Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

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Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:40 pm

So I recently secured a winter + spring internship at (to keep this anonymous) a high level federal court in D.C. where I would get exposure to dozens of judges etc... and work with at least 3 of the clerks there.

They told me that they did this internship before becoming clerks, and at least one of them graduated from GW last year (and is clerking here now).

So my questions are-- for those who know, does this judicial internship sound like a good way to get a clerkship here later? Grades are top 20% and getting higher.

Question #2: Is it worth it to do a clerkship, hoping for big law in the future?

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vanwinkle
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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:46 pm

It sounds like that internship is a good path to a clerkship there later, from what you've shared. Also, a federal district/COA clerkship can be a great way to get a job at a law firm; from what I understand, many law firms actively try to recruit such clerks to come work for them after their clerkship is over, and it's fairly standard to offer $50K signing bonuses.

You must be a 2L since you already have grades, so I'm assuming that you didn't get BigLaw. Yes, this is a good possibility for getting a clerkship there later, and that is a good possibility for getting BigLaw when you graduate. However, competition these days for clerkships is fierce, so this is far from guaranteed.

Do you think you would enjoy it otherwise, or get something out of it otherwise? If so (and you likely could), then definitely do it. It's better than not doing it in terms of creating opportunities for you. However, if you fail to land a prestigious clerkship from it, then you're in the same boat you are now in terms of BigLaw.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:49 pm

So my questions are-- for those who know, does this judicial internship sound like a good way to get a clerkship here later? Grades are top 20% and getting higher.


I assume you go to school in DC. I assume you are referring to one of the DDC, DC Circuit, Federal Circuit, or Court of Federal Claims. You would need the following grades to have a chance:

Georgetown: Top 5% for DDC, top 10 (students, not percent) for DC Circuit, top 20% plus an engineering degree or a graduate degree in a hard science for the Federal Circuit, top 10% for the Federal Claims court.

GW: Top 10 (students, not percent) for DDC, top 3 (students, not percent) for DC Circuit, top 10% plus an engineering degree or a graduate degree in a hard science for the Federal Circuit, top 5% for the Federal Claims court.

American/Catholic: Top 5 (students, not percent) for DDC, valedictorian for DC Circuit, top 5% plus an engineering degree or a graduate degree in a hard science for the Federal Circuit. top 10 (students, not percent) for the Federal Claims court.

So, short answer to your question: No.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:52 pm

vanwinkle wrote:It sounds like that internship is a good path to a clerkship there later, from what you've shared. Also, a federal district/COA clerkship can be a great way to get a job at a law firm; from what I understand, many law firms actively try to recruit such clerks to come work for them after their clerkship is over, and it's fairly standard to offer $50K signing bonuses.

You must be a 2L since you already have grades, so I'm assuming that you didn't get BigLaw. Yes, this is a good possibility for getting a clerkship there later, and that is a good possibility for getting BigLaw when you graduate. However, competition these days for clerkships is fierce, so this is far from guaranteed.

Do you think you would enjoy it otherwise, or get something out of it otherwise? If so (and you likely could), then definitely do it. It's better than not doing it in terms of creating opportunities for you. However, if you fail to land a prestigious clerkship from it, then you're in the same boat you are now in terms of BigLaw.


To add to this: assuming you receive a federal clerkship, you need to summer at a big law firm during the summer between 3L and the clerkship. If not, your chances of getting big law (defined here as NLJ250) is unlikely. However, you would be competitive for a firm job somewhere with the federal clerkship even if you don't summer with one (just likely not NLJ).

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:10 pm

OP here: thanks for advice. Guess I'll try it out for the winter, and talk to as many judges as possible to see what they think. No harm there. My other option is a federal government internship during the spring.

Still planning on doing a small firm job in the summer :'(.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:12 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:It sounds like that internship is a good path to a clerkship there later, from what you've shared. Also, a federal district/COA clerkship can be a great way to get a job at a law firm; from what I understand, many law firms actively try to recruit such clerks to come work for them after their clerkship is over, and it's fairly standard to offer $50K signing bonuses.

You must be a 2L since you already have grades, so I'm assuming that you didn't get BigLaw. Yes, this is a good possibility for getting a clerkship there later, and that is a good possibility for getting BigLaw when you graduate. However, competition these days for clerkships is fierce, so this is far from guaranteed.

Do you think you would enjoy it otherwise, or get something out of it otherwise? If so (and you likely could), then definitely do it. It's better than not doing it in terms of creating opportunities for you. However, if you fail to land a prestigious clerkship from it, then you're in the same boat you are now in terms of BigLaw.


