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BatmanForever

Life After the SCC

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Though I've never posted anything, I've been reading this forum since before I applied to law school - so, first, thanks to everyone for your amazing advice.

I received a position as a law clerk at the Supreme Court and can't figure out what to do afterwards, or even where to begin considering a future career.

Most people tell me that SCC clerks go on to do LLMs and become professors but, honestly, I've had enough of school and never particularly saw myself as an academic.

Are there any typical career paths for clerks? Where I should start looking? And is it really true that it's relatively easy to get a job afterwards or should I be working on my resume/cover letters.

Thanks in advance!

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Congratulations.   Go have a beer.  Worry about your career later.  

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Literally who cares about what you want to do after your clerkship? An SSC clerkship closes no doors, and opens more than you could possibly count. What would you be doing if you didn't get a clerkship? The question hasn't fundamentally changed, you just now have a much more impressive resume.

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FWIW, I have a few colleagues that were SCC clerks. AFAIK, only 1 is a professor and the rest of them are practicing. One is a tax litigator. Another is a litigator and was part of one of the intervenors during the TWU, another is an ombudsman officer. Oh, 1 is a professor in Calgary. Dude was mega conservative yet got top grades at Mcgill and Harvard, so y'all can stop worrying about conservatives being mistreated by professors in law school.

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Do what you want to do? I've seen SCC clerks doing just about everything. You can join a small crim defence firm, go to NY and do corporate for 4 years and gross 1.5m, do constitutional law for the government. There's a SCOTUS clerk that writes romance novels now. 

The clerkship (and presumably the excellent resume that you must have) just makes it easier to get what you want. It doesn't change anything. 

If you want an idea, do a linkedin search for people who were SCC clerks, and read their resumes. 

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1 hour ago, BatmanForever said:

Though I've never posted anything, I've been reading this forum since before I applied to law school - so, first, thanks to everyone for your amazing advice.

I received a position as a law clerk at the Supreme Court and can't figure out what to do afterwards, or even where to begin considering a future career.

Most people tell me that SCC clerks go on to do LLMs and become professors but, honestly, I've had enough of school and never particularly saw myself as an academic.

Are there any typical career paths for clerks? Where I should start looking? And is it really true that it's relatively easy to get a job afterwards or should I be working on my resume/cover letters.

Thanks in advance!

Apply to whichever area of practice and whichever firm you fancy.

They will likely be falling over themselves to hire you.

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2 hours ago, BatmanForever said:

And is it really true that it's relatively easy to get a job afterwards or should I be working on my resume/cover letters.

Its going to be a tough uphill battle to overcome this obstacle, but you've nailed it: the best way to find post clerkship work is via your resume and cover letter. 

A good way to open and close your resume is to highlight what you got out of the clerkship. Something like reserving an entire page or two to write "me SCC clerk" in size 215 font should do. I think any typeface will help emphasize your work experience, but you could go the extra mile and see what comic sans or even wingdings might get you.

In your cover letter you may have to be a bit more subtle, but something I've heard that works is to caption a scanned picture of you and your judge at the court looking friendly together with "me wan jorb pls". Don't forget to use SCC letterhead! And the addressee goes top left, you go top right, ur sunk.

Edited by FineCanadianFXs
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On behalf of the posters here, you can start by cultivating a reputation with the judges by telling them all the ways they were wrong in TWU.

Except Rowe, J. Providence says to tell him he was right. 

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9 minutes ago, FineCanadianFXs said:

Its going to be a tough uphill battle to overcome this obstacle, but you've nailed it: the best way to find post clerkship work is via your resume and cover letter. 

A good way to open and close your resume is to highlight what you got out of the clerkship. Something like reserving an entire page or two to write "me SCC clerk" in size 215 font should do. I think any typeface will help emphasize your work experience, but you could go the extra mile and see what comic sans or even wingdings might get you.

In your cover letter you may have to be a bit more subtle, but something I've heard that works is to caption a scanned picture of you and your judge at the court looking friendly together with "me wan jorb pls". Don't forget to use SCC letterhead! And the addressee goes top left, you go top right, ur sunk.

Simpler... ask the SCC to consider hirebacks and make you a puisne judge right after call with a path to CJC.

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Someone better informed can correct me, but I believe there is an SCC OCI (on...court...interviews?) process.

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30 minutes ago, onepost said:

Someone better informed can correct me, but I believe there is an SCC OCI (on...court...interviews?) process.

They don’t do OCIs. You go there for the interviews. 

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6 minutes ago, providence said:

They don’t do OCIs. You go there for the interviews. 

To be clear, I meant that firms go to the court to interview clerks for associate positions.

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Let's try to be helpful here and if you can't be helpful, scroll on by.

To the OP, congratulations. You're in for an interesting and rewarding year. My guess is that you likely have an area of interest when it comes to eventual practice, right? You may have spent summers at a firm pursuing that possibility? Is returning to that firm not possible? By this point, you should have a good idea of what type of practice you want.

Very few clerks that I know went on to do an LLM with the idea of going into academia. No, there are not really typical paths. There are probably as many different paths as there are clerks, in my experience.

If you haven't even started the clerkship, it's a little early to be working on your resume. If you'd like to discuss further, send me a PM.

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I'm also happy to field specific questions by PM. A minority of clerks that I know have gone into academia or done LLMs; most are litigators, but the type of litigation and location and size of firm varies wildly. Some of them are in policy or in government. Like erinl2 says, it's pretty varied. 

I will note that in my year I think only 2 out of 27 people knew where they were going at the end of the year when they arrived, but the rest of us ended the year having secured our next positions/places in school (for those going on to further academics). So you're not unusual in not knowing what the next step is. 

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Has anyone on this board done an LLM within 5 years of their clerkship through a law clerk program and is willing to comment on it? (if so, PM me pls).

Edited by FineCanadianFXs

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Thanks everyone for your awesome comments and suggestions. You've all really put things into perspective and, if anything, I'm much less stressed about figuring this out now.

Quote

A good way to open and close your resume is to highlight what you got out of the clerkship. Something like reserving an entire page or two to write "me SCC clerk" in size 215 font should do. I think any typeface will help emphasize your work experience, but you could go the extra mile and see what comic sans or even wingdings might get you.

I'm definitely taking this advice... Windings is actually my favorite font and sadly underused.

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If you'd like to discuss further, send me a PM.

Thanks, I'll definitely reach out!

 

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off the top of my head I can think of 6 former clerk I know 4 contemporary and 2 sr lawyers 

1 Legal Aid lawyer(criminal and appeals)

1 Big Firm Small market lawyer

1 Crown Counsel

1 Human Rights commissoer 

1 Litigation lawyer (Smaller specialized firm)

1 large (for the industry) Criminal Defence  

As a former clerk you can do whatever you want pretty much. What area interest you ? firm does that work ? do this say send a CV if interested ? For exsample if you want to do Aboriginal send JFK a CV. Want to do a criminal? Peck or Greenspan . The only places that may be hard is BigLaw but only because of their way of hiring (OCIs) . As a furture, current or former clerk you can cold call these places 

 

Edited by serdog

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