dresq wrote:In this thread: people who know very little about CAFC clerkships. In the past three or four years, hiring there has shifted DRASTICALLY towards hiring alums. Dyk and Bryson hire one or two a year each. Too early to tell about the new judges, but there might be 10 spots circuit-wide for students each year. I was told flat out that if I didn't have a 3.8 from my T14 (and I have close to it, plus very relevant PhD) that I shouldn't bother applying. It's incredibly selective. The hiring bonus from the CAFC is second only to SCOTUS. If you want a CAFC clerkship, you work a year or two at a firm with connections, then have a former clerk make a call to his or her judge. That, plus past practices, might account for the lower-than-average GPA. Honestly, I'm more competitive for other COA clerkships, and I'm a patent guy. People who think all it takes are decent grades and a tech background are retarded. Patents only make up 40% of the docket anyway.
Ugh. Thanks for the misleading 40% cite - guy in the know. You're conning us as much as the people who say that C.D.Cal. is the heaviest patent docket because of number of filings. You're technically correct, but you very well know how you're spinning this. Why don't you try breaking that down in terms of number of pages for opinions? Or number of time spent by Fed. Cir. clerks on patent cases versus non-patent cases? That 40% will go out the window just like that. Nearly as misleading as saying Oblon Spivak is the best patent prosecution firm because of # of patents filed. Or that Mark Lemley's the greatest legal scholar out there in general law given his # of citations.
I never disputed that Fed. Cir. has shifted toward alums in the last 3 years. That doesn't make this court more "selective."
Your 3.8 from a t14 (hope the 3.8 is not Northwestern, that wouldn't get you a N.D.Ill. clerkship) is not going to cut a court which hires alums. that doesn't mean the court is more selective in the way that other courts are more selective.
Just like big law, getting into this court is easier for people with tech bgs. They don't need elite law grades. They just need to do what's done for balding - wait a while. But patent litigators don't really go Fed. Cir. because they don't need it. Only people trying to lateral into Finnegan for that 70K bonus an above poster referred to.
Don't fight it man. Its just raw logic - patent people just picked the right major in college.