big law denver or texas

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cslouisck
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Re: big law denver or texas

Postby cslouisck » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:18 pm

Pufer wrote:tl;dr version: Denver is not the market you're looking for if you're looking for biglaw. The few legit biglaw firms are too small to support many entry-level folks and fill those few slots with either prestigious clerks or T14 folks who SA'd OOS. 10th Cir. is mostly a T14-type affair, mainly because of the makeup of the various judges. Top CU types are traditionally slightly better than OOS for any level of state clerkship, but it varies by judge. You're fucked if you're looking for anything else and you don't have some standout selling point (ties, contacts, prestigious/relevant clerkship, objectively amazing resume from a T14, etc.).

-Pufer


Thanks, Pufer. Both this and what you've posted about CU/Denver else where are enormously helpful. I should probably come back here when I have actual acceptances and dollars to compare, but as as Denver resident who'd like to end up here anyway (doing something interesting, of course), I'm trying to get some initial insight as to the value of CU v CCN or other T14.

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Re: big law denver or texas

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:24 pm

Trial level federal gets a lot of interest for what it is, but isn't necessarily that competitive for solid candidates from anywhere.


I'll just note that this probably understates how competitive a D. Colorado clerkship is. First, because getting an AIII clerkship anywhere is really tough these days -- even alum-only judges in the flyover states are getting 200+ applications for every opening. Second, a good chunk of D. Colorado judges have permanent clerks, and a number of the rest hire for two years (thus effectively cutting the number of openings in half). I'd be surprised if there were more than a dozen or so spots open every year. Third, Denver is seen as a "destination" city by a lot of top applicants -- I know at least a few that only applied for clerkships in places like Hawaii or San Diego or Miami who added Denver to their short list.

My totally uneducated guess is that the grades you'd need from CU or DU for a D. Colorado clerkship (at least with an AIII judge) are probably not that much lower than what you'd need for a Tenth Circuit clerkship -- maybe top 10 or so students. There's probably a bigger lag coming from the T14 -- I'd guess top 20% from CCN would be competitive, vs. top 10% for a Tenth Circuit Clerkship -- but not by much.

(As empirical support for all of this, I know at least one D. Colorado judge hires pro bono clerks without the possibility of a paid position -- and he typically gets lots and lots of resumes from people who are willing to work for free. Some are new grads without jobs, but a lot are from biglaw alums who are trying to break in to the Denver market.)

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Re: big law denver or texas

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Trial level federal gets a lot of interest for what it is, but isn't necessarily that competitive for solid candidates from anywhere.


I'll just note that this probably understates how competitive a D. Colorado clerkship is. First, because getting an AIII clerkship anywhere is really tough these days -- even alum-only judges in the flyover states are getting 200+ applications for every opening. Second, a good chunk of D. Colorado judges have permanent clerks, and a number of the rest hire for two years (thus effectively cutting the number of openings in half). I'd be surprised if there were more than a dozen or so spots open every year. Third, Denver is seen as a "destination" city by a lot of top applicants -- I know at least a few that only applied for clerkships in places like Hawaii or San Diego or Miami who added Denver to their short list.

My totally uneducated guess is that the grades you'd need from CU or DU for a D. Colorado clerkship (at least with an AIII judge) are probably not that much lower than what you'd need for a Tenth Circuit clerkship -- maybe top 10 or so students. There's probably a bigger lag coming from the T14 -- I'd guess top 20% from CCN would be competitive, vs. top 10% for a Tenth Circuit Clerkship -- but not by much.

(As empirical support for all of this, I know at least one D. Colorado judge hires pro bono clerks without the possibility of a paid position -- and he typically gets lots and lots of resumes from people who are willing to work for free. Some are new grads without jobs, but a lot are from biglaw alums who are trying to break in to the Denver market.)

I agree with this - there just aren't that many openings for D. Colo. clerkships. The CU/DU people I know who have landed these positions have indeed been in the top 10 students in the class, or, to be honest, have had connections to the judge. (Not knocking that - you gotta use what you can!)

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Pufer
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Re: big law denver or texas

Postby Pufer » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:17 am

cslouisck wrote:Thanks, Pufer. Both this and what you've posted about CU/Denver else where are enormously helpful. I should probably come back here when I have actual acceptances and dollars to compare, but as as Denver resident who'd like to end up here anyway (doing something interesting, of course), I'm trying to get some initial insight as to the value of CU v CCN or other T14.


This probably isn't the correct forum for this type of question. That said, my one-line answer is that, if you want biglaw, bigfed, or even $100k+ regional midlaw, go to CCN over CU; if "something interesting" includes something other than that (small or midsize local firm, smaller area of law like family/juvenile or something, or Colorado government), you know 100% that you want to be in the Denver market, and you are willing to actually leave the boundaries of Boulder to go network in Denver, CU may well have an edge given your enhanced ability to make contacts, and will give you an outside chance at one of the big-deal jobs if you decide to throw out a hail mary.

Anonymous User wrote:I agree with this - there just aren't that many openings for D. Colo. clerkships. The CU/DU people I know who have landed these positions have indeed been in the top 10 students in the class, or, to be honest, have had connections to the judge. (Not knocking that - you gotta use what you can!)


My choice of words there probably wasn't very good as I agree with that as well. To expand: from what I understand, the D. Colo. judges get a shit-ton of apps, but the vast majority of them are crap from folks who hope that secondary market means easier pickings. For legitimately-competitive clerkship candidates from CU (the types of folks who would be competitive for a Colorado Supreme Court clerkship, or have contacts, or basically the folks you and the previous anon described), these slots are attainable, however few of them there may be.

That said, I would disagree with the previous anon poster's characterization of the D. Colo. clerkships being comparable in competitiveness to 10th Cir. clerkships. A significant number of the 10th Cir. judges are very concerned with appearances and have aims on becoming elite feeder-type judges. They're only looking for the same ultra-elite level of folks as your bigger-name 2d/9th/Fed Cir. judges (and are getting them). These folks are looking at the absolute top of any class beyond HYS. There are maybe one or two folks coming from CU on an annual basis who will even get a real look from one of the less-ambitious 10th Cir. judges (the only 10th Cir. clerk from my class was ranked #1, and I'm unaware of any 10th Cir. clerks at all from the previous couple classes), and you'll generally need more than top-10% at CCN to be competitive there.

In short, even elite CU folks aren't seriously competitive for 10th Cir. anymore, but stand to be competitive at D. Colo. if they have serious clerkship credentials/connections.

-Pufer




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