Clerks Taking Questions

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Anonymous User
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:06 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What do you make of a top 10 school applicant, ed board of law review, middle of the pack grades-wise, but stellar recommendations (possibly with phone calls), and good work experience (biglaw, military, USAO)?
My gut is that you're a bit of a wildcard candidate -- high upside, given the experience and the LR Board position, but big possibility of striking out, too, given the middling grades. Anyhow, if you play your cards right, I gather there are a number of judges who will give you a serious look, particularly at the district court level.

Should I even bother applying, or would it be fruitless because I'm an average law student?
Definitely apply if you want to clerk. The process is tough, and a bit fickle too, but hardly fruitless in your case.

I wouldn't be applying in either of the two most competitive areas (ND Cal + SDNY or 9th + 2nd Cirs.), but I would be applying to circuits/districts near those......
Those aren't the two most competitive areas, but they are maybe the second and third most competitive. DC leads by a pretty sizeable margin.

Edit: school has no GPAs and no rank.

Your recommenders will likely comment on where you stand, and you can probably get a rough sense of that from looking at honors cutoffs and stuff like that.


I'm sure you've heard this on here before (in fact, I know you have), but this was more helpful than my 30 minute career office meeting. Thank you so much!

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:20 pm

Is lack of clinical experience ever looked upon negatively? (What about for SCOTUS? If I'm remembering correctly, G.T.L., you have some experience with applying there, right?) What if your school has a well-known appellate-type clinic that people at the top of the class are generally involved in?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:57 am

Because you're awesome, I have a really sensitive question I am hoping you can answer - at what point do you tell your firm that you're interested in clerking? Do you wait to get the permanent offer from your firm first or do you tell them as soon as you start sending applications to judges? Also, what happens if your firm is in, say, Los Angeles, but you could only land a CoA gig somewhere in the midwest? Do you need to clerk near your firm?

I'm a 2L who is starting to put together clerkship applications and I will be starting my SA gig at a big law firm this summer.

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iagolives
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby iagolives » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:55 am

Just wanted to say like everyone else has that you are awesome GTL and are leaps and bounds above my career services office in terms of helpful advice. Also, I really like your idea of getting ATL to do some lawclerkaddict site. You should email the powers-that-be about that!

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:07 pm

What are your thoughts on doing a district court clerkship immediately followed by a COA clerkship immediately after graduation?

twistedwrister
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby twistedwrister » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:34 pm

Are you trying for SCOTUS again? If so, good luck.

Alyosha
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Alyosha » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:17 pm

G. T. L.Rev, thank you so much for providing all this information. You've done a real service to the community. I have a question about my writing sample. I have a note that will be published in my school's primary journal, so I assume it's best to use that as my writing sample. However, I criticized the court's decision significantly in the note. If I want to apply to that court, and even to some of the judges that wrote the opinion, is it advisable to use that as the writing sample? In case it matters, it's a circuit court opinion. Thanks.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:47 pm

how important is your 2L summer? i know a big law firm is best, but how much will other things be viewed negatively by judges?

trudat15
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby trudat15 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:09 pm

Thanks for all the great info.

A few questions. Are clerkships generally thought of as being beneficial if one is going into Lit, but not really for Corp/Transactional? Clueless 0L here.

I know you answered a question regarding a joint MA, but what are your thoughts about a JD/MBA and clerking? Are judges receptive to this?

How do you think age would affect a potential clerk? I'm on the older side, and have years of work experience, but in a completely unrelated field to law, and am attending school this fall.

To get a competitive COA or D. Ct clerkship (Article III), what grades am I looking at from CCN? Top 10% + LR? or even higher?

