Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

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Alexandria
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby Alexandria » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:30 pm

gollymolly wrote:
TTT-LS wrote:Our curve is definitely generous. Last year, top 3.5% was 3.97 at graduation. As I mentioned above, I think gpas generally rise a little 2L and particularly 3L year. I do think most judges/employers understand that a 3.7 at NU =/= 3.7 at UM.

As for judges hiring already for 2011-12 and beyond, it is definitely happening, mostly at the COA level as Alexandria described. LCA has a lot of data if you want specifics.


OT but I hate it when people say GPAs rise. Same curve, same people, only now everyone else has figured out how the exam works. My grades are plummeting this semester for sure.

On the recommendation front: Did any of you get LORs from professors you didn't RA or TA for? In other words, is it possible to get a decent LOR from a professor you interact with in class & limited office hours?


The thing is there are a lot of small upper level classes that are not curved at many schools. That's why GPAs rise.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby XxSpyKEx » Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:19 am

Alexandria wrote:
TTT-LS wrote:Not sure what your interpretation of top 25% is, but I gather that probably falls right around a 3.7. To give you a reference point, 103 students in the class of 2009 graduated with a 3.65 or better (roughly 37% of the class). Those numbers reflect some 2L and 3L grade inflation, so I take it a smaller % of the class had a 3.65 after 1L year. Also, FWIW, the c/o 2009 had a lot more people at 3.65 or above than the c/o 2008, so things do vary from year to year.



Off-topic rant:

Holy crap, I wish they would redo our curve. It may be unfounded, but I'm afraid judges/employers don't pay enough attention to the differences from school to school. 3.7 is top 10% for us. His 3.95 would be top 2%.


I'd actually be interested in seeing a GPA chart for NU's employers. I wonder if they do better just because employers look at a student that has straight A-s and think he did well even though he really did as well as a person with a B+ average at a school like Michigan.. I mean it would just be so easy to do if you were an employer because straight As looks really good (even though it's only top 40% of the class at NU).

drew
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby drew » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:51 pm

Alexandria wrote:
TTT-LS wrote:Not sure what your interpretation of top 25% is, but I gather that probably falls right around a 3.7. To give you a reference point, 103 students in the class of 2009 graduated with a 3.65 or better (roughly 37% of the class). Those numbers reflect some 2L and 3L grade inflation, so I take it a smaller % of the class had a 3.65 after 1L year. Also, FWIW, the c/o 2009 had a lot more people at 3.65 or above than the c/o 2008, so things do vary from year to year.



Off-topic rant:

Holy crap, I wish they would redo our curve. It may be unfounded, but I'm afraid judges/employers don't pay enough attention to the differences from school to school. 3.7 is top 10% for us. His 3.95 would be top 2%.

I saw those numbers and was thinking in that range. What would a 3.95 be somewhere else? Even at GULC (12% A's 1L year), a 3.95 would seem to place the candidate in the top 6-7%...

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TTT-LS
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby TTT-LS » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:33 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alexandria
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby Alexandria » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:44 pm

I don't think the A+s help GPAs that much, even on a 4.33 curve (that's how ours is). So few people ever get them, is the thing (for us, in curved classes, it's basically only the person who booked the class, and some profs don't give them out at all. In uncurved classes they're still pretty rare, even where the prof is otherwise a generous grader). I'm doing well, but I've never gotten one, and my dream is to get a single one before I graduate.

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TTT-LS
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby TTT-LS » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:57 am

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

drew
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby drew » Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:47 am

TTT-LS wrote:Drew- one thing to consider is that we’re on a 4.33 scale, while GULC and many others are on a 4.0 scale. Even under GULC’s new system, an A+ is worth only 4.0, whereas for us an A+ is worth 4.33. That has a major impact on the way our GPAs differ from other schools.


Sorry, gotcha.

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thesealocust
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby thesealocust » Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:10 am

TTT-LS wrote:Ah, I see. For us, professors in curved classes are *required* to give at least 3% of the class an A+, and they have discretion to give up to 7% of the class an A+. In a typical section of 65 students, about 3 usually get an A+. On the other hand, we don't do book awards. So it seems like the two schools approach A+ grades differently.


