Making Clerkship

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2011Law
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Making Clerkship

Postby 2011Law » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:30 am

This might not be the right place to post, but I was wondering where in your class you'd have to be to make clerkship when about 5% of the class usually goes on to clerk. Top 15%? Would top third do it?

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby Anonymous Loser » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:43 am

You seem as if you are hoping that someone will tell you that judges routinely overlook students in the top 25% of their class in order to bring a mediocre student into their chambers as a clerk. But deep down inside, you know that this isn't likely, don't you?

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vanwinkle
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:50 am

2011Law wrote:This might not be the right place to post, but I was wondering where in your class you'd have to be to make clerkship when about 5% of the class usually goes on to clerk. Top 15%? Would top third do it?

It depends, if you're willing to go for a "lesser" clerkship like a state clerkship you might be able to make do with a lower GPA. However, generally judges like people with top grades, and there should be a known cutoff range at your school for the kind of clerkship you're seeking.

Only people at your school can really answer this.

2011Law
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby 2011Law » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:20 am

Sorry, should have been more clear. Haven't even applied to law school yet (in Jan after the Dec scores if everything goes according to plan), but was just wondering generally about what it takes to land a clerkship. I'm assuming that law review is a big factor, but wasn't sure if there was a general standard class rank wise (I guess vanwinkle is saying that I'll find that out when I start school).

2011Law
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby 2011Law » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:24 am

Anonymous Loser wrote:You seem as if you are hoping that someone will tell you that judges routinely overlook students in the top 25% of their class in order to bring a mediocre student into their chambers as a clerk. But deep down inside, you know that this isn't likely, don't you?


You seem as if you are trying to make another law student feel bad about themselves for being unsure if they'll make the cut. But deep down inside, you know that you're just a douche, don't you?

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Grizz
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby Grizz » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:25 am

2011Law wrote:
Anonymous Loser wrote:You seem as if you are hoping that someone will tell you that judges routinely overlook students in the top 25% of their class in order to bring a mediocre student into their chambers as a clerk. But deep down inside, you know that this isn't likely, don't you?


You seem as if you are trying to make another law student feel bad about themselves for being unsure if they'll make the cut. But deep down inside, you know that you're just a douche, don't you?


Hi welcome to the internet. You must be new here.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:15 am

There is no "safe" cutoff for clerkships anymore - even the "less competitive" ones. Only 3 University of Chicago Law Review editorial board people got clerkships this year, for example.

This is due to a variety of factors, but mainly the increase in alumni hiring. (I think more alumni people were hired for CoA this year than 3Ls, which is the first time that has ever happened in the CoA market. The district court market has been trending toward alumni hiring for a long time.) Additionally, the plan completely broke down this year, so a lot of schools were caught off guard - who knows, maybe if the plan 'officially' dies, 3Ls (2Ls actually, since if the plan dies, people will apply in their 2L year again) might become more competitive.

But yeah. Even Yale people can't bank on clerkships anymore.

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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:46 am

What value do state clerkships carry? Does BigLaw put any weight behind them? What about MidLaw- will a clerkship at your state's highest court help you out with a regional firm that is centered in your state's largest city?

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby Anonymous Loser » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:50 am

2011Law wrote:
Anonymous Loser wrote:You seem as if you are hoping that someone will tell you that judges routinely overlook students in the top 25% of their class in order to bring a mediocre student into their chambers as a clerk. But deep down inside, you know that this isn't likely, don't you?


You seem as if you are trying to make another law student feel bad about themselves for being unsure if they'll make the cut. But deep down inside, you know that you're just a douche, don't you?


Close, but not quite. I'm actually trying to make an undergraduate student feel bad about themselves for seeking validation and reassurance in an online forum rather than simply rejecting an obviously flawed assessment of the clerkship application process.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:What value do state clerkships carry? Does BigLaw put any weight behind them? What about MidLaw- will a clerkship at your state's highest court help you out with a regional firm that is centered in your state's largest city?


They value them enough that they're willing to give you a $50,000 bonus for federal district court or court of appeals, and most firms will give a similar bonus for certain state supreme courts. They will also put you in to the "second year" as far as lockstep pay goes. (Most) clerkships are great practical experience for litigation groups (even the ones where you don't write much still give you a chance to work with a judge for a solid year, which is a valuable experience on its own). Regardless of litigation or corporate, though, it is seen as a prestigious resume line.

That said, query whether it's really worth it if you're going to be doing a transactional practice.

I'm doing one, going in to bankruptcy. As a practical matter, they told me that I would be behind the 2nd-year bankruptcy associates with regard to skillset, but that it would not harm my career progression. The general presumption is that if you're bright enough to land a CoA clerkship, you're going to be able to catch up - but your second year is going to be hell, because you're expected to make up for lost time. They didn't think doing a bankruptcy clerkship would be worth it, either, even though it's a debtor practice (which is the side of the aisle that a bankruptcy clerkship would be most helpful for). On the other hand, the people I know going in to tax - either tax transactions or tax controversy - were all told that a tax court clerkship would be invaluable.

