[00:00:22] And what I'm going to tell you today is really the best way to get a position and how clerk can best do that. And also how you can do the same I'm going to show you the clerks, the clerkships that are most likely to get your jobs. And in the most important things sorta to, to consider when you're looking for a job after a clerkship or darn a clerkship.
[00:00:42] So the first thing that's very important to consider and to understand is, in order to really get a good position as a clerk the most marketable clerks typically will have experience in a law firm before they end up clerking and. What that means is they would have been a [00:01:00] summer associate or in many cases, they've actually gone and worked for a few years in a law firm.
[00:01:05]Before the, before doing a clerkship and in all honesty, a lot of people will take clerkships right out of school. But the most marketable clerks tend to be those that have gotten two to four years of experience. Before doing their clerkship. And the other thing is, law firms also do like it.
[00:01:22]When, if you do a clerkship, they like you, you are a little bit more attractive to them. If you also attended a top law school or did exceptionally well at a lesser law school and the clerkship one way to think about it, as especially when you're a very junior attorney the only things that law firms have to distinguish you on.
[00:01:40] Are where you were able to get a job it's like a second year sucking in the summer between your second and third year, they can distinguish you based on that. They can also distinguish you based on where you went to law school and how you did in law school. So I, getting a clerkship is another feather in your cap, but at the same time having even more experience in a [00:02:00] law firm and showing that you're proven commodity would make you more marketable.
[00:02:03]If you do want to do a clerkship, you are going to be more marketable. If you get a couple of years of experience in a top law firm before you do it, and I know that's contrary advice and something that not a lot of people here, but my clerks that I work with that have locked from experience before clerking tend to get many jobs and the ones that don't get fewer jobs.
[00:02:23] And then finally if you're a clerk and you have experiences as a summer associate and a top law firm that liked that as well. Anything that shows your proven commodity if you're able to go into a law firm and do well and get an offer and so forth, they'd liked that a lot better.
[00:02:38] And, there's different types of clerkships. But certainly if you get a clerkship on the United States, Supreme court and those typically come after doing an appellate clerkships you're, you really, it doesn't really matter. You can certainly get all the jobs you want in law firms.
[00:02:53]Obviously love that. So in this presentation, what I'm going to talk about is I'm going to talk about getting a [00:03:00] clerkship in a federal district court. I'm going to talk about clerking on the federal court of appeals. I'm going to talk about clerking and a federal tax, which is fairly rare.
[00:03:08]There's also. The courts of veterans affairs and so forth federal magistrate clerks federal bankruptcy clerks. And then obviously there's a lot of different types of state clerks or Supreme court clerks and States and there's appellate clerks. And then there's, the same sort of district court clerks and those sorts of clerks.
[00:03:25] The thing is as I said a second ago when you've worked in a top law firm, Before you do a clerkship, you're really already a proven commodity. What the law firms like other law firms that are looking at your resume, no, you were able to get a job in a major firm, if you've got an offer they know you can do the work and and law firms that are hiring clerks really do prefer clerks or were summer associates and got operas from major firms before hiring them.
[00:03:52]It just shows that, you have a history of. Wanting to work in a law firm that you were marketable to a law firm before [00:04:00] and and then you're, hopefully going to be able to do well there. And yeah, th the thing is like law firms will look at your background and they'll say, Okay.
[00:04:09] This person, work in a law firm and their first summer, their second summer and so forth. And if you've done other things that are unrelated to that, like a lot of times people will go to work for social justice organizations or just other types of positions. Then what that showing the law firm is that it may not be something that you're necessarily interested in as a long-term career.
[00:04:29] That's obviously not going to be as attractive to them. As someone that's shown a commitment to working in a law firm from day one it's very difficult by the way for law firms to hire the right people. They want to hire people that are going to come in, put their heads down and be committed, not make trouble, like their jobs and so forth.
[00:04:47] And and you really need to do what you can to reflect an interest in and work in the law firm, if that's what you want to do, because anytime a law firm looks at your resume and sees. That you seem to have an interest in a [00:05:00] different career path, they're going to be hiring someone that's most interested in that career path.
[00:05:04] Being employable as a clerk generally better to work first and at least have some experience, but it certainly doesn't matter. That much, but it's very important. One of the things you need to understand and if you're a clerk now, or you're thinking about doing a clerk before clerkship, before working in a law firm, is that a clerkship can be good training.
[00:05:25]But it's not the same thing at all. It's working for a law firm what's nice about being good, being a clerk is that you're, you're working directly with one individual. The judge and the judge has the ability to mentor you and to talk to you about matters and to correct your work.
[00:05:42] And and that's very positive, but it's certainly not the same. And clerkship is working inside of a law firm. When you're inside of a law firm, you're doing discovery. You may be arguing motions in court, or you may not be arguing motions in court. You're expected to work long hours on time-sensitive matters for clients.
[00:05:58]There's a lot of very [00:06:00] tedious things you may work on. And you may also work for people that are not necessarily that pleasant and a variety of people. And judges certainly may not be that pleasant, but different attorneys. Talked to an attorney yesterday that had worked in a law firm with 17 attorneys.
[00:06:14] And and the attorney that ran the law firm was so unpleasant that the majority of them, I don't know, 14 of them quit over the course of a year. This, you can work with different types of people. Okay. And and there's a lot of, office politics there's money involved and clients to impress.
[00:06:30] And so it's, there's a lot of office politics inside of law firms and it's certainly not the same world as working in a law firm at all. And it's working as a clerk, so you need to understand that. And it's just not the same thing. When you're working for a private business or the government.
