Volunteer clerkships, CoA

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Volunteer clerkships, CoA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:00 pm

Already did some searching, but didn't find a lot of useful info. Any opinions/advice on the merits of doing an unpaid/volunteer clerkship in a non-2/9 Cir. CoA? I'm getting a lot of mixed messages on this, and because these positions seem relatively rare, it's hard to formulate a clear picture.

dvlthndr

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Re: Volunteer clerkships, CoA

Postby dvlthndr » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:23 am

In terms of competitiveness, the lack of pay is offset slightly since the positions will occasionally attract LLM students who can't officially collect a paycheck from the federal government due to their immigration status. That said, these are still usually seen as less competitive than normal paid clerkships, and people will tell you that you are supposed to say "volunteer clerk" on your resume going forward.

People will probably look down on you a little on the job market if they know that your clerkship was an unpaid position, despite the fact that you are getting the same experience and fringe benefits (e.g., access to the judge and their extended professional network). Depending on why you want to clerk, this may or may not matter to you. In any case, I wound find somebody that did this and talk to them if you are seriously considering it.

ND2018

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Re: Volunteer clerkships, CoA

Postby ND2018 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:15 pm

I think whether or not you are required to i.d. yourself as a volunteer clerk on your resume largely depends on the judge. I have seen discussions elsewhere on these fora where applicants have specifically been told by their judge during their interviews that they can list their position as a normal clerkship for future employment purposes. Of course if you got asked whether you had been paid or were clerking on a volunteer basis in an interview, you'd have to tell the truth, but those would be very odd questions IMO

I agree with the above that the smart play is to reach out to your CSO/network to talk with someone who has done a volunteer clerkship and see what they say.

ND2018

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Re: Volunteer clerkships, CoA

Postby ND2018 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:25 pm

I should have added that assuming (a) you can financially tolerate a volunteer clerkship (b) your judge would permit you to rep/list yourself as a "Term Clerk" on your resume in future job applications, I think such a position would be worthwhile. Conceivably, you'd get all the back end benefits of clerking (improved writing/analytical abilities, open doors at good jobs, connections, etc) while making the short-term sacrifice of not getting paid. I do agree that you lose some of these benefits if (b) goes away and therefore think that before accepting any position you should clarify with your judge you will be treated like any other clerk and will be able to represent yourself as such going forward.



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