Regarding mid-market firms: obviously a state supreme court clerkship is going to be helpful for mid-market firms, which are less likely to be national practices. That said, in general, people (with the possible exception of transfer students who get screwed at OCI, but slam 2L at the new school) should not look to a clerkship as a second swing at landing a big firm job. More than likely, if you didn't have the numbers to land a firm in the first instance, you don't have a chance in hell at a clerkship. Any clerkship worth doing is far, far harder to get than a biglaw job. Again, some people on the LR editorial board at Chicago this year struck out on state supremes, too. Note that some state supreme courts really aren't good experiences.

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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:17 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:There is no "safe" cutoff for clerkships anymore - even the "less competitive" ones. Only 3 University of Chicago Law Review editorial board people got clerkships this year, for example.


Wow, this is shocking. I'm at M, and 18 people on Law Review got CIRCUIT clerkships (not all were on ed board). Another 3-4 people on LR got district clerkships. I wonder what could account for the discrepancy? Maybe this is just really incomplete UChi clerkship info.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:There is no "safe" cutoff for clerkships anymore - even the "less competitive" ones. Only 3 University of Chicago Law Review editorial board people got clerkships this year, for example.


Wow, this is shocking. I'm at M, and 18 people on Law Review got CIRCUIT clerkships (not all were on ed board). Another 3-4 people on LR got district clerkships. I wonder what could account for the discrepancy? Maybe this is just really incomplete UChi clerkship info.


It is incomplete. Think we got 13 circuits total. I was just saying that there is no safe cutoff.

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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:45 pm

In general, people (with the possible exception of transfer students who get screwed at OCI, but slam 2L at the new school) should not look to a clerkship as a second swing at landing a big firm job. More than likely, if you didn't have the numbers to land a firm in the first instance, you don't have a chance in hell at a clerkship.



ITE I don't know if this is the case - anecdotally I've heard of people at the top of their class with LR striking out, particularly in DC

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
In general, people (with the possible exception of transfer students who get screwed at OCI, but slam 2L at the new school) should not look to a clerkship as a second swing at landing a big firm job. More than likely, if you didn't have the numbers to land a firm in the first instance, you don't have a chance in hell at a clerkship.



ITE I don't know if this is the case - anecdotally I've heard of people at the top of their class with LR striking out, particularly in DC


People at the top of the class at T~10s were not striking out completely, if by 'top of the class' you mean top 10%. They may have struck out in DC, but unless they were huge idiots, they didn't limit their bidding solely to DC.

People outside of the top 10% at T6s have a rough go of it with clerkships anyway.

Also, see: more than likely. There may be a few examples to the contrary, but if you struck out at OCI, you more than likely do not have a chance in hell at a clerkship. Not to mention that not working at a big firm job your 2L year will itself have a negative impact on your clerkship chances, unless you have a similarly prestigious position in govt/PI.

Anonymous User
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:40 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote: On the other hand, the people I know going in to tax - either tax transactions or tax controversy - were all told that a tax court clerkship would be invaluable.


Haven't heard this at all with respect to transactional tax work. Tax clerkships usually last for two years and the vast majority of cases are not relavent to that large firms do.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:42 pm

I think the striking out comment was in regards to biglaw gigs, not clerkships. I think that the poster was trying to critique my statement that, in general, people who don't get biglaw aren't going to be competitive for a clerkship.

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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:26 pm

How hard to get a flyover district court clerkship from top 25% at T10? Or how about SD California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon?

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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:40 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How hard to get a flyover district court clerkship from top 25% at T10? Or how about SD California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon?

LR? Published? Faculty going to make calls for you? If yes on all three, then I'd say a pretty good shot but not a lock; if only two, a nonzero, but far from guaranteed chance remains; and if one or none, then the odds are against you. Finish strong, lock up strong faculty support, and apply as an alum (for a year after graduation) if you want to maximize your odds.


No on LR, being published, or faculty going to bat for me. But a judge in one of those districts knows me well and would probably recommend me to others on his district.

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SteelReserve
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby SteelReserve » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:12 am

There is no "safe" cutoff for clerkships anymore - even the "less competitive" ones. Only 3 University of Chicago Law Review editorial board people got clerkships this year, for example.

This is due to a variety of factors, but mainly the increase in alumni hiring. (I think more alumni people were hired for CoA this year than 3Ls, which is the first time that has ever happened in the CoA market. The district court market has been trending toward alumni hiring for a long time.) Additionally, the plan completely broke down this year, so a lot of schools were caught off guard - who knows, maybe if the plan 'officially' dies, 3Ls (2Ls actually, since if the plan dies, people will apply in their 2L year again) might become more competitive.

But yeah. Even Yale people can't bank on clerkships anymore.


Very interested in what you mean by bolded statement...do you mean 3 CoA clerkships or 3 district court clerkships? How many people received district court clerkships?

t14underground
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby t14underground » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:12 pm

SteelReserve wrote:
There is no "safe" cutoff for clerkships anymore - even the "less competitive" ones. Only 3 University of Chicago Law Review editorial board people got clerkships this year, for example.

