how important is SA for clerking?

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Anonymous User
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how important is SA for clerking?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:41 pm

title pretty much says it all...i struck out at oci and am scrambling to find something to do for 2l summer. top 10% at a t10 + LR, have one publication in a secondary journal and hopefully will get another publication through LR (but certainly not a sure thing)...not sure i have any preference between d. ct. or coa, though i recognize coa is even more difficult. have at least 1 strong reference that will make calls for me, trying to find a second. not sure if relevant, but i actually do want biglaw for the short-term post-clerkship...so not sure how i'd explain a failure to land an SA if a judge asked.

so...will not having that shiny 2L SA hurt my chances significantly, and what's the best way to mitigate--i.e., what's the second best route if i can't get a SA position? judicial extrnship? midlaw?

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ndirish2010
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Re: how important is SA for clerking?

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:46 pm

Check the clerkship thread, there are a lot of people who didn't get SAs (including me) who got clerkships. Start getting LORs (preferably from well-connected profs) and preparing for the off-plan season in the spring. You have a good chance with those stats.

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Re: how important is SA for clerking?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:51 pm

I didn't have an SA and still managed a D.Ct. clerkship. It sounds like your stats are enough to make you extremely competitive no matter what you do, and you may even end up with an SA regardless, but a judicial externship would probably help. Federal judges give a lot of weight to LORs from other federal judges (and you may even manage to parlay your externship into a clerkship with the same judge - a classmate of mine externed for a COA judge during 2L year and then interviewed with the judge for a clerkship at the beginning of summer based on his work during the externship).

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Re: how important is SA for clerking?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:23 pm

Ndirish and other people on this thread... how did you do 2L fall... any advice on keeping up grades while mass mailing? On top of everything, I am falling really behind on one of those must-have classes for clerkships, and I wonder whether I need to stop the mailing and start gunning in my classes.

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Re: how important is SA for clerking?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:35 pm

I killed all of my classes 2L year - went from about top 30% to top 15%. While I certainly couldn't have gotten a clerkship without the grade boost, I wish I would have dedicated more time to the SA job search, too. After striking out at OCI, I felt really defeated and focused on classes as an escape. Even with the grade boost, though, my chances at a clerkship were slim. As I disclosed in the clerkship thread, I only had one interview that just happened to result in an offer after the judge interviewed four others. Focusing on the 2L job search would have been a much more fruitful use of my time in terms of securing gainful employment post-graduation.

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ndirish2010
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Re: how important is SA for clerking?

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:37 pm

Keep up the mailing, but also look at things like state government and anything that will give you litigation-type experience. My 2L grades were slightly worse than 1L (we don't rank, but I'm certainly outside the top 10% now, whereas I was borderline after 1L). However, most of the drop actually came second semester when I was not job hunting- instead I just bombed Jurisprudence. Also, get as many publications as you can. Grades are important, but you'll be able to catch up hopefully if you find something within the next 6 weeks.

zomginternets
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Re: how important is SA for clerking?

Postby zomginternets » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:so...will not having that shiny 2L SA hurt my chances significantly, and what's the best way to mitigate--i.e., what's the second best route if i can't get a SA position? judicial extrnship? midlaw?


Judicial externships can either significantly boost or kill your chances at a clerkship position in that chambers. Some have a policy of not hiring externs, whereas some pick significantly from their past extern pool. Also, word can go around quickly if you're a crappy extern, and can similarly sink your chances at an clerkship if within the same judicial district. Definitely ask your CSO/externship office if you're planning to do an externship and also want to clerk.

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Re: how important is SA for clerking?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I didn't have an SA and still managed a D.Ct. clerkship. It sounds like your stats are enough to make you extremely competitive no matter what you do, and you may even end up with an SA regardless, but a judicial externship would probably help. Federal judges give a lot of weight to LORs from other federal judges (and you may even manage to parlay your externship into a clerkship with the same judge - a classmate of mine externed for a COA judge during 2L year and then interviewed with the judge for a clerkship at the beginning of summer based on his work during the externship).

PM me please

adonai
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Re: how important is SA for clerking?

Postby adonai » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I didn't have an SA and still managed a D.Ct. clerkship. It sounds like your stats are enough to make you extremely competitive no matter what you do, and you may even end up with an SA regardless, but a judicial externship would probably help. Federal judges give a lot of weight to LORs from other federal judges (and you may even manage to parlay your externship into a clerkship with the same judge - a classmate of mine externed for a COA judge during 2L year and then interviewed with the judge for a clerkship at the beginning of summer based on his work during the externship).

PM me please

Oops, didn't mean that to be anon. I have some questions if you'd be willing to take them. Thanks

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thesealocust
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Re: how important is SA for clerking?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:11 pm

One of my favorite profs was a SCOTUS clerk and never worked for a law firm, including an unsuccessful effort and subsequent strikeout during the second year of law school via normal recruiting channels.

After the SCOTUS clerkship the prof set up some interviews with firms that had done the rejecting prior just to rub it in their faces :lol:

Anyway, that's just one anecdote, but it really isn't a factor for must judges I would imagine.

jd20132013
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Re: how important is SA for clerking?

Postby jd20132013 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:16 am

how is it possible that he/she had SCOTUS clerk grades and struck out?

she must be the worst interviewer of all time

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Re: how important is SA for clerking?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:49 pm

jd20132013 wrote:how is it possible that he/she had SCOTUS clerk grades and struck out?

she must be the worst interviewer of all time

as evidenced by setting up interviews with firms just to "rub it in their faces."




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