CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

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iii
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Re: CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

Postby iii » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:16 pm

If you could go back and do something different with 1L year/1L summer and maybe 2L year, what would you change?

chiwachiwa
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Re: CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

Postby chiwachiwa » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:33 pm

Can you describe the clerkship application process from your perspective? As much detail as you feel comfortable sharing is appreciated.

flightcontrol
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Re: CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

Postby flightcontrol » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:42 pm

iii wrote:If you could go back and do something different with 1L year/1L summer and maybe 2L year, what would you change?


I don't think I would have changed anything about 1L year. I loved my classes and my study group was amazing. I think I do my best in doctrinal classes, so maybe I would have taken a few more of them in 2L year instead of seminars/clinics. But I learned a lot in my seminars, so overall no regrets.

If I could do it over, I might have worked at a firm 1L summer instead of doing public interest. I just don't think they can give you much of substance to do as a 1L, and it was a big opportunity cost in terms of money. In the grand scheme of things, a summer's earnings at a firm isn't a huge deal. But for the short term, it would have been nice to have the extra cash to pay down my loans, or fund an extended bar trip, or pad my savings.

flightcontrol
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Re: CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

Postby flightcontrol » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:50 pm

chiwachiwa wrote:Can you describe the clerkship application process from your perspective? As much detail as you feel comfortable sharing is appreciated.


Sure. The clerkship process was chaos. I decided to apply on-Plan and sent out applications to maybe 70 judges, mostly appellate. My recommenders made phone calls for me. When call day came around, I got a bunch of appellate interviews but they were spread out across the country, and I essentially had to pick one or two based on geography. It was frankly terrifying. I actually did not get my gig on Plan day but soon afterwards.

GTL is the authority but I would echo two things he's said. First, apply off-Plan. By the time I applied, so many judges had already filled up or were hiring for two years out. Second, decide where you want to work. Instead of applying everywhere, I probably should have tailored may applications to a particular city or circuit, and focused all my efforts there. The reason is practical: if you have four interviews in Manhattan, you have better odds of getting a clerkship than if your interviews are in LA, Chicago, NY, and Boston. (I recognize that I was in a privileged position, but I think even those with lower grades can benefit from focusing on a particular location. I imagine it makes for a better application.)

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quiver
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Re: CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

Postby quiver » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:47 pm

flightcontrol wrote:
chiwachiwa wrote:Can you describe the clerkship application process from your perspective? As much detail as you feel comfortable sharing is appreciated.


Sure. The clerkship process was chaos. I decided to apply on-Plan and sent out applications to maybe 70 judges, mostly appellate. My recommenders made phone calls for me. When call day came around, I got a bunch of appellate interviews but they were spread out across the country, and I essentially had to pick one or two based on geography. It was frankly terrifying. I actually did not get my gig on Plan day but soon afterwards.

GTL is the authority but I would echo two things he's said. First, apply off-Plan. By the time I applied, so many judges had already filled up or were hiring for two years out. Second, decide where you want to work. Instead of applying everywhere, I probably should have tailored may applications to a particular city or circuit, and focused all my efforts there. The reason is practical: if you have four interviews in Manhattan, you have better odds of getting a clerkship than if your interviews are in LA, Chicago, NY, and Boston. (I recognize that I was in a privileged position, but I think even those with lower grades can benefit from focusing on a particular location. I imagine it makes for a better application.)
That's really interesting. I actually asked this exact question in GTL's thread about how to balance applying broadly and practical interviewing difficulties. I will not be top 5% so I was planning on applying super broadly and seeing where I got interviews; maybe applying to 9/12 circuits. You advocated only going for one location. Which do you think is an overall riskier strategy? I just don't want to focus on the northeast and then not get anything because I didn't apply to the 8th Cir. for example.

flightcontrol
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Re: CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

Postby flightcontrol » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:26 pm

I should clarify. I don't regret applying broadly--I think it makes sense no matter how your grades are. Throwing in an extra application costs virtually nothing, and, as you say, you don't want to miss the extra interview if you fall short. However, I do think it makes sense to focus your personal and recommender efforts on a particular location. If you really want to clerk in New York, have your professors call their contacts in New York, talk to the partners or AUSAs you know in New York, call your school's clerks in New York, and tailor your cover letter to New York. I think that your odds of getting an interview with that kind of outreach is far, far, higher than catching a judge or clerk's eye with a scattershot approach. That was my experience, anyway. Had I focused my efforts in that fashion, I think I would have had more concentrated interviews in a single geographic location.