Thanks again.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:43 am

What are my chances given the following:

#1 - was in the top of my class at my t30ish school 1L year
#2 - interned for a COA judge 1L summer (who doesn't write recommendations, though she will TAKE phone calls)
#3 - transferred to Georgetown, which doesn't seem to rank beyond deciles
#4 - am about .15 points of GPA above the top 10% line (so, probably top 5% or better?), and see no reason why I won't stay up there
#5 - am the ME of my secondary
#6 - RA'd for a nominee to the 7th Circuit who will write me a glowing recommendation, though whether she'll be confirmed is unclear
#7 - will probably get another great recommendation from a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge who I'm taking a seminar with
#8 - am writing a really stellar note that ought to make a great writing sample, and have a shot at getting a note into the main journal or getting same piece published elsewhere
#9 - should probably make the Appellate Clinic
but problematically, #10, still have no clue what I'm doing this summer, other than possibly working for a nice admin law boutique or interning for yet another COA judge, who hopefully does give recommendations. (I bid too high in OCI and quit on looking for jobs for months out of boredom with the process.)

My thought is that, given the abundance of Georgetown grads on the circuit where I worked (it's a crappy circuit), I would probably have a decent shot at one of them. Or one of her friends on the court. I do think she'd make a call for me if I told her I was applying to so and so - although I'd really hate to work for so and so. But this summer could be a resume-killer. I mean, two COA internships in a row! I wonder if I shouldn't try for some public interest nonsense.

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vamedic03
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What are my chances given the following:

#1 - was in the top of my class at my t30ish school 1L year
#2 - interned for a COA judge 1L summer (who doesn't write recommendations, though she will TAKE phone calls)
#3 - transferred to Georgetown, which doesn't seem to rank beyond deciles
#4 - am about .15 points of GPA above the top 10% line (so, probably top 5% or better?), and see no reason why I won't stay up there
#5 - am the ME of my secondary
#6 - RA'd for a nominee to the 7th Circuit who will write me a glowing recommendation, though whether she'll be confirmed is unclear
#7 - will probably get another great recommendation from a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge who I'm taking a seminar with
#8 - am writing a really stellar note that ought to make a great writing sample, and have a shot at getting a note into the main journal or getting same piece published elsewhere
#9 - should probably make the Appellate Clinic
but problematically, #10, still have no clue what I'm doing this summer, other than possibly working for a nice admin law boutique or interning for yet another COA judge, who hopefully does give recommendations. (I bid too high in OCI and quit on looking for jobs for months out of boredom with the process.)

My thought is that, given the abundance of Georgetown grads on the circuit where I worked (it's a crappy circuit), I would probably have a decent shot at one of them. Or one of her friends on the court. I do think she'd make a call for me if I told her I was applying to so and so - although I'd really hate to work for so and so. But this summer could be a resume-killer. I mean, two COA internships in a row! I wonder if I shouldn't try for some public interest nonsense.


I think you might need an attitude adjustment going into the clerkship application process. See bolded above.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:46 pm

Anyone else freaking out about this already? I am making some spreadsheets with judges and starting some preliminary research, and it seems a bit overwhelming. I will probably be sending out about 3 or 4x as many applications as I did for my 2L summer, and that number was already pretty large. I'm concerned because I will be SA-ing + doing law review edits + 1L write-on grading this summer. I want to make sure that I do a good job at everything I am taking on.

Any tips for making this more manageable? I am trying to go circuit by circuit/region by region, but any advice beyond this would be much appreciated!

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:00 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:I'm just going to be straight with you: the fact that you stopped looking for jobs for months because you were "bored[] with the process" simply blows my mind. Makes me question your judgment/work ethic, such that I wonder how strong those recs really will be. That may sound harsh, but it is my honest first impression. And it might hurt you as people review your apps, which you seem to recognize. Landing the job with the botique would cover that well, so I'd work hard on making that happen if you can.

I didn't fully understand the stuff about "so-and-so" and "her," although it seemed that those bore some relationship to the judges you know/interned for previously. You should definitely target judges you have connections with, if you want to maximize your odds. I'd also avoid calling anywhere a "crappy" circuit, too, as every COA job is pretty damn hard to get. Sure, some courts/locations are a lot less popular than others, but your way of saying that is just a bit off-putting. To the extent you think any COA clerkship is somehow below you, you need to disabuse yourself of that notion immediately. Although you definitely have a shot at some COA judges with your credentials, I would bet the farm that GULC xfers with top 5% but without LR strike out with some frequency.