[00:06:46]They're completely different. The judge who may work for most judges not all of them but come out of government backgrounds or, even academic backgrounds. And so they're just, they're it's a different type of thinking. It's a different type of [00:07:00] pressure. It's just a different place.
[00:07:01]Learning, writing skills in a safe environment and working with a judge is a positive thing, but it's not necessarily something that's going to translate. Into the, all the skills you need for a law firm, for me, it was actually very good thing because the judge I worked for it was very I tended to, make a lot of typos and things when I started.
[00:07:21] And by the time I got into a law firm, I didn't do that anymore. And I was very focused on producing very crisp and good work and well thought out. And that put me well ahead of my peer. So it was a good thing for me, but I also worked as a summer associate. In a major law firm. And having that sort of experience can be very helpful for you before you do it because you know what you're getting into.
[00:07:41]And it's just the big thing you need to understand as working to produce profit for a law firm means that sometimes you may be working for partners that want inefficiency that want a lot of extra hours build to certain things that may not necessarily need it, but a client may, in some cases expected.
[00:07:59]A lot of big [00:08:00] clients will want a work to be done in an overkill. And and that, in a court that's not necessarily going to happen. So the pressures and demands working in a in a law firm are just completely different. The other thing is to understand about a clerkship and I, I hate to keep harping in and all these differences and so forth, but a clerkship is primarily an academic exercise.
[00:08:22]They involve a lot of thinking deliberation research if you're working for a very Republican judge or a very democratic and liberal judge they're going to want you to slant opinions in their way. Most of the time or things are gonna come out a certain way.
[00:08:36] And and you may support that view of the world. But when you're working for private clients, you have to support their view. And it's not as academic. Lot of clerks take positions in law firms and don't do well at all. What's interesting is if you're, if you've been in a law firm for awhile and you've gone and clerked, or, once you come back to academia if you ever go back to school and take classes or talk to [00:09:00] your professors you'll start to see that, the way a lot of.
[00:09:03]Academics think is very sloppy and they go off and on these different direct tangents and a lot of their logic can be questioned and and it's not all of them, of course, and there's some very smart ones, but their thinking is much different in many cases between what an academic type person does and what a what a lawyer does and and an a judge does, so I'm in private practice.
[00:09:23] So it's important to understand that it's just, it's not the same as all I'm saying. And. The final thing is that is very important is, the ability to get along with the judge is really going to be unrelated to your ability to mesh with all the people working in a law firm.
[00:09:39]One judge will have a certain style. They will typically hire you because they think that you have a similar style or they you'll support them politically. Like in terms of the way they look at things and the pace demands and work styles that a judge has. Are going to be much different in a clerkship and th than they are in a law firm.
[00:09:58] And and so just your [00:10:00] ability to get along with a single judge, when you're in a law firm, you may have to work with multiple different types of people. Many very good law firms like Wachtell and so forth. Actually, if someone is thinking about doing a clerkship, actively discouraged them from doing it because they honestly don't think.
[00:10:14]We'll help you that much, they believe that working for them you're going to pick up different types of better skills. Then then you would working for a judge and many of the people work in a firms like this. The majority of them have very good qualifications where they could have been a judge in many cases, they're better than the average judge.
[00:10:31]So w the best shops don't a lot of times will not think very highly of it, as I'm saying. And if you have experience with a well-known law firm for a year or two the law firm knows, the way you were trained. And they liked the fact that he did a clerkship, because it can give you a different perspective on practicing law and what it's like.
[00:10:50] And. And in the view of a judge and but again the ones with prior experience tend to be the most valued and clerks that I work with [00:11:00] that have spent a year more in a law firm are much more likely to get interviews, as I said than those that don't I was very surprised I'm working with a clerk right now.
[00:11:10] Who's an appellate clerk but was actually in-house and then for a couple of years and then went to work for. A judge and as an appellate clerk and is getting multiple interviews when attorneys that are working have just come straight out of law school, aren't getting anything.
[00:11:24]If you worked in a law firm before clerkship, it just shows you're committed to practicing law in a law firm. And it does make you much more marketable than if you are. Okay. Summer associate in a major law firm, like I said, is much better than having worked in the firm at all. It just, as I sat in, helps show you how the screening criteria and you were able to get a job with those firms were motivated to do and you're going to be much more marketable as a clerk. If you if you worked in a law firm the summer. Which in your second and third year and preferably between your first and second, just because it shows a long-term commitment. And if you don't have this on your [00:12:00] resume, there's nothing you can do.
[00:12:01]But the law firms will assume that one, that you were interested in doing that, or two 2d. You couldn't get a job in a law firm during your summers. And and they really want that commitment to doing something and, the commitment of wanting to work in a long term and. Doing everything you can to want to work in a law firm and want to do that for a career.
[00:12:20]So many people go through life, just doing multiple things and not committed to things. And really the way to be successful at anything is to commit to it and to show you're committed. So that means, this was advice for the future, the longer you stay at affirm, the better off you are, the.
[00:12:37]The fewer times you switched firms a better off you are, but if you're moving up in terms of the prestige of the firms, that's also very good, but you need to be someone that looks committed and in, in, in is always looking committed. That's very important. And the more you vacillate and don't know what you do, every time you've asked that and do something different, there's people that started what you're doing earlier.
[00:12:59]That are [00:13:00] not that are going to be doing much better. That's important. Okay. The, just the history I wanted to work something, if you aren't, if you're distracted and don't want to work in a law firm, that's gonna hurt you. So you need to really, when you go into interviews, if that's not something you've done before.