dimreturns
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Re: CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

Postby dimreturns » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:44 pm

What practice area are you going into? Any benefit to doing a clerkship if you're going corporate or project finance or something? How competitive is D-DC?

flightcontrol
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Re: CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

Postby flightcontrol » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:58 pm

I am going into litigation so I can't speak much to the benefits for corporate. At my V5, the word is that a clerkship is not particularly useful for corporate unless it's a specialized court, like Del. Chancellery.

I did not apply to D.D.C. but I understand that it is quite competitive, roughly comparable to E.D.N.Y.

chiwachiwa
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Re: CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

Postby chiwachiwa » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:08 pm

flightcontrol wrote:
chiwachiwa wrote:Can you describe the clerkship application process from your perspective? As much detail as you feel comfortable sharing is appreciated.


Sure. The clerkship process was chaos. I decided to apply on-Plan and sent out applications to maybe 70 judges, mostly appellate. My recommenders made phone calls for me. When call day came around, I got a bunch of appellate interviews but they were spread out across the country, and I essentially had to pick one or two based on geography. It was frankly terrifying. I actually did not get my gig on Plan day but soon afterwards.

GTL is the authority but I would echo two things he's said. First, apply off-Plan. By the time I applied, so many judges had already filled up or were hiring for two years out. Second, decide where you want to work. Instead of applying everywhere, I probably should have tailored may applications to a particular city or circuit, and focused all my efforts there. The reason is practical: if you have four interviews in Manhattan, you have better odds of getting a clerkship than if your interviews are in LA, Chicago, NY, and Boston. (I recognize that I was in a privileged position, but I think even those with lower grades can benefit from focusing on a particular location. I imagine it makes for a better application.)
Why did you not apply at all off plan? Seems like an odd decision unless there's some extenuating circumstance.

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quiver
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Re: CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

Postby quiver » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:44 pm

flightcontrol wrote:I should clarify. I don't regret applying broadly--I think it makes sense no matter how your grades are. Throwing in an extra application costs virtually nothing, and, as you say, you don't want to miss the extra interview if you fall short. However, I do think it makes sense to focus your personal and recommender efforts on a particular location. If you really want to clerk in New York, have your professors call their contacts in New York, talk to the partners or AUSAs you know in New York, call your school's clerks in New York, and tailor your cover letter to New York. I think that your odds of getting an interview with that kind of outreach is far, far, higher than catching a judge or clerk's eye with a scattershot approach. That was my experience, anyway. Had I focused my efforts in that fashion, I think I would have had more concentrated interviews in a single geographic location.
Ah ok. Definitely makes sense. Did you end up with one of the judges at the top of your list or were you forced to settle?

flightcontrol
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Re: CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

Postby flightcontrol » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:04 am

chiwachiwa wrote:Why did you not apply at all off plan? Seems like an odd decision unless there's some extenuating circumstance.


Just ignorance on my part. The advice I had heard from our career services office was that most competitive judges hired on Plan. Had I read GTL's thread, I would have known better!

quiver wrote:Ah ok. Definitely makes sense. Did you end up with one of the judges at the top of your list or were you forced to settle?


My judge was at the top of my list -- I was fortunate in that he hired very slightly after the Plan. That said, it's good to keep some perspective; although we all get caught up sometimes in numbers and rankings, any federal clerkship (especially at the COA) is a coup.

roranoa
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Re: CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

Postby roranoa » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:36 am

How was work life balance for you during 1L and 2L and during your internship?

flightcontrol
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Re: CCN 3L top 5% taking questions for a bit

Postby flightcontrol » Tue May 29, 2012 10:38 am

roranoa wrote:How was work life balance for you during 1L and 2L and during your internship?


Well, the summers were consistently little work and lots of life. During the school year, a bit more seasonal. After 1L year, I did very little schoolwork up to about a month before exams, and then lived like a bat in a cave with my casebooks. I enjoy learning the law, so both phases were worthwhile, albeit in very different ways.

Happy to take more questions, as Barbri is so terribly boring.




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