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Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:57 pm
by coramnonjudice
All of my close friends from undergrad are now physicians, and they all treat me like I'm the "dumb" one for going to law school. I recently told my friend, who is in a fellowship program at a state school for something OB/GYN related, about my new federal clerkship and the friend responded that they didn't know clerking for a federal judge "was that big of a deal." Am I being overly sensitive here for feeling slighted? Have any of you ever been shaded by doctor friends for "settling" to be a lawyer? (I'm actually proud of being a lawyer and it's what I wanted to do)

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:09 pm
by gaddockteeg
IME laymen don't care about anything except biglaw.

I've been interviewing for AUSA offices and my non-lawyer friends, including my parents, basically think I'm trying to be a public defender now.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:25 pm
by hangingtree
I experience something similar to this. My friends don't appreciate that my school is practically on par with Harvard, I make a crapton of money and work at one of the best law firms in the world, so they also don't appreciate that graduating in the top quarter of my class is quite an achievement. Meanwhile, our doctor friend is the coolest guy in town, is so, so rich and works hard and better than anyone else in the universe.

But then I realize, who cares? And why does it matter?

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:26 pm
by Anonymous User
Doctors do incredibly important and necessary work for society, so we should respect them. That being said, they aren't "special" or smarter than other white collar professionals. Medicine is a field for grinders, much like law and also finance. If anything, medicine has the most rigid and structured path of the big three careers and requires little to no creative or innovative thinking. It's study study study all the time, and when I say study, I mean largely rote memorization. I'm married to a doctor and also have a bunch of doctor friends. I admit I'm probably somewhat biased, but I believe that the top people at my HYS were smarter than the top doctors I've met (e.g. dermatologists, optho). And at the end of the day, the smartest people in my UG engineering classes were smarter than the top docs/lawyers. It's all relative.

Also, it's worth noting that you really shouldn't care about what others think about your profession. That's a sure path to ruin. Just do you.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:27 pm
by Anonymous User
Doctors do incredibly important and necessary work for society, so we should respect them. That being said, they aren't "special" or smarter than other white collar professionals. Medicine is a field for grinders, much like law and also finance. If anything, medicine has the most rigid and structured path of the big three careers and requires little to no creative or innovative thinking. It's study study study all the time, and when I say study, I mean largely rote memorization. I'm married to a doctor and also have a bunch of doctor friends. I admit I'm probably somewhat biased, but I believe that the top people at my HYS were smarter than the top doctors I've met (e.g. dermatologists, optho). And at the end of the day, the smartest people in my UG engineering classes were smarter than the top docs/lawyers. It's all relative.

Also, it's worth noting that you really shouldn't care about what others think about your profession. That's a sure path to ruin. Just do you.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:28 pm
by MtCamany
1) What kind of friend responds like that? I thought one of the perks of having friends is that they are happy for your accomplishments.

2) Why compete over this stuff? I have friends from undergrad who are doctors, one who's in finance, and the others working in fields without such clear benchmarks. But at the end of the day, we mostly just make fun of each other for stupid stuff we did back in college and don't worry so much about keeping up with the Joneses.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:40 pm
by minnbills
Most people I meet think my federal clerkship is some kind of unpaid internship. Non-lawyers are just clueless. I wouldn't worry about it.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:52 pm
by Vursz
minnbills wrote:Most people I meet think my federal clerkship is some kind of unpaid internship. Non-lawyers are just clueless. I wouldn't worry about it.


Haha, I've gotten the same "internship" thing.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:11 pm
by coramnonjudice
Anonymous User wrote: Also, it's worth noting that you really shouldn't care about what others think about your profession. That's a sure path to ruin. Just do you.


If it were just some doctor off the street, believe me, I would be the last person to care. But these are lifelong friends I'm talking about here.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:15 pm
by coramnonjudice
MtCamany wrote:1) What kind of friend responds like that? I thought one of the perks of having friends is that they are happy for your accomplishments.


