doj honors program after two consecutive clerkships

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doj honors program after two consecutive clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:04 am

I'll be clerking for two years after graduating in a month or so (first d.ct., then coa). Both district and circuit courts are in major metro areas (think Chicago, DC, etc.). Does anyone here know if I should consider myself "competitive" for an Honors spot? My grades are roughly top 15% t10 no LR. I will be eligible for the program because my clerkships are consecutive with no break greater than 90 days. And I'll have passed the bar exam.

I know that the number of hiring components totally took a nosedive this year compared to two years ago. But maybe the economy will get slightly better and the government will have a little more money and more spots open in 2014. I'm just hoping my double federal clerkships will signal commitment to working in fed gov, and that my grades or whatever make the cut. Any thoughts?

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Re: doj honors program after two consecutive clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:35 pm

Clerkships are not viewed as a "commitment to working in fed gov"; they're more of an academic credential. After all, most clerks go on to work for firms.

Hundreds of clerks apply to the Honors program every year, which means hundreds of clerks are rejected every year; most won't even get interviews. Those that set themselves apart from the rest generally do so by having significant prior public-sector experience (law school internships, fellowships, etc.), some other stand-out qualities, or, quite frankly, by knowing the right people.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: doj honors program after two consecutive clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:33 pm

If you want to do doj, go call the usao in your city and ask if you can be an unpaid extern for the next few months. that is what doj wants to see. I am the least impressive fed coa clerk you've ever heard of and I made it very far in doj interviews because I did exactly that. My much more impressive fed clerk friends struck out early because they never worked for the doj before.

LawIdiot86
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Re: doj honors program after two consecutive clerkships

Postby LawIdiot86 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you want to do doj, go call the usao in your city and ask if you can be an unpaid extern for the next few months. that is what doj wants to see. I am the least impressive fed coa clerk you've ever heard of and I made it very far in doj interviews because I did exactly that. My much more impressive fed clerk friends struck out early because they never worked for the doj before.

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Re: doj honors program after two consecutive clerkships

Postby Cavalier » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:19 am

LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you want to do doj, go call the usao in your city and ask if you can be an unpaid extern for the next few months. that is what doj wants to see. I am the least impressive fed coa clerk you've ever heard of and I made it very far in doj interviews because I did exactly that. My much more impressive fed clerk friends struck out early because they never worked for the doj before.

Bros at my high school used to clerk for the federal court of appeals all the time. It was no big deal.

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Re: doj honors program after two consecutive clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:38 pm

Unfortunately, I don't think you'll be very competitive. DOJ Honors is very difficult to get. I clerked for a semi-feeder judge last year. My co-clerk had a high position on law review, won the school's moot court competition, and worked at main Justice one summer. S/he got interviews but didn't get a spot. In fact, the only person I know who applied who got a spot will be clerking for SCOTUS next year. You should look into honors programs for other federal agencies. Here's some more info on those: http://www.pslawnet.org/federalgovernmentresources

LawIdiot86
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Re: doj honors program after two consecutive clerkships

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:55 pm

This is one of the more depressing threads I've read on TLS.

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Re: doj honors program after two consecutive clerkships

Postby Citizen Genet » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Unfortunately, I don't think you'll be very competitive. DOJ Honors is very difficult to get. I clerked for a semi-feeder judge last year. My co-clerk had a high position on law review, won the school's moot court competition, and worked at main Justice one summer. S/he got interviews but didn't get a spot. In fact, the only person I know who applied who got a spot will be clerking for SCOTUS next year. You should look into honors programs for other federal agencies. Here's some more info on those: http://www.pslawnet.org/federalgovernmentresources



While I agree Honors is very competitive, the picture you've painted is inaccurate. I recognize it has shrunk the past two years, but from 2008-2010, the average rank of the school that DOJ hired from was 28. While Bristow Fellows and the Civil Division are going to be insanely difficult to get, DOJ is not only hiring people who clerk for feeders or go on to the Supreme Court. Quite the opposite, they are hiring from a wider range of school than most federal judges do.

Having two federal clerkships and good grades makes you competitive. Yes, it doesn't mean the poster has a GREAT chance, but their application is definitely competitive.

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Re: doj honors program after two consecutive clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:06 pm

Citizen Genet wrote:While I agree Honors is very competitive, the picture you've painted is inaccurate. I recognize it has shrunk the past two years, but from 2008-2010, the average rank of the school that DOJ hired from was 28. While Bristow Fellows and the Civil Division are going to be insanely difficult to get, DOJ is not only hiring people who clerk for feeders or go on to the Supreme Court. Quite the opposite, they are hiring from a wider range of school than most federal judges do.

Having two federal clerkships and good grades makes you competitive. Yes, it doesn't mean the poster has a GREAT chance, but their application is definitely competitive.


Keep in mind, though, that a very large portion of Honors hires (over one-third) are hired for one-year immigration/ALJ clerkships, which are much less competitive than the actual attorney positions, and which likely skews your statistic. The attorney positions are insanely competitive, and the vast majority of those interviewed/hired for those positions come from top schools and have clerked. So assuming OP is seeking an attorney position, without any significant federal work experience under his belt, he won't stand out much from the competition for those spots.




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