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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:08 pm

I know this has been covered in passing, but I'm hoping you can elaborate a little bit on professors making calls to judges. When I spoke with my recommenders, they all said that they would be happy to make calls to judges they knew personally but it sounded as if they don't usually "cold call." Do most of the professors who call on behalf students already know your judge? And about how many professors end up making calls during each cycle? It seems like it's almost necessary to have a recommender call, and I'm trying to figure out a way (without coming off as pushy) to encourage mine to make calls for me.

Thanks!

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:37 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Citizen Genet wrote:Sorry if this has been covered.

I'm doing well after my first year - my GPA puts me just outside the top 5% at a non-T14, Tier 1. Thanks to being an idiot freshman year, my GPA from undergrad isn't so hot - around a 3.5. However, the final two years of undergrad I made up for the stupidity of my freshman year - I had a 3.9 during that time. Do I let the law grades speak for themselves and assume clerks will know I've redeemed myself or do I risk looking like I'm making an excuse and put the final two-year's GPA on the resume?

You could just omit UGPA from your resume -- lots of people do that. Or list the final UGPA. But do not list a partial UGPA, as I think that is disingenious.

The good news for you is that most judges I know of don't care much about undergrad grades, if at all.


Probably true, but a number of top/feeder judges DO ask for UG transcript, and there is a mechanism for attaching it in OSCAR. Seems that if they ask- they care. If they don't- they don't.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Citizen Genet wrote:Sorry if this has been covered.

I'm doing well after my first year - my GPA puts me just outside the top 5% at a non-T14, Tier 1. Thanks to being an idiot freshman year, my GPA from undergrad isn't so hot - around a 3.5. However, the final two years of undergrad I made up for the stupidity of my freshman year - I had a 3.9 during that time. Do I let the law grades speak for themselves and assume clerks will know I've redeemed myself or do I risk looking like I'm making an excuse and put the final two-year's GPA on the resume?

You could just omit UGPA from your resume -- lots of people do that. Or list the final UGPA. But do not list a partial UGPA, as I think that is disingenious.

The good news for you is that most judges I know of don't care much about undergrad grades, if at all.


Probably true, but a number of top/feeder judges DO ask for UG transcript, and there is a mechanism for attaching it in OSCAR. Seems that if they ask- they care. If they don't- they don't.


I'm not trying to refute your statement that some judges care about UG grades, but I just wanted to share my experience for the person who asked.

I also had a 3.5 UG GPA, went straight through to law school, and have done well there. I never included my UG GPA on my resume (but did include my law school GPA) and still recently got what the quoted poster would call a "top/feeder judge" clerkship. No one ever asked a thing about how well I did in UG.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby smittytron3k » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:04 pm

Speaking of feeder v. non-feeder judges, how significant do you think the drop-off is in required grades/credentials between the top 10-20 COA judges (or however you define the "feeder" judges) and the rest? I ask only because you often refer to the types of applications "your" judge is looking for, so I'm curious about how representative that judge's standards are of COA judges' standards for hiring applicants in general.

Also, thanks a ton for doing this thread!

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby M.I.T. L. Rev. » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:00 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Only about 15 active judges satisfy that standard for 00-12; 11 qualify for 06-12
How can this be? Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but how can 15 judges have sent 1 clerk/year to SCOTUS from 00-12, but only 11 have done so from 06-12?

(I guess if a judge sends 2+ for years from 00-05 but none from 06-12 he could qualify for the first bucket but not the second? But I thought you were driving at actually one per year rather than one per year average?)

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Cavalier » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:32 am

M.I.T. L. Rev. wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Only about 15 active judges satisfy that standard for 00-12; 11 qualify for 06-12
How can this be? Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but how can 15 judges have sent 1 clerk/year to SCOTUS from 00-12, but only 11 have done so from 06-12?

(I guess if a judge sends 2+ for years from 00-05 but none from 06-12 he could qualify for the first bucket but not the second? But I thought you were driving at actually one per year rather than one per year average?)

Some judges lose their feeding ability--if they take senior status, or a justice they know retires, they won't put as many on the court. And I'm sure retirements are part of the reason for the drop (Luttig, maybe McConnell).

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby M.I.T. L. Rev. » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:42 am

Cavalier wrote:
M.I.T. L. Rev. wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Only about 15 active judges satisfy that standard for 00-12; 11 qualify for 06-12
How can this be? Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but how can 15 judges have sent 1 clerk/year to SCOTUS from 00-12, but only 11 have done so from 06-12?

(I guess if a judge sends 2+ for years from 00-05 but none from 06-12 he could qualify for the first bucket but not the second? But I thought you were driving at actually one per year rather than one per year average?)

Some judges lose their feeding ability--if they take senior status, or a justice they know retires, they won't put as many on the court. And I'm sure retirements are part of the reason for the drop (Luttig, maybe McConnell).
I understand that, but how can there be 15 judges who qualify for a 13 year period (00-12), but only 11 who qualify for a 6 year period that is fully contained within the longer period (06-12)? That is, if Judge X qualifies as a "feeder" from 00-12, and the definition of "feeder" is that he sent at least one clerk to the SCOTUS for each of those years, how can he not also qualify as a "feeder" from 06-12?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:03 pm

My recommenders have been taking their time in wrapping up their recommendations -- though all of them have said they will get it to me in the next week or so. Would it be best to wait for the recommendations to be done and send applications all in one go, or send the applications now and state in the cover letter that the recommendations will be arriving under separate cover? I am sending in paper apps, and am a rising 3L.