This is due to a variety of factors, but mainly the increase in alumni hiring. (I think more alumni people were hired for CoA this year than 3Ls, which is the first time that has ever happened in the CoA market. The district court market has been trending toward alumni hiring for a long time.) Additionally, the plan completely broke down this year, so a lot of schools were caught off guard - who knows, maybe if the plan 'officially' dies, 3Ls (2Ls actually, since if the plan dies, people will apply in their 2L year again) might become more competitive.

But yeah. Even Yale people can't bank on clerkships anymore.


Very interested in what you mean by bolded statement...do you mean 3 CoA clerkships or 3 district court clerkships? How many people received district court clerkships?


Does it matter? Either way only 3 people on the editorial BOARD at UCHICAGO LAW REVIEW got clerkships... I laughed at first when I read that, but it's definitely a sign of a really bad thing, since in all fairness, while UChi blows, it still is a top 6 law school.

Anonymous User
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:12 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:people (with the possible exception of transfer students who get screwed at OCI, but slam 2L at the new school) should not look to a clerkship as a second swing at landing a big firm job. More than likely, if you didn't have the numbers to land a firm in the first instance, you don't have a chance in hell at a clerkship. Any clerkship worth doing is far, far harder to get than a biglaw job.


Actually, to further support your point, odds aren't great coming out of a clerkship either unless you have a solid district court or a circuit. E.g. district court in bumfuck Alabama is unlikely to get you NYC biglaw. I'm one of those transfer students that got screwed at OCI, and have been inquiring about the application process to biglaw as a law clerk. Most have said that they will only consider you after they hired out of the previous summer's class for entry-level hiring since they have a better idea of their needs. So basically it's like being a jobless 3L all over again, but with a clerkship on your resume. Since most of the lower-ranking vault firms seem to complete all of their hiring out of their 2L summer classes nowadays, it seems to imply that you need a pretty damn good clerkship to get into a law firm afterwords (if you didn't get in through 2L OCI and then get an offer at the end of the summer) because you're going to have to compete out of a limited number of positions that are left at the v10 type firms (since these are the only firms that seems to under hire out of their summer classes for certain practice groups nowadays).

ToTransferOrNot wrote:Again, some people on the LR editorial board at Chicago this year struck out on state supremes, too. Note that some state supreme courts really aren't good experiences.


CoAs aren't really good experiences either... The dockets are so light and the judges kinda just do whatever the hell they want since they are article III judges and can't be fired. The reason you do them is because they are really prestigious. But I guess the same isn't necessarily true of state supreme courts.

Anonymous User
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:31 pm

Does undergrad or work experience matter at all when it comes to clerkships? Focusing more on lack of prestigious undergrad and lack of work experience hurting a top students chances than the opposite being a benefit.

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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:18 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:CoAs aren't really good experiences either... The dockets are so light and the judges kinda just do whatever the hell they want since they are article III judges and can't be fired. The reason you do them is because they are really prestigious. But I guess the same isn't necessarily true of state supreme courts.

Say what? Obviously people are going to have differing opinions on varioys types of legal jobs, but to cast COA clerkships as a universally bad experience is pretty ridiculous. I happen to love mine, and I can think of several hundred applicants we turned down who would jump at the chance to come on board next year.


I've heard from practicing attorneys that you get WAY more out of a D. Ct. clerkship in terms of practical experience for the vast majority of litigation practices. CoA clerkships are desirable because of the prestige and because a lot of brainy people have fantasies about being appellate litigators.

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vamedic03
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:CoAs aren't really good experiences either... The dockets are so light and the judges kinda just do whatever the hell they want since they are article III judges and can't be fired. The reason you do them is because they are really prestigious. But I guess the same isn't necessarily true of state supreme courts.

Say what? Obviously people are going to have differing opinions on varioys types of legal jobs, but to cast COA clerkships as a universally bad experience is pretty ridiculous. I happen to love mine, and I can think of several hundred applicants we turned down who would jump at the chance to come on board next year.


I've heard from practicing attorneys that you get WAY more out of a D. Ct. clerkship in terms of practical experience for the vast majority of litigation practices. CoA clerkships are desirable because of the prestige and because a lot of brainy people have fantasies about being appellate litigators.



Hmm... anonymous poster who's heard rumors versus a nonanonymous current COA clerk.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Making Clerkship

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:09 pm

Just to clear something up about the LR ed board thing... again... (because I'm pretty sure I already clarified this).

I was talking about CoA positions. And the number might have gone up to 4 in the interim.

Also, comparing the 'badness' of some CoA clerkships to some state supremes.. is probably not a helpful exercise. If you haven't worked for a judge after an election, you really have no idea how much the electoral process for judges screws with things. For that reason alone, some of the state supreme court positions are basically worthless.

(Edit: For example: look up the recent Wisconsin Supreme Court explosion, where there was an argument made that one of the newer justices should recuse himself for every criminal trial, based on his really incendiary campaign attack speech. And Wisconsin is traditionally seen as one of the strongest state supreme courts.)




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