[00:13:15]You need to really convince the firms how important it is to you and how much you want to work there. If you can't show that then just remember that the law firms taking a major risk on you. They're not necessarily they're taking a huge risk because they don't know that you're going to stick with it.
[00:13:32] And law firms make that mistake all the time. They hire people. That don't want to be there. And and you don't want to be there. Then you're going to undermine your peers and you're just not going to be the best that you possibly can be. And, if you're not a committed attorney then that's gonna do a lot of it's going to hurt people well in law firm quite a bit, and the law firm isn't gonna want that.
[00:13:55] So law firms really their job is to. Try to keep people around that are [00:14:00] committed and attract people that are committed. And they look for signs of commitment. And obviously, working in a, for our clerk is a clerkship for less money than you can make in a law firm and learning the litigation so forth is a very good skill.
[00:14:12]And it's something you should do, but at the same time I'm just telling you the most employer w what's going to make you. Most employable and again, practice settings are a big deal. If you work in other practice settings, when you're in law school especially if you're representing, certain groups that the law firm, that gives the impression to the law firm.
[00:14:32] You want to do something else then. Then that's not good working for professors the government and so forth public interest organizations. And again, there's nothing wrong with that. If that's where your interest lies but at the same time, you just need to really be aware that if that's something you're interested in doing and and you really want to do something different there, then you should do that.
[00:14:53] And you shouldn't be trying to work in a law firm because it's just, if you try to work in a law firm and it's not something you want to do, It's [00:15:00] just going to be a whole kind of source of unhappiness. It's not going to be in your best interest, you're gonna not want to be there.
[00:15:07] And it's just not good for anyone. So that's just something to think about. Okay. And just as a final thing, and I hate to keep harping on this, but I'm going to talk a lot about clerkships and so forth in a few minutes, but obviously if you weren't able to get a job in the summer and you didn't, or you didn't work in affirm in the summer.
[00:15:23]Then you just remember, there's always a lot of people competing for the same jobs as you. Clerks, I've never worked in a law firm you'd need to really step it up when you interview and give the firms the the impression that's something you really want to do and do everything you possibly can to.
[00:15:41]Convinced them that's where you want to be and very important, and just give it your all with that. Okay. I'm going to talk a little bit about different types of judges. This is the sort of knowledge that I certainly didn't have when I was an attorney our clerk and I'm going to talk about how the employment, [00:16:00] the legal market works with judges.
[00:16:02]And so forth and the different kind of criteria and why
[00:16:05] let no know it's going to be a better criteria of your a better a way to understand your experience than necessarily a clerkship. Early in my career I was working on placing and did place a girl that had graduated from the university of Minnesota law school. With a C average, which you know, and it might've been like a little bit above a C like close to a C plus, but I don't know how that happened.
[00:16:29]But it's probably pretty hard to get a Crog in law school. But she certainly wasn't that committed to working hard in law school at and anyway, so she right out of law school she was able to get a clerkship on the sixth circuit court of appeals. Which was, awesome.
[00:16:45] And and and, so circuit court clerkship is typically considered, the very, the most difficult type of clerkship to get. And and for example, where I went to law school, the the editor in chief of the law review and got one on the sixth circuit and not the sixth circuit, but a circuit court [00:17:00] clerkship, I think an 11th circuit.
[00:17:02] And it's just, it's a very prestigious thing to get, and yeah. I'm actually working with several federal appellate clerks right now that we're in the bottom half of their class at a variety of law schools and summit, top law schools and others not. The thing is you just, when you, someone just the idea of having a clerkship doesn't mean it's indication, so in most cases, the best students do circuit court clerkships, but it's not any type of clerkship doesn't necessarily mean that you have the best grades and.
[00:17:27]And so forth and in most cases the appellate court clerkship is the best, but the idea is that the hiring criteria of judges is just all over the board. Yeah. Yeah. Certain judges will hire different types of people. They hire based on personalities.
[00:17:42] They don't necessarily hire all the time based on the strength of your academic and law school background. The different types of judges it's important to understand the prestige level of different types of judges. And this is something that I didn't honestly really understand when I was in law school.
[00:17:58]You just, I kinda got out of [00:18:00] college and rushing to law school and had no idea what was going on, but, in general the hiring criteria, but a judge in the United States court of appeals. Or the ability to get a clerkship in the United States court of appeals is much harder than it is to get a district court clerkship.
[00:18:15] The quality of attorneys that become federal appellate judges is usually better. They typically have much more robust academic qualifications. Many of them are appointed as district judges and then appointed as appellate judges. But. They tend to be, like they tend to be a general rule, more academic.
[00:18:32] And I would say, they have richer academic backgrounds. So district court judges is a trial judge. And they make decisions and write opinions. And then if someone doesn't like their decision, they can go to the court of appeals and then the court of appeals will make a decision.
[00:18:46]And can overrule the district court. So the appellate court is like a judge a a boss of the district court, if that makes sense. In general law firms, because there's also fewer appellate court judges than there are district court judges [00:19:00] and magistrate judges.
[00:19:01] And a magistrate judge is someone that does a lot of the work that a district court judge doesn't want to do. So they'll help with discovery disputes and. Arraignments are criminals and things like that. Whereas a district court judge may do like the trial and the criminal, or write an opinion about the criminal.
[00:19:16]So a district court is more prestigious than a magistrate judge clerkship. And and I'll talk more about peas in a minute, but in general, if you have a choice between doing an appellate court cruise ship and a district court clerkship, you're better off doing an appellate court clerkship.
