Clerkship Strategy/Options?

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Anonymous User
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Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:26 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm just trying to figure out where I stand in this whole clerkship game so that I can start coming up with a strategy.

I'm top 10% at a school ranked 10-14. I'm the Executive Editor on a Secondary Journal. Associate for a lower V10 this summer in NYC. Also, I think I can get some great recs (top grade in 4 courses, some of them with well connected professors).

With that said, what's (1) clearly out of my reach; (2) long shot but worth applying to; (3) Target Range; (4) Safety?

I'm also interested in Patent law litigation, so I'm definitely applying to the federal circuit. How prestigious/difficult is that court?

00TREX00
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby 00TREX00 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:46 pm

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Last edited by 00TREX00 on Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:55 pm

00TREX00 wrote:Strategy: apply everywhere you are willing to take a clerkship. I would say most/all Circuits are out, with the following qualifications: (1) maybe, maybe an outside shot at one of the less competitive Circuits if you have ties to one of those areas; (2) very little knowledge about Federal Circuit; (3)does top grade in four classes mean that you were the top student in the entire class each time, or just that you got an A? If the former, really strong recommendations could boost your app. Nonetheless, I don't think you have much shot at any Circuit coming from 10-14 at 10% and no law review.

With really strong recommendations, you should have a decent shot at many District Courts. The process is so scattershot at this point (judges have to sift through so many applications and are hiring more alumni) that you need to spray as many applications as possible. I have friends who struck out last cycle, applying literally across the board, with very comparable stats plus law review from a 10-14. Its hard to overestimate the value of a strong recommender, especially one who knows you well and is willing to make phone calls for you. If you have a professor who is willing to go to bat for you, you should get some District Court interviews.


Thanks for the insight. Top grade does mean the top grade (I received the CALI award). Looks like I'll have to start working on those Professor recommendations :)

One last thing, how much would hyping up my leadership position on a secondary journal help? Is that something that is likely to be worth dwelling on, or would my efforts be better spent elsewhere.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
00TREX00 wrote:Strategy: apply everywhere you are willing to take a clerkship. I would say most/all Circuits are out, with the following qualifications: (1) maybe, maybe an outside shot at one of the less competitive Circuits if you have ties to one of those areas; (2) very little knowledge about Federal Circuit; (3)does top grade in four classes mean that you were the top student in the entire class each time, or just that you got an A? If the former, really strong recommendations could boost your app. Nonetheless, I don't think you have much shot at any Circuit coming from 10-14 at 10% and no law review.

With really strong recommendations, you should have a decent shot at many District Courts. The process is so scattershot at this point (judges have to sift through so many applications and are hiring more alumni) that you need to spray as many applications as possible. I have friends who struck out last cycle, applying literally across the board, with very comparable stats plus law review from a 10-14. Its hard to overestimate the value of a strong recommender, especially one who knows you well and is willing to make phone calls for you. If you have a professor who is willing to go to bat for you, you should get some District Court interviews.


Thanks for the insight. Top grade does mean the top grade (I received the CALI award). Looks like I'll have to start working on those Professor recommendations :)

One last thing, how much would hyping up my leadership position on a secondary journal help? Is that something that is likely to be worth dwelling on, or would my efforts be better spent elsewhere.


As someone who was an editor on a secondary journal - efforts are better spent elsewhere.

I wouldn't rule CoA out, but it's unlikely. Wouldn't waste applications on any feeder judges. Obviously, find out whether your recommenders would be able to put in any phone calls, etc.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
00TREX00 wrote:Strategy: apply everywhere you are willing to take a clerkship. I would say most/all Circuits are out, with the following qualifications: (1) maybe, maybe an outside shot at one of the less competitive Circuits if you have ties to one of those areas; (2) very little knowledge about Federal Circuit; (3)does top grade in four classes mean that you were the top student in the entire class each time, or just that you got an A? If the former, really strong recommendations could boost your app. Nonetheless, I don't think you have much shot at any Circuit coming from 10-14 at 10% and no law review.

