How big of a boost would a year of V20 litigation experience

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Anonymous User
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How big of a boost would a year of V20 litigation experience

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:10 am

be for getting a district court clerkship? Assume top 15-20% at MVP, secondary journal editorial board, one publication, IP background, and 2 years of pre-law school, non-law related work experience.

Anonymous User
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Re: How big of a boost would a year of V20 litigation experience

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:be for getting a district court clerkship? Assume top 15-20% at MVP, secondary journal editorial board, one publication, IP background, and 2 years of pre-law school, non-law related work experience.

The average federal judge gets north of 400 applications a year. Even a good bankruptcy judge or flyover judge still gets about 200. With those stats you have a shot, but I suspect working for a year in an AG's office or even a FPD's office would be looked upon better given the little actual experience you will get as a first year V20. Clerks write bench memos and decisions, they don't do doc review.

spondee
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Re: How big of a boost would a year of V20 litigation experience

Postby spondee » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:42 am

I asked my school's clerkship office a similar question this summer, and I was told that it would be significantly easier to get a clerkship after 1–2 years of work experience (and I'm also heading to biglaw). And I was told that I'd get a better clerkship that way. It's hard to quantify how much easier, but the advisor really made it seem like applying as a rising 3L was a crapshoot, whereas applying in another year or two was nearly a sure thing. And there were people at my firm this past summer leaving to clerk who didn't even graduate with honors and who were heading to prestigious districts like E/SDNY.

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Re: How big of a boost would a year of V20 litigation experience

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:49 am

My story: I have stats that might or might not have given me a chance at a DC clerkship out of law school (top 25% from CCN, secondary journal, published comment, non-EIC/AE/ME editorial position). I applied with a good bit (5+ years) of practice experience litigating at both a V20 firm and the government, plus several post-law school publications. I mostly targeted judges who preferred more experienced clerks (for obvious reasons), offered two year clerkships (to give me a little breathing time), and were in or near one of a handful of cities that I'd be willing to relocate the family to. I sent off about 30 applications and got five interviews -- though one of them offered me a job more or less on the spot, and I withdrew probably half of the outstanding applications before I had a chance to hear one way or the other on them. I'll be clerking next fall in one of the more prestigious non-SDNY, non-DDC districts next year (think, oh, C.D. Cal. or N.D. Cal. or N.D. Ill. or D. Mass.).

My bottom line advice: There are really two different clerkship application processes. The first is for alums only. The second is for everyone. I don't know for sure, but I strongly suspect that the ratio of applicants-to-openings is exponentially lower in the former than the latter.

Anonymous User
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Re: How big of a boost would a year of V20 litigation experience

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:My story: I have stats that might or might not have given me a chance at a DC clerkship out of law school (top 25% from CCN, secondary journal, published comment, non-EIC/AE/ME editorial position). I applied with a good bit (5+ years) of practice experience litigating at both a V20 firm and the government, plus several post-law school publications. I mostly targeted judges who preferred more experienced clerks (for obvious reasons), offered two year clerkships (to give me a little breathing time), and were in or near one of a handful of cities that I'd be willing to relocate the family to. I sent off about 30 applications and got five interviews -- though one of them offered me a job more or less on the spot, and I withdrew probably half of the outstanding applications before I had a chance to hear one way or the other on them. I'll be clerking next fall in one of the more prestigious non-SDNY, non-DDC districts next year (think, oh, C.D. Cal. or N.D. Cal. or N.D. Ill. or D. Mass.).

My bottom line advice: There are really two different clerkship application processes. The first is for alums only. The second is for everyone. I don't know for sure, but I strongly suspect that the ratio of applicants-to-openings is exponentially lower in the former than the latter.


Good to hear. Thanks!

Anonymous Loser
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Re: How big of a boost would a year of V20 litigation experience

Postby Anonymous Loser » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:05 am

What does a district court clerkship get you that 5+ years of V20/government work can't?

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Re: How big of a boost would a year of V20 litigation experience

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:32 am

What does a district court clerkship get you that 5+ years of V20/government work can't?


Good question! Better shot at USAO, maybe a way to come in as of counsel at the firms in that market, maybe a shot at a COA clerkship. Definitely time to write before it starts -- I'd probably have a decent shot on the academic market with another well-placed article or (definitely) two. But mostly it's something I always wanted to do and kicked myself for not doing (or at least trying) right out of law school. Plus, with my experience, the pay is actually a decent bump from what I make now at the government.




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