Are there any chill circuit court clerkships? I am just wrapping up a super intense/busy district court clerkship and am not looking for something that intense for my next clerkship, assuming I clerk again at all. I would still like the experience though given that I hear the skills gained from each are quite different.

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It’s gonna vary, but the likeliest bet would be a circuit judge on senior status. And the older probably the better. Senior status judges often take several clerks but have the liberty to take a reduced work load—even as little as 1/4 I believe. I had a friend who got a clerkship with a senior status 9th Cir. judge in Hawaii and basically seemed to live on the beach.

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I know someone who worked for a very, very senior judge who had moved chambers to his retirement home. Job entailed nice lunches with low-sodium soup. By all accounts judge was a fabulous boss and great teacher.

Obviously one downside of a clerkship with a senior judge like that is the likelihood that post-clerkship you won't have this former boss around for many years as a mentor/reference/friend/network.

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Bankruptcy courts are generally slow now. But I imagine the big bk court clerks are insanely busy always.

I clerk for the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and we are always busy. Even when bankruptcy is slow.

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Senior judges are a solid bet. I believe the Tenth Circuit has the lowest case count per judge. But make sure you do your research on judges. Your quality of life depends more on the boss you have, unless you're clerking for a very busy court that doesn't trade bench memos. (The Tenth Circuit is known for having a few judges you should avoid at all costs.)

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