Clerkship - Information Request

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Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:55 am

I am considering trying to do a clerkship next year. I was just wondering if people who have gone through the process could post their stats (school rank, grades, journal, work experience, etc.) and the outcome (interviews, actual clerkship). Thanks.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:48 pm

DNCG, Top 1% (might've been top 2% when I applied), LR + board, significant WE, V10 SA, very strong faculty recs+calls, decent but not amazing writing sample.

Applied off-plan to ~12 COA judges throughout the country. Was offered 10 interviews, including interviews with a few top feeders. Was hired on the spot by the second judge I went to see, so I didn't end up going on the other interviews.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby 270910 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:DNCG, Top 1% (might've been top 2% when I applied), LR + board, significant WE, V10 SA, very strong faculty recs+calls, decent but not amazing writing sample.

Applied off-plan to ~12 COA judges throughout the country. Was offered 10 interviews, including interviews with a few top feeders. Was hired on the spot by the second judge I went to see, so I didn't end up going on the other interviews.


When did you do the off-plan applications? End of 2L, summer before 3L, or contemporaneously with people doing on plan type hiring?

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby UCLAtransfer » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:DNCG, Top 1% (might've been top 2% when I applied), LR + board, significant WE, V10 SA, very strong faculty recs+calls, decent but not amazing writing sample.

Applied off-plan to ~12 COA judges throughout the country. Was offered 10 interviews, including interviews with a few top feeders. Was hired on the spot by the second judge I went to see, so I didn't end up going on the other interviews.


Wow. Well done.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:04 am

what rank do people at CCN typically need for clerkships?

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:25 am

disco_barred wrote:When did you do the off-plan applications? End of 2L, summer before 3L, or contemporaneously with people doing on plan type hiring?

May and early June following 2L year. I get the sense that this year things are going incrementally earlier, so April or early May sounds about right.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am considering trying to do a clerkship next year. I was just wondering if people who have gone through the process could post their stats (school rank, grades, journal, work experience, etc.) and the outcome (interviews, actual clerkship). Thanks.


T14, top 20%, LR (not board), previous grad degree, teaching experience, strong recs + calls.

Applied to about 20 judges--all fed judges within my geographic area. Accepted early offer with CoA judge (based in part on recommender's connection to judge). Got 6 or 7 interview calls with district courts (no CoAs), but had already accepted earlier offer so I didn't go to the interviews.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:43 pm

T7-T14, top 1%, sec. journal w/ ed. board, strong recommendation letters, solid writing sample with other publications. On plan: several COA interview calls, accepted first COA offer.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby sjsteece » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:47 pm

How exactly does applying off plan work? Did your schools give you any help at all with the process or were you on your own?

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:26 pm

Schools don't really provide help w/off-plan apps, at least in my limited experience. Individual faculty members, who are much less constrained by the plan, often do help a lot.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:56 pm

what rank do people at CCN typically need for clerkships?


Hard to determine - and varies according to lots of factors - but based on my school's information, it looks like ~Top-10-15% for COA (w/ big variations in difficulty @ 2nd, 9th, D.C.) ~ Top-25% for DC. Unfortunately, though, the information they give doesn't inform us about unsuccessful applicants. I'm assuming that there are those with 3.75s who strike out, but that information just isn't there.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby dbt » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:58 pm

@nyu, For last year, the median GPA for 2nd Circuit was 3.7. Median for D.C. was 3.8 I think. Everything else is either a bit or quite a bit lower (for instance I think 5th Cir. was 3.55 median). And from what I've gathered 3.62ish was top 10% last year.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:33 pm

Top 1% (likely 1st) at a t20, but no law review and a pretty weak resume outside of the GPA. From what I've read almost everyone who gets a COA-offer has law review, but will the absence of law review on my resume prevent me from having a shot at a COA judge (mainly interested in 9th/1st/2nd/DC)?

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Top 1% (likely 1st) at a t20, but no law review and a pretty weak resume outside of the GPA. From what I've read almost everyone who gets a COA-offer has law review, but will the absence of law review on my resume prevent me from having a shot at a COA judge (mainly interested in 9th/1st/2nd/DC)?


not if you can show them that you're a good writer. other journal experience or publications are probably necessary in your case. or a prof who can vouch for strong writing skills.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Top 1% (likely 1st) at a t20, but no law review and a pretty weak resume outside of the GPA. From what I've read almost everyone who gets a COA-offer has law review, but will the absence of law review on my resume prevent me from having a shot at a COA judge (mainly interested in 9th/1st/2nd/DC)?

