Clerks Taking Questions

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iagolives
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby iagolives » Fri May 27, 2011 12:13 pm

That's how SLS and HLS also work: loan for clerkship that is forgiven if you enter a public interest or otherwise qualifying job after.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 27, 2011 12:59 pm

I graduated in 2008 and ended up having to "settle" for a staff attorney position at a medium sized law firm since graduation. I went to a T50 lawschool, graduated a little above median, secondary journal, and published. Somehow I was able to land a 2-year federal magistrate clerkship in flyover territory and will be starting in the fall.

My questions are:
1) Will my chances at getting a federal district court clerkship improve? Location does not matter to me, as I will already be clerking in a small town in the middle of nowhere.
2) If I don't get a district clerkship, how much of a resume bump will the magistrate clerkship provide? I've been trying to get into a better law firm since I graduated, but the staff attorney gig I have now provides no substantive legal experience. I'm not talking about Biglaw or a super prestigious law firm.


Anyone can chime in since GTL has better experience with COA clerkships. Thanks in advance!

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 27, 2011 6:55 pm

GTL (or other clerks around), what is the usual interview/slots available ratio? Is there one?

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vamedic03
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby vamedic03 » Fri May 27, 2011 7:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:GTL (or other clerks around), what is the usual interview/slots available ratio? Is there one?


This was just answered on page 13 if this thread on Monday. Why anon?

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iagolives
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby iagolives » Fri May 27, 2011 8:22 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:GTL (or other clerks around), what is the usual interview/slots available ratio? Is there one?


This was just answered on page 13 if this thread on Monday. Why anon?


Thanks for finding that for me. I KNEW I had seen it before. I posted anon b/c I hit the wrong button and figured it wasn't worth typing over again.

JusticeJackson
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby JusticeJackson » Tue May 31, 2011 12:31 am

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby JusticeJackson » Tue May 31, 2011 11:59 am

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 31, 2011 12:23 pm

You could try the immediate application strategy, but it might not be received very well in some chambers. I can only speculate, as I have never tried it or heard of anyone trying it. I think the best thing to do is only attempt to parlay with judges you have already applied to.


Complicating the hypothetical a bit, what if the reason you didn't apply to the second position is because it wasn't posted until after you got the first interview? But you would have applied in any event (because you've applied everywhere else in the district with an opening)? So, something like this: Apply on 5/1 for three separate spots in the E.D. Cal. On 5/10, get an interview call for one of them for 6/6. On 5/24, a fourth opening in the district pops up. Same day you overnight in your paper application. Worth it/advisable to call on 5/31 to try to parlay?

(All names have been changed.)

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 31, 2011 9:01 pm

I have no clue how it will turn out, but my gut says go for it.


Already did. I was apologetic about the short notice; they were very nice and seemed to understand the circumstances. They took my name and number, but, alas, I haven't heard back -- it was around 4:45 PM their time, though, so I guess we'll see for sure tomorrow.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 31, 2011 9:02 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for all the helpful information. Another prediction please.

T: 20-30
Rank: Top 1%
Law Review with Exec Board Position and Published Note
Assuming Pretty Good Recs: Research and TA
Accepted a District Court Position for Next Year

Looking to apply for less competitive circuits and I am willing to travel. I know that my best shot is within the circuit that my district judge is located. I just wanted to know whether this would get me any interviews elsewhere. Thannks.

Congrats on dominating LS thus far, and on the d. ct. clerkship! Top 1% plus the other things you mention should help with CoA apps, but as you say, the d. ct. job will help a lot more in the same circuit. Do you have ties to the other courts you plan on applying to? Some judges may be more willing to take a look if you express a clear connection to their area in your cover letter. Or, if you have a credible story to tell as to why you want to work in appellate lit (e.g., you summered at Gibson Dunn, Wilmer, or one of the other firms with a great appellate practice), that might help too. Also, when do you start your d. ct. job? If you start it earlier in the summer, you'll have some time to build up a reputation with your judge, who can then really boost your odds with a call/letter/e-mail to colleagues.

In any event, I think you have a reasonable shot at landing some interviews. Best of luck!


Update: I received an CoA clerkship offer. My offer ended up being in the same circuit as my district court clerkship, but I had two other interviews set up (that I cancelled after receiving this offer) in other circuits. I think that my district court clerkship was a significant factor in my success.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:09 pm

#2 in class at a T25. Good recs and phone calls. How far can I reach? Would leapfrogging #1 make an appreciable difference?

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gogators
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby gogators » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:04 pm

If you have a D. Ct. clerkship and know you want to go circuit right afterwards, when is the appropriate time after starting the district clerkship to apply to the COA. (assuming a 1 yr d.ct. term)?

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gogators
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby gogators » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:11 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
gogators wrote:If you have a D. Ct. clerkship and know you want to go circuit right afterwards, when is the appropriate time after starting the district clerkship to apply to the COA. (assuming a 1 yr d.ct. term)?

