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Clerking with a judge can be a great way to start a legal career

For many, fall is a lovely season: a kaleidoscope of reds, yellows and oranges. It is a quaint time filled with visits to the pumpkin patch, costume parties and crisp autumn walks. Law students, however, have a different view of fall. It’s a season of horrors; a time consumed by job searching, cover letters, interviews, follow-up letters and rejection letters. Considering the amount of debt accumulated in seven years, it is no surprise that many law students apply or plan to apply to large firms. It’s understandable. With that in mind, do not let quick gratification blind you from considering other opportunities that may bring about the same, if not more, benefits -- albeit less quickly. As we enter the fall, consider applying for a judicial clerkship. Clerkships are available in both the federal and state courts, and at both the trial and appellate court level. Trial court clerks are involved in fact-finding and the daily processing of litigation: motion practice, discovery disputes and settlement conferences. In contrast, appellate court clerks research the issues of law and fact, and draft memoranda and/or working opinions for judges. Many attorneys view the judicial clerkship as a distinguished way to begin a legal career. So, consider a judicial clerkship, even if you’ve accepted an offer. While that may seem irrational, the following seven reasons explain why law firms view clerkships so favorably and why many will preserve their original offer if you decide to accept a judicial clerkship.

6 comments

  1. While this may be a great idea, Reality is there are no jobs.
    Every law firm is looking for one to two years experience.

    Networking is not helpful in this time either, due to big firms cutting expenses. Basically not hiring. So, get real.
    You may have to start at the bottom and work your way up all while trying to pay your 100,000 and some loan off.

  2. Mr. Gonzalez, thanks for the comprehensive read on starting a legal career and also for sharing your insights.

  3. This is exactly what I want to accomppish.

  4. This is exactly what I want to accomplish. I really want a mentor to observe and one whose brain I can pick. I think it is very important for a successful and fulfilling legal career.

  5. I can testify that your headline “clerking with a judge can be a great way to start a legal careergenerat” is one of the nicest, the only thing is the end of your message isn’t loading.

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