[00:19:31]Many people that clerk on the district court will do a good job for their judges. And and then we'll try to get an appellate court clerkship later. The benefit of doing a district court clerkship, especially if you want to be a litigator is a district court clerkship will exposure to trials and you'll get to watch those and criminal trials and civil trials and so forth.
[00:19:52] Whereas an appellate court clerkship is basically, doing an oral argument and Ruling and appeal like you may do in moot court and so [00:20:00] forth in your law school. And not all appellate judges are rocket scientists and very smart, but he knows the general rule of they, they tend to be pretty accomplished people.
[00:20:09] At the district court, I love all the others. There's a much wider variety of legal talent that gets stretched ships. And there are then at the appellate. Level many have very good backgrounds. Others do not. A lot of these district court judges may not have done that well in law school, some of them never practiced law.
[00:20:26]Many have never worked in law firms and had competitive decisions. They may be appointed out of state agencies or they may have been prosecutors or all sorts of things. And there's a lot of district court judges around the country. There's far more than.
[00:20:41]District court judges are they're typically appointed based on an understanding that they support the president's political party and their way of looking at the world. And district court judges tend to have a leaning towards, one political party and and they are, appointed based on favoritism and so forth.
[00:20:58] And it's a lifetime [00:21:00] appointment just as a appellate court judges, a lifetime appointment. But they there's definitely quite a few of them and and there's a lot more of them and they they do need to be confirmed by the Senate and so forth, but there every presidential race, there's a lot of them, every presidential term there's a lot of them that ended up end up getting appointed and getting judged ships.
[00:21:20]There's a lot of them. The thing is with an appellate judge in a federal district, judge, they're appointed for life by the president. And and it's not an easy confirmation process. They're asked a lot of questions and they, their backgrounds are checked and but for federal tax bankruptcy and magistrate judge those judge jobs they typically will apply for.
[00:21:40]So it's an application process and it's not the same and then they're appointed, then they get jobs for a term. And then and the quality of them also varies and but in, in general, bankruptcy judges come out of bankruptcy law firms for the most part.
[00:21:55] Yeah. Magistrate judges can have various types of. [00:22:00] Backgrounds and the same thing with tax tax judges. Okay. And then the state level the quality, barriers even more you can think of the highest level of scrutiny would be in the U S Supreme court and then appellate courts and then the district court level.
[00:22:14]And then. And then, a lower level for just for magistrates and so forth, the state level there, there can be all sorts of ways that people are elected and are appointed to judges. They may be appointed by the governor. They may be elected.
[00:22:28]In this quality varies quite a bit even more so than at the federal level, in terms of the quality of the judges. And, so the thing is, when you do a clerkship, the way a law firm looks at it is they figure that, if you got training at the Supreme court, you worked with the absolute best judge possible.
[00:22:46] If you've got a training from an appellate judge, that's even better. If you've got training from him a district court judge, that's good, but not as good. If you've got trained at the state level, they don't know as much about it. It's not as prestigious. And they don't know [00:23:00] about the people you're trained with.
[00:23:01] So the idea is you pick up habits based on the people you associate with and based on the people you work with and they want to hire people. That are from the best backgrounds and there's nothing wrong. There's a lot of very big clerkships and judges you can work for in the Supreme court or different States and all sorts of things you can do.
[00:23:17] But the problem with many of those clerkships and so forth is the law firms know nothing about the judges. They don't carry the same weight as working for the federal judges, the quality varies a lot and it's much harder as a general rule to get. And appellate clerkship than it is to get a district court clerkship.
[00:23:37] It's much harder to get a district court clerkship than it is to work for a magistrate. It's much difficult, more difficult to work for a federal district judge or appellate judge than it is to get a job with with a state judge and so forth. And and they typically pay more. They have, they're more prestigious and so forth at the federal level, but that's the issue.
[00:23:55] And the law firm that's reviewing your resume, doesn't know. Anything about the [00:24:00] judge you're working for they may assume that you could pick up that work habits and this could affect you negatively and and they believe that because many judges will hire anyone.
[00:24:09]It's not always a badge of honor. It appears to be a lot of times bad things happen to people like every year there's students that come out of, Harvard and, all these big law schools in Michigan and and may not get married.
[00:24:22] I work in a place in the summer and the name may not get an offer to be a full-time attorney. And so they didn't get an offer after their summer. At the same time, then they may try to clerk and that they don't get a district court or appellate court clerk clerkship. They may take a state one because not being hired in this after a summer associate job can be a bad thing and make it harder to get employed.
[00:24:40]There's just there's different types of clerkships, but a lot of people that take state clerkships will go to law, local law schools but not always and obviously having a clerkship is a good thing and training with a good judge is a good thing. And it's a lifetime relationship you have.
[00:24:53] And I know that. My judge retired, not too long ago, I went into senior status and, all of his [00:25:00] clerks from the past quarter century came I went to see him in Detroit for a party and so forth. And I guess there was a painting of him. Yeah. He knows all that can be a very nice thing.
[00:25:09]But the idea is a clerkship is not always a badge of honor and so forth and it can make it harder since I'm case to get a job. I've seen lots of people, a lot to judges and, district court judges and so forth, hiring people from fourth law schools that had average grades or people that could never get a job in a large law firm.
[00:25:26] And that's okay. The judge honestly has the ability to hire anyone he wants. And there's not the process where. All these people in a major law firm will review your resume. And we want to make sure you have the right schools or the right grades. And they'll have Greg cutoffs. A judge can really hide it, anyone they want.
