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I have been offered a clerkship with a state court of appeals. Will taking that position enhance my marketability? Currently I am a 2L, top 10%, in a second-tier law school. Thanks for your help.
It depends. As discussed below, a state court clerkship will generally enhance your marketability if you are planning on working in the state where you are clerking. Nevertheless, the value of a clerkship should not necessarily be something that you view as a tool to make you marketable. Most importantly, the skills and insight you will acquire during your clerkship will be something that should help you throughout your career.
A state court clerkship is likely to make you marketable if you are considering working in the state where you will be clerking. It is useful to examine the different types of clerkships. Each type of clerkship has its advantages and disadvantages. In order to help you understand the role a clerkship will have in your marketability, the differences between federal and state clerkships are analyzed below.
Federal Clerkships. At the Federal level, the order of prestige of clerkships is typically: (1) the Supreme Court, (2) circuit (appellate) clerkships, (3) federal district court (trial court) clerkships, (4) clerkships with United States magistrates (who do a lot of the "grunt work" for federal district court judges). There are also several specialized courts (such as Federal Tax Courts) that are of approximately the same prestige level as federal district court clerkships.
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