With really strong recommendations, you should have a decent shot at many District Courts. The process is so scattershot at this point (judges have to sift through so many applications and are hiring more alumni) that you need to spray as many applications as possible. I have friends who struck out last cycle, applying literally across the board, with very comparable stats plus law review from a 10-14. Its hard to overestimate the value of a strong recommender, especially one who knows you well and is willing to make phone calls for you. If you have a professor who is willing to go to bat for you, you should get some District Court interviews.


Thanks for the insight. Top grade does mean the top grade (I received the CALI award). Looks like I'll have to start working on those Professor recommendations :)

One last thing, how much would hyping up my leadership position on a secondary journal help? Is that something that is likely to be worth dwelling on, or would my efforts be better spent elsewhere.


As someone who was an editor on a secondary journal - efforts are better spent elsewhere.

I wouldn't rule CoA out, but it's unlikely. Wouldn't waste applications on any feeder judges. Obviously, find out whether your recommenders would be able to put in any phone calls, etc.


Is there a list of feeder judges somewhere?


omg
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby omg » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:43 pm

--LinkRemoved--

omg
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby omg » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:31 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
omg wrote:http://www.lawclerkaddict.com/data/feeders?PHPSESSID=99a33b432b3128ba396ce5094e5dfec9

Helpful, but also somewhat outdated.


It says it's through OT 2010... Is it not? (I know I could just go count from the full SCOTUS clerk list, haha, but that's a lot of work.) Is there a more recent list somewhere else?

pasteurizedmilk
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:49 pm

Do judges care about things like best exam awards? my understanding was they usually don't.

omg
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby omg » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:09 am

Thanks GTL! You are awesome. Maybe this list deserves its own thread?

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sundance95
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby sundance95 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:15 am

omg wrote:Thanks GTL! You are awesome. Maybe this list deserves its own thread?

Mega +1

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:21 am

Piggybacking off the OP, does editorial board on a secondary journal matter. I'm in a similar position as the OP, but my journal's board hasn't been chosen yet. Is it worth while to try for an executive position (exec articles, exec editor) over a lesser board position (articles editor, etc?). Obviously, these aren't in the same league as LR and many people have them, so it won't distinguish me. But does not having an exec board credential on a secondary journal a negative?

Summary: Around top 10% at T14, no LR, and I want the best clerkship possible. Do I need to try for my secondary journal's exec board or is that pretty much irrelevant?

twistedwrister
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby twistedwrister » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:40 am

Hey GTL - nice work. Not sure if you want to include him, but G. Lynch (2d Cir.) has sent 4 clerks to SCOTUS since 2000, although he was a SDNY judge for most of that time.

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jonas
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby jonas » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:53 am

Kearse (2d Cir.) has also sent at least 5: the 3 listed on the Wikipedia page plus Kenneth Bamberger at Berkeley and Zack Tripp (LinkRemoved) at King & Spalding.

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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:Summary: Around top 10% at T14, no LR, and I want the best clerkship possible. Do I need to try for my secondary journal's exec board or is that pretty much irrelevant?


I think the definition of "best clerkship possible" is key here. I know there is the standard pecking order--Fed over State, COA over district. But if COA is a real reach for you, you need to think about what type of clerkship will best benefit you. The answer to that question will depend on what it is you want to do as a lawyer.

Example: say you want to be a corporate lawyer, transactions are your thing. Well, you could go for a federal district clerkship, but would that clerkship be the best fit for what you want to do? You'd learn a lot about motion practice, but you want to be a transactional lawyer, so how useful is that going to be? On the other hand, if you clerked for the Delaware Court of Chancery (or even the DE Supreme Court or NY Court of Appeals), that might get you a leg up in the transactional world because you will have actual experience in dealing with what happens when a merger transaction goes wrong, or what types of deal protection devices are kosher, etc.

deathviaboredom
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby deathviaboredom » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:50 am

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Last edited by deathviaboredom on Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerkship Strategy/Options?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:56 am

deathviaboredom wrote:Didn't OP say he was into patent law? Did I make that up?


He did, but consensus was that Fed. Cir. was out of reach for him without LR. OP also doesn't specify if he has the connections to get him the patent-heavy district courts (NDCA, CDCA, EDTX, D.Del., EDVA, etc.).




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