[00:25:42] And frankly, if you're fortunate enough to get a clerkship and you didn't come out of like a major background, a major law school or you don't have good experience, it's a great experience and anybody that can train you and give you a very good training and give you good work habits and you can watch what other judges do. [00:26:00]
[00:26:00]What other, what, how people, behave before the court and how they ride. It's a great experience. I got to see, you understand like why a good law firm was better than an average law firm based on the quality of their written work that they would turn in and all sorts of stuff.
[00:26:13] But the main factor is most. People know th the different that they're not getting a clerkship is not always the greatest thing in the world. And and law firms really do have the ability to hire a lot of people and they. They want to hire people that seem the most motivated to do that.
[00:26:30] And the better law firm, obviously it's more stringent the hiring criteria. Okay. So I've covered that. And now I'm going to talk a little bit about some more about the marketability of clerkships and which ones are the most marketable. As I said earlier, the most marketable ones are federal appellate clerkships, federal district court clerkships, and then magistrate judge and so forth then you have the court of appeals much more difficult and quality of attorneys of the federal pellet levels, much better.
[00:26:56]There are fewer appellate judges and district court judges and magistrate [00:27:00] judges. And the other thing is interesting is there's always in every legal market. There's some judges that are. Very well known and it's almost like a buyer beware when you're evaluating clerkships.
[00:27:11] So there's judges that, tend to send people to the Supreme court and having the ability to do that. And there's judges, district court judges that have good relationships with appellate judges and we'll send people up the chain to work for appellate judges and then there's certain judges that just have built very.
[00:27:28] Good national names for themselves based on the quality of their opinion, opinions, the quality of their writing the things that they've been able to do as judges and their presence in the market, many have written books and so forth. So there's a lot of judges that that you may you can work with and and then some that do carry a lot of weight and they will carry that weight almost regardless of.
[00:27:50]Where you end up what, regardless of your experience, prior to working for them and you'll get a very good experience. The other thing to understand about clerkships is, major markets [00:28:00] like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami are considered a much more prestigious places to clerk, many times than other markets because.
[00:28:11]Th the number of people that, they in major markets that they have to draw from to be judges is very large. It's tends to be more competitive in major markets. A lot of times law law that has more of an important impact gets made in major markets. The quality of attorneys is a general rule.
[00:28:30] A is better in major markets. And so there's just an, it becomes more difficult because more people want to get clerkships in major markets. And so it's just the, working as a, in a court of appeals in New York city is a very major position. It's kinda attract, graduate to Gayle and Stanford and things like that.
[00:28:48] Whereas in a smaller market the quality of people clerking there may not be as high. I clerked in in outside Detroit and certainly getting a clerkship there. It was not as [00:29:00] competitive as it would have been if I wanted to work in Chicago or Los Angeles and a clerk for a great judge, but at the same time it's just, it's easier in smaller markets to get a clerkship.
[00:29:11] And the final thing is, even a magistrate is typically not the most prestigious clerkship you can do. But if you're able to do it in a major city, like New York, for example, it's probably just as prestigious is having being clerked for like a federal district judge and in an area of the United States that's maybe less populated, less competitive.
[00:29:32] And then, ideas certain state court clerkships and a major, in certain States working for very well-known judges could be as marketable as a federal district court clerkship. And maybe in some cases, even in appellate clerkship it just depends on who you're working for.
[00:29:47] And then there's working in a court of appeals of a state can also be a good experience. But in, in most cases, a state car crusher is not considered as marketable for large law firms. I think it's a good clerkship to [00:30:00] do if you want to work in a certain market though, if you want to work in, an, a market and you and you may be working for people in there, but it's not typically as marketable.
[00:30:10]I like bankruptcy clerkships for people that want to be bankruptcy clerks. I think I'm working with several bankruptcy clerks right now and they're getting all of them or, most of them are getting interviews. The ones that are, doing good search looking at firms and so forth and enough firms and they're doing well.
[00:30:26]So it's a very good clerkship. If you want to go into bankruptcy, if your timing's right. And like you come out during. A recession or when there's a lot of bankruptcies that can also be very useful and helpful. Doing a bankruptcy, clerkship is a good thing. A tax court clerkship is a great thing as well.
[00:30:41] If you want to be a tax attorney but it's also unnecessary, if you're going to do something other than tax, but same thing with doing a bankruptcy clerkship, if you don't want to do a bankruptcy, having clerked for a bankruptcy judge is just can teach you so much if you want to be.
[00:30:53]The bankruptcy attorney and law firms they value it. But I've noticed that, the people that have experience [00:31:00] as bankruptcy attorneys prior to a bankruptcy, clerkship get far more interviews. Especially if they have a couple of years of bankruptcy experience before during the clerkship, then those that dump.
[00:31:10]Okay. So when you're coming out of clerkship how do you get a position? And this is really the meat and potatoes of what we're talking about today. I gave you a lot of background, so you would understand how the system works. But one of the things that's important is a lot of law firms across the country they pride themselves on the number of former clerks they have there.
[00:31:31] Especially law firms that are, literally firms that are growing and they're small and they're getting bigger and bigger. They love having those qualifications. They take a lot of pride in it. And one thing I can say is, being a clerk does almost always makes an attorney a much better writer than there were before.
[00:31:48] And that's important you learn because you do so much writing and your writing is critiqued and you learn to be. So they liked that clients like it, it gives the impression that you may have a better [00:32:00] than N sometimes with the judge in your market and that you may be able to you may be able to influence decisions in a positive way.
[00:32:08]And one of the things, when I'm marketing clerks if you clerked, for example, in I don't know what an example would be, but but say clerked, there's a, in Cincinnati or Cleveland, Ohio, that's an example here, you're going to be marketable most marketable in Cleveland that's where you really should be doing the majority of your search, but you'll also be marketable on other cities of Ohio.
