(Improving My) Clerkship Chances

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(Improving My) Clerkship Chances

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:20 am

Alright, another one of these threads. Let's see what TLS says:

-3.63 (1 DS/9 H/7 P) at HLS. I think this is past the historical cum laude cutoff but well below magna (maybe top third, assuming grades continue to rise 3L year?) Strongish upward trend (3.3 first semester, 3.7+ the last 3). Took Federal Courts as a 2L and got an H.
-Ed board of secondary journal, plus other stuff (Ames, RA position, etc.)
-2L SA at a Vault firm in SF/LA.
-Very strong CA ties.

Looking primarily at district courts but also applying to some COA judges (not that I think I have a great shot, but lots of people said there's no harm in applying so I might as well since the marginal effort involved is negligible). Do I have a shot? And more importantly, is there anything I can do at this point to improve my odds?

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Re: (Improving My) Clerkship Chances

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:43 am

You didn't mention your recommender situation. Without very strong recs and calls, I'm afraid your application won't stand out. Have you lined up your profs and asked them to go to bat for you?

I suggest branching out geographically beyond CA if you haven't already considered this, since CA is very competitive. You might be able to land a district court clerkship, but COA is probably not in the cards without law review and better grades. For reference, in our COA chambers (9th Circuit, but not CA), we never wanted to see more than 2-3 Hs for a 2L. Maybe 4-5 tops for grads. Only transfers could get away with not being on HLR.

You might be able to claw your way to a COA clerkship if you land a district court clerkship, kill your 3L year, and get a very strong rec from your judge.

GertrudePerkins
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Re: (Improving My) Clerkship Chances

Postby GertrudePerkins » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:For reference, in our COA chambers (9th Circuit, but not CA), we never wanted to see more than 2-3 Hs for a 2L. Maybe 4-5 tops for grads.
Do you mean 2-3 Ps?

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Re: (Improving My) Clerkship Chances

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:16 am

Yes, Ps (my bad!). :oops:

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Re: (Improving My) Clerkship Chances

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:42 am

Former clerk here. Recommender situation will matter a lot. As will breadth of applications. Lots of HLS faculty write shit recs that basically say nothing new about the candidate -- these hurt more than they help. So get to know your recommenders! And see if you can get so e calls from them. Networking with current and recent HLS clerks will help too.

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Re: (Improving My) Clerkship Chances

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:04 pm

A lot of HLS students seem to take a certain J-Term class just to get what they think will be a prestigious LOR, but actually is a generic POS (I've read many of them while vetting COA apps). Make sure your recommenders actually know you beyond getting your getting a DS. It's more impressive to have a 3-page, passionate LOR from a relatively unknown junior faculty member than a 1-paragraph LOR from a nationally renowned professor who can only say that you are "pleasant" and "well spoken."

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Re: (Improving My) Clerkship Chances

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A lot of HLS students seem to take a certain J-Term class just to get what they think will be a prestigious LOR, but actually is a generic POS (I've read many of them while vetting COA apps). Make sure your recommenders actually know you beyond getting your getting a DS. It's more impressive to have a 3-page, passionate LOR from a relatively unknown junior faculty member than a 1-paragraph LOR from a nationally renowned professor who can only say that you are "pleasant" and "well spoken."

So credited. Some HLS profs seem to churn out lots of the useless short letters. Avoid them, or at least make damn sure the prof knows you well before asking them for a LOR.

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Chichaca
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Re: (Improving My) Clerkship Chances

Postby Chichaca » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:16 pm

meant to post anon.

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Re: (Improving My) Clerkship Chances

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Former clerk here. Recommender situation will matter a lot. As will breadth of applications. Lots of HLS faculty write shit recs that basically say nothing new about the candidate -- these hurt more than they help. So get to know your recommenders! And see if you can get so e calls from them. Networking with current and recent HLS clerks will help too.


Agree wholeheartedly with this.

I'm from a T40 and was ~40th percentile when I applied to clerkships. I ended up landing one (non-AIII, so take that as you will), which I still think is a total miracle. The judge said (s)he hired me almost exclusively because of my recommendations, which were really solid and personal.

abacus
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Re: (Improving My) Clerkship Chances

Postby abacus » Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:A lot of HLS students seem to take a certain J-Term class just to get what they think will be a prestigious LOR, but actually is a generic POS (I've read many of them while vetting COA apps). Make sure your recommenders actually know you beyond getting your getting a DS. It's more impressive to have a 3-page, passionate LOR from a relatively unknown junior faculty member than a 1-paragraph LOR from a nationally renowned professor who can only say that you are "pleasant" and "well spoken."

So credited. Some HLS profs seem to churn out lots of the useless short letters. Avoid them, or at least make damn sure the prof knows you well before asking them for a LOR.


I apologize in advance; I know this is a bit off-topic, but I didn't think it was worth making a new topic.. I just wanted to know: are professor recommendations important for anything aside from clerkship applications?




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