That's really interesting. At UVA A+ counts as 4.3, but only a tiiiiiny number of people get them. The last time all of my 1L professors all taught at the same time, 4 of the 270 grades or so they gave out were A+s (just over 1%).

Also, as far as I can tell we don't have relaxed or removed curves for small classes, just lots and lots of B+s. Which I guess doesn't really matter since it's consistent within the school, but seems different from most schools policies with respect to small classes.

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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:57 pm

gollymolly wrote:On the recommendation front: Did any of you get LORs from professors you didn't RA or TA for? In other words, is it possible to get a decent LOR from a professor you interact with in class & limited office hours?


Yes, I got one letter of rec from a professor for whom I hadn't worked as a TA/RA. However, I received a top grade in his class, and I suspect that's why he wrote me a strong letter.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby XxSpyKEx » Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:09 pm

thesealocust wrote:
TTT-LS wrote:Ah, I see. For us, professors in curved classes are *required* to give at least 3% of the class an A+, and they have discretion to give up to 7% of the class an A+. In a typical section of 65 students, about 3 usually get an A+. On the other hand, we don't do book awards. So it seems like the two schools approach A+ grades differently.


That's really interesting. At UVA A+ counts as 4.3, but only a tiiiiiny number of people get them. The last time all of my 1L professors all taught at the same time, 4 of the 270 grades or so they gave out were A+s (just over 1%).


I think this is pretty typical at most schools. NU's curve looks like it is almost just off by 1/3 of a letter grade but not quite there-- where an A+ at NU is almost like an A at almost all schools and an A at NU is like an A- at other schools (which is particularly true if all the professors max out their curves on the high side prior to turning in grades-- 22% of the class falls into the A+ or A- range!).

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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby YCrevolution » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:22 pm

..

asealclubber
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby asealclubber » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:22 pm

How much will my chances be hurt if my only "core" 2L class is Evidence and Crim Pro? (So, not taking Corporations or Tax, and saving Admin and Fed Courts for 3L).

helvidius2010
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby helvidius2010 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:00 pm

asealclubber wrote:How much will my chances be hurt if my only "core" 2L class is Evidence and Crim Pro? (So, not taking Corporations or Tax, and saving Admin and Fed Courts for 3L).


Every judge has their own criteria. But in my experience, there is nothing wrong with leaving Fed Cts and Admin for 3L. Just don't fill your schedule with fluff and/or a lot of pass-fail classes. Good luck.

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TTT-LS
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby TTT-LS » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:06 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

charliec9
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby charliec9 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:13 pm

asealclubber wrote:How much will my chances be hurt if my only "core" 2L class is Evidence and Crim Pro? (So, not taking Corporations or Tax, and saving Admin and Fed Courts for 3L).


I agree with the other posters. As long as you don't take all "easy" classes, I doubt most judges will mind. I interviewed with and had interview offers from a decent number of tough-to-get judges and my course selection was pretty balanced when I applied (a mix between classes that look "easy" in an area I love, a few middle ground classes and some classes that were core types--Evidence and the like).
Last edited by charliec9 on Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

melbelle
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby melbelle » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:18 pm

thesealocust wrote:UVA
thesealocust wrote:
TTT-LS wrote:Ah, I see. For us, professors in curved classes are *required* to give at least 3% of the class an A+, and they have discretion to give up to 7% of the class an A+. In a typical section of 65 students, about 3 usually get an A+. On the other hand, we don't do book awards. So it seems like the two schools approach A+ grades differently.


That's really interesting. At UVA A+ counts as 4.3, but only a tiiiiiny number of people get them. The last time all of my 1L professors all taught at the same time, 4 of the 270 grades or so they gave out were A+s (just over 1%).

Also, as far as I can tell we don't have relaxed or removed curves for small classes, just lots and lots of B+s. Which I guess doesn't really matter since it's consistent within the school, but seems different from most schools policies with respect to small classes.


There's a relaxed curve at UVA for small classes (16 students or less). For small classes, the curve is the higher of (1) a B+ or (2) the average GPA of the students in the class. People also boost/maintain their GPA by taking classes at the JAG school. I believe the curve there is an A-.