[00:32:29] If you look at larger cities, In Ohio and then smaller cities and so forth, but you would've been Mark very marketable in Ohio and probably other areas in the Midwest as well. Like Michigan and so forth. But maybe even Kentucky cause it's close to Cincinnati, but the idea is, they they want to have like local ties people that the law firms don't want to hire people and have them leave.
[00:32:50] They want to hire people and have a commitment. So they figure if you've already lived in the city for awhile and you're applying for jobs, there you're much more likely to stay. And also, the law [00:33:00] firms like it, if they've had if they're practicing before a judge where someone was a clerk before in I clerked in a market and outside of Michigan where the same attorneys came in again and again from the same firms.
[00:33:14] And certainly if I'd wanted to go to work with one of those attorneys, that might've been a good thing for me, because I would have been able to be, they would know that, yeah, I hadn't had a contact with the judge and so forth. And the law firms liked that they liked to be able to talk to the attorneys about what the judge was like and so forth and have that.
[00:33:31] So if you're working locally and at a firm that tends to go in front of a judge, then that can be very helpful to you. And then the second market where you're going to be most marketable. And by the way when you're applying to more markets where you're clerking you should really cover the market.
[00:33:46] And I'll talk about that in a minute, but you should try to apply to as many of the big firms as you possibly can. Clerks are also marketable in the city where you might've worked a system or associate, and then the city where you grow up. So if you grew up in [00:34:00] Minneapolis and you're clerking in Chicago, for example the best places for you to apply would be definitely in Chicago and then Minneapolis, if you suddenly are trying to apply to firms in New York or Los Angeles that's going to look a little odd to those firms.
[00:34:14] They're going to wonder what your connections are. They're going to think that maybe you won't stay and that's going to make them a little bit nervous. So you're more, most likely in that case to get a job probably in Chicago. Or Minneapolis. And certainly if you're from Minneapolis that may actually be just as marketable as Chicago, but those would be two markets where you'd really want to apply to places.
[00:34:38] And that most law firms, when you're coming out of a clerkship really do want you to have some sort of connection to the market because people will go to certain markets all the time. Like they will romanticize going to DC because they want to maybe get involved in politics, or I don't know.
[00:34:53]Or the romanticized going to Los Angeles or San Francisco. And, you just have to the law firms really [00:35:00] want you to have some sort of connection there because they want to believe that you're going to go there and you're going to be more likely to stay. Now, that's not to say that you can't get a job in another market.
[00:35:10] I got I got jobs in Los Angeles when I was coming out of my clerkship and I had no contacts with Los Angeles when I. First flew to Los Angeles. I, I've actually never been to Los Angeles except, passing through in a plane. So when I came up for interviews, so you can certainly get jobs from other cities and you can get jobs in cities where they hire a lot of clerks as well.
[00:35:30] That's very useful, but at the same time people do want you to have some sort of connection there. And the reason, like I said That law firms don't like it when you don't have a connection, is that, you're most likely to leave. You're they figured that if you take a job in that market and you come there you're, it's going to be unlikely that you're going to stay or you may leave and not settle down.
[00:35:53]And it's just less likely to work now in all markets regardless of the city, there are. Lots of small [00:36:00] firms and midsize firms and so forth. They really pride themselves on the number of clerks they have. And if you look at a firm and that they have, 30 people there and 15 of them clerked, and you have no connection with that city, then maybe that's a good place for you to apply.
[00:36:13]There's certainly nothing wrong with applying to a firm like that. And that could be a very good idea for you, but at the same time that's not always. The best idea you should be applying to markets you're interested in and you can get jobs at firms that in markets where you don't have connections, but your, again your ins are most likely to be where you're applying and also let's say you're clerking and Texas and you really want to work in Chicago or New York after.
[00:36:40]You really should take the bar in those areas while you're clerking and have it, or at least plan on taking it like right after a clerkship ends, because if you don't have the bar, then law firms are going to also assume that you're not interested in that area. And you're just fishing around.
[00:36:56] So always having the bar on the area where you want to work. [00:37:00] So as I said, my clerkship ended I had planned to go to New York when my clerkship ended and that wasn't something I wanted to do. I was it just didn't have a great experience here summer, mainly because I didn't like riding around in the subway and it just, it didn't.
[00:37:14] Seemed like there was as much opportunity there, there might be another places. And I wanted to have a car and so far I just, I did a mass mailing yeah. And mailed out lots of resumes to firms in Los Angeles. And I had no California bar exam, no contacts. And I was able to get multiple interviews and jobs now.
[00:37:31] The market was actually fairly good then. But you can also do the same if there's a market you want to work in. And ultimately the firms that have brought me in interviewed me, a lot of them were firms that had a lot of clerks in them. And so they liked the clerkship, but the same thing you can do the same thing I did.
[00:37:47] It's really not that difficult, but you need to contact a lot of places. I didn't apply to places that just had openings. I applied to. Really every place that I was interested in. And, as a clerk, you need to understand, you can really [00:38:00] pretty much apply to any law firm that you want to apply to.
[00:38:02]You don't need to just apply to law firms with openings. You should send your resume to, it was many firms as possible. And most law firms we'll be willing to consider you regardless of whether or not they have an open. So any firms who might be interested in and you need to make a large, you need to make a large list.
[00:38:18]Just because you think you're special does not mean you should be applying to only 10 firms. You should apply to a lot of different places and talk to a lot of different places and you should not prejudge firms because you just never know what the opportunities are going to be like there, what the firms like.
