Clerks Taking Questions

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 24, 2012 6:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are calls to judges from politicians a pro or a con? My family has close ties with both a (national) congressman and senator from our state who are willing to make calls to a (newly appted) COA judge from the same state on my behalf. They're of the same political leaning. I'm hesitant, however, since I know that judges like to distance themselves from the political process.

GTL: Your input on this one would be especially appreciated


Have you already interviewed with this judge? If not, and unless the congressman and senator knoww you well personally, I think you'd do a lot better by having a partner or prof well-regarded in the community put in a call.

N.B. I'm not GTL but did get an offer from a recent COA appointee and used this method to help get a foot in the door.


Thanks! No, I do not have an interview yet so figured it might help me get a foot in the door. They know me well enough that they could at least speak to some of my credentials, so it might be worth the shot. I just didn't know if the judge would view it as putting political pressure on him.


Your resume speaks to your credentials. Phone calls should have a value-added quality. Don't you have a professor who actually knows you and can speak to your qualities, personality, writing ability, etc.? I just don't see how there is any value in having some Senator call and read your resume to the judge.

ETA two points: (1) if you don't have the credentials, no phone call is going to help. (2) a new appointee is probably going to be putting a lot of weight on prior clerkships/work experience.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 24, 2012 6:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are calls to judges from politicians a pro or a con? My family has close ties with both a (national) congressman and senator from our state who are willing to make calls to a (newly appted) COA judge from the same state on my behalf. They're of the same political leaning. I'm hesitant, however, since I know that judges like to distance themselves from the political process.

GTL: Your input on this one would be especially appreciated


Have you already interviewed with this judge? If not, and unless the congressman and senator knoww you well personally, I think you'd do a lot better by having a partner or prof well-regarded in the community put in a call.

N.B. I'm not GTL but did get an offer from a recent COA appointee and used this method to help get a foot in the door.


Thanks! No, I do not have an interview yet so figured it might help me get a foot in the door. They know me well enough that they could at least speak to some of my credentials, so it might be worth the shot. I just didn't know if the judge would view it as putting political pressure on him.


Your resume speaks to your credentials. Phone calls should have a value-added quality. Don't you have a professor who actually knows you and can speak to your qualities, personality, writing ability, etc.? I just don't see how there is any value in having some Senator call and read your resume to the judge.

ETA two points: (1) if you don't have the credentials, no phone call is going to help. (2) a new appointee is probably going to be putting a lot of weight on prior clerkships/work experience.

I (GTL) agree with all of the above, but with one caveat. A call from a professor who knows you personally and academically is best. After that, a call from an attorney who fits the same description. The notoriety of the caller matters very little if the caller cannot say anything about you that one could not learn from a perusal of your resume.

The caveat is this: a call from someone is better than none at all. Yes, a call from a politician who knows you only on a limited basis may backfire, and yes, such a call is of marginal importance even when it does not. But the alternative usually is not getting a look at all -- as in, being passed over completely by the judge and his/her clerks. A call, regardless of who it is from, will in most cases get your app a look. That will not help if your credentials are short of the judge's standards, but it might if you are one of countless people who meet them (these candidates often blend into a giant, undifferentiated mass).

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 25, 2012 2:55 pm

GTL I know you said or hinted that you clerked for a feeder so you may not have first-hand experience of this, but any idea what baseline reqs are for non-feeder COAs from S?

Knew it was a long shot after the first quarter with 3 Hs but definitely screwed the pooch 2d quarter, only got 1 H (maybe 2 depending on how the writing class turns out). That being said I really want the experience so I'm wondering if I'm still competitive for non-feeders if I can get to 6 or 7 Hs.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 25, 2012 7:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:GTL I know you said or hinted that you clerked for a feeder so you may not have first-hand experience of this, but any idea what baseline reqs are for non-feeder COAs from S?

Knew it was a long shot after the first quarter with 3 Hs but definitely screwed the pooch 2d quarter, only got 1 H (maybe 2 depending on how the writing class turns out). That being said I really want the experience so I'm wondering if I'm still competitive for non-feeders if I can get to 6 or 7 Hs.


