T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

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T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:20 am

Not here to show off. Answering questions about jobs, law school, etc. for people here.

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agentzer0
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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby agentzer0 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:24 am

congrats. super stupid question: what's the deal with/point of clerking? also what are your plans for after your clerkship?

SBimmer
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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby SBimmer » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:27 am

Do you have employment lined-up after graduation?

If so:

Where?
School?
Class Ranking/GPA?
Did you intern at your prospective employer during the summer?

What would you do differently during 1L given your 3 years of law school experience?

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:28 am

Thanks. I think the benefits are twofold. First, they look great on a resume. So, down the road when people see a clerkship (state or federal) they will meet you assuming you are competent rather than looking for you to prove it. Second, they are a great learning experience. You'll spend a year or two writing actual opinions issued by the Judge, rather than spending your first year out of law school doing doc review.

After clerking I'll probably work at a firm for a bit, but I'm not 100% sure.

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:31 am

I have a firm job lined up from my 2L summer. I thought it was a good experience and would recommend trying a firm if possible. At the least, you can figure out if that is what you want to do. Sorry, not giving city or school simply since I don't want anyone to guess who I am. However, it is a t-14 and I am in the top 10%.

For 1L, read ahead and outline your cases well. You'll hit April and be done with readings and can spend a whole month outlining and taking practice tests.

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agentzer0
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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby agentzer0 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks. I think the benefits are twofold. First, they look great on a resume. So, down the road when people see a clerkship (state or federal) they will meet you assuming you are competent rather than looking for you to prove it. Second, they are a great learning experience. You'll spend a year or two writing actual opinions issued by the Judge, rather than spending your first year out of law school doing doc review.

After clerking I'll probably work at a firm for a bit, but I'm not 100% sure.


Considering academia at all? I only ask because I've heard clerkships are essential if you want to go that route... is that true?

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby kittenmittons » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:33 am

Did you go into school planning/shooting for a clerkship? What steps, if any, did you take to realize this?

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:39 am

I actually had no idea what a clerkship was when I was a 1L. If anything I figured they were for people who were smarter than me. During 2L though I started to read more about them and decided they would be a great way to gain experience and build my resume. If you are thinking you want to clerk, first, get the best grades possible. Second, try to get to know two or three professors well, meaning try to do part time research work, or take advantage of their office hours in a non-gunnerish way. Finally, join a journal. Not being on one will kill your apps.

Clerkships are big for academia, although publishing is bigger. Might go the professor route, but not sure.

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby agentzer0 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:Clerkships are big for academia, although publishing is bigger. Might go the professor route, but not sure.


publishing while you're in school?

Edit: Thanks for answering all these questions :)
Last edited by agentzer0 on Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:44 am

I had my note published by an outside journal, which was nice. This will come in handy should I try to teach. Also, being published helps with clerkship apps since it shows an ability to take an idea and express and support it over 40 or 50 pages (which is pretty common for COA opinions).


Edit: No problem -- glad to help. A lot of this I wish I had known two years ago, especially related to clerkships, since that process is so murky.

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby toolshed » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:55 am

How does one go about getting published?

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:00 pm

It is a bit of a pain, especially as a student. Journals have a real bias against student work. You'll need to write something that a journal would be interested in, whether that be a note, a seminar paper, or just something you write on the side under a professor's guidance. The topic can vary enormously and should just be something you are interested in spending many hours writing about. From there, polish it, bluebook it, and submit it to journals. As a student, if you send it out to enough journals and it is a decent piece, you'll probably get a few bites.

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby kittenmittons » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:03 pm

What was the application process like? Don't need anything too detailed, just curious what came to your mind about it first.

Thanks btw

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby Chichaca » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:05 pm

Thanks for answering questions!

I've been told that law review is good for clerkships as well. Would you say it is better, worse, or the same as having publications in terms of making you more competitive for clerkships? Any other "extracurriculars" you would recommend to someone shooting for a clerkship?

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby ogman05 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It is a bit of a pain, especially as a student. Journals have a real bias against student work. You'll need to write something that a journal would be interested in, whether that be a note, a seminar paper, or just something you write on the side under a professor's guidance. The topic can vary enormously and should just be something you are interested in spending many hours writing about. From there, polish it, bluebook it, and submit it to journals. As a student, if you send it out to enough journals and it is a decent piece, you'll probably get a few bites.


Before you got to law school did you see writing that much as daunting and it was something you learned through the experience of 1L, 2L or were you always a proficient writer. Asking because to me, I feel liek I would be pulling my hair out writing that much right now.

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby Kretzy » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:06 pm

kittenmittons wrote:What was the application process like? Don't need anything too detailed, just curious what came to your mind about it first.

Thanks btw


This. Did you apply to a particular Circuit, or particular judges across circuits? How was the callback process, and did your school help facilitate your travel for it?

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous Loser » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:10 pm

Did you just send your note out on Expresso, or did you take a more involved approach toward getting published in an outside journal?