[00:38:34]And you just need to be very careful. And one of the things is a lot of clerks will only contact the largest law firms thinking that's the only place they should work. And and that's just not true. You may have a much better long-term career, better partnership opportunities and so forth.
[00:38:50] If you contact a lot of firms and you need to talk to a lot of people and really find environments that you're the most comfortable in largest law, the largest law firms [00:39:00] have a lot of people that want to work in them. They have systems in place, where you have to have a lot of business to advance.
[00:39:06] They. Their businesses and there's, and that's a good thing, but at the same time that makes them more competitive and makes you less at more expendable. And so just looking at the largest law firms is not always the best thing. And the other thing is when they have recessions because of the largest law firms have, giant infrastructures many of them just stop hiring altogether and many of them lay people off.
[00:39:28]You need to be very careful about that. And and there's just also, there's just a lot of very good boutique firms and so forth where you can get jobs. And so you should be thinking about that. And I tend to get clerks the most interviews at boutiques and other really good law firms that.
[00:39:45]May not be the largest law firms but do just as good at work and where there's a lot of opportunity. And many of these boutiques actually pay just as well as major law firms and often just do litigation. And you'll be working with former clerks and they, everyone's excited about writing [00:40:00] and values, your personality and the kind of things you do.
[00:40:03] So those are just things to think about, but you really do when you're clerking you need to apply to a lot of places. You should. Talk to as many places as you possibly can. And the reason is because, when you're looking for a job after a clerkship while you have something to offer to the firms at the same time, you need to understand that firms are businesses.
[00:40:22] So they need to have the work to bring you in for one. And just as I showed you that if you're not from a city and so forth, that's going to give them reasons to reject you. If you may not have a ton of work done at a summer at a place, that's going to give them reasons to reject you.
[00:40:36]If you're, in clerking for a couple of years and you're coming up against someone else that's coming out of another law firm and they know the kind of experience they have, that's going to give them reasons to reject you. You're taking your chances a lot of times when you need to be talking to as many people as you possibly can and applying to as many places as you can.
[00:40:54] And clerks would do that that except my advice tend to get tons of interviews. The ones that don't. [00:41:00] Not as many, and then they get frustrated and you just need to get out in the market and you need to meet people. And one thing leads to another. It's just, getting out and talking to people.
[00:41:08] It's just okay. So another question that a lot of times people have is the advantages of doing it more than one clerkship and and a lot of clerks, as I said, we'll do a federal district court clerkship and then a federal appellate clerkship. Or some may clerk for a magistrate judge, and then I've seen people go from magistrate to district.
[00:41:26] That's very common. And then even after that, to in the park ship, less common many people decide to become a staff law clerks or even become career law clerks because they're so enthusiastic and they liked the position and they do good work. So if you do really good work and your personality seems suited to.
[00:41:44]Working for a judge for a long time, they may ask you to stay. And the salary is honestly, if you're in a small market can be very good. But the thing is the longer new clerk and the more clerkships that you end up doing it does actually make you less marketable.
[00:41:58] So you would think to getting more experiences. [00:42:00] Good. But if you do too many clerkships you're going over to another side and you're developing skills that aren't gonna work as well in a law firm. Law firms are very competitive cutthroat environment.
[00:42:12] And and if you're not doing a good job with that if you're trying to do too many clerkships, then that's gonna make you very hard to employ. And the other thing is someone that's clerk more than three years. In, in most instances it's going to have a very difficult time getting a position with a law firm.
[00:42:28]Yeah. If they don't have a lot of substantial law firm experience because it just, it makes it look like you're more interested in doing something else. And in the experience of law firms, someone that's done something and spent a lot of time doing something unrelated to work in a law firm is likely to leave and it's just it's just the way it is.
[00:42:46]Something to think about. Okay. The next question is when should you begin looking for a position as a clerk and really between three and six months before your clerkship ends, you can start looking. Some people look even sooner than that [00:43:00] or later or sooner, meaning, nine months before and you can start even a few months before clerkship ends, but it's generally not advisable.
[00:43:08]You want to go all out. And that's something that I do for clerks. I represent and have a position when your clerkship finishes and some place to go to. And if you don't then it becomes much harder to get a job. Being aggressive by the way, as an attorney and getting a job, when you're looking for a job, you're essentially you're being represented and if you're using a recruiter, but you're also representing yourself and and the ability to get a job is really the most basic form of representation than an attorney does.
[00:43:34] And so the better able to promote yourself the better you're presumably able to promote clients and the bat advocate you are. Oh, the next question is that a lot of people have is should you use a recruiter when you're searching for a position during the clerkship.
[00:43:49] And the answer to that is most clerks recruiters will not represent you unless they have firms that they work with at higher clerks or firms with job openings and they can send you to, [00:44:00] and and so what I do when I represent people is I have. A bunch of firms that have hired clerks from me before and interviewed people from me before.
[00:44:08] Yeah. And I tend to, work with those firms placing clerks. I also have a lot of boutiques that I placed Clarkson and it's a lot of work. And I have been very successful getting clerk's jobs that work with me. But at the same time not every clerk is.
[00:44:22] Or not every recruiter is, and was Sila very big staff of people that helped me identify those firms with, we have over a hundred people working here and it's just, I'm doing this for 20 years. But the thing is that it's important to understand this. You can't, if you're trying to get a job as a clerk you need to.
[00:44:38]You should be in addition to the work that the clerks or the recruiters doing for you, you should try to supplement a lot of the work that they're doing because that's more likely to help you get a position. You can do be applying to places that the recruiters not telling you about in your own.
