Appellate OCI Interview Advice

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Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:13 pm

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jaekeem

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby jaekeem » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:57 pm

my understanding is that you can get staffed on appellate stuff as a lit associate at places like gibson, but arguing that you're going to specialize in appellate work while still in law school/pre CoA clerkship is not the right way to play it

it could work, but I think the risk of it hurting you isn't worth it, esp bcuz dc is competitive af and you're aiming at the top to begin with

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby SamuelDanforth » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:02 pm

Just a word of warning: I would not categorize W&C as an appellate lit firm. Sure, they do some appellate work as a matter of course, but they're a through-and-through trial firm. If you don't really, really want to do trial work, it won't be a good fit.

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby arklaw13 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:20 pm

Just having a COA clerkship isn't necessarily going to get you into a top appellate shop in D.C. Many of those groups hire SCOTUS clerks first and fill vacancies with COA clerks. Bid more broadly than just firms with top appellate groups. If things work out and you get a stellar clerkship, you can go into one of those groups from there. Where you summer doesn't necessarily determine where you end up.

Also your list is missing some top shops like Kirkland and Sidley.

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:35 pm

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:45 pm

When you interview with Gibson, Kirkland, etc., it could make sense to highlight the open market assignment system as a plus and say that you are drawn to that because you want to do appellate litigation as part of your practice. I think it's easier to get staffed on an appeal in a firm with less rigid practice groups/assignment mechanisms. Then, if you do good work, you might get more. I would be clear that you are interested in appellate but be realistic about the fact that your practice will probably also include some trial-level stuff.

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When you interview with Gibson, Kirkland, etc., it could make sense to highlight the open market assignment system as a plus and say that you are drawn to that because you want to do appellate litigation as part of your practice. I think it's easier to get staffed on an appeal in a firm with less rigid practice groups/assignment mechanisms. Then, if you do good work, you might get more. I would be clear that you are interested in appellate but be realistic about the fact that your practice will probably also include some trial-level stuff.


This is great advice, thanks.

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:56 pm

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FascinatedWanderer

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:59 pm

They would definitely think that's weird because that's not their main strength and they know it.

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby lolwat » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:11 pm

Um yeah you can talk up your interest in their appellate practice and why, etc., but you need to have a fundamental understanding of the firms to begin with.

I will note there are two big firms hiring specifically appellate associates in their DC offices. So at some firms it might be possible to be doing full time appellate work. But my understanding is that is rare.

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Mullens » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:19 pm

Do you have SCOTUS-feeder grades (if you do then how far are you in the clerkship application process as feeders are hiring)? I ask because going all-in on appellate lit is one of the easiest ways to strike out at OCI with great grades. If you don't have SCOTUS-feeder grades then you definitely should not go all-in on appellate lit. My advice to people, even those with top 1% grades at my T14, is to avoid mentioning appellate lit as a primary area of interest.

The problem with telling people you want to do appellate lit is that you don't have the credentials to do it yet, even if you have the grades. As other people have noted, appellate lit groups are mostly staffed with former SCOTUS clerks and there isn't enough appellate work to go around for everyone that wants to do it. You'll almost certainly have to do trial work at all of these firms and firms might not want to hire you if you make it clear you only want to do appellate lit.

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:30 pm

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FascinatedWanderer

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:36 pm

You do not want to come off in your interviews like you come off in this thread. It will not go well for you. You do not have "appellate experience" as a 2L.

"Hi Mr. Clement, nice to meet you. You'll be interested to know, that like you, I have appellate experience."

Jeez dude. Settle down.

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:43 pm

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby fredfred » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:26 pm

Can't wait for you to strike out. Good luck

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Mr. Blackacre

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Mr. Blackacre » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Obviously. I'm trying to emphasize here that I have reasonable qualifications because typically these threads go:
"Hi I'm a 0L/1L with a 3.5 at a T25 and think I might want to do appellate litigation," at which point everyone rightfully points out that this is silly.
The posters of TLS are not my target audience and I do not address the posters of TLS as I do someone interviewing me for a job.

FascinatedWanderer wrote:You do not have "appellate experience" as a 2L.


This is not "oh I did moot court and liked it." I've drafted actual appellate briefs, and will be doing more throughout the rest of the summer and school year.

I know how to interview, thanks!