To add to this: assuming you receive a federal clerkship, you need to summer at a big law firm during the summer between 3L and the clerkship. If not, your chances of getting big law (defined here as NLJ250) is unlikely. However, you would be competitive for a firm job somewhere with the federal clerkship even if you don't summer with one (just likely not NLJ).


? No one I know that did a federal clerkship summered before they began. That's the summer you take the bar.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:13 pm

Also are the statistics one poster posted correct? Do you really have to be one among the top 3 (not percent) students in GW to even bother applying for a clerkship?

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Also are the statistics one poster posted correct? Do you really have to be one among the top 3 (not percent) students in GW to even bother applying for a clerkship?


For the DC Circuit, I would assume so, yes.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:23 pm

I am currently a 3L interning for a First Circuit judge during the fall semester. Two of the clerks did intern for the judge while in law school, so I would definitely say that having an internship with the court will increase your chances.

That being said, the clerks were also top students at their respective ivy-league schools, so I think that it would be wise to note that they were already sufficiently qualified to get the clerkship. Interning for the judge likely just separated them from the already other highly qualified applicants. I'm sure there have been a lot of other former interns who applied for the 1st Circuit clerkship who got rejected. I still think that top 15 to 20% from GW is still probably a long shot. But at this point, an internship could only help you.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:25 pm

OP here: Ugh I think I'm just honestly lost as to what to do with my J.D. at this point. Can I be a janitor at Mayer Brown? Maybe they'll let me smell all the memos and stuff.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:32 pm

Do you really have to be one among the top 3 (not percent) students in GW to even bother applying for a clerkship?


That might even be too generous with respect to the DC Circuit. Think about it. There are eight active judges and five senior judges. That means what, 35 or so clerkship openings every year? They are more or less the most competitive non-SCOTUS clerkships around. Let's say they take 5 students each from Harvard and Yale, 3 students each from Stanford and Georgetown (local ties), 2 each from Chicago, Virginia (local), and Columbia, and then a student each from NYU, Michigan, and Boalt. That's what, 25 clerks? Leaving 10 left for students from everywhere else -- including Duke, Cornell, Northwestern, and Texas -- to compete for?

I guess the long story short is that I'm pretty sure that two of the top three GW students are going to want to clerk at the DC Circuit, and I doubt that the court takes more than two GW clerks -- and only one is probably more likely.

Edit: Looking at the data at lawclerkaddict.com, for the 2008-2011 period, there have been about 110 clerks (though some of those are probably two year clerkships with the same individual, so take the numbers with a grain of salt). School breakdown: Harvard 28, Yale 22, NYU 14, Stanford 8, Chicago 6, Georgetown 6, Catholic(!) 4, whole bunch of schools (mostly the rest of the T14 with three or less. No one from GW.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Do you really have to be one among the top 3 (not percent) students in GW to even bother applying for a clerkship?


That might even be too generous with respect to the DC Circuit. Think about it. There are eight active judges and five senior judges. That means what, 35 or so clerkship openings every year? They are more or less the most competitive non-SCOTUS clerkships around. Let's say they take 5 students each from Harvard and Yale, 3 students each from Stanford and Georgetown (local ties), 2 each from Chicago, Virginia (local), and Columbia, and then a student each from NYU, Michigan, and Boalt. That's what, 25 clerks? Leaving 10 left for students from everywhere else -- including Duke, Cornell, Northwestern, and Texas -- to compete for?

I guess the long story short is that I'm pretty sure that two of the top three GW students are going to want to clerk at the DC Circuit, and I doubt that the court takes more than two GW clerks -- and only one is probably more likely.

Edit: Looking at the data at lawclerkaddict.com, for the 2008-2011 period, there have been about 110 clerks (though some of those are probably two year clerkships with the same individual, so take the numbers with a grain of salt). School breakdown: Harvard 28, Yale 22, NYU 14, Stanford 8, Chicago 6, Georgetown 6, Catholic(!) 4, whole bunch of schools (mostly the rest of the T14 with three or less. No one from GW.


Egregious pro-GULC trolling

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Edit: Looking at the data at lawclerkaddict.com, for the 2008-2011 period, there have been about 110 clerks (though some of those are probably two year clerkships with the same individual, so take the numbers with a grain of salt). School breakdown: Harvard 28, Yale 22, NYU 14, Stanford 8, Chicago 6, Georgetown 6, Catholic(!) 4, whole bunch of schools (mostly the rest of the T14 with three or less. No one from GW.


