Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

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Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:37 am

Lined up district court and coa clerkships. Got interview offer for a potential third clerkship with a feeder. Would a third clerkship be worth it? Ultimately want to do public interest so not concerned about missing pay at a firm. I don't really think I want to clerk that long but this judge has placed a few scotus clerks and I have the grades/school for that to not be totally crazy, even if it's highly, highly unlikely. But I don't necessarily want to put off the work I care about for a pipedream. I guess I'm wondering if a third clerkship, even with a good judge on a very solid court, would look weird to a potential employer, especially in public interest

mcmand

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby mcmand » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:47 am

I think the ideal would be to ditch that second clerkship that's CoA but not feeder, so then you can go practice until your next clerkship. But that would probably botch things with the feeder and not be a good look.
Last edited by mcmand on Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lolwat

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby lolwat » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:29 am

How often does SCOTUS hire someone that has done 3 clerkships? Usually it's just two from what I can remember.

Personally, I'd go for it if I'm not missing out on pay and there's a legitimate shot at SCOTUS. You can do public interest for the rest of your life; this is, basically, your one chance to get a SCOTUS clerkship in your entire career.

But I can't answer as to whether it looks weird for you to do that many clerkships.

BlackAndOrange84

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:36 am

Have you read the thread with the posts from the anonymous SCOTUS clerk? It's sticky'd, and as I recall, he responded to somebody in a similar situation. I think the real question is whether you want to organize your life around what is at best a low % chance of getting SCOTUS.

Generally, a third clerkship looks weird, though you'd have a way to explain it. I know it would look weird to a firm, but I don't have much insight into whether PI shops might look at it differently.

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:41 am

I had a friend who did this. District court plus COA followed by a feeder COA clerkship. Although I agree it would raise some eyebrows, it didn't seem to be a problem for my friend.

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I had a friend who did this. District court plus COA followed by a feeder COA clerkship. Although I agree it would raise some eyebrows, it didn't seem to be a problem for my friend.

What eyebrows would it raise?

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hdivschool

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby hdivschool » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I had a friend who did this. District court plus COA followed by a feeder COA clerkship. Although I agree it would raise some eyebrows, it didn't seem to be a problem for my friend.

What eyebrows would it raise?


That you're not serious about practicing law.

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby Mr. Peanutbutter » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:22 pm

hdivschool wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I had a friend who did this. District court plus COA followed by a feeder COA clerkship. Although I agree it would raise some eyebrows, it didn't seem to be a problem for my friend.

What eyebrows would it raise?


That you're not serious about practicing law.

This is kind of ridiculous. We’re all lawyers, we all know what a golden ticket a scotus clerkship would be. Not sure why this would require any more explanation than “I took the extra clerkship with judge x to increase my chances at scotus.”
Last edited by Mr. Peanutbutter on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby lolwat » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:00 pm

Mr. Peanutbutter wrote:
hdivschool wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I had a friend who did this. District court plus COA followed by a feeder COA clerkship. Although I agree it would raise some eyebrows, it didn't seem to be a problem for my friend.

What eyebrows would it raise?


That you're not serious about practicing law.

This is kind of ridiculous. We’re all lawyers, we all know what a golden ticket a scotus clerkship would be. Not sure why this would require any more explanation than “I took the extra clerkship with judge x to increase my chances at scotus.”


If you had to explain it, then it already means it raised some eyebrows which caused the question to be asked and forced you to explain.

And even assuming every lawyer would accept that explanation as reasonable, not everybody who looks at resumes and makes the first cut is necessarily a lawyer. If the recruiting people put your resume in a "reject" pile because they see you're on your 4th year out of law school without ever having practiced, and can't understand why you did three clerkships without getting to SCOTUS, then you never get to the point where you can really explain that to anybody at the firm.

There are ways to get around that, but it doesn't change that it CAN be a potential negative to have three clerkships on your resume, even if you have a great explanation for why you did the third.

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby Mr. Peanutbutter » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:15 pm

I’ve never worked in recruiting but I find it very bizarre to think some staff person would auto reject an application with a feeder COA clerkship because of some nebulous “dedication to practice” thing. Plus OP said they want PI.

And by “explain” I mean in an interview you’d probably get asked about your experiences and I’m sure if someone asked you point blank it would just be some offhand comment not an actual drill down.