I'm a Stanford 2L, and I know people with 7 H's who have a chance with non-feeders. Get connected faculty to like you (most faculty members are pretty connected- I don't just mean people like Karlan and Fisher). Decent grades (meaning 6-7 H's), some good recs, applying widely, plus good hustle definitely gives you a shot. Also: 3 H's in a quarter is pretty dang good, so don't get down on yourself.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby clerkshipwanted » Sat May 26, 2012 9:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone ever heard of judges actually calling letter of recommendation writers? I have one professor who offered to write that I know will write a brilliant letter but is extremely awkward to speak to--so awkward that the sincerity of his letter may be put into question after talking to him on the phone.


many judges call recommenders (especially if they know them.) but many judges also call other profs at your school (that they know well) to try to get the scoop on you.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 26, 2012 10:41 am

I applied as an alum. My judge called at least three people at my firm (former clerk and friends of one of a then-current clerk) to get the scoop on me. Fortuitously, I knew them all pretty well, and they said good things.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 26, 2012 3:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:GTL I know you said or hinted that you clerked for a feeder so you may not have first-hand experience of this, but any idea what baseline reqs are for non-feeder COAs from S?

Knew it was a long shot after the first quarter with 3 Hs but definitely screwed the pooch 2d quarter, only got 1 H (maybe 2 depending on how the writing class turns out). That being said I really want the experience so I'm wondering if I'm still competitive for non-feeders if I can get to 6 or 7 Hs.


I'm a Stanford 2L, and I know people with 7 H's who have a chance with non-feeders. Get connected faculty to like you (most faculty members are pretty connected- I don't just mean people like Karlan and Fisher). Decent grades (meaning 6-7 H's), some good recs, applying widely, plus good hustle definitely gives you a shot. Also: 3 H's in a quarter is pretty dang good, so don't get down on yourself.


On this note, I was curious as to what amount of H's at SLS is generally required for a highly-competitive/feeder COA clerkship. Would something like 9 H's during 1L year make someone competitive, or do these judges basically screen out anyone with more than one or two P's?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 26, 2012 5:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:GTL I know you said or hinted that you clerked for a feeder so you may not have first-hand experience of this, but any idea what baseline reqs are for non-feeder COAs from S?

Knew it was a long shot after the first quarter with 3 Hs but definitely screwed the pooch 2d quarter, only got 1 H (maybe 2 depending on how the writing class turns out). That being said I really want the experience so I'm wondering if I'm still competitive for non-feeders if I can get to 6 or 7 Hs.


I'm a Stanford 2L, and I know people with 7 H's who have a chance with non-feeders. Get connected faculty to like you (most faculty members are pretty connected- I don't just mean people like Karlan and Fisher). Decent grades (meaning 6-7 H's), some good recs, applying widely, plus good hustle definitely gives you a shot. Also: 3 H's in a quarter is pretty dang good, so don't get down on yourself.


On this note, I was curious as to what amount of H's at SLS is generally required for a highly-competitive/feeder COA clerkship. Would something like 9 H's during 1L year make someone competitive, or do these judges basically screen out anyone with more than one or two P's?


SLS 3L here. I believe the latter is the case -- the most competitive judges screen out anyone with more than maybe 3 Ps. Plus, at the extreme high end, how many class prizes you have becomes almost more important than how many Ps. (And class prizes better > Ps.) For example, Willy Fletcher purportedly doesn't hire SLS students unless they have straight Hs.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 26, 2012 6:06 pm

.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby apparentlynew » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:00 am

Hi All,

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give: I'm a rising NYU 2L. My medium-term career goal is to be an AUSA, and I know clerking helps to land those jobs. I also think I would really like it.

1. My 1L GPA is 3.73 (I have no idea what this means in terms of percentile or class rank, and looking on the school site and TLS hasn't cleared that up). Breakdown: B in Contracts, A in Civ Pro (if you're checking my math, Civ Pro is 5 credits and other 1L classes are 4), and A+ in Admin. A minuses in Crim, Torts, and Con Law.

