that your job depends on that one person. If your judge retires, or dies, then you're shortly out of a job.

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bruinfan10
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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby bruinfan10 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:33 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The ten-year requirement is definitely not a hard and fast rule. A good friend is an Art. III career clerk who returned to clerking after 2 years of practice. He revels in figuratively waiving to his former Biglaw colleagues when he hits the links on late Friday summer afternoons.

For the record, my "ten-year requirement for Article III" versus "five-year requirement for Article I" comment was a total joke. I was making fun of OP for specifying an "Article III" career clerkship. If you're going to be a career clerk (which is a dead-end job pretty much by definition), why does it have to be for an Article III court? Why care? There are career clerkships for Article I tribunals (and certain state supreme courts) that pay just as well.

In all seriousness, the hiring of career clerks is very idiosyncratic, and usually depends on luck. When judges look for career clerks, I've noticed they pretty much exclusively hire people with prior clerkship experience (and they usually hire people who previously clerked for them, or for a judge with whom they are friends).

My advice is that the OP try to get a clerkship with a judge who is friends with lots of other judges.

:lol:

you got me---i have a few career clerk friends and the one who had the most prior work experience had like 3 years at a firm tops.

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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby clerk1251 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:21 am

There is definitely no 10 year requirement, as far as career clerk jobs are concerned. While some judges may have their own requirements, the career clerk in my chambers had started clerking right out of school and been a clerk for 3-4 years, with 3 different judges, before coming back as a career clerk to my judge (one of his former 3 clerkships).

Seeing as there aren't many openings for career clerks that often, it's probably a good idea to try and get a term clerkship as soon as you can and just network with the judges once you are on the inside. Also, you will likely be having a number of new judicial appointments over the next year, and that will be a good place to look. A lot of new judges want clerks with prior clerkship experience, as they will rely heavily on the clerks for whatever they aren't familiar with yet.

Lastly, two comments, yes there is a four year cap on term clerks, as others said above. I figured I should also mention, since OP seems a bit unfamiliar with things, only one person per chambers is eligible for JSP-14. This is almost always the career clerk. So, just know that when you accept a term clerkship, you will almost assuredly be coming in as a JSP-13.

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Re: Article III Clerkship After 5+ Years of Biglaw

Postby XxSpyKEx » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:49 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In all seriousness, the hiring of career clerks is very idiosyncratic, and usually depends on luck. When judges look for career clerks, I've noticed they pretty much exclusively hire people with prior clerkship experience (and they usually hire people who previously clerked for them, or for a judge with whom they are friends).

My advice is that the OP try to get a clerkship with a judge who is friends with lots of other judges.


Yup. Hiring of career clerks is EXTREMELY idiosyncratic. It's basically just someone the judge likes a lot and wants around. It's completely unlike term clerk hirining in that having XYZ credentials (like t14, LR, biglaw), won't necessarily help you. When I was interviewing for clerkships, I interviewed with some art III circuit judge career clerks that had shockingly bad credentials but just had a lot of luck in landing their gigs (e.g. one guy had attended one of the worst law schools in the country, but interned and clerked for the judge while he was a state court judge and then the judge just took him with him when he was appointed and confirmed as an art III dist ct judge and again when he became an art III circuit court judge). A few times, I've seen state court judges take their former clerks and support staff with them when they became art III judges. The oddball term clerkships (e.g. starting in April) for freshly confirmed art III judges tend to be less competitive than regular term clerkship, but also open a good door for becoming a career clerk (it's easier to get on a new judges good side when he's still new to the being a judge thing and doesn't really know what he's doing yet; he also probably won't have any career clerks yet!)... It's really more about being someone the judge likes and knows will do good work for him or her than about having prestigious credentials. Being the best term clerk the judge has ever had along with developing a relationship with the judge certainly can help.

Being a career clerk for an art III judge is deadend in a way, but isn't totally deadend. Art III judges have a lot of connections and can do a ton for you to get your foot into a well-paying job. No, it won't get you back into biglaw or some super prestigious practice in an governmental agency (eg assistant solicitor general), but you also likely won't be unemployed when you leave. I feel like I've seen a lot of former career clerks that landed in pretty cushy jobs after their clerkship (where the judge was willing to push for them, which I imagine would generally be the case since you'd be spending numerous years developing a relationship with the judge). On the other hand, being a career clerk is a really chill job that pays pretty well (at least at the federal level), so the only reason I can imagine most people leaving it would be if the judge is retiring. I realize there are judges who are exceptions to this, who will work you to death, but why would you be one of those judges career clerks in the first place then?

I'd also 2nd what rpupkin said about not ruling out Art I judges and state supreme (and possibly even state appellate) courts. Art I pays the same as Art III, and there's state supreme courts that pay career clerks pretty well.




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