How important are geographic ties for clerkships?

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jaen78
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:43 pm

How important are geographic ties for clerkships?

Postby jaen78 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:38 am

I'm aiming for a district court clerkship, but the geographic areas I have ties too are either too competitive for me to have a decent shot, or undesirable places to live for an entire year. I'm totally up for packing up and moving somewhere I've never been for a year (I'd really love somewhere in the Rockies or Pacific Northwest), but have no ties to those areas whatsoever. Any chance of getting a clerkship with no geographic ties?

alumniguy
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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: How important are geographic ties for clerkships?

Postby alumniguy » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:51 am

For district and appellate clerkships ties are not essential, but may provide a boost. These clerkships are very competitive, even in undesirable locations. My understanding is that it has more to do with the particular judges you're applying to than the location per se (e.g., one judge may really like grads from X school and those grads have a leg up on the competition). So the "heavyweight" districts (i.e., influential courts and/or desirable locations) are way more competitive than districts that located in undesirable locations or relatively unknown judges.

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jaen78
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Re: How important are geographic ties for clerkships?

Postby jaen78 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:29 am

What would you say are the "highly competitive" districts, other than SDNY?

alumniguy
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Re: How important are geographic ties for clerkships?

Postby alumniguy » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:41 am

No clue because I didn't apply, I only knew people going through the process. I would imagine that your career services office would have historical information that should guide you the process of selecting particular judges to apply. Most clerkships in big cities (NYC, DC, Chicago, some CA cities, etc.) are going to be difficult unless you have STELLAR credentials and go to a great law school.

There certainly have to be threads on this somewhere.

bhan87
Posts: 850
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:08 pm

Re: How important are geographic ties for clerkships?

Postby bhan87 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:02 pm

I've heard that having regional ties to a law school located in New Haven helps tremendously with getting clerkships.

But in reality, alumni ties > geographic ties any day. Case in point, at NYU's admitted student program, they invited a number of NYU alumni that sit on federal benches across the country. EVERY one of them always has one or two clerks that come from NYU.




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