I've wanted to work as a law clerk to a judge for a long time. Nokomis actually worked as a clerk right after graduating from law school and had great things to say about the job and about the opportunity to watch and be a part of court every day. Not only did Nokomis speak highly of working for the Minnesota Judicial Branch, but throughout law school I got to know a handful of other clerks and they all had great things to say about the job.
One of the interesting things about having a clerkship is that while it's essentially the same job for all clerks (research and writing), the content of the work and the work environment can vary greatly depending on your assignment and your physical location. I knew early on that I wasn't ready to commit myself to a specialty docket, such as family, civil, or criminal. I wanted to see everything! Again, based on some of Nokomis's excellent advice, I knew that a more rural county would be a great fit for my interests - which are pretty much all over the board. Naturally, if you're in a county with fewer judges you see more of a variety in your courtroom.
An extra bonus in regards to my desire to work in a small courthouse was that Calhoun and I were a little eager to venture away from the metro area. The reality is that we'll end up in a moderately sized town some day, not somewhere rural, so we wanted to take a chance to do something really different for a while. Not to mention, we have some friends who just picked up last winter and went off to do the Peace Corps in Mali. So, we figured, if they can move to an African country for twenty seven months we can live in rural Minnesota for a while.
It's worked out better than I could have imagined. Calhoun and I put thousands of miles on the little hatchback driving across the state to interviews and seeing small county courthouses. Ultimately, we've ended up in southwestern Minnesota. I'm hesitant to say exactly where because I'm working as a clerk in a one judge county, and well, there's just not a lot of anonymity if I just come right out and say where I am. So you'll just have to guess.
The view out of my office window at the courthouse
But anyways, it's going great - I see EVERYTHING and I'm getting to work on matters that are new and challenging every day. In a pretty dismal legal market, I feel really lucky to have landed the dream job.
But - I will let you know that we're living in rural Jackson County, and are shopping and eating in the Spirit Lake/Okoboji area of IOWA! That's right, we're right here on the border and it's....well...very different from Minneapolis.
Those are the details, well, as much of them as you're going to get :)