parens binubus

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  • Saturday, July 08, 2006
    The Clerkship Application Conundrum
    I told Beloved the other day that on this issue, I need a Director. Someone to tell me what to do.

    I do not know what to do. I do not know if I want to put the effort required into the clerkship application process, and I do not know, if the gods were to smile upon me and I actually were to GET a clerkship, if I would even be happy to do it. So there are really the two questions: Do I want to apply? and Do I want to do the clerkship? I feel like I could say YES to the second question, but still NO to the first, and that would be enough to close the door.

    That's silly, right? Who would make such a big decision based upon such laziness?

    Here are some of my factors:

    • The Things share a room - it's getting old. They share a room, in bunkbeds, and they're getting old. Thing One is entering 5th grade, and there's no chance we'll be moving during that year - but upon graduation, she'll be on her way to 6th grade, and I feel like that's Solo Room time. That's middle school. It's also hard as they get more social to not have Space for them to be with their friends. We need more space. Our family does. Beloved is writing again, and he could use a place to do that. A place that has more space - not just a 2 x 2 desk. I could really use a room to serve as my closet. This "business casual" plus "casual" plus "business" plus "workout" plus "summer casual" multi-faceted wardrobe business is getting out of hand - not to mention the shoes to go with it all - and I'm OUT OF SPACE. In order to have more space, I need $$$. I want a 4 bedroom apartment - not a 2 bedroom apartment. That is going to cost b/t $2500 and $3000/month. That means I need a pretty salary. That does not mean a clerkship.
    • I do not go to a top rated school. That does not mean that the door is closed to me, but it means it's a heavy door, and I don't know if I feel like pushing that hard anymore. I have a door open to me - a door that is already open, and I'm feeling tired of the pushing.
    • I have MAJOR geographic limitations. I cannot plaster this entire country with applications. It's Boston, Boston, or Boston. If you combine that with the previous point, the applciation process really feels like an exercise in futility.
    • I hate transition. I just want to settle down! I don't want to have yet another year of being in between things.
    • If I were to clerk, I would want to be in an appellate court. If you combine that with the school's credentials and the geographic limitations, I just don't see any doors opening to me -- perhaps with our state's high court, but that just brings on a whole new set of questions. they do their interviews a couple weeks before the Federal judges, and so it really ends up being an either/or. That court does do some pretty cool things, and I think it could be a lot of fun (hello, gay marriage!), but it still lacks the prestige of federal courts.
    The reasons to do it? Isn't that so damned obvious? Resume; career; prestige; blah and blah and blah. I do feel like it could mitigate the lesser ranked school on my resume, but why? The firm I'm with does that. It's an outstanding firm, and can open several doors for me.

    So, I am lost. Don't know what to do. Since it seems so out of reach to GET a clerkship, I find myself thinking - what's the harm in applying? If my chances are so small, then I may as well throw my hat in the ring. Of course, however, if I do, and then by some miracle I do have success, I really have to take it.

    If a series of miracles happened, and I found myself with a clerkship, the firm would be most accommodating. The offer stays open - they still pay for the bar - they pay a clerkship bonus - they let you work for the first 6 weeks of the summer, and they pay you $2600/week to sit in your office and study for the bar (which does mean you do BarBri at night, and can't attend the events, and for me, that means I'm never home with my family from May 30 until the girls leave for the Middle of the Country, which is bad, and this is the first time that ocurred to me) - and you enter the firm after the clerkship as a 2nd year associate, both seniority-wise and with the same raise all the other 2nd years got.

    As I said, however, I do not know if I have the energy to even apply.
    posted by Zuska @ 5:58 PM  
    • At Saturday, July 08, 2006 11:52:00 PM, Blogger Joey said…

      So yeah, my almighty one year of law school experience speaking here *passes large container of salt*. First, why wouldn't you consider a federal district level clerkship. Can I just tell you how AWESOME my externship has been there this summer. Wow, I've learned so much it is absolutely shocking. The judge has 3 clerks. One already did a circuit court, another is doing that next and the other is actually a big firm refugee, but who did a circuit clerkship roughly 10 years ago after she finished law school. Both the guy who did the circuit thingy last year and the woman who did it 10 years ago say that the district court is not only FAR more interesting, but that they also have learned much more about good lawyering in the district level.

      Grain of salt and all that. As to the other stuff. From what I understand, it is a royal pain in the ass to apply, and I'm not looking forward to it, but I am going to do it. I kind of packageit with the "onceinalifetimeexperience" factor of doing law school. And I figure if I've tossed off all kinds of other financially responsible things for that, I can put it off for another year. A year is really so short a period.

      My two cents. Do let us know what you decide.

    • At Sunday, July 16, 2006 2:37:00 PM, Blogger Zuska said…

      The biggest reason for not wanting to do a District Court level is that I did a state trial court internship during my 1L summer. Since thinking over your comment, as well as talking to others, however, my choices are - apply to all federal courts in the Boston area (i.e., going ahead to include District), or not apply. At all. Leaning toward the second.

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