HLS ~median/District Court clerkship chances

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thesealocust
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Re: HLS ~median/District Court clerkship chances

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:25 pm

Entirely fair :lol:

I kept writing "no not THAT kind of everyone wants it, the OTHER kind of everyone wants it" posts and then deleting them because they sounded stupid. Depends on what the definition of IS is, etc.

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Re: HLS ~median/District Court clerkship chances

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
I disagree somewhat. This person is not likely to land a clerkship in the districts named, but his/her chances are also not 0. Again, HLS students have access to the Latin Honors recipients and all HLS students who landed clerkships. If you compare who made cum laude (top 40%) to those who received clerkships, you will notice that many students received clerkships, including a few who landed very good clerkships (COA, SDNY, etc.), despite not making the top 40% cutoff. Now, obviously, many students with median-range grades also struck out, and that may very well happen to this person too. But it doesn't mean that he/she has no chance at all at the places he/she named.

To the OP: I'd recommend getting Kirsten Solberg's input rather than relying on this board. Although I'm ordinarily not a fan of OCS, Kirsten really does know what she is talking about and can give you good, individualized advice.



Where do we find the bolded information?


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Re: HLS ~median/District Court clerkship chances

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:14 am

So, at Harvard, what grades would you need to get a Circuit Court clerkship? Supreme Court?

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Re: HLS ~median/District Court clerkship chances

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:I just went through the clerkship process from HLS and will be clerking in September.

I haven't read through all of the responses below, but in general, this is what I'd say. If you compare the list of students who graduated cum laude (so top 40%) to the list of students who received clerkships, you will find a pretty large number of students who received federal clerkships despite falling below the 40% cutoff (including some COA and top district court clerkships). So those saying that you haven't a prayer on the clerkship market w/medianish grades are just wrong. That said, we were also the first year with the new grading system, so some judges probably just hadn't yet figured out the curve.

Also, I should add that major city New England and mid-Atlantic clerkships will be a stretch. You should probably focus on less popular locations. And I should be clear that although a lot of students who didn't make cum laude received good clerkships, many also struck out, so a lot will just come down to a combination of applying broadly and luck.


Just to quantify the above: I did a quick comparison of the Latin Honors list to the clerkship list. I'm sure I made some mistakes, but it looks like roughly a quarter of Class of 2011 clerkship recipients fell below the 40% cutoff (i.e. had median-range grades).

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Re: HLS ~median/District Court clerkship chances

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:03 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just to quantify the above: I did a quick comparison of the Latin Honors list to the clerkship list. I'm sure I made some mistakes, but it looks like roughly a quarter of Class of 2011 clerkship recipients fell below the 40% cutoff (i.e. had median-range grades).

Interesting. When you say "clerkship recipients," do you mean "Article III clerkship recipients" or "all clerkship recipients"? If the former, I am a bit surprised and impressed. Not that I am applying anymore, but just for purposes of discussion it would be interesting to know what kind of clerkships those non-honors people got, or whether there were any other meaningful trends in the data.

As I said above, I am fairly ignorant as to district court hiring, so this discussion has been very educational for me. Thanks for indulging my (potentially silly) questions.


Art. III clerkships (including both COA and district). I didn't count up the non-Art. III clerkships.

I should probably emphasize again though: We were the very first class under the new grading system, which may have caused some irregularities in clerkship hiring this year. It's hard to predict what will happen over the next couple of years as judges get a better idea of the curve.

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Re: HLS ~median/District Court clerkship chances

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So, at Harvard, what grades would you need to get a Circuit Court clerkship? Supreme Court?


Supreme Court clerkships require that you be in the very, very top of the class.

Circuit is sort of hard to quantify because it varies a lot by circuit and by judge. Most students who received circuit clerkships from the class of 2011 graduated cum laude or better (so top 40% or higher). I was surprised when I was cross-checking the honors and clerkships list though to find several students with circuit clerkships who did not graduate with honors, so again, it's very hard to quantify. My best guess (not really based on a whole lot, to be honest) is that 2/3 H grades should get you some interviews with circuit judges.

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Re: HLS ~median/District Court clerkship chances

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:19 pm

To give a more concrete illustration, no one from c/o 2011 got a SCOTUS clerkship for next term, and only the valedictorian has locked up a SCOTUS clerkship for the 2012-2013 term.

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Re: HLS ~median/District Court clerkship chances

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So, at Harvard, what grades would you need to get a Circuit Court clerkship? Supreme Court?


Supreme Court clerkships require that you be in the very, very top of the class..


OP here:

Or get in with a judge who is bff with one of them. I've heard that if you want a Scalia clerkship, you could do worse than Engelhardt (EDLA) --> Jones (5th Circuit CoA) gives you a solid chance because Scalia and Engelhardt are like sleepover-esque bffs (probably not true that this'll get you a SCOTUS clerkship, but I wanted to put the image of Scalia having a sleepover with another federal judge in people's heads). But yeah, top of the class is probably the main way.

Circuit is sort of hard to quantify because it varies a lot by circuit and by judge. Most students who received circuit clerkships from the class of 2011 graduated cum laude or better (so top 40% or higher). I was surprised when I was cross-checking the honors and clerkships list though to find several students with circuit clerkships who did not graduate with honors, so again, it's very hard to quantify. My best guess (not really based on a whole lot, to be honest) is that 2/3 H grades should get you some interviews with circuit judges.


Definitely higher than 2/3 H, if Sealocaust is anywhere close to accurate, but it's good to know that 1/4 of the 2011 clerkship recipients did not have honors.

My grade breakdown is fairly odd. 6 Hs (1 Dean's Scholar), 10 Ps, 1 LP, and a B in a cross-enrolled business school class. The LP hasn't held me back much at all to this point (during EIP, only one firm bothered to ask about it and they still gave me an offer). Dean's Scholar is from a very long-term professor who has been teaching the same class for 30 years (it was really odd interviewing with multiple senior partners at firms all over and them discussing this elective class).

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DoubleChecks
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Re: HLS ~median/District Court clerkship chances

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:59 pm

thesealocust wrote:Just for the record, my comment was directed at OP - who at the time of the OP gave us no insights into ties, connections, or publications - just median + wanted a clerkship. I didn't doll up my post with caveats about exceptions to the rule and phonecalls because OP wasn't saying "I have a great connection to judge A, can I get an internship with him?" That kind of thing happens all the times, but for somebody whose primary hiring credential is median grades at HLS I stand by my point.

Also, you keep saying I said everyone wants it, but I never did. I tihnk I called it universally desired. The point is it's not 20% getting it and 25% wanting it. A lot more people desire clerkships than get them. We're kind of talking past each other ITT. I apologize if my dramatic language set all that off.


noted for the record. though i would also like to add to the record that none of my comments were related to any comments about ties, connections or publications...and also were mostly just based off of OP being HLS median + wanting a clerkship.

you may stand by your point -- that's perfectly fine, i just disagree with it. not by a whole lot; i just think it is a bit too pessimistic. my position has been and still is roughly this:

Anonymous User wrote:Just to quantify the above: I did a quick comparison of the Latin Honors list to the clerkship list. I'm sure I made some mistakes, but it looks like roughly a quarter of Class of 2011 clerkship recipients fell below the 40% cutoff (i.e. had median-range grades).


my point is, median is not a good shot at clerkships, but it's a shot. we can debate what we mean by "realistic" when we think of a realistic shot, but just the way you've characterized getting a clerkship throughout this thread...im just a tad more optimistic.

as someone else has already mentioned...universally desired == everyone wants, and sure you were probably using hyperbole, but my comment back was really to show the point that no, a good chunk of people do not want (or desire) it...obviously not 25% want and 20% get, but if 30, 40% do not want and 20% get, OP's median suddenly looks a lot better. that was my point there.

note for the record again, i never commented on DC, etc. specific area clerkships, though i was thinking Art. III.

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Re: HLS ~median/District Court clerkship chances

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:40 am

OP: I'm an HLS alum who has done circuit and district clerkships. I was cum laude under the old grading system (I think I was closer to the magna cut-off than the bottom of the cum laude group), and I was only an article editor on a secondary journal. Everything you're hearing about DCt clerkships being out of reach, I heard re: my desire to clerk on a certain competitive CoA. Actually, I heard the same pessimistic predictions re: my desire to clerk on a very specific, fairly competitive DCt. Neither type of pessimism was warranted, it turned out - I got both of the clerkship courts I wanted. I applied for DCt clerkships in a good economy (mid-2000s) and for CoA clerkships in a rapidly tanking economy later in the decade, so I have a bit of insight into both.

I'm happy to discuss with you one-on-one and offer any insight I can from my own experience, but I'm trying to think how we can find each other as we're both anonymous. If you want to leave an anonymous email address, I'll email it from a post.harvard.edu address. Once you get that email, if you email me back from your actual HLS account, we can chat one-on-one if you think it'd be helpful to you.

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Re: HLS ~median/District Court clerkship chances

Postby curiousgeorges » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:To give a more concrete illustration, no one from c/o 2011 got a SCOTUS clerkship for next term, and only the valedictorian has locked up a SCOTUS clerkship for the 2012-2013 term.


Say what? You do realize that you can't clerk for SCOTUS the year after you receive your JD, right? A COA clerkship is a prerequisite. The Class of 2011 would be applying for OT 2012 clerkships, and (AFAIK - not following SCOTUS hiring closely this year, so feel free to correct me, those more informed) OT 2012 hiring is only partially underway at this point.

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Re: HLS ~median/District Court clerkship chances

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:07 am

curiousgeorges wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:To give a more concrete illustration, no one from c/o 2011 got a SCOTUS clerkship for next term, and only the valedictorian has locked up a SCOTUS clerkship for the 2012-2013 term.


Say what? You do realize that you can't clerk for SCOTUS the year after you receive your JD, right? A COA clerkship is a prerequisite. The Class of 2011 would be applying for OT 2012 clerkships, and (AFAIK - not following SCOTUS hiring closely this year, so feel free to correct me, those more informed) OT 2012 hiring is only partially underway at this point.

Yeah, that's kind of idiotic. I think only three of the justices (according to LawClerkAddict) have hired for OT 2012, and not all of their hires have been class of 2011. So it's far too soon to discuss the performance of the Harvard class of 2011.




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