Fellowship --> Clerkship

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chandhi
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Fellowship --> Clerkship

Post by chandhi » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:17 am

Does anyone have experience doing a fellowship then moving to a clerkship?

One attorney told me this is pretty much not an option because fellowships have set end dates, clerkships have set start dates, and scheduling them to line up is nearly impossible. I was also told that leaving a fellowship early likely burns that bridge, and clerkships are inflexible with start dates.

Would obviously love to hear success stories of people figuring this out. But if it's pretty much impossible, I'd like to know that too.

lawman84
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Re: Fellowship --> Clerkship

Post by lawman84 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:04 am

One of the clerks on my court did it. It's not impossible at all. Especially if your fellowship ends in August or September.

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MJB
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Re: Fellowship --> Clerkship

Post by MJB » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:30 am

Yeah, how hard it will be depends on when your fellowship ends and how close together you need the end date and start date to be. Start dates for clerkships have some flexibility, but it tends to be limited to a few weeks rather than a few months, and most judges do most of their hiring in August and September. You'll probably be more likely to find judges willing to accommodate a start between late July and early October than (say) April or May.

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RoyalHollow
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Re: Fellowship --> Clerkship

Post by RoyalHollow » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:07 pm

I did this. PM me if you want to talk specifics. But in general, it depends on a lot of factors. How friendly are you with the fellowship administrators? Would they be cool with you leaving early? How tight is your financial situation? Can you stand to sit out 4-6 weeks worth of pay while also possibly moving to a new city? How flexible are you in choosing a judge and a city? Did your fellowship start/will it end at an unusual time of year? Like, does it end in February for some reason?

chandhi
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Re: Fellowship --> Clerkship

Post by chandhi » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:13 pm

Thanks so much, everyone, this is very encouraging! Sounds like it'll take a little bit of strategic planning but is completely possible.

chandhi
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Re: Fellowship --> Clerkship

Post by chandhi » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:15 pm

RoyalHollow wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:07 pm
I did this. PM me if you want to talk specifics. But in general, it depends on a lot of factors. How friendly are you with the fellowship administrators? Would they be cool with you leaving early? How tight is your financial situation? Can you stand to sit out 4-6 weeks worth of pay while also possibly moving to a new city? How flexible are you in choosing a judge and a city? Did your fellowship start/will it end at an unusual time of year? Like, does it end in February for some reason?
Thanks! I'm just a rising 2L but wanted to figure this out for planning purposes before the clerkship application cycle starts. I'll probably gun for fellowships based on this advice and worry about clerkship stuff later.

brut
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Re: Fellowship --> Clerkship

Post by brut » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:11 am

chandhi wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:17 am
Does anyone have experience doing a fellowship then moving to a clerkship?

One attorney told me this is pretty much not an option because fellowships have set end dates, clerkships have set start dates, and scheduling them to line up is nearly impossible. I was also told that leaving a fellowship early likely burns that bridge, and clerkships are inflexible with start dates.

Would obviously love to hear success stories of people figuring this out. But if it's pretty much impossible, I'd like to know that too.
at my org, fellowship end dates are very flexible. leaving a few weeks (or even a month) early is typical

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RoyalHollow
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Re: Fellowship --> Clerkship

Post by RoyalHollow » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:56 pm

chandhi wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:15 pm
RoyalHollow wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:07 pm
I did this. PM me if you want to talk specifics. But in general, it depends on a lot of factors. How friendly are you with the fellowship administrators? Would they be cool with you leaving early? How tight is your financial situation? Can you stand to sit out 4-6 weeks worth of pay while also possibly moving to a new city? How flexible are you in choosing a judge and a city? Did your fellowship start/will it end at an unusual time of year? Like, does it end in February for some reason?
Thanks! I'm just a rising 2L but wanted to figure this out for planning purposes before the clerkship application cycle starts. I'll probably gun for fellowships based on this advice and worry about clerkship stuff later.
I was not a great clerkship candidate during law school, so I used the fellowship to bolster my resume with some actual experience. Keep in mind that for some fellowships this only works one way: if you get a fellowship at a very rightwing public interest org, this may not help much with left leaning judges. But it may help a LOT with the FedSoc judge crowd. Keep in mind also that you will need to tell your Fellowship that you are applying, because you may have to suddenly travel for interviews (you may only get a week's notice for clerkship interviews), and you need to make sure that they are going to be cool about that.

Lemler

Re: Fellowship --> Clerkship

Post by Lemler » Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:18 pm

Also pay attention to late cycle and last minute clerkship openings. You'd be surprised at how common they are! Clerkships in smaller cities, in my (albeit limited) experience, also tend to recruit on a later cycle than in larger metro areas.

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