JDizzle2015 wrote:Many people who get federal A3 clerkships (non-SCOTUS) are aided by the strengths/connections of their law school in addition to being personally amazing in many ways.
I live in Maryland and work at a mid-size local firm. It's not BigLaw by NYC standards, but we are a very well established firm in the city of Baltimore. Many of the attorneys I work with had A3 Clerkships in the US District Court of Maryland, or, in the alternative, on the Court of Special Appeals (intermediary state appellate court) or the Court of Appeals (highest level state court for Maryland). Many of the judges they served under were alumni of UMD Law, and they tend to hire from their Alma Matter.
While these clerkships are impresive, I would say that the bulk of them came on the heels of a summer associate job opportunity. That is to say, the clerk had grades for law firm placement. I agree, clerkships are no substitute for OCI. The most important thing a law student should focus on, especially incoming law students, are their grades. That's very big with job placement.