2. I spent roughly four years working after UG before I came to NYU, but my work experience was is probably my weakest point.

3. Places I would be willing to live, in descending order of preference: D.C., MD, Philadelphia, NJ, VA, NYC, Boston.

4. I am a part-time RA this summer for my Crim professor, in addition to my full-time summer job.

5. LR results aren't back yet.

6. I haven't talked to my professors in my best-graded classes about recommendations, but I think they would be helpful: I participated a lot in class and was not obnoxious.

What should I be doing to try to prepare a good clerkship application package? I will be taking a clinic in the spring (which I am very excited about), and I was planning to try to make fall an easier semester because of callbacks. I also think I should avoid Fed Courts until 3L year because I might be able to devote more time to it then. If I want to make CoA realistic for any of my preferred locations, is there anything I should do differently, besides getting higher grades? Pursuing ed. board at whatever journal I do land?

Lastly, I know alumni hiring is on the rise, so is there anything different to the approach I would take to make myself a competitive candidate a few years out from school? What do you optimize differently when you're trying for a clerkship right out as opposed to one several years delayed?

Once again, thank you very much for your help.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:13 pm

hi all -

sent out a number of paper applications recently. do I need to get my recommenders to make phone calls to the judges to make it mean anything? I'm not entirely sure when the apps will arrive, but when is a good time for them to place the calls if they do?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:25 am

Hey folks. Question for GTL or for anyone in the know: What's the word on 1st Circuit COA clerkships? As a northeastern circuit I assume it's not lumped in with the flyover COAs in terms of selectivity/competitiveness, but I've seen so few people ask about it or express interest in this thread that it's clearly not on the same level as 2/9/DC, and maybe 7. Maybe it's because the court has so few judges on it?

What kind of credentials would one need from HYS to have a shot at the 1st Circuit (excluding Judge Boudin, of course)? What about the judges in more desirable locations, such as Boston or Providence? And speaking of Providence, does anyone have a sense of what schools Judge Thompson hires from or what she's otherwise looking for? She's a relatively new appointee to the court (2010) so there isn't much info out there, but I've only ever seen people from Roger Williams Law (an RI school) list clerkships with her in firm bios, LinkedIn profiles, etc. Any clues would be of interest. Thanks all!

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:45 am

apparentlynew wrote:Hi All,

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give: I'm a rising NYU 2L. . . .

1. My 1L GPA is 3.73

Solid GPA, keep up the grades. If you can keep that B as an outlier you will be in good shape for most districts, and have a fighting chance at the more competitive districts and the less competitive circuits.

apparentlynew wrote:3. Places I would be willing to live, in descending order of preference: D.C., MD, Philadelphia, NJ, VA, NYC, Boston.

I assume this means post-clerkship. In general an appellate clerkship is great anywhere, and a district clerkship is ideal in the location you want to practice. Your grades are good enough for most district judges in MD and Philly, and some in D.D.C. As stated earlier, you also have a fighting chance at some less-competitive appellate clerkships, though D.C., 2d Cir., and any 3d Cir. that sits in Philly are probably out.

apparentlynew wrote:What should I be doing to try to prepare a good clerkship application package? I will be taking a clinic in the spring (which I am very excited about), and I was planning to try to make fall an easier semester because of callbacks.

Besides the obvious (grades and LR, yes board helps a little at the margins, but not more than grades), you should take courses with professors who are well-connected and impress them. That is the single most important thing. A call from Arthur Miller won't get you a clerkship with Judge Garland, but it'll get you a great clerkship somewhere. And without the right phone calls, you have a big chance of striking out, no matter how strong your grades.

Your summer professor should give you one recommendation. You need two more. Ask him/her for the names of who those professors should be. (Nope, I'm not going to list them.)

Clinic doesn't matter one way or another, except the opportunity cost of not taking a course with a well-connected professor.

apparentlynew wrote:Lastly, I know alumni hiring is on the rise, so is there anything different to the approach I would take to make myself a competitive candidate a few years out from school?