It seems really neurotic to worry about this. Whether you want to subject yourself to the rando whims of rando judges for almost half a decade is a different question.
Last edited by Mr. Peanutbutter on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I had a friend who did this. District court plus COA followed by a feeder COA clerkship. Although I agree it would raise some eyebrows, it didn't seem to be a problem for my friend.

What eyebrows would it raise?


Different anon here. As a current non-feeder COA clerk going to a "prestigious" district next year (and with top grades, I guess), I personally wouldn't put my life on hold to go clerk again for a feeder judge unless it was like a Garland/Wilkinson level judge (i.e., a judge who sends a majority of its clerks to SCOTUS each year). And even then, I would probably hesitate. Then again, I'm only 5 months in to my first clerkship and am already green with envy at the $ my friends in biglaw have/am anxious to start practicing.

I can't speak for for opinions that precede my own, but I've personally seen law firm bios that show D.Ct > COA > COA with a known "feeder" (this route is not as uncommon as it may seem). My initial thought is generally, "Wow. This person must've really wanted to clerk for the Supreme Court." My next thought is usually, "Hm. I wonder if she has the SCOTUS clerkship lined up already, or if she just failed and returned to a firm?" I guess that my eyebrows would "raise" in that sense, but I wouldn't think "this person doesn't want to practice law."

In any event, I don't think (1) you'll be losing that much money, because with a COL adjustment you should be making near-or-above $100k as a JS-13; (2) people will assume that you don't want to practice law. So I would just make whatever choice you're comfortable with. With your grades/credentials, your career is unlikely to be adversely affected by w/e option you choose.

ETA: I guess lolwat's point about some HR person tossing your resume into a reject pile b/c of not understanding why you chose to do the third clerkship makes sense, but I'd like to think the firms/orgs you'd apply to will be more sophisticated than that

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby lolwat » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:ETA: I guess lolwat's point about some HR person tossing your resume into a reject pile b/c of not understanding why you chose to do the third clerkship makes sense, but I'd like to think the firms/orgs you'd apply to will be more sophisticated than that


Sophisticated how? Not everywhere is full of TLS nerds. There are going to be many sophisticated people who just see a double COA clerkship without thinking "oh, the second clerkship was with a feeder, guy/girl must have been shooting for SCOTUS." PI orgs, I admit I don't know much about, which is why I didn't really comment on that aspect in my first post. But most everything is pretty damn competitive, so if you're going to stand out in any way, you want it to be in a positive way.

I'm not saying don't do it, I just think the possibility of a negative eyebrow-raising reaction to a resume with 3 clerkships is more than de minimis. If I were in OP's shoes I'd still go for it.

I’ve never worked in recruiting but I find it very bizarre to think some staff person would auto reject an application with a feeder COA clerkship because of some nebulous “dedication to practice” thing. Plus OP said they want PI.


In a vacuum it shouldn't and likely wouldn't matter all. The problem is every competitive place gets a shitload of competitive resumes. All I am saying is that someone with 1 D.Ct. and 2 COA clerkships might look odd when compared to someone with the exact same qualifications but only did 1 D.Ct. and 1 COA clerkship. When you only have a couple open spots and you have 100 competitive resumes you start looking for reasons to toss more in the reject pile.

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby hdivschool » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:27 pm

Most lawyers could not identify 'feeder' judges, so it may just look like two COA clerkships. The stereotype of clerks, especially people clerking multiple times, is that they want to be academics and/or that they would be bored by the mundane details of practicing law. Employers do not want to hire and train people who may quickly leave. Doing another clerkship also puts you another year behind in your skills development.

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby deuceindc » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:01 pm

Definitely take it if the feeder sits in a region where you want to end up but your first COA judge does not. E.g., 10th Cir --> 2/9/DC doesn't look that weird if you want to end up in the latter (esp DC). If not, I'd probably take it anyway because fuck it, this is SCOTUS.

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby Nebby » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:20 pm

hdivschool wrote:Most lawyers could not identify 'feeder' judges, so it may just look like two COA clerkships. The stereotype of clerks, especially people clerking multiple times, is that they want to be academics and/or that they would be bored by the mundane details of practicing law. Employers do not want to hire and train people who may quickly leave. Doing another clerkship also puts you another year behind in your skills development.

+1

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Re: Worth taking third clerkship with feeder?

Postby NoDayButToday » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:37 pm

.




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