I think you're going to need to apply much more broadly than 1/2/9/DC. You will have a shot on those courts, particularly 9 (which is the least selective of the group, since it has the most judges and hires comparatively fewer alumni). That said, you ought to give yourself some room to maneuver considering the likelihood that the fall 2010 application cycle will be at least as crazy as fall 2009, when apps were up 66%.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby dbt » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Top 1% (likely 1st) at a t20, but no law review and a pretty weak resume outside of the GPA. From what I've read almost everyone who gets a COA-offer has law review, but will the absence of law review on my resume prevent me from having a shot at a COA judge (mainly interested in 9th/1st/2nd/DC)?


not if you can show them that you're a good writer. other journal experience or publications are probably necessary in your case. or a prof who can vouch for strong writing skills.


Just looking over the clerkship placement stats last year here, for many COA clerkships about 2/3 were law review, 1/3 were different journal with editorial position, so it's definitely not a prereq, but preferable.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby steve_nash » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Top 1% (likely 1st) at a t20, but no law review and a pretty weak resume outside of the GPA. From what I've read almost everyone who gets a COA-offer has law review, but will the absence of law review on my resume prevent me from having a shot at a COA judge (mainly interested in 9th/1st/2nd/DC)?


I think you'll need to apply more widely than that, because, despite your stellar grades, you don't have law review. Are you on a secondary journal? If you do, I don't think it actually will be a big deal. However, as anecdotal evidence, I know the federal district judge I interned for wouldn't even look at a resume if it didn't have some journal on it.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:17 pm

steve_nash wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Top 1% (likely 1st) at a t20, but no law review and a pretty weak resume outside of the GPA. From what I've read almost everyone who gets a COA-offer has law review, but will the absence of law review on my resume prevent me from having a shot at a COA judge (mainly interested in 9th/1st/2nd/DC)?


I think you'll need to apply more widely than that, because, despite your stellar grades, you don't have law review. Are you on a secondary journal? If you do, I don't think it actually will be a big deal. However, as anecdotal evidence, I know the federal district judge I interned for wouldn't even look at a resume if it didn't have some journal on it.


No journals. The anecdote you mention is my concern, but I was wondering how widespread that judge's position is. I will have a couple strong faculty recommendations that can both say a bit about my substantive writing outside of exams, but that obviously won't help much if I'm being dinged right away for a lack of any journal. I'll likely only apply to those circuits for geographic reasons, and I am fine with not clerking if it doesn't work out, was just curious about my chances.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby RVP11 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:26 pm

dbt wrote:@nyu, For last year, the median GPA for 2nd Circuit was 3.7. Median for D.C. was 3.8 I think. Everything else is either a bit or quite a bit lower (for instance I think 5th Cir. was 3.55 median). And from what I've gathered 3.62ish was top 10% last year.


Any numbers for district courts?

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby dbt » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:59 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
dbt wrote:@nyu, For last year, the median GPA for 2nd Circuit was 3.7. Median for D.C. was 3.8 I think. Everything else is either a bit or quite a bit lower (for instance I think 5th Cir. was 3.55 median). And from what I've gathered 3.62ish was top 10% last year.


Any numbers for district courts?


Yea for a few.

Central District CA: 3.5
Northern District CA: 3.5
Delaware Court of Chancery: 3.56
D.C.: 3.51
District of Mass.: 3.58
E.D.N.Y.: 3.58
S.D.N.Y: 3.56

the majority of the listings don't have average GPAs or anything listed because they're in less popular districts, so I imagine those are easier to get (sub 3.5).

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:13 pm

Different T20 than above poster here. Top3%. Law Review.
I have off plan apps basically ready to go (about 20 judges) but am unsure whether to send them out yet b/c we don't have publication decisions back yet from law review. How important is publication? Is it so important that I should wait to send my apps out?

Applying 85% to COA in 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th. Other 15% in focused Dist. Cts. in those circuits. Chances?

Writing sample question. If I don't get published, should I still be using my law review note no matter what? And cut it down from its current 60+pgs? I have the go-ahead from State SC (one of my recommenders) to use an opinion I wrote but our school frowns on that, has basically said don't do it.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
steve_nash wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Top 1% (likely 1st) at a t20, but no law review and a pretty weak resume outside of the GPA. From what I've read almost everyone who gets a COA-offer has law review, but will the absence of law review on my resume prevent me from having a shot at a COA judge (mainly interested in 9th/1st/2nd/DC)?