[00:44:54]You can be using your contacts to the extent you have that you think they're valuable. And so you [00:45:00] should, you need to look out for yourself. That's something most recruiters won't tell you, but at the same time, you're, if your objective needs to be, get it to get a job.
[00:45:07] And and th there's certainly going to be opportunities you may know about on your own. And and I'm very aggressive with people because I know what it takes to get a job. I don't know what needs to be done. But at the same time you should be supplementing doing what you can in addition to what the recruiter is doing as well.
[00:45:23] So the final question that a lot of people have is ultimately is it clerkship marketable? And what I would say is any sort of federal clerkship is generally going to make you more marketable than not having a clerkship? In some cases I don't if it's a smaller market, I don't know how much a magistrate clerkship's going to help you.
[00:45:43] But it certainly working with a magistrate judge is going to be a good experience and give you a lot of knowledge in terms of how the system works. If you would say, but if you already have an offer to work for a very respected firm following law school I would say [00:46:00] that you're probably.
[00:46:01] I'm going to be more marketable in the future. Then, prior to not doing a clerkship, then actually going to work for a federal magistrate judge, a federal tax judge, or in some cases most state court, most state court judges. And you'll probably be more marketable by not doing a clerkship.
[00:46:19]Now I'm not sure about that for bankruptcy. If the, if you're working for a bankruptcy firm and they'll take you back if you go to work for a magistrate judge and that firm will take you back, or if you go to a state court judge and the firm will take you back and some of them may even offer you clerkship bonuses.
[00:46:33] So in that case, that's definitely something to think about and you will get a good experience being trained in a, more of an academic environment for a year as a good sort of transition into a law firm. But in most cases, you're going to be more marketable if you don't plan on going back to that well-respected law firm by not doing one of those clerkships, unless you are various in bankruptcy, for example I think I would say is you're going to be almost all cases [00:47:00] more marketable if you, even, if you do have an offer from more well respected from working for a federal district judge or a federal court of appeals judge.
[00:47:07] Those are very important things to think about. If you do get a clerkship as long as the clerkship has it's in a decent area, that's close to where you're except for in a district, but the district court judge Kirk ships should be, somewhat related to the area you want to work in.
[00:47:23] And geographically, the appellate court judge, I would say doesn't matter as much. And for most attorneys if you have less than four years of practice a federal appellate clerkship is almost always going to make you more marketable than not doing a clerkship and except for maybe a few law firms out there, but it's going to make you much more marketable.
[00:47:42]Okay. And then the idea is that, for most attorneys who, less than four years practice they're going to be a federal district court clerkship. You will be if you have less than four years, it's not going to make you. Much more marketable for the clerkship unless you're not coming from a top law firm.
[00:47:57]And if you don't have top credentials can [00:48:00] help practicing attorneys state court clerkship in almost all cases will not make you more marketable. And then for practicing attorneys I don't think clerking for a federal magistrate judge is going to make you more marketable. But if you already practice, if you already practiced tax or bankruptcy law then I think clerking for a federal bankruptcy judge is help you.
[00:48:20] And then in almost all cases clerk and for any judge except a federal court of appeals judge isn't gonna help you if you have more than five or six years of experience, but as I told you earlier I had a girl that I was working with that has a model of experience that was coming from in-house and then went to work.
[00:48:37]For an appellate judge for did a clerkship and she's actually getting more interviews and similar situated people.
[00:48:44]Okay. Okay. So let's go to questions right now. But I just wanted to also tell you a few conclusions before I started those for judge has great contacts on legal community is well known and respected. Then that can actually help you in the market.
[00:48:59] You're [00:49:00] seeking a position almost regardless of whether it's a state or federal clerkship and so forth. So if you want to be in Alaska and work there, Kirky for the Alaska Supreme court, something I've seen, a lot of people do actually can also be very useful. Okay. I got a bunch of questions here.
[00:49:15]There were also a few questions that I didn't answer a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to get, cause they necessarily weren't. You were going over on time. But I want to answer these questions right now. And then I will also answer a few more in a second. The next one is what is your stance?
[00:49:31] And first question is what is your stance on drafting and rehearsing answers to anticipated questions, given an interview, it can deliver them naturally. Is there an appropriate number of seconds or another to gauge for appropriate timing? When responding to a question to ensure that the interview feed does not ramble.
[00:49:47]Yeah, you typically want to just give us the answers to questions you want. You need to make sure that they're as direct as possible when you're being interviewed. So you don't want to answer a question and then have in, in [00:50:00] ramble on, you want to be very direct.
[00:50:01] Don't know that you need to research them rehearse questions. I think that the big questions that law firms typically have are going to be related to. Why are you looking for a job and why do you want to work there for example. And in each of those cases, they're trying to gauge your commitment and and whether or not you really there's something in your past performance and you may be hiding.
[00:50:23] So those are the big questions you need to answer when I'm representing people, looking for positions at BCG. The number one question that I have is, why are you looking for a job? And that's really. The only question that law firms have at some most important question. For partners and stuff, they want to know about business and they want to know, but they really want to know why the person's looking for a job.
[00:50:44]Okay. In an economy with lots of con competition, how do you get past being dejected about rejections? If you're worried that if you don't get something being a good fit or not, you will be unemployable. If your resume gap becomes too big. So my number [00:51:00] one piece of advice for finding a job and I say this in every, meeting and every person I talked to and the problem is, people do not take this advice because they believe that rejection is a sign that there's something wrong with them is you need to apply to as many places as possible.