Oh, I have no work ethic whatsoever. I probably haven't taken notes since my first month of law school, or outlined a single class more than 2 days before an exam. I work very hard when I'm working for someone (like the judge, the professor I RA'd for), and I work very hard on writing papers on things I'm interested in, but I can't discipline myself, especially if something actually meaningful at stake is involved, like getting a job, as I tend to not care at all. I also hate unstructured processes and post-OCI, applying for jobs becomes pretty unstructured. Literally the only thing I could bring myself to do was to send out stuff through symplicity to the very few things that were posted there. That said, my recommenders are great fans. Other than that, I mean, of course I'm arrogant and off-putting, and that really can't be helped at this late stage in my life, but it's not as if I'm going to tell them to their face that their circuit is lousy, or do anything but affect a modest and intensely scholarly demeanor. When I talk to some of the judges' clerks, will they pick up on how I really feel? Probably, that's unavoidable. If I work hard enough at it, though, it shouldn't be too obvious.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:I'm just going to be straight with you: the fact that you stopped looking for jobs for months because you were "bored[] with the process" simply blows my mind. Makes me question your judgment/work ethic, such that I wonder how strong those recs really will be. That may sound harsh, but it is my honest first impression. And it might hurt you as people review your apps, which you seem to recognize. Landing the job with the botique would cover that well, so I'd work hard on making that happen if you can.

I didn't fully understand the stuff about "so-and-so" and "her," although it seemed that those bore some relationship to the judges you know/interned for previously. You should definitely target judges you have connections with, if you want to maximize your odds. I'd also avoid calling anywhere a "crappy" circuit, too, as every COA job is pretty damn hard to get. Sure, some courts/locations are a lot less popular than others, but your way of saying that is just a bit off-putting. To the extent you think any COA clerkship is somehow below you, you need to disabuse yourself of that notion immediately. Although you definitely have a shot at some COA judges with your credentials, I would bet the farm that GULC xfers with top 5% but without LR strike out with some frequency.


Oh, I have no work ethic whatsoever. I probably haven't taken notes since my first month of law school, or outlined a single class more than 2 days before an exam. I work very hard when I'm working for someone (like the judge, the professor I RA'd for), and I work very hard on writing papers on things I'm interested in, but I can't discipline myself, especially if something actually meaningful at stake is involved, like getting a job, as I tend to not care at all. I also hate unstructured processes and post-OCI, applying for jobs becomes pretty unstructured. Literally the only thing I could bring myself to do was to send out stuff through symplicity to the very few things that were posted there. That said, my recommenders are great fans. Other than that, I mean, of course I'm arrogant and off-putting, and that really can't be helped at this late stage in my life, but it's not as if I'm going to tell them to their face that their circuit is lousy, or do anything but affect a modest and intensely scholarly demeanor. When I talk to some of the judges' clerks, will they pick up on how I really feel? Probably, that's unavoidable. If I work hard enough at it, though, it shouldn't be too obvious.


Wow. Just, wow. I guess you get points for being honest, at least. Although I'm wondering if this is a flame.

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98234872348
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby 98234872348 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:22 pm

/
Last edited by 98234872348 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

chipchip
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby chipchip » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:I'm just going to be straight with you: the fact that you stopped looking for jobs for months because you were "bored[] with the process" simply blows my mind. Makes me question your judgment/work ethic, such that I wonder how strong those recs really will be. That may sound harsh, but it is my honest first impression. And it might hurt you as people review your apps, which you seem to recognize. Landing the job with the botique would cover that well, so I'd work hard on making that happen if you can.

I didn't fully understand the stuff about "so-and-so" and "her," although it seemed that those bore some relationship to the judges you know/interned for previously. You should definitely target judges you have connections with, if you want to maximize your odds. I'd also avoid calling anywhere a "crappy" circuit, too, as every COA job is pretty damn hard to get. Sure, some courts/locations are a lot less popular than others, but your way of saying that is just a bit off-putting. To the extent you think any COA clerkship is somehow below you, you need to disabuse yourself of that notion immediately. Although you definitely have a shot at some COA judges with your credentials, I would bet the farm that GULC xfers with top 5% but without LR strike out with some frequency.


