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The Best Legal Job You’ll Ever Have

Posted on Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2013 — 11:57 AM

Clerkships offer benefits throughout a legal career.

When Misty Johnson ’09 and her partner, Weslynn Reed ’09, won Vanderbilt’s 2008 Moot Court Competition, Johnson did not realize their victory would help her land a clerkship two years later with a pioneering African American federal judge she had long admired, Chief Judge Curtis Collier of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Johnson knew she wanted to clerk, but she had planned to spend at least two years working at a law firm in Atlanta first. However, when the firm deferred entering associates and sponsored pro bono fellowships, Johnson seized the opportunity to apply for clerkships, limiting her applications mostly to judges in the Southeast, where she planned to practice. “It was risky,” she acknowledged. “The clerkship process is extremely competitive.”

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Originally published in Vanderbilt Lawyer


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