Nope, same basic stuff: grades, LR, and connections. If you can get a job where you have serious legal experience and a call from someone who knows the judge, all the better. But that's just a variant on the "impress professors" theme.

Good luck.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey folks. Question for GTL or for anyone in the know: What's the word on 1st Circuit COA clerkships? As a northeastern circuit I assume it's not lumped in with the flyover COAs in terms of selectivity/competitiveness, but I've seen so few people ask about it or express interest in this thread that it's clearly not on the same level as 2/9/DC, and maybe 7. Maybe it's because the court has so few judges on it?

What kind of credentials would one need from HYS to have a shot at the 1st Circuit (excluding Judge Boudin, of course)? What about the judges in more desirable locations, such as Boston or Providence? And speaking of Providence, does anyone have a sense of what schools Judge Thompson hires from or what she's otherwise looking for? She's a relatively new appointee to the court (2010) so there isn't much info out there, but I've only ever seen people from Roger Williams Law (an RI school) list clerkships with her in firm bios, LinkedIn profiles, etc. Any clues would be of interest. Thanks all!


The First Circuit isn't as competitive as DC/2/9 in absolute terms (Boudin and Lynch aside), but in relative terms, yes, it is quite competitive, given that there are only 8 judges on the entire circuit. As you can imagine, HLS and other northeastern schools dominate the circuit in terms of clerkship placements. Boudin and Lynch especially love HLS. And of the HLS clerks for next year and of the past few years, almost all of them have been LR + magna cum laude.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:25 pm

re SLS grades, I've never heard of a feeder judge requiring all Hs. I'm also (well, was also) a 3L at Stanford and I have heard that nobody in my class had all Hs. What I was told was that if you could count your Ps on one hand, you had a good shot at a feeder clerkship. Book prizes do help, although I think the expectation of someone with 3Ps or something is that he or she'd have 1-2 book prizes. Therefore, if you were slightly more marginal for the feeders (7Ps) but had 3-4 book prizes, you'd probably still be competitive. Obviously with the feeders its not all about grades--it's just these are the sort of grades you'd need to get your foot in the door without something else exceptional (published LR Article (not note), super friendly in-chambers clerk, Pam Karlan calling for you, President of SLR, etc).

Long story short, to the OP, if you have 9Hs and 2Ps at the end of 1L year you're on track...keep it up! Pick up a couple book awards, try not to get more than 1-2 more Ps, make LR, and you're going to be well in the running at the end of 2L year.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:19 pm

Somewhat off-topic, but since I imagine there is a lot of overlap in the relevant demographics I'm going to post it here. MODS: delete me if this is too OT.

What do people ITT think about publishing? What's the best way to go about it? I see people co-authoring articles with professors. Is this something that happens when a professor asks you? Or are there other ways. How do you broach the subject with a professor? Where do people submit there articles. What do journals look for in submissions?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:re SLS grades, I've never heard of a feeder judge requiring all Hs. I'm also (well, was also) a 3L at Stanford and I have heard that nobody in my class had all Hs. What I was told was that if you could count your Ps on one hand, you had a good shot at a feeder clerkship.


So the above quote is not true at HLS, but it still makes me wonder what the equivalent cutoffs are. What do people think is the grade distribution that is the minimum for a shot at feeder clerkship? All Hs and a smattering of DSs?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:re SLS grades, I've never heard of a feeder judge requiring all Hs. I'm also (well, was also) a 3L at Stanford and I have heard that nobody in my class had all Hs. What I was told was that if you could count your Ps on one hand, you had a good shot at a feeder clerkship.


So the above quote is not true at HLS, but it still makes me wonder what the equivalent cutoffs are. What do people think is the grade distribution that is the minimum for a shot at feeder clerkship? All Hs and a smattering of DSs?

