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Contemplating a Third Clerkship

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:42 am
by Anonymous User
The title says most of it. I'm currently clerking at a federal district court with an appeals clerkship starting in the fall. My long-term plan is to work in California but neither clerkship is in the state, so I'm considering applying for the California Supreme Court. Is this overkill or something that is worth exploring? And would three years of clerking be too many?

FWIW I've really enjoyed my district clerkship so far.

Re: Contemplating a Third Clerkship

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:53 am
by nixy
What kind of job do you want after you clerk, and have you actually been applying for anything? I don't know that a third clerkship is really going to add much, and if you have the qualifications to be competitive for a California Supreme Court clerkship, I would imagine you'll be competitive for good permanent jobs already with the clerkships you have. If that seems too utilitarian an approach to clerking, and you're going purely for personal edification, I think you do run the risk of looking like you don't actually want to practice.

Re: Contemplating a Third Clerkship

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:09 pm
by Anonymous User
nixy wrote:What kind of job do you want after you clerk, and have you actually been applying for anything? I don't know that a third clerkship is really going to add much, and if you have the qualifications to be competitive for a California Supreme Court clerkship, I would imagine you'll be competitive for good permanent jobs already with the clerkships you have. If that seems too utilitarian an approach to clerking, and you're going purely for personal edification, I think you do run the risk of looking like you don't actually want to practice.

Anon from above: I'm in my first clerkship, so I haven't started applying for anything yet. I'm targeting a litigation boutique after clerking with an eye long-term toward government work.

Re: Contemplating a Third Clerkship

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:42 pm
by Anonymous User
Grades, school (range), current clerkship (range) (eg, is your district clerkship sdny? A major city like NDIL, DDC) None of this is really outing.

Generally speaking, if you’re like a top 10% student from Northwestern or something clerking NDIL then any generic circuit, I imagine you’d be competitive in CA absent another clerkship

Re: Contemplating a Third Clerkship

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:44 pm
by nixy
Yeah, I guess I don't think you would need the additional credential. It seems like overkill to me (certainly for government work), and possibly like you're trying to collect all the brass rings for the sake of collecting brass rings. But someone who knows more about the California elite boutiques would have to weigh in on whether it would make a difference.

(I'm assuming good school/stats based on the current and future clerkship and that you're aiming for California supreme court, which appears to be pretty darn selective and tough to get, but of course that's an assumption.)

Re: Contemplating a Third Clerkship

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:05 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Grades, school (range), current clerkship (range) (eg, is your district clerkship sdny? A major city like NDIL, DDC) None of this is really outing.

Generally speaking, if you’re like a top 10% student from Northwestern or something clerking NDIL then any generic circuit, I imagine you’d be competitive in CA absent another clerkship


Anon from above: Top 10% at T-10. District Court isn't at the SDNY range and circuit isn't quite at the 2/9/DC level.

Re: Contemplating a Third Clerkship

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:06 pm
by Anonymous User
nixy wrote:Yeah, I guess I don't think you would need the additional credential. It seems like overkill to me (certainly for government work), and possibly like you're trying to collect all the brass rings for the sake of collecting brass rings. But someone who knows more about the California elite boutiques would have to weigh in on whether it would make a difference.

(I'm assuming good school/stats based on the current and future clerkship and that you're aiming for California supreme court, which appears to be pretty darn selective and tough to get, but of course that's an assumption.)

Anon from above: Appreciate the feedback. I just don't know enough about the litigation boutique landscape to know whether I'm competitive for CA Lit Boutiques.

Re: Contemplating a Third Clerkship

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:08 pm
by valjean
I did three clerkships, wrapping up last year, and I regret it. It definitely hindered my job search and became an area of concern I had to overcome in every interview. I landed a job but was not thrilled with my results.

I also did federal district, court of appeals, and state supreme, but not in CA. It’s possible the prestige of the CA court would cause employers to question the number of clerkships less, but I would still avoid the third clerkship.

Re: Contemplating a Third Clerkship

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:03 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Grades, school (range), current clerkship (range) (eg, is your district clerkship sdny? A major city like NDIL, DDC) None of this is really outing.

Generally speaking, if you’re like a top 10% student from Northwestern or something clerking NDIL then any generic circuit, I imagine you’d be competitive in CA absent another clerkship


Anon from above: Top 10% at T-10. District Court isn't at the SDNY range and circuit isn't quite at the 2/9/DC level.


Zero reasons why you shouldn’t get interviews with your stats as is at HH, SG (MAYBE), Irell, Munger and the like. Don’t do three. even better chance if you summered at a comparable firm 2L year (don’t ask why, but it seems to matter at the margins)

Re: Contemplating a Third Clerkship

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:09 pm
by BlackAndOrange84
I tend to think that the only good reason for doing a third clerkship is if the judge is a feeder and you want a shot at SCOTUS. And that's not a great reason given how small the shot is. Any positives that might come from having a Cal. clerkship are likely to be outweighed by the questions that three clerkships will raise with employers.

Re: Contemplating a Third Clerkship

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:47 pm
by Anonymous User
BlackAndOrange84 wrote:I tend to think that the only good reason for doing a third clerkship is if the judge is a feeder and you want a shot at SCOTUS. And that's not a great reason given how small the shot is. Any positives that might come from having a Cal. clerkship are likely to be outweighed by the questions that three clerkships will raise with employers.

Anon from above: Just trying to get a better sense of this. What would be the questions raised by employers? And what red flags does it raise for them?

Re: Contemplating a Third Clerkship

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:51 pm
by nixy
It looks like you don’t actually want to practice.

Re: Contemplating a Third Clerkship

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:44 pm
by Anonymous User
nixy wrote:It looks like you don’t actually want to practice.


ETA: Accidental anon, this is BlackandOrange.