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How do future civil litigation employers look at a criminal clerkship?

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 12:29 pm
by ScurryRay
I recently accepted a position for a state court clerkship (county level) in a criminal court. I have an interest in the future to pursue either prosecution or civil litigation (depends on the opportunities available). I am curious for any opinions on how a future employer that does civil litigation (small firm or non-profit) would view a criminal court clerkship? Do they generally view criminal clerkships as not very relevant (i.e. I will not get "credit" for much during my clerkship year compared to other candidates) or do they recognize that you will still learn to write better, learn how judges think, etc.?

I know every scenario is different, just curious for any general themes. Wondering if taking a criminal clerkship is sort of hampering future civil opportunities should one arise.

Thanks.

Re: How do future civil litigation employers look at a criminal clerkship?

Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 9:32 am
by criminaltheory
I imagine it would depend on a lot of things, including any other experiences. It's better than a resume gap, certainly. Where I am, local civil firms often hire out of the prosecutor's office, so it would be realistic to go clerk->DA->civil. I don't know that you'll have civil firms knocking down the door to recruit you while you're in chambers, but I don't think it's necessarily going to hurt you, especially if it's a limited term gig and you pitch your reasons for clerking as you describe (desire to work for a judge).

Re: How do future civil litigation employers look at a criminal clerkship?

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 9:47 am
by ScurryRay
criminaltheory wrote:I imagine it would depend on a lot of things, including any other experiences. It's better than a resume gap, certainly. Where I am, local civil firms often hire out of the prosecutor's office, so it would be realistic to go clerk->DA->civil. I don't know that you'll have civil firms knocking down the door to recruit you while you're in chambers, but I don't think it's necessarily going to hurt you, especially if it's a limited term gig and you pitch your reasons for clerking as you describe (desire to work for a judge).


Thanks very much for the thoughts.