You come off as an entitled idiot. For starters, you should do your research. W&C is not, and has never been, an appellate litigation shop. As someone mentioned above their core competency is in aggressive trial-level litigation (which they're pretty much the best at), and they incidentally also have a strong appellate lit department.

Secondly, lol if you come into interviews saying you have "appellate experience" as a rising 2L because you've drafted appellate briefs. Big fucking deal. Students who worked for judges drafted opinions over the summer. Students who worked for X, Y, and Z probably drafted portions of appellate briefs too. Students in your appellate litigation clinic (which every school has) draft appellate briefs. Students at every freaking law clerk position draft motions, and the like. It's not the same as actually working a real job after graduating. Would you call yourself a clerk if you interned for a judge during the summer?

Finally, I know people have emphasized this already, but appellate lit is very difficult to get and there is a chance even with your top 1% at T14 (Who uses T14 anymore? Hi, fellow GULCer?) that you could strike out if you go into interviews expressing an interest for that, and for that only. An appellate clerkship isn't enough for appellate lit in the major players - you need a decent feeder clerkship. You've made the calls, but you don't have one yet. You're much better off expressing an interest in the firms generally at OCI and trying to gun for their appellate lit department after you a) get the offer from the firm, and b) get your feeder clerkship.

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:34 pm

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Mr. Blackacre

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Mr. Blackacre » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the advice all! I had a big law appellate lit partner / former state SG tell me to gun for appellate lit but it's good to know I'm an idiot for asking if TLS thought the advice was sound!


People aren't telling you not to gun for appellate lit. They're telling you the way you're going about doing it is wrong because your timing is wrong. And it's not just this forum apparently, since you acknowledged in your first post that people have already told you gunning for appellate lit at OCI is a bad idea (a "very high up appellate lawyer," too). Even ignoring the advice of rabble like us, would you not rather listen to the more prudent advice if people have given you conflicting opinions on what to do?

At the very least if you're going to do this, please make sure to seriously consider a few back-ups. Preferentially with large summer classes. For instance, you could apply to W&C/A&P/Covington/Hogan as general lit, just in case your plan doesn't work out (if you haven't already, and w/ your grades I'm sure an e-mail app would be more successful than most at getting a shadow OCI screener).

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby jd20132013 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:58 pm

Let us know how things go, please.

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby arklaw13 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Yeah I'm top 1% at a T14 with good recs.


So are a lot of people in D.C., my firm included,who couldn't get into the appellate group because they didnt get a scotus clerkship...

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:05 pm

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:10 pm

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RaceJudicata

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby RaceJudicata » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:18 pm

smh... appellate lit... b o r i n g

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cron1834

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby cron1834 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:18 pm

Dude, if you know everything, then why are you asking for help?

Also, lmao at "appellate experience."

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Mr. Blackacre

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Re: Appellate OCI Interview Advice

Postby Mr. Blackacre » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I mean, because the qualifications of the person who told me to "gun" (he said to not "be shy" about my passion for appellate lit) are better than the guy who said not to, although both are pretty qualified and I don't want to split hairs really.

I think the people who bothered to give advice rather than critique my posting style offered some great points and it seems clear to me that, while I can mention my interest in appellate work, I should basically say I'm interested in lit and explain why I want it to be at their firm. I already have back-ups built into my OCI list, and I promise I'm a pretty good interview (despite concerns on TLS about my posting style), and I've got good grades. I'm not too worried about striking out, but it was really good to hear this advice.


This will definitely work much better than going in there straight gunning for their appellate department. I'm glad you took something from the responses, although to be fair people would have been keener to give you advice if you weren't so abrasive in your posts lol.

Anonymous User wrote:Other clarifications:
1. Sorry, when I've told my career office "I want to do appellate lit" they told me to go Williams & Connolly, which professors echoed, and which is also both Chambers and Vault (#2) highly ranked for appellate lit. I understood they obviously have great trial litigation, but I apparently overestimated the extent to which appellate lit is a core part of their practice.


FYI, Vault generally makes little sense for most rankings outside of NY. Chambers actually ranks W&C as Band 3 in appellate litigation, which seems about right (band 1 being Gibson, Sidley, and Wilmer, which also sounds about right). On the other hand, Chambers has W&C as Band 1 in White Collar/Investigations and General Lit in DC. I assume they told you to go there because it's arguably the hardest lit firm to get into, and whenever people think prestige in DC they default to it.



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