Career Corner—Advice and Resources for Alumni

A Bold Move That Actually Worked: Steve Koyanagi ('09)

Opting out of a second year of his clerkship without another job opportunity in a tough market wasn't an easy decision, but for this alum it all worked out

I left my state appellate clerkship in Hawaii without a position lined up. I was nervous and worried about finding a new job because of the current state of the legal market. I always wanted to clerk in a federal court, but I did not think it was possible because of the steep competition.
I received a phone interview with a Magistrate Judge at the Eastern District of California. It went well, but I did not get the position. The judge referred me to another Magistrate Judge at the Eastern District that was also interviewing. I drove to Fresno for the interview with this second Magistrate Judge. The interview went well, but again they decided to hire someone else. This judge then referred me to Chief Judge Anthony Ishii. I again drove to Fresno to interview with Judge Ishii. This time, I had zero expectations because of not getting the previous two positions. The interview went well and a few weeks later I found out I got the job.

This was a long process over a few months, but things finally worked out because I kept interviewing and making contacts.

Steve Koyanagi (‘09)