It's also incomplete data. Look up a district court or two. What it lists for E.D. Mich. is about 1/4-1/3 of how many term clerks there really are. Nor is a school listed which I know for sure was represented by one of my judge's term clerks. (I summered there 1L). If you look up the 6th Cir., they had half as many clerks 10-11 as 09-10 which is also clearly not true. The 3rd/4th/DC circuit have the same trend in data.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:33 pm

It's also incomplete data. Look up a district court or two. What it lists for E.D. Mich. is about 1/4-1/3 of how many term clerks there really are. Nor is a school listed which I know for sure was represented by one of my judge's term clerks. (I summered there 1L). If you look up the 6th Cir., they had half as many clerks 10-11 as 09-10 which is also clearly not true. The 3rd circuit has the same trend.


(Poster who posted the lawclerkaddict numbers.)

Totally agree. That said, the numbers seem to be a lot higher for the DC Circuit than others, and there is no reason why the reported clerks would skew for or against certain schools. So I think the main point probably stands -- you'll have a good shot at the DC Circuit coming from Harvard or Yale, a decent shot (probably need top 10% or so) from NYU, a fighting chance if you are in the top 5% or so from Stanford or Chicago, and then otherwise you'll probably need to be in the top 5-10 students from the remainder of the T14, and probably the top 2-3 students outside of that.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
It's also incomplete data. Look up a district court or two. What it lists for E.D. Mich. is about 1/4-1/3 of how many term clerks there really are. Nor is a school listed which I know for sure was represented by one of my judge's term clerks. (I summered there 1L). If you look up the 6th Cir., they had half as many clerks 10-11 as 09-10 which is also clearly not true. The 3rd circuit has the same trend.


(Poster who posted the lawclerkaddict numbers.)

Totally agree. That said, the numbers seem to be a lot higher for the DC Circuit than others, and there is no reason why the reported clerks would skew for or against certain schools. So I think the main point probably stands -- you'll have a good shot at the DC Circuit coming from Harvard or Yale, a decent shot (probably need top 10% or so) from NYU, a fighting chance if you are in the top 5% or so from Stanford or Chicago, and then otherwise you'll probably need to be in the top 5-10 students from the remainder of the T14, and probably the top 2-3 students outside of that.


Yeah, except I know several people from Michigan top 1/4 that clerked in the DC Circuit over the past few years. You're not compensating for self-selection. For your assertion to be true, you're assuming every single student wants to clerk...and in the DC Cir. Otherwise the numbers wouldn't add up. You're also not compensating for the idiosyncrasies of judge hiring. One particular CoA judge in the 6th told us at lunch one day that he takes all of his applications, throws out everyone except people who went to his UG/LS alma matter, people that interned for people he knew, people who shared interests (he gives a list to his current clerks to sort), etc. Then he starts reading those 20-25 apps. Several district court judges present nodded their heads in agreement.

I'm by no means saying grades don't matter but your assertion is unduly restrictive. They may even be the majority of hiring...but definitely not top 5-10.
Last edited by 03121202698008 on Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Renzo » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:42 pm

blowhard wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
It's also incomplete data. Look up a district court or two. What it lists for E.D. Mich. is about 1/4-1/3 of how many term clerks there really are. Nor is a school listed which I know for sure was represented by one of my judge's term clerks. (I summered there 1L). If you look up the 6th Cir., they had half as many clerks 10-11 as 09-10 which is also clearly not true. The 3rd circuit has the same trend.


(Poster who posted the lawclerkaddict numbers.)

Totally agree. That said, the numbers seem to be a lot higher for the DC Circuit than others, and there is no reason why the reported clerks would skew for or against certain schools. So I think the main point probably stands -- you'll have a good shot at the DC Circuit coming from Harvard or Yale, a decent shot (probably need top 10% or so) from NYU, a fighting chance if you are in the top 5% or so from Stanford or Chicago, and then otherwise you'll probably need to be in the top 5-10 students from the remainder of the T14, and probably the top 2-3 students outside of that.


Yeah, except I know several people from Michigan top 1/4 that clerked in the DC Circuit over the past few years. You're not compensating for self-selection. For your assertion to be true, you're assuming every single student wants to clerk...and in the DC Cir. Otherwise the numbers wouldn't add up. You're also not compensating for the idiosyncrasies of judge hiring. One particular CoA judge in the 6th told us at lunch one day that he takes all of his applications, throws out everyone except people who went to his UG/LS alma matter, people that interned for people he knew, people who shared interests (he gives a list to his current clerks to sort), etc. Then he starts reading those 20-25 apps. Several district court judges present nodded their heads in agreement.