Oh, I have no work ethic whatsoever. I probably haven't taken notes since my first month of law school, or outlined a single class more than 2 days before an exam. I work very hard when I'm working for someone (like the judge, the professor I RA'd for), and I work very hard on writing papers on things I'm interested in, but I can't discipline myself, especially if something actually meaningful at stake is involved, like getting a job, as I tend to not care at all. I also hate unstructured processes and post-OCI, applying for jobs becomes pretty unstructured. Literally the only thing I could bring myself to do was to send out stuff through symplicity to the very few things that were posted there. That said, my recommenders are great fans. Other than that, I mean, of course I'm arrogant and off-putting, and that really can't be helped at this late stage in my life, but it's not as if I'm going to tell them to their face that their circuit is lousy, or do anything but affect a modest and intensely scholarly demeanor. When I talk to some of the judges' clerks, will they pick up on how I really feel? Probably, that's unavoidable. If I work hard enough at it, though, it shouldn't be too obvious.


Wow. Just, wow. I guess you get points for being honest, at least. Although I'm wondering if this is a flame.


I don't think it is, unfortunately, if only because there are professors at GULC right now with exactly the credentials the poster mentioned earlier.

luthersloan
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby luthersloan » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:51 pm

not a flame. I am nearly certain I know this fellow, and he is very real. Depressingly real.
Last edited by luthersloan on Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

JusticeJackson
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby JusticeJackson » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:55 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Clurking2011
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Clurking2011 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:35 pm

I had a question about exit options for graduates outside the top 25 in USNews who clerk in great districts

If a graduate of a school like Wisconsin clerks in a district court in Chicago or a Brooklyn grad clerks in SDNY, what is the ceiling as far as exit options go in those cities? Are those clerks highly valued and recruited by top firms? Does the school pedigree put them at a continued disadvantage to the T-14 grads of the world? Assuming litigation interest..... Also, what about DOJ/AUSA possibilities?

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:38 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone else freaking out about this already? I am making some spreadsheets with judges and starting some preliminary research, and it seems a bit overwhelming. I will probably be sending out about 3 or 4x as many applications as I did for my 2L summer, and that number was already pretty large. I'm concerned because I will be SA-ing + doing law review edits + 1L write-on grading this summer. I want to make sure that I do a good job at everything I am taking on.

Any tips for making this more manageable? I am trying to go circuit by circuit/region by region, but any advice beyond this would be much appreciated!

It can be really hard to juggle all of those activities, and to do it all well. So I sympathize with your situation -- I was there myself not long ago. The good news is that lots of people have been there too, and they all made it work, so I am sure you will too. If you budget your time intelligently, you will surely have time to complete all of your tasks and to get some summer R&R in as well.

Having a plan early for where you want to apply, who your recommenders are, and when you want/need to send stuff out is best. For the OSCAR judges, the marginal cost of adding each judge to your app list is pretty low (but definitely non-zero). One thing you can do is check on OSCAR and lawclerkaddict to see which judges are already done hiring for '12. By excluding them from the outset, you'll avoid wasting time and effort.


Thanks so much for this. When should I plan on having my applications ready to go out the door by? I know OSCAR hasn't gone live yet, but is it easy to find on there where it talks about the judges who are finished hiring?

OldManHunger
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby OldManHunger » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:37 pm

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Last edited by OldManHunger on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JusticeJackson
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby JusticeJackson » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:52 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:10 pm

If a judge updates his or her OSCAR page now/this week to say they are hiring for '12/'13 "in accordance with the Law Clerk Hiring Plan", how should that be interpreted for a current 2L?

If they are hiring in accord with the Plan, then they shouldn't be looking at 2L/rising 3L applications until September. Does posting this now basically just signal to alums/current 3Ls that the judge will consider their applications now?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:23 pm

I notice a substantial portion of federal circuit court judges ask for undergraduate transcripts. Any sense on how big of a role these play?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:44 am

How do we find a list of who is hiring off plan? I've looked at lawclerkaddict, but it seems as if the new numbers aren't up yet. Also, once we find out who is hiring early, is it appropriate for us to send resumes and cover letters directly to chambers? How do we make contact with judges who are hiring early?




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