2012 Clerkship Application Thread

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Citizen Genet
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Citizen Genet » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Citizen Genet wrote:
Can someone please redact and post.


Thank you for your application, blah blah difficult choice.

I first decided to hire Applicant A. A is a 3L at a non-ranked (out of state?) law school. She had a board position that doesn't exist on most law reviews, and is in the top 10% of her class. She recieved a scholarship from her school. She went to an UG most people haven't heard of, where she got her degree in Communications and had decent grades. She worked at a local law firm last summer and wants to stay in town post graduation.

My most recent selection is Applicant B, who is a 3L at the local (possibly unranked?) school and is in the top x% (where x is single digit) of her class. She recieved CALI awards in non-doctrinal classes that sound half a step away from law & ____. Her case note is also being published in her school's journal, and she submitted another paper to be published. She has a BA and an MA in criminal justice from the local state school. She spent last summer at a local law firm and hopes to go into civil defense after clerking.

Empty platitudes,

Judge


I won't dig on either of the applicants. Sounds like they have solid credentials, though not wildly different from the median clerkship applicant. But that is incredibly odd to send all of that in rejection letters to other applicants. Seems like it just makes for sour grapes.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:13 pm

Judges love class standing more than any other metric, so I'm not surprised that a judge would choose people in the top 10% at TTTs as clerks. I guess the assumption is that they would have done similarly well at better schools.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:24 pm

The local school is a T2, and does really well in-state, because, well, it's the only game in town, and it's a really small market, so connections are big. But you know, FWIW, I think you dodged a bullet not getting the gig.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:28 pm

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:Judges love class standing more than any other metric, so I'm not surprised that a judge would choose people in the top 10% at TTTs as clerks. I guess the assumption is that they would have done similarly well at better schools.


This plus recommendations. My judge, as well as a couple I interned for during LS, told me they hire almost entirely based on recommendations so long as grades are decent.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:47 pm

Frankly it seems like a weird email to send regardless of how qualified the applicants are. Even if they were Rhodes scholars, a simple thanks but no thanks would have been sufficient.

also, I would have been uncomfortable having a judge send out my credentials in that way as his rejection letter.

Pokemon
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Pokemon » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:24 pm

That would annoy me for no other reason other than that they studied criminal justice in college. I have gotten a bad impression from every single person who studied criminal justice and told me about it.

ClerkAnon
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAnon » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:26 pm

Very odd; thanks for sharing. I've received my fair share of clerkship rejection letters, but none have summarized and extolled the virtues of the selected candidates.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:38 am

I know it's kinda random, but has anyone gotten an offer from Virgin Islands District Court? Or heard of someone getting an offer from them?

Thanks!

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:I know it's kinda random, but has anyone gotten an offer from Virgin Islands District Court? Or heard of someone getting an offer from them?

Thanks!


I know the judge on St. Thomas made offers, no idea about St. Croix.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know it's kinda random, but has anyone gotten an offer from Virgin Islands District Court? Or heard of someone getting an offer from them?

Thanks!


VI has made offers.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:23 pm

Any tips for a phone interview with a clerk? What should I prepare for?

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know it's kinda random, but has anyone gotten an offer from Virgin Islands District Court? Or heard of someone getting an offer from them?

Thanks!


VI has made offers.


Thanks.

Sigh..

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:26 am

Late, but just adding data points:

Year: 3L
School: HYS
Rank: Top 30%
LR: Secondary
SA: You've heard of the firm
D.Ct. Applications: ~80
Circuit applications: ~40
State court applications: 0
Interviews: 6 D.Ct
Offers: 1 D.Ct (top 5 district court - objectively)

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:15 pm

(RE previous post stating in an "objectively" top 5 district court, I'm not sure how you can "objectively" rank district courts.... if you're going for "prestige," that's hardly done on a district court basis. If you're talking about "most sought after geographic/market location," that might make a bit more sense, but that's still not really an objective measure.)