I'm by no means saying grades don't matter but your assertion is unduly restrictive.


This probably happens after his clerks throw away any that don't seem obviously qualified.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:44 pm

Renzo wrote:
blowhard wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
It's also incomplete data. Look up a district court or two. What it lists for E.D. Mich. is about 1/4-1/3 of how many term clerks there really are. Nor is a school listed which I know for sure was represented by one of my judge's term clerks. (I summered there 1L). If you look up the 6th Cir., they had half as many clerks 10-11 as 09-10 which is also clearly not true. The 3rd circuit has the same trend.


(Poster who posted the lawclerkaddict numbers.)

Totally agree. That said, the numbers seem to be a lot higher for the DC Circuit than others, and there is no reason why the reported clerks would skew for or against certain schools. So I think the main point probably stands -- you'll have a good shot at the DC Circuit coming from Harvard or Yale, a decent shot (probably need top 10% or so) from NYU, a fighting chance if you are in the top 5% or so from Stanford or Chicago, and then otherwise you'll probably need to be in the top 5-10 students from the remainder of the T14, and probably the top 2-3 students outside of that.


Yeah, except I know several people from Michigan top 1/4 that clerked in the DC Circuit over the past few years. You're not compensating for self-selection. For your assertion to be true, you're assuming every single student wants to clerk...and in the DC Cir. Otherwise the numbers wouldn't add up. You're also not compensating for the idiosyncrasies of judge hiring. One particular CoA judge in the 6th told us at lunch one day that he takes all of his applications, throws out everyone except people who went to his UG/LS alma matter, people that interned for people he knew, people who shared interests (he gives a list to his current clerks to sort), etc. Then he starts reading those 20-25 apps. Several district court judges present nodded their heads in agreement.

I'm by no means saying grades don't matter but your assertion is unduly restrictive.


This probably happens after his clerks throw away any that don't seem obviously qualified.


He definitely had a floor...but it wasn't top 5-10 people at everyone below Chicago. He mentioned filtering down from several hundred applications this way.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:48 pm

For your assertion to be true, you're assuming every single student wants to clerk...and in the DC Cir.


I'm assuming that the majority -- and probably the vast majority -- of students at the tip-top of the class (say top 5% or so) at T14 schools want to clerk. I'm further assuming that for the most part they are targeting COA clerkships, and that the DC Circuit is one of the two most popular circuits at most schools.

You're also not compensating for the idiosyncrasies of judge hiring.


Perhaps.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
For your assertion to be true, you're assuming every single student wants to clerk...and in the DC Cir.


I'm assuming that the majority -- and probably the vast majority -- of students at the tip-top of the class (say top 5% or so) at T14 schools want to clerk. I'm further assuming that for the most part they are targeting COA clerkships, and that the DC Circuit is one of the two most popular circuits at most schools.

You're also not compensating for the idiosyncrasies of judge hiring.


Perhaps.


That's a lot of assuming. Many people that want to be litigators choose district courts because of the difference in experience. I know a few top 5% that wanted to do bankruptcy and went to B judges.

Academics/people who want appellate/prestige whores choose CoAs.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Renzo » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
For your assertion to be true, you're assuming every single student wants to clerk...and in the DC Cir.


I'm assuming that the majority -- and probably the vast majority -- of students at the tip-top of the class (say top 5% or so) at T14 schools want to clerk. I'm further assuming that for the most part they are targeting COA clerkships, and that the DC Circuit is one of the two most popular circuits at most schools.

You're also not compensating for the idiosyncrasies of judge hiring.


Perhaps.

I actually think you are both right. For example, Judge Chin always hires a clerk from Fordham every year; while one of the other judges on the circuit said he only considers students from eight schools (Fordham wasn't one), and only law review students from those schools, and his clerks throw away all other apps. So any given judge is likely to have their own quirks, but you can average all those quirks of all those judges to establish some pretty good guidelines

As for people choosing district courts over COA, I don't believe it for a second, unless they simultaneously accept a D. Ct and COA for sequential years.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:58 pm

Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
For your assertion to be true, you're assuming every single student wants to clerk...and in the DC Cir.


I'm assuming that the majority -- and probably the vast majority -- of students at the tip-top of the class (say top 5% or so) at T14 schools want to clerk. I'm further assuming that for the most part they are targeting COA clerkships, and that the DC Circuit is one of the two most popular circuits at most schools.

You're also not compensating for the idiosyncrasies of judge hiring.


Perhaps.

