Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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raisinbran
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Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby raisinbran » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:17 pm

I am at MVPB and intend to transfer to HYS to get better shots at academia. I have come to terms with potentially losing my 1L faculty connections who may help me secure a teaching position down the line. But in the middle term, I am very concerned about not having faculty to vouch for my clerkship applications after graduation. I understand that candidates will apply for clerkships early in their 2L year -- in that case I would never possibly have built strong relationships with faculty at my new school.

Are any of you familiar with transfer students who successfully got good clerkships (CoA or.. higher), and how they did so? Thanks so much.

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby Anonymous Loser » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:50 pm

Clerkship applications for current 2L's won't be submitted to judges hiring on-plan until September 8th: a transfer student would have two semesters worth of grades at their new school by that point, and a full academic year in which to build relationships with professors. Moreover, there is no reason why professors at your 1L school can't provide LORs as well.

270910
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby 270910 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:53 pm

Anonymous Loser wrote:Clerkship applications for current 2L's won't be submitted to judges hiring on-plan until September 8th: a transfer student would have two semesters worth of grades at their new school by that point, and a full academic year in which to build relationships with professors. Moreover, there is no reason why professors at your 1L school can't provide LORs as well.


Bad analysis.

First, many judges take applications sooner than fall of 3L. Transferring is going to make it extraordinarily unlikely that you will have a shot at those since you'll have almost no time to get a meaningful rec.

Second, even for the plan you MUST line your recommendations up far before you receive your second semester grades, so you can't rely on getting a strong rec (in time) except during your first semester as a transfer.

Third, the importance of the rec can't be over-stated. You really can't squeak by with so-so recs at the kind of clerkships you're likely interested in transferring from T10 to T3 and shooting for academics.

Despite those three points, if you apply to clerk after graduation (say, after 1-2 years at a firm) it will be less of a factor. But you're pouting your post-grad clerkship option in a vice.

You also have law review issues. My guess is academia is damn near impossible without it, and getting onto LR at your T10 will be all but sure if you crack HYS but difficult or impossible at HYS (H requires you to do their write on in May, good luck with that).

Last point: the way academia works, you're really going to have an uphill battle waltzing in to a new school and building the recs you need for clerkship and faculty help. But your T10 - whichever it is - does place law professors and CoA clerks, and will likely focus resources on the top of the class. HYS place better into academia IN THE ABSTRACT - but once you KNOW you're cream of the crop at a T10 v. transferring... I'm not saying don't do it, but I am saying 'be very, very cautious in your analysis'.

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Always Credited
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby Always Credited » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:59 pm

raisinbran wrote:I am at MVPB and intend to transfer to HYS to get better shots at academia. I have come to terms with potentially losing my 1L faculty connections who may help me secure a teaching position down the line. But in the middle term, I am very concerned about not having faculty to vouch for my clerkship applications after graduation. I understand that candidates will apply for clerkships early in their 2L year -- in that case I would never possibly have built strong relationships with faculty at my new school.

Are any of you familiar with transfer students who successfully got good clerkships (CoA or.. higher), and how they did so? Thanks so much.


Stay where you are, enjoy your uber career prospects, take multiple shots of petron.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:14 pm

Although disco_barred's reply was well thought out & well presented, I would like to add another thought. I don't think that Harvard Law should be seriously considered in your situation; Yale & Stanford,however, present different environments which could produce close relationships with professors enabling solid letters of recommendation. Yale & Stanford are also very successful at securing federal judicial clerkships.
It is unrealistic, in my opinion, to expect strong letters of recommendation from your prior law school as federal judicial clerkships are highly prized by law schools as well as by the recipient and you would no longer be a student at the former school.
Transferring from a top 10 law school to a more prestigious top 3 is risky, and some may even view it as petty. You will be giving up a lot for what you perceive as a better shot at a federal judicial clerkship. Whether your perception is right or wrong, the odds of it being correct are best at Stanford or Yale than at the much larger Harvard Law School. Remember that you have earned a stellar reputation at your current top 10 law school and that may or may not be the case at your new law school.

raisinbran
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby raisinbran » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:21 pm

disco_barred wrote:
Anonymous Loser wrote:Clerkship applications for current 2L's won't be submitted to judges hiring on-plan until September 8th: a transfer student would have two semesters worth of grades at their new school by that point, and a full academic year in which to build relationships with professors. Moreover, there is no reason why professors at your 1L school can't provide LORs as well.


