Networking and Clerkship Opportunities

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Anonymous User
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Networking and Clerkship Opportunities

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:41 pm

So G.T.L and others have been really helpful in establishing some basic guidelines for when it's realistic to have a shot at Federal clerkships, especially in competitive areas like NYC and California and DC.

What I haven't seen is any info as to how much the bare numbers requirements can be mitigated by connections to judges or former clerks. I know recommendations and things like that are important in their own right, but if you have a family friend etc. who can get you an interview with a judge that's out of your reasonable expectation range, does it ever really pay off? For example, could a median from a lower T14 who got a connections interview with a 2nd Cir. judge realistically compete with standard top 5% applicants?

Obviously this may vary from judge to judge and experience/public info will be hard to obtain, but if there is any info about this it would be helpful to know.

madame defarge
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Re: Networking and Clerkship Opportunities

Postby madame defarge » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:56 pm

I clerked for a semi-feeder on 2/9/DC. In our chambers, personal connections without stellar qualifications would get you a courtesy interview, which was a waste of everyone's time. Conversely, personal connections with the right numbers would tip the scales heavily in favor of a hire. If you aren't even on the borderline of acceptable numbers, you probably shouldn't get your hopes up.

Anonymous User
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Re: Networking and Clerkship Opportunities

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:11 pm

well, it also depends on how well-connected you really are.

who knows whether jeannie suk graduated with honors/magna from harvard law? she got a clerkship with a feeder judge, for whom her hubby feldman served as law clerk.

Anonymous User
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Re: Networking and Clerkship Opportunities

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:47 pm

New anon here.

If this were BigLaw, I'd consider the "courtesy interview" a good thing. I've found that with BigLaw, once you have that opportunity, it is actually possible to talk your way into a job that should have been out of reach. I'm assuming that's not the case with clerking and that it's more of a pure numbers game?

I ask because I, too, have good connections to a 2/9/DC CoA judge, but am median T14.

Anonymous User
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Re: Networking and Clerkship Opportunities

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:52 pm

why would a feeder judge, who has to work personally with each of his/her clerks and also wants to send them on to bigger and better things, take on someone without stellar credentials? So that they can pick up the slack if a bench memo goes awry? in most big law scenarios, they don't expect to retain all associates, and they also don't have to work personally with all associates, so there's not the same dynamic...right?

Anonymous User
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Re: Networking and Clerkship Opportunities

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:53 pm

there is a lot of leeway at the state appellate courts and state courts though.
ITE i expected those who clerked with state courts (e.g. RI, Mass) to have reasonably good grades from good schools. I know someone clerking with a state appellate court because her husband clerked there years ago.




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