Anonymous User wrote:^^but being t15% @ S has got to count for something? interesting.
Yeah, being top 15% at HYS means you'll definitely get an A3 clerkship. Competition has become insanely competitive for A3 clerkships, especially for COA's. Top 15% at any school is not really enough to be a lock for a COA in an urban area. As far as 9th Circuit goes - you'll have a shot at the non-coastal cities/rural areas. DC "ain't happening". Most judges in DC only take 3 clerks, some only take 2 clerks... if you don't have a single digit rank, it's not going to happen.
If you really want to be in a "major market", then you need to be looking at district court clerkships (SDNY, EDNY, NDCA, CDCA, EDVA). Even that can be difficult as many district court judges are looking for alumni.
Finally, you might want to expand your definition of "major market." 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th all contain "major" legal markets. And there are many judges in those circuits that I would take over a random judge in the 9th.