Perhaps I'm not being overly sensitive, then, and it's time to consider that we inevitably have grown apart. I want to spend my very limited time around people who share mutual respect/support. It's just tough because we've been friends for so long. I don't know why but that comment about it not being a big deal really hit me hard.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:08 pm
by umichman
At the end of the day, it is a job. If you derive your self worth from what other people think of your work, then you chose the wrong profession.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:33 pm
by coramnonjudice
umichman wrote:At the end of the day, it is a job. If you derive your self worth from what other people think of your work, then you chose the wrong profession.


I understand what you're saying but don't find it particularly helpful/applicable--isn't it kind of a leap from hey I think my friend is dissing me to I have no self worth as a person because she doesn't worship my lawyerness.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:36 pm
by Traynor Brah
this was a pretty cringy thread

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:39 pm
by JakeTappers
gaddockteeg wrote:IME laymen don't care about anything except biglaw.

I've been interviewing for AUSA offices and my non-lawyer friends, including my parents, basically think I'm trying to be a public defender now.


I get it constantly. I've clerked in 2 different locations the past 2 years and my friends absolutely think I'm a low-level admin or an apprentice or something given the title.

Care to share where gaddockteeg? I've interviewed with 4-5 large offices of late and am looking for some commiseration or at least check where others are in the process.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:11 pm
by NoLongerALurker
I once mentioned to a non-lawyer friend that a mutual friend of ours had snagged a clerkship with the Supreme Court. She was like "But I thought he did good in school..?" entirely confused. Until I explained, she actually thought this was way less impressive than biglaw (i.e., "one sounds like an internship where you don't even use the word "lawyer" -- clerk sounds like you're not qualified -- and the other sounds like you're on Suits and important").

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:18 pm
by stoopkid13
It probably doesnt help that in medicine, a "clerkship" really is basically an internship you do at the end of med school.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:26 pm
by agnes_bean
about my new federal clerkship and the friend responded that they didn't know clerking for a federal judge "was that big of a deal." Am I being overly sensitive here for feeling slighted?


I mean, it sounds kind of rude, but at the same time, given that they are a friend (and not like a random person where it would be rude to brag to them), I think to would be totally fair to reply something along the lines of "Oh, lots of people don't know, but actually it is a really big deal!"

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 12:26 am
by Anonymous User
In ordinary English usage, "clerk" sounds like someone who works at a 7-11. There's a great kevin smith movie called Clerks set in New Jersey. Non-lawyers are not expected to know that it's a big deal.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 8:01 pm
by Hutz_and_Goodman
Anonymous User wrote:In ordinary English usage, "clerk" sounds like someone who works at a 7-11. There's a great kevin smith movie called Clerks set in New Jersey. Non-lawyers are not expected to know that it's a big deal.


This. Also it’s harder to get in to medical school than law school but there are around the same number of each in the U.S. Excelling in either profession—including a federal clerkship—is something to be very proud of.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 6:16 pm
by Anonymous User
agnes_bean wrote:
about my new federal clerkship and the friend responded that they didn't know clerking for a federal judge "was that big of a deal." Am I being overly sensitive here for feeling slighted?


I mean, it sounds kind of rude, but at the same time, given that they are a friend (and not like a random person where it would be rude to brag to them), I think to would be totally fair to reply something along the lines of "Oh, lots of people don't know, but actually it is a really big deal!"


It's not though. Your average person doesn't find attorneys to be prestigious, her friends are no exception in this case.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccar ... 036ce01926

Lawyers were one of the lowest on this list. As you can see, Doctor is highest, so not surprised her Doctor friends aren't impressed.

Attorneys only view themselves as prestigious among themselves and compare prestige with each other. It's like a weird cult where they care very strongly about something they only care about, and have weird prestige rankings when everyone else views them poorly. Similar to how people care a lot and will pay 4000 for Adidas Yeezy's or Jordan 1s. Or how bankrupt people will still buy a BMW at the risk of it being repo'd.

There's some status tied to the fact that you have to have 3 more years of education than many other white collar jobs, but it's hardly "impressive" or prestigious. Especially nowadays when you have college dropouts being minted fresh millionaires in other industries.