Bad analysis.

First, many judges take applications sooner than fall of 3L. Transferring is going to make it extraordinarily unlikely that you will have a shot at those since you'll have almost no time to get a meaningful rec.

Second, even for the plan you MUST line your recommendations up far before you receive your second semester grades, so you can't rely on getting a strong rec (in time) except during your first semester as a transfer.

Third, the importance of the rec can't be over-stated. You really can't squeak by with so-so recs at the kind of clerkships you're likely interested in transferring from T10 to T3 and shooting for academics.

Despite those three points, if you apply to clerk after graduation (say, after 1-2 years at a firm) it will be less of a factor. But you're pouting your post-grad clerkship option in a vice.

You also have law review issues. My guess is academia is damn near impossible without it, and getting onto LR at your T10 will be all but sure if you crack HYS but difficult or impossible at HYS (H requires you to do their write on in May, good luck with that).

Last point: the way academia works, you're really going to have an uphill battle waltzing in to a new school and building the recs you need for clerkship and faculty help. But your T10 - whichever it is - does place law professors and CoA clerks, and will likely focus resources on the top of the class. HYS place better into academia IN THE ABSTRACT - but once you KNOW you're cream of the crop at a T10 v. transferring... I'm not saying don't do it, but I am saying 'be very, very cautious in your analysis'.


This is a clutch analysis. I do wonder about the "Y exceptionalism" in placing clerks and academics, though. Their law review, while still competitive, is at least held in September, unlike H's dismissive May one. I'm curious if the folks who transferred to these places fared well enough for even a shot at clerkships or academic positions.

yabbadabbado
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby yabbadabbado » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:01 pm

Once you are accepted, I would talk to the career office at the schools you're thinking of jumping ship to and see if you can talk to some alums that were transferred that have clerked.

Also, you may want to have a candid talk with your profs at your current school after you are accepted. The only way to know whether they would be willing to write you a good rec is by asking them. They should also be able to discuss the pro and cons of transferring at this level.

270910
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby 270910 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:14 pm

raisinbran wrote:This is a clutch analysis. I do wonder about the "Y exceptionalism" in placing clerks and academics, though. Their law review, while still competitive, is at least held in September, unlike H's dismissive May one. I'm curious if the folks who transferred to these places fared well enough for even a shot at clerkships or academic positions.


Yeah, Y is a different animal than H, no doubt about that. And given your grades and the reputation of the schools involved, you can't fuck up your life or career by staying or going. You're smart to be asking the hard(est) question: will transferring positively or negatively impact my chances of getting the most difficult to obtain legal positions? You've seen my thoughts, but I'm hardly an expert. Good luck either way!

traydeuce
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby traydeuce » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:39 pm

What's meant by "H's dismissive May one"? I mean, what's meant by dismissive? I'm just wondering as I'm planning on doing the H write-on. (I'm at W&L, 1st in the class for the moment, attempting to transfer there.) About clerkships, are faculty recommendations really, after grades, the dominant factor? What if this guy gets a great recommendation from his summer employer? For instance, I work for a Third Circuit judge this summer, wouldn't a Court of Appeals judge be just as interested to hear what she had to say about the bench memos I wrote her as they would in what one's Torts professor had to say about the lovely exam you wrote him and the nice things you say in class?

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apper123
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby apper123 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:37 am

traydeuce wrote:What's meant by "H's dismissive May one"? I mean, what's meant by dismissive? I'm just wondering as I'm planning on doing the H write-on. (I'm at W&L, 1st in the class for the moment, attempting to transfer there.) About clerkships, are faculty recommendations really, after grades, the dominant factor? What if this guy gets a great recommendation from his summer employer? For instance, I work for a Third Circuit judge this summer, wouldn't a Court of Appeals judge be just as interested to hear what she had to say about the bench memos I wrote her as they would in what one's Torts professor had to say about the lovely exam you wrote him and the nice things you say in class?


It's my understanding that it is extraordinarily rare for a sitting judge to ever write a LoR.

traydeuce
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby traydeuce » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:47 am

Really? I mean, when I was deciding what to do this summer, I asked my Civ Pro professor if I should take the job with the COA judge- he clerked for a D.C. Circuit judge - and he encouraged me to take it on the grounds that a judge saying good things about you can be a powerful force when applying for jobs. He even said I should try to find out whether she recommends her clerks/interns to employers, and seemed to suggest that most do (there's some concern about this judge's employee relations in cyberspace, so he was saying that as a general matter they do but that I should see if this judge didn't).