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thesealocust
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby thesealocust » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:23 pm

melbelle wrote:There's a relaxed curve at UVA for small classes (16 students or less). For small classes, the curve is the higher of (1) a B+ or (2) the average GPA of the students in the class. People also boost/maintain their GPA by taking classes at the JAG school. I believe the curve there is an A-.


Interesting. Do you have a source? Neither looking through the academic policies nor the median grade reports at SRO / the reserve room gave me that impression, but I was hardly looking on purpose.

melbelle
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby melbelle » Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:21 pm

thesealocust wrote:
melbelle wrote:There's a relaxed curve at UVA for small classes (16 students or less). For small classes, the curve is the higher of (1) a B+ or (2) the average GPA of the students in the class. People also boost/maintain their GPA by taking classes at the JAG school. I believe the curve there is an A-.


Interesting. Do you have a source? Neither looking through the academic policies nor the median grade reports at SRO / the reserve room gave me that impression, but I was hardly looking on purpose.




Sure. My source is the Registrar. Feel free to ask SRO directly though as it isn't in writing anywhere. For data verification, I'd check the median grade report for the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. It is full of Law Review folks and I highly doubt Ortiz is grading on a B+ curve.

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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:16 am

I'm also a 2L very interested in clerking. I probably don't have the credentials for COA deals, but District courts, magistrate courts, bankruptcy courts, or state supreme courts would be very appealing to me. If you're, say, top 1/3 at Duke/Cornell/GULC, and managing editor of an established secondary journal, how good a shot do you have?

tikitavi
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby tikitavi » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:40 am

For anyone that did a federal judge internship during their 1L summer, do you think that helped at all when later going through the clerkship application process? Have any judges been willing to give go to bat for you in any way?

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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm also a 2L very interested in clerking. I probably don't have the credentials for COA deals, but District courts, magistrate courts, bankruptcy courts, or state supreme courts would be very appealing to me. If you're, say, top 1/3 at Duke/Cornell/GULC, and managing editor of an established secondary journal, how good a shot do you have?

If next year is anything like this year, you might find that you have a difficult time landing anything. I'm at a school ranked a bit higher than yours. This year, we had a number of students with top-10% grades, editorial board positions on the flagship law review, and so forth who couldn't get any fed clerkships this season—COA, district court, bankruptcy, or magistrate. Of course, some of these students applied only to judges in places like NYC, SF, LA, Chicago, etc. But some applied broadly and still struck out.

I know this sounds discouraging. But the 2009-2010 clerkship hiring season was unusually brutal:
http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2009/ ... -high.html

It's possible 2010-2011 won't be quite as tough. Still, I wouldn't count on it.

If you can be very geographically flexible, if you focus on magistrates and bankruptcy judges, and if you can get great letters of rec from professors who will make calls to judges on your behalf, you could do just fine. I wish you the best of luck.

tikitavi wrote:For anyone that did a federal judge internship during their 1L summer, do you think that helped at all when later going through the clerkship application process? Have any judges been willing to give go to bat for you in any way?

I externed for a federal judge 1L summer. The judges who interviewed me this year for clerkships seemed to like that I'd externed—they'd say things like, "Oh, I really admire Judge X," or "Externships are great because they give you a taste of what clerking will be like."

At least to my knowledge, no one contacted the judge for whom I externed, nor did that judge go to bat for me. But I haven't kept in touch with that judge at all, and I didn't ask the judge for help in the clerkship application process, so it's really no surprise.

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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:31 pm

OP or TTT-LS:

OP emphasized the importance of having 3 good professor recs.

Is the minimum number of recs 3? Must these recs be from professors only?

How would it look and is it possible to have only two professor recs but the third rec would be from a district court judge you interned for and developed an excellent relationship with?

What effect would a phone call from a district court judge to other judges in the state have on improving my chances of landing the clerkship?

I hope you are still taking the questions, the thread sort of went off into a class rank discussion. I would appreciate your answers!

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TTT-LS
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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby TTT-LS » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:47 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerkships: recent survivor of application process taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:49 pm

TTT LS

Thanks for the reply, it is quite helpful. I will need to try to work a relationship with a third professor.




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