clerkship chances

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Anonymous User
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clerkship chances

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:13 am

Just started 2L, and I'm thinking about clerking out of law school (although I'm not at all sure). I'm about top 15% at Fordham, secondary journal. Any chance for a federal clerkship? What about NY appellate or Court of Appeals?

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Re: clerkship chances

Postby nevdash » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:22 am

Let me look into my crystal ball so I can predict your 2L grades first...

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Re: clerkship chances

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:43 am

Thanks for that. How about we work under the assumption that my grades stay the same

Citizen Genet

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Re: clerkship chances

Postby Citizen Genet » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:26 pm

Standard advice is that outside of national schools, you need to place in the top 10% to be really competitive for fed. d.ct. (No idea about NY COA.) Even then, lower end of top 10% is tough. It's not that your grades aren't great, it's that there's TONS of great candidates applying to very few positions. Some clerks have given the advice that being a top 10 student (not top 10%) is much more important than your percentile spot; yes, that means being at a school with a large class size like Fordham can hurt a student applying for a clerkship. (You could be top 5% at Fordham, be ranked 20th in the class and a judge might not look at you while the student ranked 5th at Washington & Lee would also be at about the same percentile and get more attention from a judge.) The secondary journal is meh. If you're on the Ed Board that can help, but the weight it carries varies significantly between judges.

If you have some other extra factor - a call from a professor who the judge knows and trusts, interned for the judge (and the judge doesn't have a policy against hiring interns), or something else - it can compensate a little for grades. But when a judge has 1200 applications to sort through to invite 4-8 people to interview, grades are a HUGE concern for them.

It's not impossible and if you work any strong connections you might have, your chances will go up. But if you're asking about whether someone ranked top 15% at Fordham has a great chance of being selected to clerk on strength of numbers alone, the answer is no.

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