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kings84_wr
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby kings84_wr » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:00 am

traydeuce wrote:Really? I mean, when I was deciding what to do this summer, I asked my Civ Pro professor if I should take the job with the COA judge- he clerked for a D.C. Circuit judge - and he encouraged me to take it on the grounds that a judge saying good things about you can be a powerful force when applying for jobs. He even said I should try to find out whether she recommends her clerks/interns to employers, and seemed to suggest that most do (there's some concern about this judge's employee relations in cyberspace, so he was saying that as a general matter they do but that I should see if this judge didn't).


From what I have heard, A judge can be a nice 4th LOR, but you really need the 3 strong LOR's to be from profs

270910
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby 270910 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:41 am

traydeuce wrote:Really? I mean, when I was deciding what to do this summer, I asked my Civ Pro professor if I should take the job with the COA judge- he clerked for a D.C. Circuit judge - and he encouraged me to take it on the grounds that a judge saying good things about you can be a powerful force when applying for jobs. He even said I should try to find out whether she recommends her clerks/interns to employers, and seemed to suggest that most do (there's some concern about this judge's employee relations in cyberspace, so he was saying that as a general matter they do but that I should see if this judge didn't).


Professors are the gate keepers. It's not that they expect a LoR from a prof, it's that they trust profs to do the screening for them in many cases. Working for a judge in the summer won't give you a rec that has punch.

It's sort of like... should you take a prestigious firm job over 2L summer, or do a clinic, or any 'other things' in order to get a clerkship? It won't hurt, it rounds you out, it makes you look impressive - but grades + professors willing to write glowing recs are the real currency in this process.

raisinbran
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby raisinbran » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:32 am

traydeuce wrote:What's meant by "H's dismissive May one"? I mean, what's meant by dismissive? I'm just wondering as I'm planning on doing the H write-on. (I'm at W&L, 1st in the class for the moment, attempting to transfer there.) About clerkships, are faculty recommendations really, after grades, the dominant factor?


Are you foregoing W&L's write-on to do H's? That'd be gutsy. If not then you have the stamina of a stallion.

Separately, as for recommendations, disco_barred is right in that they help applicants stand out in a way that grades alone do not. Everyone applying to CoA+ has stellar grades from top schools. That's not in question. At that level it's about the subjective, mushy, personal stuff: namely, whom you know.

traydeuce
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby traydeuce » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:22 pm

I'm foregoing W&L's write-on just because I'm not going here... not to do Harvard's. If I wanted I could do both. W&L's: 5 pages of text, up to 10 pages of endnotes, two weeks to do it. May 3-17. Harvard's - 14-21 of May, and obviously vastly more burdensome. The write-on here, I could just bang out one Wednesday night.

rando
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Re: Clerkship opportunities for transfers?

Postby rando » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:34 pm

disco_barred wrote:
traydeuce wrote:Really? I mean, when I was deciding what to do this summer, I asked my Civ Pro professor if I should take the job with the COA judge- he clerked for a D.C. Circuit judge - and he encouraged me to take it on the grounds that a judge saying good things about you can be a powerful force when applying for jobs. He even said I should try to find out whether she recommends her clerks/interns to employers, and seemed to suggest that most do (there's some concern about this judge's employee relations in cyberspace, so he was saying that as a general matter they do but that I should see if this judge didn't).


Professors are the gate keepers. It's not that they expect a LoR from a prof, it's that they trust profs to do the screening for them in many cases. Working for a judge in the summer won't give you a rec that has punch.



Disagree. While the professors are gatekeepers. Judges are within a community all their own. One that law profs or practitioners cannot step into. Getting a glowing recommendation from a peer judge would be huge. The judge receiving the application would know you can handle the work, can write, do well in the clerking atmosphere etc.

Judges aren't stupid. They know that law profs may be handing out a rec to a person they have talked to a half dozen times, graded on one or two 3 hour exams etc. Whereas the letter from another Judge (and possibly a phone call) actually tells them something.
Not that a letter from a judge would always be better than a letter from a prof. But it will be better than the letter you get from a 3rd prof, one that you only had class with, don't have a reputation with etc.




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