You actually apply for the COA clerkship before you start the district court clerkship. In other words, if you are hired in the summer/fall of 2011 for a d. ct. clerkship that starts in summer '12 and you want a COA clerkship that starts in summer '13, you need to start applying for that by the late spring of '12 (in some cases sooner than that).


You're right. I was still thinking about the Hiring plan but forgot that I would be different and I would apply earlier. In your experience, does the d.ct. clerkship aid in getting the coa job if you wouldn't have the numbers to go directly to a coa (i'm looking at staying in the 9th which is why I worry about numbers more)?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:21 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:#2 in class at a T25. Good recs and phone calls. How far can I reach? Would leapfrogging #1 make an appreciable difference?

Being #1 always helps at least a little. I don't know that it really should help, considering how close things usually are between the first two or three students in a graduating class, but for whatever reason judges do seem to give an additional bump for numero uno. Maybe judges are really just thinking what Jimmy Football says here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDrO-XP8ED0 ?

In any event, your class rank is straight up awesome, and with good recs and calls, you should be able to reach all the way into the "semi-feeders" -- i.e., those judges who send someone to the Court every other year or so. In fact, the clerkship hiring process being as crazy as it is, you might even have room to go even higher than that, or you could get unlucky and end up a lot lower down the food chain. Judges who have hired from your school in the past are a good place to start.

Thanks for the response. (I am Anon quoted above.) Can you give me an example of "semi-feeders?" Are we talking DC Cir., or 2/9, but not the "all-stars" who feed to SCOTUS on a regular basis? Who would those be? The other thing is that my school, like most in my range, doesn't really get people to those lofty judges very often. So while your advice about judges who have hired previously is well taken, I'm not sure it's going to get me very far up the proverbial food chain.

goodolgil
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby goodolgil » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:47 pm

Quick question: I'm a rising 2L at at an MVP, just got my grades and I should be somewhere between top 5% and top 10% (probably closer to top 5%; my school doesn't publish rank until graduation). This was pretty unexpected for me, and it's led to me seriously considering gunning for a clerkship. The main issue I have is that I really have no connections with ANY of my professors. I raised my hand occasionally and did OK on cold calls I guess, but I literally never once went to office hours for any of my professors or ever emailed any of them to ask them questions about class or talk about careers, etc... I'm actually almost sure that one of the professors who gave me an A doesn't know who I am (which is even worse since it was the first semester small section class).

Any suggestions on how to remedy this? It would feel kind of awkward to email a professor and basically say I never talked to you before, but now I need connections! I'm aware that of all the law school problems to have this one isn't so bad, but I'd still like to do _something_ about it. I had a pretty good relationship with my LRW prof. (who is amazing), so I was thinking of maybe getting in touch with him. Also, taking another class with one of my 1L professors next semester, so there's another chance.

Just basically looking for a way to get closer to a professor without coming off as leech-y.

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jonas
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby jonas » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:44 pm

goodolgil wrote:Quick question: I'm a rising 2L at at an MVP, just got my grades and I should be somewhere between top 5% and top 10% (probably closer to top 5%; my school doesn't publish rank until graduation). This was pretty unexpected for me, and it's led to me seriously considering gunning for a clerkship. The main issue I have is that I really have no connections with ANY of my professors. I raised my hand occasionally and did OK on cold calls I guess, but I literally never once went to office hours for any of my professors or ever emailed any of them to ask them questions about class or talk about careers, etc... I'm actually almost sure that one of the professors who gave me an A doesn't know who I am (which is even worse since it was the first semester small section class).

Any suggestions on how to remedy this? It would feel kind of awkward to email a professor and basically say I never talked to you before, but now I need connections! I'm aware that of all the law school problems to have this one isn't so bad, but I'd still like to do _something_ about it. I had a pretty good relationship with my LRW prof. (who is amazing), so I was thinking of maybe getting in touch with him. Also, taking another class with one of my 1L professors next semester, so there's another chance.

Just basically looking for a way to get closer to a professor without coming off as leech-y.


First, don't worry. Your situation is not uncommon. And you have time to build the connections you'll need.

A few ideas:

1) Start TAing this fall—or even part-time this summer, if possible—for a professor whose work interests you.
2) Do an independent-study writing project in the fall. Set it up now.
3) Write a note for your law review or another journal; seek advice/feedback from a professor or two.
4) Set up a meeting soon with one of the professors who gave you an excellent grade; explain that you have questions about clerking and the application process; see where the conversation leads. Nothing leechy about that.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:53 pm

Here is a really random question:

How many times does a COA judge travel for oral argument each year (assuming they are not in the city where argument is heard)? Do judges hear a ton of cases each time they are in town for arguments?

I am just curious about the waves of work that clerks run into.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby jonas » Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:Here is a really random question:

How many times does a COA judge travel for oral argument each year (assuming they are not in the city where argument is heard)? Do judges hear a ton of cases each time they are in town for arguments?

