Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

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Anonymous User
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Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:47 pm

2L here. I'll be applying for federal clerkships and I think I remember reading that it's an important class for clerkships. Do I need to take it now and gun for an A so I have it on my transcript? Or does it not matter when I take it?

Thanks

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Detrox
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Re: Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby Detrox » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:22 pm

Most people take it 3L year because it's filled with clerkship gunners and is tough to get an A in. It generally will not matter if you wait to take it 3L year for clerkships, but you could get a potentially small boost if you take it 2L and get an A.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:16 pm

Seriously, don't take fed courts this semester. Unless maybe your school doesn't offer it in the fall. Then you have to.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:20 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:Seriously, don't take fed courts this semester. Unless maybe your school doesn't offer it in the fall. at all next year. Then it might be good to take now you have to.


Fixed.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:22 pm

I think you would want to have it on your transcript as an upcoming or in progress course during fall interviews. But I guess you could say that you're planning on taking it in the spring.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:25 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:I think you would want to have it on your transcript as an upcoming or in progress course during fall interviews. But I guess you could say that you're planning on taking it in the spring.


Yeah, it's nice to have on your transcript (though it will only matter to on-plan judges since all the off-plan judges applied to will probably be before it appears on your transcript), but it's not vital. Some judges might ask if you are planning on taking it.

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Wholigan
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Re: Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby Wholigan » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:32 pm

I agree that there is not much upside to taking it 2L year, and significant downside. Maybe if you are a long shot candidate it might be worth it since you don't have much to lose but it could be somewhat impressive if you were to get an A.
Last edited by Wholigan on Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:03 pm

Random question: for non-LR at MVP (but around top ten percent) how necessary is it to take "clerkship prep" kind of classes? Also, will A's in these classes turn any heads or is it more of a necessary but not sufficient sort of thing in the clerkship hunt?

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Re: Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Random question: for non-LR at MVP (but around top ten percent) how necessary is it to take "clerkship prep" kind of classes? Also, will A's in these classes turn any heads or is it more of a necessary but not sufficient sort of thing in the clerkship hunt?


I landed a district clerkship from MVP (and had two offers) with no LR and top 10%-ish grades. I'm not sure what you mean by clerkship prep, but I took Corporations and Evidence (and did well in both), but not Admin, Criminal Procedure or Fed Courts. Took Fed Courts 3L year. I am guessing these are the types of classes you mean. Just my own anecdotal experience.

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Re: Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Random question: for non-LR at MVP (but around top ten percent) how necessary is it to take "clerkship prep" kind of classes? Also, will A's in these classes turn any heads or is it more of a necessary but not sufficient sort of thing in the clerkship hunt?


I landed a district clerkship from MVP (and had two offers) with no LR and top 10%-ish grades. I'm not sure what you mean by clerkship prep, but I took Corporations and Evidence (and did well in both), but not Admin, Criminal Procedure or Fed Courts. Took Fed Courts 3L year. I am guessing these are the types of classes you mean. Just my own anecdotal experience.

I got a district clerkship (LR w/board, but otherwise worse stats than either of you) and I took Evidence and Admin (and did well in both), but not Crim Pro, Fed Courts, or Corporations. I'm sure there are judges who care about grades in individual courses and what those courses are, but others really don't, and don't even look at the transcript that closely. You can't predict which way a judge will go, so it might be a little safer to take (and succeed in) the classic courses, but I don't think it's strictly necessary. You're probably better off keeping the GPA up than taking specific subjects (if yuo can't do both), though it is probably better not to take a zillion "Law and --" courses (I hate dismissing those courses entirely, but do agree that a syllabus full of them might look sketchy).

Personally, the only thing I regret (just a little) not taking is Crim Pro (though conversely I think it's one of the easier subjects to learn on the job). I know Corporations would have been good for me, but I've managed to avoid any corporate-heavy cases (that's partly because my district has a really heavy criminal docket). Evidence and Admin have both been really helpful (but I'm kinda sick because I actually liked Admin, which generally no one does). I did take a Civil Rights Legislation course, which sounds kind of airy-fairy, but was all about sec. 1983 cases and the like, and that's been incredibly helpful.

(And yes, I should have taken Fed Courts.)

zomginternets
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Re: Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby zomginternets » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:(And yes, I should have taken Fed Courts.)


I was actually quite disappointed by my federal courts class, and would not say that it added much to my existing knowledge base. We spent half the class covering Civ Pro I concepts, and a quarter of the class on Con Law I concepts. The other quarter of the class was spent on topics that could have easily been learned by reading a supplement or Fed. Practice and Procedure. We didn't cover habeas corpus though, which would have been really useful.

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Re: Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:32 pm

zomginternets wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:(And yes, I should have taken Fed Courts.)


I was actually quite disappointed by my federal courts class, and would not say that it added much to my existing knowledge base. We spent half the class covering Civ Pro I concepts, and a quarter of the class on Con Law I concepts. The other quarter of the class was spent on topics that could have easily been learned by reading a supplement or Fed. Practice and Procedure. We didn't cover habeas corpus though, which would have been really useful.

Ah, I like you. :wink:

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Re: Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:26 pm

I took it 2L year and tanked it. That certainly didn't look good on my resume. I was one of maybe three 2Ls in the course, the rest were all 3Ls on LR who were gunning for clerkships. I wish I'd waited.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Do I need to take federal courts this semester?

Postby ndirish2010 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:44 pm

If your school has a forced curve for upper level classes, that makes it even more of a good idea to avoid fed courts as a 2L. We didn't used to, but now we do and considering who was in the class, having 4 A's for 30ish people was kind of ridiculous. I wouldn't want to be in there as a 2L.




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