Year: 3L
School: Tier 1
Rank: Top 5%
LR: Law Review
SA: Yes
D.Ct Apps: ~30
COA Apps: ~20
Magistrate: 1
Interviews: 3 District Court, 1 Magistrate
Offers: 1 District Court (subjectively top 3 market)

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:38 pm

While any district court rankings are obviously subjective, I'm not quite sure what it means to say prestige is "hardly done on a district court basis." I don't think anyone would argue there are certain district courts that would be more "prestigious" (and I mean that in the superficial way law students usually do) than other district courts, and even more prestigious than some circuit courts (see S.D.N.Y. versus most circuit courts not named DC, 2nd, or 9th). Surely there are exceptions within both district and circuit courts for some more notable judges, but I do think it's possible to generalize by court - including district court - to a certain extent. That said, would be interested in getting people's take on what they think are the best district courts from a prestige perspective. Here's how I would rank the top 10:

1. SDNY
2. DDC
3. CDCA
4. EDNY
5. NDIL
6. NDCA
7. EDVA
8. DMA
9. SDFL
10. DNJ

Others that could be thrown into the top-ten, depending on your coastal bias: SDCA, PAE, EDTX (for patent stuff), EDLA

ClerkAnon
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAnon » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:53 pm

In the many years that I've followed clerkship hiring, there has definitely seemed to be a general consensus that - among those who believe in assessments of DCt prestige - SDNY is #1 (although there is no clear consensus on which, if any, circuit courts it exceeds in prestige.) Beyond that, I find (anonymous) Internet rankings of the top 5 or 10 DCts unreliable. There is often a correlation between the court from which the anonymous poster has an offer and the placement of that district court in their rankings. Rankings are also not useful because they vary by geography. I've said here before that employers who litigate primarily in California courts are often most interested in Ninth Circuit and CA district clerkships; it would not surprise me if employers in other regions shared that preference. I doubt that an employer focused on litigating in the CA courts generally would view SDFL or DMass in any meaningful sense as more prestigious than EDCA or SDCA. Similarly, I would expect an employer litigating in federal court in Massachusetts to be much more excited about a DMass clerkship than a CDCA clerkship.

Among employers who litigate nationwide - like many biglaw litigation practices - I can't say that I've come across any sort of micro preference for CDCA over EDNY or NDCA over EDVA. And very few practitioners, other than (some) former district court clerks, will have any interest in the sort of prestige distinctions you are drawing. (Keep in mind that many circuit clerks who did not do district court clerkships will view all (or almost all) district court clerkships as "less prestigious" than theirs and will not be interested in the minutiae of district rankings.) And you will not find any consensus among former district court clerks, whose prestige assessments will be shaped by their own geographic preferences (both where they clerked and where they practice) and their litigation experiences in front of particular courts and judges.

So based on my experiences to date, I strongly disagree that there is a meaningful general way to rank the "best district courts from a prestige perspective." However, I could be persuaded otherwise, so I'm interested in the objective reasons for your rankings. As examples, I'd like to hear the objective reasons that you've decided that NDIL > NDCA > EDVA and SDFL > DNJ.

Citizen Genet
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Citizen Genet » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:43 pm

Even SDNY as #1 is subject to litigation area preference. For example, administrative law/regulatory work practice areas are more impressed by/want clerks from D.D.C. My impression is that patent groups like EDTx better. S.D.N.Y. is so highly sought after because it covers a ton of high-profile BigLaw litigation; but if that's not your scene, it really can't be considered an "objective" #1. If you want to be an AUSA in Iowa, D.Ct. clerkship in Iowa is going to be better than an S.D.N.Y. clerkship.

ClerkAnon
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAnon » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:35 pm

Good points, Citizen Genet. I agree.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:40 pm

My gut is that micro rankings are dumb but there are rough tiers of prestige. This would be my general guess:

SDNY/DDC
EDNY/CDCA/NDCA/EDVA/NDIL/DMASS
EDPA/EDTX/EDCA/SDCA/SDFL/DMD/WDWA/EDMO/EDLA/NDGA/DCO/DMN/NDTX/SDTX/other big-ish secondary market districts
The Rest

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:My gut is that micro rankings are dumb but there are rough tiers of prestige. This would be my general guess:

SDNY/DDC
EDNY/CDCA/NDCA/EDVA/NDIL/DMASS
EDPA/EDTX/EDCA/SDCA/SDFL/DMD/WDWA/EDMO/EDLA/NDGA/DCO/DMN/NDTX/SDTX/other big-ish secondary market districts
The Rest


This is reaching a whole new level of silliness.