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:39 pm

I sent it out via expresso and directly to journals. Expresso is a little pricey, so if the journals had their own submission email I used that.

In college I think I was a good writer, but definitely not a good "legal writer." So I think I had the tools I needed but then honed my legal writing skills in classes at law school. Also, if you have a good idea and struggle with the actual writing, consider co-writing my another student. Nothing wrong with that, and I don't think journals would look down on it.

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby TTT-LS » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:41 pm

.
Last edited by TTT-LS on Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby kittenmittons » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:42 pm

TTT-LS wrote:I don't want to blow up OP's scene, since this is his/her thread and not mine, but if OP or you all want, I'm happy to share additional views/experiences. I'm in more or less the same boat as OP--T14 3L, COA after graduation, LR, published w/outside journal, going back to 2L firm after COA job if I don't land a follow-on clerkship, academia a maybe, etc.


Same questions for you then. How was the app process?

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:43 pm

I applied to judges across the board. I was willing to move somewhere crazy for a year, so geography wasn't as much of an issue. This is probably one of the main reasons I was able to land a position. However, I have friends who limited themselves and it turned out ok for some of them too.

Travel to interviews was all out of my pocket. For the interviews themselves, know the Judge so if they happen to ask a "why me" question you have an answer. Have a reason why that particular circuit, district, or area. Also, be ready to talk about almost anything, ranging from purely personal interests to discussions of substantive topics. I found that judges were most interested in getting to know me, since they had my resume and grades, and wanted to make sure I was someone they would be willing to spend a year in close contact with.

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:43 pm

TTT-LS wrote:I don't want to blow up OP's scene, since this is his/her thread and not mine, but if OP or you all want, I'm happy to share additional views/experiences. I'm in more or less the same boat as OP--T14 3L, COA after graduation, LR, published w/outside journal, going back to 2L firm after COA job if I don't land a follow-on clerkship, academia a maybe, etc.



go for it, the more the merrier

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous Loser » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I sent it out via expresso and directly to journals. Expresso is a little pricey, so if the journals had their own submission email I used that.


Ah, I see now that pricing can differ a great deal depending on the type of institutional account your school may or may not have with Expresso. For some reason, I had assumed it was a free service. Thanks for the information.

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby TTT-LS » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:07 pm

Quickly as to publishing, I used ExpressO. While you do have to pay $2/journal to submit, my opinion, having been on the selection side (i.e., choosing content for my own LR), is that this is the best way to go. I was able to trade up to a much better journal than the first one I had an offer from, and ExpressO's expedite feature likely accounts for the multiple later offers I ended up getting. But OP is right: publishing w/outside journals as a student is an uphill battle given the bias against publishing student work.

Chichaca, I'm not sure LR v. publishing is an either/or kind of thing. Really, to publish as a student--at least with outstide journals--LR is close to a must. But for clerkships, LR is much more important than publishing. By miles. If you want to clerk for a trial court, like a federal district court, then trial team or moot court experience would be good, along with great grades in trial advocacy, evidence, and civ pro.

On applications, the process is a trainwreck. In some cases, judges make it that way intentionally as a screening mechanism. At the highest levels, there are all kinds of behind the scenes things that go on between faculty and judges, deans and judges, and so on that were pretty surprising to me. Basically there are two routes to apply for rising 3Ls: the structured fall hiring plan process and the completely unstructured off-plan process.

The former is a somewhat recent innovation in response to the old way of hiring clerks after the end of their 1L year (so you'd be hired more than 2 years in advance). Under the hiring plan process, one uploads a resume, letters of recommendation, writing sample, grades, etc. into OSCAR, the Online System for Clerkship Application & Review (check out https://oscar.uscourts.gov/ for more info). All rising 3L applications are released to judges on a specific day in early September, after which interview offers begin to go out on an appointed day, with actual interviews beginning a few days earlier. For judges who don’t use OSCAR but who do follow the hiring plan, some schools orchestrate a bundling process so that you can send paper apps out.

The latter, off-plan process is a lot more opaque. Some judges—particularly judges in more rural areas or who tend to send lots of clerks to the Supreme Court—hire well before September of 3L year. The rural judges do this because if they hired on the plan, students with multiple interview offers would have to choose between flying to Topeka or Boston on the first interview day. Given that a student might be able to do several interviews in Boston and then shoot down to Philly for a few more, the student will naturally decline the interview offer in Topeka. By hiring early, the rural judges combat the natural geographic advantages held by the urban judges. As for the feeder judges, they want to find the best 3Ls in the country, and to do so they try to hire before anyone else does, using well-known faculty members as screeners. You can’t realistically apply to these judges unless you get the green light from the right recommenders. Interviews begin as early as March or April of 2L year, though my impression was that most pre-plan hiring last summer was done in June and July.
Last edited by TTT-LS on Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: T-14 3L, future COA clerk, answering questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:11 pm

^^

That was awfully helpful.




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