I actually think you are both right. For example, Judge Chin always hires a clerk from Fordham every year; while one of the other judges on the circuit said he only considers students from eight schools (Fordham wasn't one), and only law review students from those schools, and his clerks throw away all other apps. So any given judge is likely to have their own quirks, but you can average all those quirks of all those judges to establish some pretty good guidelines

As for people choosing district courts over COA, I don't believe it for a second, unless they simultaneously accept a D. Ct and COA for sequential years.


Eh, after observing both I'd do district but not COA. I want to learn the intricacies of litigation and the issues that come up. Not writing 5,000 letters memos saying this appelee has no claim, precedent is firmly established, etc. Writing draft opinions that get dropped at the last minute in favor of another judge's so they can claim a majority. My judge didn't even do bench memos. Everything the clerks/interns write is a final opinion/order.

Also, I knew several clerks over the summer that had offers from CoA judges and chose district or didn't apply to CoA at all. I think this is one of those times that TLS skews the perception of things. I know of a few people this year that only applied to district as well.

I'm not saying everyone does it...but enough people do it to make the assertions even more inaccurate.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:51 pm

I am top 1% at a T20 school and likely could have landed a COA clerkship had I targeted them. However, I had no interest, and instead targeted and received a top D. Ct. clerkship.

I have absolutely no interest in academia or appellate work, and I don't believe in chasing prestige for prestige's sake. As others have said, I believe a D.Ct. clerkship will give me more practical experience that will be applicable to my future career.

And to the person upthread who said you have to summer at a firm between 3L and your clerkship, I have never heard of that. Typically if you have no biglaw gig lined up, you'll apply during your clerkship for one.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby c3pO4 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:55 pm

Lots of people who could clerk would rather not take a salary cut and miss out on entering with their class at the firm, have a family they can't leave to clerk at some random location, and generally are tired of academic pursuits and just want to work. And in the long run, won't miss out on any "intricacies" of litigation if they are good at what they do.

Clerking self selection is a huge factor people often don't conside.r

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:55 pm

I came across a few people during my judicial internship last summer who turned down COA clerkships to clerk for the district court. They had their biglaw jobs already lined up, all came from great schools and had great grades, etc. They just felt that district court would be a bit more exciting (which they said is very true), and that they would be exposed to more of the nuts and bolts of litigation from its inception. Believe it or not, people decide on factors other than prestige quite often in the real world. Lets not impose the TLS echo-chamber opinion on the rest of the legal world, because the 2 often vary.

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Re: Does clerkship lead to biglaw, and is this the right path?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Do you really have to be one among the top 3 (not percent) students in GW to even bother applying for a clerkship?


That might even be too generous with respect to the DC Circuit. Think about it. There are eight active judges and five senior judges. That means what, 35 or so clerkship openings every year? They are more or less the most competitive non-SCOTUS clerkships around. Let's say they take 5 students each from Harvard and Yale, 3 students each from Stanford and Georgetown (local ties), 2 each from Chicago, Virginia (local), and Columbia, and then a student each from NYU, Michigan, and Boalt. That's what, 25 clerks? Leaving 10 left for students from everywhere else -- including Duke, Cornell, Northwestern, and Texas -- to compete for?

I guess the long story short is that I'm pretty sure that two of the top three GW students are going to want to clerk at the DC Circuit, and I doubt that the court takes more than two GW clerks -- and only one is probably more likely.

Edit: Looking at the data at lawclerkaddict.com, for the 2008-2011 period, there have been about 110 clerks (though some of those are probably two year clerkships with the same individual, so take the numbers with a grain of salt). School breakdown: Harvard 28, Yale 22, NYU 14, Stanford 8, Chicago 6, Georgetown 6, Catholic(!) 4, whole bunch of schools (mostly the rest of the T14 with three or less. No one from GW.

There are 39 term clerkships on the D.C. Circuit. This year, most clerks are from YHS. A handful from NYU, but as far as I can recall none from CLS or Chicago. Some from the other T14s, and at least one from a non-T14 school. Zero from GW (thus, the court OP is talking about cannot be the D.C. Circuit).

Top 3 students at GW sounds about right to be competitive for an interview. I do not think any GW student would ever be a mathematical favorite to actually get an offer, though. If you break it down by judge, there are several judges who have never -- and probably will never -- hire from GW. So you cannot realistically include their slots in the calculus. Add in the competition from other, higher-ranked and better-networked schools and the odds get very long very quickly. The Catholic U. placement described above is an anomaly in that regard, as I think one specific judge has a connection with that school and often hires one student from there.




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