Context for clerkship data?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
User avatar
02889
Posts: 479
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:21 pm

Context for clerkship data?

Postby 02889 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:04 pm

The information below is taken from a previous thread about clerkship data. Can someone fill in some of the details on what this really means? For example, should I assume that like 75+% of each class goes for a federal clerkship, but only around 8-11% get one? As in, a federal clerkship is very unlikely outside of HYS, and only those in the top 10-15% of the class plus a journal (or more specifically, law review) has a chance? Or are clerkships something that less than half the class seeks, so there's more of a chance?

In short: Should one really consider clerkship data when choosing between schools outside of HYS, if you acknowledge that it's impossible to predict whether one will be in the top third of the class, nevermind the top 10%?

1. Yale (33%)
2. Stanford (23.4%)
3. Harvard (16%)
4. Duke (11.1%)
5. NYU (10.9%)
6. Michigan (10.6%)
6. UVA (10.6%)
8. Berkeley (9.7%)
9. Chicago (9.5%)
10. UPenn (9.1%)
11. Columbia (8.1%)
12. NU (8%)
12. Cornell (8%)
14. Georgetown (3.9%)

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18422
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Context for clerkship data?

Postby bk1 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:12 pm

You shouldn't base a school decision purely on clerkship chances. For most non-HYS schools (and maybe even for H), it is such an unlikely possibility for a 0L that it shouldn't be a factor. That being said, when looking at a school's overall placement, you should factor in clerkships to the total amount of "good outcomes" that you then compare from school to school. I could see an argument for, if you really really wanted to clerk, making the decision to take HYS over a substantial scholarship over a lower ranked school.

User avatar
02889
Posts: 479
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:21 pm

Re: Context for clerkship data?

Postby 02889 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:14 pm

bk1 wrote:You shouldn't base a school decision purely on clerkship chances. For most non-HYS schools (and maybe even for H), it is such an unlikely possibility for a 0L that it shouldn't be a factor. That being said, when looking at a school's overall placement, you should factor in clerkships to the total amount of "good outcomes" that you then compare from school to school. I could see an argument for, if you really really wanted to clerk, making the decision to take HYS over a substantial scholarship over a lower ranked school.

Thanks, that is similar to what I was thinking.

Does anyone have experience with what opinions are on clerkships within schools? Is it assumed that most people apply for them? Right now the 8-11% figure for me has no context, except if I assume that 100% of the class applied (unlikely) and only 8-11% received an offer.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Context for clerkship data?

Postby ph14 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:16 pm

02889 wrote:
bk1 wrote:You shouldn't base a school decision purely on clerkship chances. For most non-HYS schools (and maybe even for H), it is such an unlikely possibility for a 0L that it shouldn't be a factor. That being said, when looking at a school's overall placement, you should factor in clerkships to the total amount of "good outcomes" that you then compare from school to school. I could see an argument for, if you really really wanted to clerk, making the decision to take HYS over a substantial scholarship over a lower ranked school.

Thanks, that is similar to what I was thinking.

Does anyone have experience with what opinions are on clerkships within schools? Is it assumed that most people apply for them? Right now the 8-11% figure for me has no context, except if I assume that 100% of the class applied (unlikely) and only 8-11% received an offer.


Is this data just the people who clerk immediately after graduation? If so, it might be a bit underinclusive. I don't think everyone applies, but probably most people who want to do litigation and are competitive apply.

User avatar
Lincoln
Posts: 1032
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: Context for clerkship data?

Postby Lincoln » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:22 pm

For comparison, I would estimate that at Cornell less than 20% of the class apply for clerkships as 2Ls or 3Ls. (Moreover, 8% looks like a high number compared to the people in my class who have clerkships.) Many people clerk one or two years out of school, and many people have no interest in clerking at all.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18422
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Context for clerkship data?

Postby bk1 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:32 pm

02889 wrote:Does anyone have experience with what opinions are on clerkships within schools? Is it assumed that most people apply for them? Right now the 8-11% figure for me has no context, except if I assume that 100% of the class applied (unlikely) and only 8-11% received an offer.


Most people do not apply to clerkships, but that is likely due to the large amount of self-selection involved. Things like:

1. People who know they want to clerk at the outset are likely to try harder and gun harder. This doesn't mean they will get better grades as a 1L, but it does mean they are likely to try and make sure the other things do happen (they won't skip the writing comp, they'll try and develop professor relationships, etc).

2. People who don't do well after 1L will likely not even attempt to get a clerkship since they are fighting a very tough uphill battle (thus self-selecting out of the process). They will care less about grades, might not even take a journal position, won't try to develop professor connections, etc as a 2L.

3. People who get biglaw may self-select out of trying to get a clerkship. It's a lot of work to go through the application process and people who already have a cushy biglaw job lined up have much less incentive to gun for a clerkship. Whereas people who don't have biglaw likely don't have much of a shot at clerkships (though there are exceptions).

4. Clerking costs money (you make more by heading straight to biglaw than you do by clerking-->biglaw) and often requires geographic flexibility (clerkships in flyover districts are generally easier to get than ones in large metro areas). Not everyone is willing to make these sacrifices. At NU this is definitely a factor for some people since NU tends to be older and more with families who are less willing to make the sacrifice of moving and/or money.

5. Biglaw firms tend to value clerking far less for corporate positions than litigation positions. Thus people who are going corporate tend not to clerk even if they would competitive for it.

I'm sure there are other things but it isn't that simple to calculate. What I do think you can know is that, without a doubt, more people apply to clerkships than get them. While it is possible that a school's clerkship numbers are lower than that school's theoretical maximum clerkship placement, it is unlikely to be lower by a large amount. Also keep in mind that clerkship numbers can vary wildly from year to year since you're looking at a small number of people.

westbayguy
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:41 pm

Re: Context for clerkship data?

Postby westbayguy » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:55 pm

http://www.law.yale.edu/studentlife/employment_clerkstats.htm

The following is excerpted from the Yale law School website:

Judicial Clerkship Employment
YLS students and alumni accept clerkships at a variety of times. Many students accept one or more clerkships in the third year of law school and commence those clerkships either immediately after graduation or in some later year. Some of these students will apply for and accept a second (or sometimes third) clerkship as alumni. Other students forego the clerkship process as students and wait until after graduation to pursue clerkships. The statistics in this chart reflect:
1.the percent of graduates who worked as a judicial clerk in their first job after graduation;
2.the percent of graduates obtaining one or more clerkships at any time;
3.the total number of clerkships obtained by graduates.
This chart includes information reported to CDO as of August 28, 2012.

Clerkship

Percent of Employed Graduates Reporting a Clerkship as First Job after Graduation
Class of 2007 Class of 2008 Class of 2009 Class of 2010 Class of 2011
41.4% 35.1% 30.6% 36.3% 38.6%

Percent of Graduates Reporting One or More Clerkships at Any Time
Class of 2007 Class of 2008 Class of 2009 Class of 2010 Class of 2011
54% 49% 44% 49% 40%

User avatar
02889
Posts: 479
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:21 pm

Re: Context for clerkship data?

Postby 02889 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:46 am

That was all very helpful, thanks!




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests