Top third at MVP-worth applying to district ct. clerkships?

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Top third at MVP-worth applying to district ct. clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:13 am

Worth going through the process? Any chance at all? Around a 3.5 gpa, rising 3L...

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Cavalier
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Re: Top third at MVP-worth applying to district ct. clerkships?

Postby Cavalier » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:17 am

You won't be able to get a competitive district (SDNY, DDC, etc.), but if you want to clerk in a less competitive district, you can't lose anything by applying. The odds are against you, but they are still stronger than if you don't apply at all.

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Re: Top third at MVP-worth applying to district ct. clerkships?

Postby Morgan12Oak » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:28 am

Now that this line of questioning is opened, what % at UVA puts you in competition for district court clerkships? I’d imagine the competitive ones you mentioned require COA credentials so top 5%. Understanding it is hard to really gauge chances and odds, any answers? “In competition” is a vague term, but I really have no idea what other term to use. I don’t know enough to define “in competition” as >10, 25% chance, etc.

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thesealocust
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Re: Top third at MVP-worth applying to district ct. clerkships?

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:36 am

Morgan12Oak wrote:Now that this line of questioning is opened, what % at UVA puts you in competition for district court clerkships? I’d imagine the competitive ones you mentioned require COA credentials so top 5%. Understanding it is hard to really gauge chances and odds, any answers? “In competition” is a vague term, but I really have no idea what other term to use. I don’t know enough to define “in competition” as >10, 25% chance, etc.


It's extremely individual, and grades aren't all that matter. The DC District, as an example, has a lot of judges who don't hire people straight out of law school. That means you need to work at a firm (or equivalent) as a litigator for a few years first, and then apply - which means they're hard to get, but they are looking for a different credential set than, say, a CoA judge that prides himself on taking cream of the crop students before they get to a law firm.

Still, top quarter is probably where somebody winds up being competitive on the federal level generally. Really though, where you're from, who you know, and what you've done matter every bit as much as grades. With each judge hiring 1, 2, 3, or 4 clerks and getting hundreds of applications it's not something that's as easy as X grades from Y school equals Z chances.

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Re: Top third at MVP-worth applying to district ct. clerkships?

Postby Cavalier » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:40 am

Morgan12Oak wrote:Now that this line of questioning is opened, what % at UVA puts you in competition for district court clerkships? I’d imagine the competitive ones you mentioned require COA credentials so top 5%. Understanding it is hard to really gauge chances and odds, any answers? “In competition” is a vague term, but I really have no idea what other term to use. I don’t know enough to define “in competition” as >10, 25% chance, etc.

There's a document accessible via the clerkship section in LawWeb titled "Average GPA by Location" that tells you the average GPAs of students hired for clerkships in various districts. I think it's available here. I think at least some or all of the data is from before the crash (which has led to a huge surge in clerkship applications, and a resulting increase in competitiveness), but it indicates that the average GPA was roughly a 3.5, which is top quarter.

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Re: Top third at MVP-worth applying to district ct. clerkships?

Postby katisse » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:54 am

I'd say it comes down to who you know and how your resume "comes across"

In non-elite district courts, you're really not talking top 5% at t6. You're talking, more like top 5-25% at t14 + maybe top 10% regional schools that are also in the top 25. And there's wayyyyy too many of those candidates. So its just a matter of luck. Too many candidates to say - "this class standing equals this odds."

It also matters where you go to school. For example, you're much likelier to land N.D.Ill. coming from somewhere like Chicago or Northwestern, and much likelier to land a Michigan district court clerkship from Michigan, much likelier to land C.D.Cal. or N.D.Cal. or whatever from UCLA or Berkeley, so on and so forth. If someone calls for you, that matters too.

The best estimate you're going to get is likely the combination of grades+LR though, for any type of clerkship. Because candidates are all identical - nothing to distinguish any one candidate from anyone else.

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vamedic03
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Re: Top third at MVP-worth applying to district ct. clerkships?

Postby vamedic03 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:26 pm

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Last edited by vamedic03 on Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Top third at MVP-worth applying to district ct. clerkships?

Postby dailygrind » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:41 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
Cavalier wrote:
Morgan12Oak wrote:Now that this line of questioning is opened, what % at UVA puts you in competition for district court clerkships? I’d imagine the competitive ones you mentioned require COA credentials so top 5%. Understanding it is hard to really gauge chances and odds, any answers? “In competition” is a vague term, but I really have no idea what other term to use. I don’t know enough to define “in competition” as >10, 25% chance, etc.

There's a document accessible via the clerkship section in LawWeb titled "Average GPA by Location" that tells you the average GPAs of students hired for clerkships in various districts. I think it's available here. I think at least some or all of the data is from before the crash (which has led to a huge surge in clerkship applications, and a resulting increase in competitiveness), but it indicates that the average GPA was roughly a 3.5, which is top quarter.


FWIW, some of the data has changed in the past year; but, I think you're right about the general inaccuracy. That said, I think the chart does a good job of showing how judge/district dependent district court clerkship hiring can be (i.e., Alexandria division of EDVA has a higher average GPA than 1/2 of the COA clerkships).


Yeah, that one in particular wowed me. Is it because of high competition for UVA students to stay near home, or is there some super interesting legal work happening in Eastern Virginia?

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vamedic03
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Re: Top third at MVP-worth applying to district ct. clerkships?

Postby vamedic03 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:52 pm

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Last edited by vamedic03 on Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dailygrind
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Re: Top third at MVP-worth applying to district ct. clerkships?

Postby dailygrind » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:08 pm

Ah, thanks a bunch for the info.




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