I am just curious about the waves of work that clerks run into.

The amount of travel will depend on the circuit and the judge. Some judges might ride the circuit frequently (e.g., an Indiana judge on 7th Cir, a Nevada judge on 9th), while others might rarely or never travel (e.g., NYC judges on 2d Cir). So it's tough to generalize.

Same goes for average number of sittings per term, number of cases per sitting, likelihood of participating in en banc panels, etc. It depends on the circuit and whether a judge is active or senior, plus other factors.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:57 pm

If a judge lists the number of writing samples required as 1 on OSCAR, is it considered bad form to send in 2? And if I have to choose between two writing samples, which would be best -- the appellate brief from 1L LRW or a motion to dismiss written during my 1L summer at a USAO?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:44 am

Q: I know it varies from judge to judge, but can you provide any rough estimate as to what percentage of CoA judges *require* Law Review? I'm at Boalt, around top 5%, but not sure if I will make law review. Our application process isn't related to grades (just a write-on), and I'm not feeling great about my chances.

I've heard that a lot of 9th Cir and ND Cal judges don't care about California Law Review because, unlike most other top schools, our approach doesn't reflect class standing and they are familiar with this. However, I get a sense that a lot of judges elsewhere will just categorically exclude me for lack of LR on my resume, despite top grades and solid recommendations from well-connected professors.

Any thoughts on how this could affect my application process, GTLRev? Will I have to significatly narrow my search if LR doesn't work out?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Q: I know it varies from judge to judge, but can you provide any rough estimate as to what percentage of CoA judges *require* Law Review? I'm at Boalt, around top 5%, but not sure if I will make law review. Our application process isn't related to grades (just a write-on), and I'm not feeling great about my chances.

I've heard that a lot of 9th Cir and ND Cal judges don't care about California Law Review because, unlike most other top schools, our approach doesn't reflect class standing and they are familiar with this. However, I get a sense that a lot of judges elsewhere will just categorically exclude me for lack of LR on my resume, despite top grades and solid recommendations from well-connected professors.

Any thoughts on how this could affect my application process, GTLRev? Will I have to significatly narrow my search if LR doesn't work out?


GTLRev will have a better idea, but I think there are relatively few judges that really require it (though obviously it's always helpful and a big factor). I interned for a Second Circuit judge who isn't necessarily a "feeder" but sends clerks to SCOTUS every other year or so, and none of his clerks were on their main law review (though that's a big of a fluke - usually you'd expect a couple). They all presumably had great grades though (the Harvard kid was magna).

In fact, one CLS grad who clerked for Ruth Bader Ginsburg a year or two back wasn't on law review.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Omerta » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:06 pm

Generally speaking, do judges give 1L grades more weight or do they just care about the overall number at the time of application? Obviously assuming 2L year isn't chock full of law and ___ classes.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:Q: I know it varies from judge to judge, but can you provide any rough estimate as to what percentage of CoA judges *require* Law Review? I'm at Boalt, around top 5%, but not sure if I will make law review. Our application process isn't related to grades (just a write-on), and I'm not feeling great about my chances.

I've heard that a lot of 9th Cir and ND Cal judges don't care about California Law Review because, unlike most other top schools, our approach doesn't reflect class standing and they are familiar with this. However, I get a sense that a lot of judges elsewhere will just categorically exclude me for lack of LR on my resume, despite top grades and solid recommendations from well-connected professors.

Any thoughts on how this could affect my application process, GTLRev? Will I have to significatly narrow my search if LR doesn't work out?


Judges don't care about CLR because they think it reflects class standing--if that's all they cared about they could just look to see whether you have one of the rank-related distinctions. I'm not sure where you got your information, but most of the Ninth Circuit judges that my friends, classmates, or I interviewed with seemed interested in CLR experience, especially officer experience. I can't speak to ND Cal.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:19 am

I'm in the top 10% at a T25, hoping to be on law review, won a few awards during 1L etc. Am told I have an interesting resume, went to a top (and very well liked) UG and I had a very interesting sounding job between UG and LS. I also have a security clearance. Any shot at a decent clerkship, preferably in a city? I would be open to anywhere, I'm just curious what types of opportunities I might have, or whether I should whore out any and all connections.

Thanks for your input! Appreciate you doing this. Also appreciate chuckling at your picture when I look at this thread.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:46 am

Hey GTL,

I have a feeling I know the answer to this but here goes. I am a median student at a T20 school on a secondary journal. I am a rising 3L and am currently doing an externship for a district court judge in a secondary market where I went to undergrad. What got me the position is strong writing skills. However, I won't say my writing skills are AMAZING. What do you think my chances are of snagging a clerkship at this District Court are? Assume that I do some decent networking with clerks and judges here and have some pretty good softs. Also, white male, one year of post college pre law school WE.




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