Chances at Federal Clerkship

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273387
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Chances at Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:44 pm

Hi guys, I want to apply for federal clerkships over the next semester and I really want to be in Boston. I would appreciate it if anyone could guess on my chances in getting a district or 1st Circuit clerkship in Boston. If those chances are really slim, maybe let me know my chances of getting one on the east coast in general (NY, Washington D.C., etc.). If you need more information than I provide below, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

2L at Top 25 school (Midwest) - but have ties to Boston - have a 2L summer firm job there
3.9 GPA (could be as low at 3.7 after this semester grades)
Top 10%
Law Review
Interned on the 1st Circuit 1L summer but not that close to my judge so don't know how much that will help besides being on my resume and a letter of rec from judge

Thanks again for all your help!

Citizen Genet
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:03 am

Re: Chances at Federal Clerkship

Postby Citizen Genet » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi guys, I want to apply for federal clerkships over the next semester and I really want to be in Boston. I would appreciate it if anyone could guess on my chances in getting a district or 1st Circuit clerkship in Boston. If those chances are really slim, maybe let me know my chances of getting one on the east coast in general (NY, Washington D.C., etc.). If you need more information than I provide below, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

2L at Top 25 school (Midwest) - but have ties to Boston - have a 2L summer firm job there
3.9 GPA (could be as low at 3.7 after this semester grades)
Top 10%
Law Review
Interned on the 1st Circuit 1L summer but not that close to my judge so don't know how much that will help besides being on my resume and a letter of rec from judge

Thanks again for all your help!


Without a solid GPA and class rank, it's hard to say. Does Top 10% refer to 3.9 or 3.7?

User avatar
Blindmelon
Posts: 1708
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Chances at Federal Clerkship

Postby Blindmelon » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:59 pm

Boston is rough - this is coming from a BU student. No one from BU clerks on the 1st Cir. without a few years of work experience. As for D. Mass., tons of Harvard people want to stay in Mass. to clerk and Yale grads often make their way up. Some judges really only accept clerks from Y/H and will sometimes take a random NYU/Chicago/Columbia clerk. Outside of that, there are 2 judges that keep 1 BU spot each and its likely the same for BC. A bunch of people applied to D Mass. from BU and only 2 (I think) got clerkships - people actually do much better outside of the state.

You can try for Mass SJC if you're interested in appellate, but surprisingly, SJC clerks are also overwhelmingly H and Y grads. For BU, I would guess that top 10% + LR has a shot at SJC, but its more like top 5% + LR to be more hopeful (minus connections).

Underrated is Mass Ct. Appeals clerkships. They don't have the prestige other clerkships have or command a bonus, but if you just really wanna clerk and have a job lined up it would likely be a great experience.

dimreturns
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:59 am

Re: Chances at Federal Clerkship

Postby dimreturns » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:16 pm

GTL/our resident guru: is DC Circuit or Dist out of the question from CCN if not on LR/any journal?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273387
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Chances at Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:54 pm

A bunch of people applied to D Mass. from BU and only 2 (I think) got clerkships - people actually do much better outside of the state.


I actually was looking into this a few weeks ago for a friend (long story), and BU helpfully publishes their clerk placement statistics. As GTL Rev notes, the last few years have been brutal. You're looking at maybe 5-6 Article III clerks per year, indicating you probably need to be top 5% to have a chance at ANY district court or COA clerkship. Also refer to the Chicago numbers released today. About 10% of the class clerks right out of law school. Yes, some do another graduate degree first, some clerk after working for a bit, and some don't want to clerk. But you're still probably looking at needing to be top 20% minimum in order to get even a flyover district court clerkship.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273387
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Chances at Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:02 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi guys, I want to apply for federal clerkships over the next semester and I really want to be in Boston. I would appreciate it if anyone could guess on my chances in getting a district or 1st Circuit clerkship in Boston. If those chances are really slim, maybe let me know my chances of getting one on the east coast in general (NY, Washington D.C., etc.). If you need more information than I provide below, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

2L at Top 25 school (Midwest) - but have ties to Boston - have a 2L summer firm job there
3.9 GPA (could be as low at 3.7 after this semester grades)
Top 10%
Law Review
Interned on the 1st Circuit 1L summer but not that close to my judge so don't know how much that will help besides being on my resume and a letter of rec from judge

Thanks again for all your help!

How strong will your recs be? Will profs be making calls? Are you running for LR board?
Sorry to derail, but have a quick question here. Are LR board positions outside of EIC a big boost in clerkship hiring? Obviously there is some boost, and every little bit helps, but is it significant?

I'm contemplating running for EIC only, and if I don't win, say forget it and be a non-board editor of some kind. EIC clearly is a significant boost, but beyond that, I feel the time commitment outweighs the clerkship boost. Is that incorrect?

anongoodnurse
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: Chances at Federal Clerkship

Postby anongoodnurse » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:40 pm

There are tons of people who have nice grades -- say top 15-30%, which nice recs, and a few nice things on their resume. Tons of them. So you need to be objective about how many other people out there have what you have. It is probably more than you think, particularly considering the number of alumni applicants.


Incidentally, as an alum who just went through the process, I think this is what really stacks the deck against current law students. When a grad with a few years of experience applies in the spring or early summer, he or she is going to be competing against probably 100-200 applicants instead of the 500+ for on-plan district judges (the first number was taken from a flyover district clerk I talked to over the summer). Plus, the fact that he or she has some experience -- even if it's only a year or two of practice -- really adds something that has the potential to get your resume pulled (interesting substantive experience, the judge or his clerks like the firm, whatever). So you end up in a situation where the alums face less competition (numerically at least) and are more likely to have the sort of esoteric non-academic flags that get your resume pulled. Not a level playing field.

EDIT to clarify something

Anonymous User
Posts: 273387
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Chances at Federal Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:56 pm

LINK REMOVED BY MOD - Very Questionable Judgment. Red card.

nepotism

BC, no honors, no experience, below average grades, yet got the clerkship.

hint: her hubby clerked for the same court some years ago.

Geist13
Posts: 739
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:21 pm

Re: Chances at Federal Clerkship

Postby Geist13 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:34 am

To the above poster, you're an idiot. That's a state level appeals court. It has nothing to do with this thread's contnent; state courts have totally different criteria. Also, there's absolutely nothing wrong with getting clerkships through connections. In fact, if TLS proves right in this area, having faculty personally call judges on your behalf is a very common way to land a clerkship.

hint: pull your head out of your ass and don't just post someone's profile.

Agent
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:03 pm

Re: Chances at Federal Clerkship

Postby Agent » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:38 am

Geist13 wrote:To the above poster, you're an idiot. That's a state level appeals court. It has nothing to do with this thread's contnent; state courts have totally different criteria. Also, there's absolutely nothing wrong with getting clerkships through connections. In fact, if TLS proves right in this area, having faculty personally call judges on your behalf is a very common way to land a clerkship.

hint: pull your head out of your ass and don't just post someone's profile.


+1. Uncool. Especially since you're posting anonymously.

User avatar
Blindmelon
Posts: 1708
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Chances at Federal Clerkship

Postby Blindmelon » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:45 am

Geist13 wrote:To the above poster, you're an idiot. That's a state level appeals court. It has nothing to do with this thread's contnent; state courts have totally different criteria. Also, there's absolutely nothing wrong with getting clerkships through connections. In fact, if TLS proves right in this area, having faculty personally call judges on your behalf is a very common way to land a clerkship.

hint: pull your head out of your ass and don't just post someone's profile.


+1. Getting a clerkship/job/anything in life isn't solely based on merit - calling someone out personally for using the connections they have is very AutoAdmit.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.