I think you'll need to apply more widely than that, because, despite your stellar grades, you don't have law review. Are you on a secondary journal? If you do, I don't think it actually will be a big deal. However, as anecdotal evidence, I know the federal district judge I interned for wouldn't even look at a resume if it didn't have some journal on it.


No journals. The anecdote you mention is my concern, but I was wondering how widespread that judge's position is. I will have a couple strong faculty recommendations that can both say a bit about my substantive writing outside of exams, but that obviously won't help much if I'm being dinged right away for a lack of any journal. I'll likely only apply to those circuits for geographic reasons, and I am fine with not clerking if it doesn't work out, was just curious about my chances.


I externed for a district court judge, and he had a similar policy. He had his clerks sort through applications in OSCAR, and they basically only looked at applicants that fit three criteria: (1) from a top 20 school; (2) in the top 10% of their class; and (3) on a journal. They printed out applications that fit the criteria for the judge to look at, and basically ignored the rest. (Unless the judge got a call from someone he knew that wanted to recommend an applicant.)

I think more than anything, some judges may just do this to cut down the applicant pool of about 700 to something manageable before they begin actually looking at individual applicants. It seems kind of arbitrary, but when you have so many ridiculously qualified people applying, I guess you have to have some way to narrow the pool to something you can work with.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Different T20 than above poster here. Top3%. Law Review.
I have off plan apps basically ready to go (about 20 judges) but am unsure whether to send them out yet b/c we don't have publication decisions back yet from law review. How important is publication? Is it so important that I should wait to send my apps out?

Applying 85% to COA in 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th. Other 15% in focused Dist. Cts. in those circuits. Chances?

Writing sample question. If I don't get published, should I still be using my law review note no matter what? And cut it down from its current 60+pgs? I have the go-ahead from State SC (one of my recommenders) to use an opinion I wrote but our school frowns on that, has basically said don't do it.


in response to your writing sample question: your note might be a good option for CoAs (cut it down, though!), but you'll want a more practical (and shorter) sample for district courts. something like a memo or brief works well--i think your opinion would work well too, and i know people who've had success doing that.

i'll be clerking 6th circuit starting in the fall, and i didn't use my LR note as a sample.

my general feeling with this kind of thread is that you can't predict clerkships the way you can predict things like law school acceptances. it's luck. many people on LR with better grades than me did not get clerkships from my school--it's all about how you schedule your interviews in september, who your recommenders are, and whether you have something extra that catches the judge's eye.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Different T20 than above poster here. Top3%. Law Review.
I have off plan apps basically ready to go (about 20 judges) but am unsure whether to send them out yet b/c we don't have publication decisions back yet from law review. How important is publication? Is it so important that I should wait to send my apps out?

Applying 85% to COA in 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th. Other 15% in focused Dist. Cts. in those circuits. Chances?

Writing sample question. If I don't get published, should I still be using my law review note no matter what? And cut it down from its current 60+pgs? I have the go-ahead from State SC (one of my recommenders) to use an opinion I wrote but our school frowns on that, has basically said don't do it.


in response to your writing sample question: your note might be a good option for CoAs (cut it down, though!), but you'll want a more practical (and shorter) sample for district courts. something like a memo or brief works well--i think your opinion would work well too, and i know people who've had success doing that.

i'll be clerking 6th circuit starting in the fall, and i didn't use my LR note as a sample.

my general feeling with this kind of thread is that you can't predict clerkships the way you can predict things like law school acceptances. it's luck. many people on LR with better grades than me did not get clerkships from my school--it's all about how you schedule your interviews in september, who your recommenders are, and whether you have something extra that catches the judge's eye.


Very helpful. Thanks. I kind of know it is a crapshoot but am in dire need of reassurance or bashing, god anything but a cointoss. I know my lowly T20 won't help but I'm going to fight through this miserable application process anyway.

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Re: Clerkship - Information Request

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Top 1% (likely 1st) at a t20, but no law review and a pretty weak resume outside of the GPA. From what I've read almost everyone who gets a COA-offer has law review, but will the absence of law review on my resume prevent me from having a shot at a COA judge (mainly interested in 9th/1st/2nd/DC)?


I received interview offers from judges on almost all of those circuits (during applications, I was top 1% from a T7-14 with secondary journal and ed. board). I think DC will be an uphill battle (it's an uphill battle with most of those judges for almost everyone, IMO), but the rest are doable. To lend credence to what another poster said: I was on ed. board, had a strong writing sample and other publications.




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