For most people, most 'prestigious' district court clerkship is the most well-respected judge in the market you anticipate working in.

Otherwise, it's a hard call. There are certainly more national districts that others - i.e., SDNY, DDC, CDCA, NDCA, EDVA. And, districts have very different characteristics. If you want to see lots of big civil cases that actually go (sometimes) to trial, EDVA would be a better bet than most other districts (especially since you can actually see entire cases, filing through jury trial, in your clerkship year). Likewise, if someone has no interest in patents, then WDWA or EDTX would not be the best districts unless you had some other reasons for clerking in those districts. Plus, major districts, like D Delaware, which has tons of major patent cases, are strangely absent from this ranking. Point being, there are 5-10 major districts, and then the rest. It's really splitting hairs trying to distinguish 'prestige' between them. (as a final side note, if one were really taking into account 'prestige', one might also want to evaluate the # of judges on the district - does SDNY's mammoth size dilute the prestige?)

-DoubleClerk

Citizen Genet
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Citizen Genet » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
This is reaching a whole new level of silliness.

For most people, most 'prestigious' district court clerkship is the most well-respected judge in the market you anticipate working in.



+bajizilion

I think people are conflating "competitive" (which I think could be measured fairly objectively) with "prestigious." Prestige is how others view you and, especially for clerkships, that will be primarily related to people's perception of the judge you work for.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:55 pm

Apologies for the lateness. I've been away from TLS for a very long time.

Year: 3L
School: MVP
Rank: ~50%
LR: No
SA: Gov.
D. Ct. apps: ~70
Bankr. Ct. apps: ~30
Interviews: 3 bankr. ct.
Offer: 1 bankr. ct. (non-SDNY/D.Del.)

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:09 pm

Year: 3L
School: T14
Rank: Top 10%
LR: Yes
SA: Yes
D. Ct. apps: ~25 (all on plan)
Interviews: 2 D. Ct.
Offer: 0

all of my apps (save 4 or 5) were to "highly competitive" or "competitive" (ie, cities in major legal markets) districts. The two interviews came out of my other 4 or 5 applications.

ClerkAnon
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAnon » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:31 pm

Citizen Genet wrote:I think people are conflating "competitive" (which I think could be measured fairly objectively) with "prestigious." Prestige is how others view you and, especially for clerkships, that will be primarily related to people's perception of the judge you work for.


While I agree that competitive could theoretically be measured objectively, I think we lack the data to measure it. E.g., I suspect that none of us know whether NDCA or CDCA are receiving more applications, or whether DDC is receiving more than either or both of those districts. The data would also vary for senior judges, judges who only offer two year clerkships, judges who are open about a restriction on who may apply (e.g., alums only, 3Ls only, graduates/students of a certain school only), judges with slightly more or less favorable reputations, etc. Most of us only know (at most) how many applications our particular judge(s) received the year that we were hired and the year(s) in which we clerked.

Even our judges don't always know competitiveness data for their whole courts. After my clerkships, I applied for a fellowship that inanely wanted to know statistics about competitiveness for previous honors I'd received, so I asked my judges for this information regarding my clerkships. One of my judges felt that, due to his well-publicized restriction on who could apply and practice of hiring very early (well ahead of LCHP) and then cutting off future apps via OSCAR, his application numbers were probably lower than other active judges on the same court. But he didn't know the information for the court as a whole offhand - he had to call his colleagues to ask for this information.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:31 am

Are Oscar postings always accurate regarding when the clerkship term starts? I ask because I have seen a few judges add clerkships that start in early 2013. I assume it's pointless for me to apply if I don't graduate until May 2013. Am I wrong?




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