I'm far more impressed when I meet a mathematician, physicist, architect, physician, or hardware side computer engineer. Most of Americans would agree with me. So if it helps you any, it's all in your head -- you never had prestige to begin with.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 9:16 pm
by nixy
Okay, but that's completely non-responsive. The point isn't that someone who's not a lawyer should be impressed by someone who's a law clerk - it's that being a law clerk is a (sort of) big deal for lawyers. So no one's saying non-lawyers should think that law clerks are special, but that it would be fine to explain to a non-lawyer friend that since you're in law, getting a clerkship is a big deal for you. Chill with the need to take people down a peg when they're not saying what you're claiming they are.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 10:13 pm
by Anonymous User
nixy wrote:Okay, but that's completely non-responsive. The point isn't that someone who's not a lawyer should be impressed by someone who's a law clerk - it's that being a law clerk is a (sort of) big deal for lawyers. So no one's saying non-lawyers should think that law clerks are special, but that it would be fine to explain to a non-lawyer friend that since you're in law, getting a clerkship is a big deal for you. Chill with the need to take people down a peg when they're not saying what you're claiming they are.


I just don't get why there are so many whiners and low self-esteem people here that care this much about what others think of them. Trying to spend every hour convincing yourself that you're hot shit takes a lot of effort.

So your friend thinks you work an unimpressive job? He jokes about you being a "clerk". And? It hurt you so much you had to rant about it to randoms online? Seems like the problem is you're trying to convince yourself of something, not them. What are you trying to prove, that you're not a clerk and actually really impressive so your friends who aren't impressed should actually really be impressed when you tell them how impressive you think you are? :roll:

In another thread, someone asked if law school was worth it. If some of the people here (and on other law school forums) spent half of the effort they do trying to convince themselves and to others that they're very prestigious, on how to better make money, they'd be millionaires many times over.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 10:47 pm
by nixy
Anonymous User wrote:
nixy wrote:Okay, but that's completely non-responsive. The point isn't that someone who's not a lawyer should be impressed by someone who's a law clerk - it's that being a law clerk is a (sort of) big deal for lawyers. So no one's saying non-lawyers should think that law clerks are special, but that it would be fine to explain to a non-lawyer friend that since you're in law, getting a clerkship is a big deal for you. Chill with the need to take people down a peg when they're not saying what you're claiming they are.


I just don't get why there are so many whiners and low self-esteem people here that care this much about what others think of them. Trying to spend every hour convincing yourself that you're hot shit takes a lot of effort.

So your friend thinks you work an unimpressive job? He jokes about you being a "clerk". And? It hurt you so much you had to rant about it to randoms online? Seems like the problem is you're trying to convince yourself of something, not them. What are you trying to prove, that you're not a clerk and actually really impressive so your friends who aren't impressed should actually really be impressed when you tell them how impressive you think you are? :roll:

In another thread, someone asked if law school was worth it. If some of the people here (and on other law school forums) spent half of the effort they do trying to convince themselves and to others that they're very prestigious, on how to better make money, they'd be millionaires many times over.

Yeah, I figured you were the same asshole anon from the other thread. Sounds like you have a pretty big chip on your shoulder, frankly.

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 12:38 pm
by jd20132013
coramnonjudice wrote:All of my close friends from undergrad are now physicians, and they all treat me like I'm the "dumb" one for going to law school. I recently told my friend, who is in a fellowship program at a state school for something OB/GYN related, about my new federal clerkship and the friend responded that they didn't know clerking for a federal judge "was that big of a deal." Am I being overly sensitive here for feeling slighted? Have any of you ever been shaded by doctor friends for "settling" to be a lawyer? (I'm actually proud of being a lawyer and it's what I wanted to do)


Who gives a shit dude
Stop basing your self worth on how prestigious other people think you are

Re: Clerkship "that big of a deal" from doctor friend

Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 6:53 pm
by daedalus2309
If it really bothers you, the wikipedia article on federal clerkships in the US is actually a good intro for non-lawyers.

But if your friends look down on you and don't appreciate that it's important to you then the problem might be elsewhere.