All or substantially all Hs *is* necessary for feeders from HLS. There may be a few exceptions, but in the main this is the case. The feeder candidates I have seen had ~90% Hs with 5+ DS.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:21 pm

I have an interview coming up, and I know judge will ask about my ties to the area. My only ties are through my SO, and I'm gay. I could bring up SO and risk a homophobic reaction, or I could just talk more generally about why I like the area and hope judge likes me enough in spite of not really having ties. Thoughts? Assume republican appointee.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have an interview coming up, and I know judge will ask about my ties to the area. My only ties are through my SO, and I'm gay. I could bring up SO and risk a homophobic reaction, or I could just talk more generally about why I like the area and hope judge likes me enough in spite of not really having ties. Thoughts? Assume republican appointee.


There are plenty of Republican appointees (probably most) who don't care what you do in your personal/sexual life. If the judge is really homophobic though it probably wouldn't be a good fit for you. That said, there are plenty of old white male Republican appointed judges who have/have had openly gay clerks.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:13 am

Anyone feel like giving me odds on a CoA clerkship? (I am geographically flexible but would love 7th circuit or Midwest.)

- Top 5% (just over) at Cornell/GULC
- Senior Board on LR
- Solid, not spectacular recs (w/ phone calls)
- V10 SA
- No moot court

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone feel like giving me odds on a CoA clerkship? (I am geographically flexible but would love 7th circuit or Midwest.)

- Top 5% (just over) at Cornell/GULC
- Senior Board on LR
- Solid, not spectacular recs (w/ phone calls)
- V10 SA
- No moot court

Better from Cornell than from GULC, if for no other reason than class size. At Cornell, top 5% is something on the order of top ten students; at GULC, it might be top 30 to 40 students depending on the number of evening and transfer students. GULC's clerkship placement has been pretty spotty lately, too -- at least relative to its rank.

Assuming Cornell, I think your chances are pretty good, provided (1) you apply very broadly; (2) you start applying RIGHT NOW and get your recommenders moving quickly; (3) you make intelligent use of the faculty calls; and (4) everything else about your application is strong (writing sample, etc.). You have already missed out on lots of COA judges by virtue of early 3L hiring and alumni hiring, but a fair number remain in play and a small number will still have most of their slots open in September. Networking with current and former clerks from your school is one of the best ways to work your way into an interview, so get on that immediately. If you follow this advice I think you are better than a 50% shot to land COA. Your odds in the Seventh Circuit are much lower, owing to the fact that some of the judges there are full (Posner, Easterbrook, Tinder) and others have no track record of hiring from your school.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:44 pm

What's the on networking with former clerks.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:re SLS grades, I've never heard of a feeder judge requiring all Hs. I'm also (well, was also) a 3L at Stanford and I have heard that nobody in my class had all Hs. What I was told was that if you could count your Ps on one hand, you had a good shot at a feeder clerkship.


So the above quote is not true at HLS, but it still makes me wonder what the equivalent cutoffs are. What do people think is the grade distribution that is the minimum for a shot at feeder clerkship? All Hs and a smattering of DSs?

All or substantially all Hs *is* necessary for feeders from HLS. There may be a few exceptions, but in the main this is the case. The feeder candidates I have seen had ~90% Hs with 5+ DS.


How have you seen feeder candidates' transcripts? Not trolling; just genuinely asking. Because I can't imagine a lot of HLS feeder candidates bragging about their grades to people.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:re SLS grades, I've never heard of a feeder judge requiring all Hs. I'm also (well, was also) a 3L at Stanford and I have heard that nobody in my class had all Hs. What I was told was that if you could count your Ps on one hand, you had a good shot at a feeder clerkship.


So the above quote is not true at HLS, but it still makes me wonder what the equivalent cutoffs are. What do people think is the grade distribution that is the minimum for a shot at feeder clerkship? All Hs and a smattering of DSs?

All or substantially all Hs *is* necessary for feeders from HLS. There may be a few exceptions, but in the main this is the case. The feeder candidates I have seen had ~90% Hs with 5+ DS.


How have you seen feeder candidates' transcripts? Not trolling; just genuinely asking. Because I can't imagine a lot of HLS feeder candidates bragging about their grades to people.

Come on. It does not take a lot of thought to determine how it was I saw the transcripts.




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