Thanks so much for your help, G. T. L. Rev. and everyone else who contributes to this thread. Sorry if this question has been answered before; I scanned through the last 20 pages but might have missed it if it was answered.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Cavalier » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My recommenders have been taking their time in wrapping up their recommendations -- though all of them have said they will get it to me in the next week or so. Would it be best to wait for the recommendations to be done and send applications all in one go, or send the applications now and state in the cover letter that the recommendations will be arriving under separate cover? I am sending in paper apps, and am a rising 3L.

Thanks so much for your help, G. T. L. Rev. and everyone else who contributes to this thread. Sorry if this question has been answered before; I scanned through the last 20 pages but might have missed it if it was answered.

GTL will have a better answer, but to my knowledge, judges who deviate from the plan do so knowing they often won't have letters of recommendation from applicants. Many schools simply won't forward letters before the plan, and so a lot of students can do no more than state in their cover letter "you will be receiving letters from these professors in the fall, but in the meantime, they are willing to speak with you directly. Here are their phone numbers" (obviously in a more formal manner). Given that, I would just apply now, especially given how early hiring is this cycle.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Paddleboarder » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:46 am

Is there a risk that by sending the LORs separately they will not ultimately be grouped with the rest of your application? I'd imagine judges get tons of pieces of paper sent to chambers, and not always will it be the case that someone will take the time to group the LORs with the proper clerkship application. Am I wrong here?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Wavelet » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:46 am

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Last edited by Wavelet on Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:35 am

I was hanging out with an old high school friend, and it turns out he is personally related (cousin) to a COA judge in a circuit I would love to work in. He has no problem setting me up to talk to him. But I have no idea how to network this (do judges go out to coffees with student? won't it be obvious I am looking to clerk? etc.) without looking obnoxious. Any suggestions? The other complication is I am a rising 2L not a rising 3L so this is a bit premature anyway. FWIW I have at least competitive credentials for this judge (top ~3%, T10, have not heard about LR or journals).

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:49 am

How should those of us who will be applying from schools without major clerkship apparatuses gather information that is generally spread only via word of mouth, at tippy-top schools? Figure I am as qualified as I can be from a good, but not great, LS (Top 30 or so). There just isn't that much institutional support here for people looking for competitive clerkships. How do I find out the things I need to know for the spring/fall early judges?

Also, do you recommend postponing Fed Jur until after the clerkship season is over (i.e. 3L year)? I was planning on taking it this fall (2L). I know grabbing an A/A+ or equivalent would be a boon to my app, but what does an A- or equivalent do? I know it won't help me a ton but would it shut me out?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:07 pm

Thanks for the advice. One follow-up RE: Fed Jur

I guess I just don't really see how this advice pans out. If I'm looking for competitive clerkships, it's not like I can sub Law & Endangered Species for Fed Jur. I'm going to sub Admin, or Sec Reg, or some other class that is going to be difficult in its own right. Maybe not Fed Jur level of difficulty, but if my chances of getting an A in Fed Jur are 50%, in Admin they might be, what, 60%? Is it really that big of a difference? I feel like there's a payoff to be had if you have an A in Fed Jur on your clerkship app that justifies this 10% smaller chance of an A...

Also, related: what about taking it P/F?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby phoenixsoars » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:19 pm

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Last edited by phoenixsoars on Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby phoenixsoars » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:53 pm

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Last edited by phoenixsoars on Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Rising 3L with questions regarding GPAs on resumes - what should a candidate with a very high law school GPA (top 3%) but very low undergrad GPA (bottom 5%) do about placing the law school GPA on the resume? I.e., would it look odd to have the law school GPA on a resume without the undergrad GPA?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:56 pm

In terms of a writing sample, would it be OK to include two writing samples equaling about 10-15 pages? I have an unedited draft of my published law review note which I can cleanly excerpt a few pages out of, and might be able to get a "work" writing sample from my position this summer, which is also a few pages. I'd be sending out to off-plan judges, but am worried that I might get dinged for being too "academic." On the other hand, I wouldn't exactly be following directions. Thoughts? Greatly appreciate the help.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Citizen Genet » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:Rising 3L with questions regarding GPAs on resumes - what should a candidate with a very high law school GPA (top 3%) but very low undergrad GPA (bottom 5%) do about placing the law school GPA on the resume? I.e., would it look odd to have the law school GPA on a resume without the undergrad GPA?



G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Citizen Genet wrote:Sorry if this has been covered.

I'm doing well after my first year - my GPA puts me just outside the top 5% at a non-T14, Tier 1. Thanks to being an idiot freshman year, my GPA from undergrad isn't so hot - around a 3.5. However, the final two years of undergrad I made up for the stupidity of my freshman year - I had a 3.9 during that time. Do I let the law grades speak for themselves and assume clerks will know I've redeemed myself or do I risk looking like I'm making an excuse and put the final two-year's GPA on the resume?

You could just omit UGPA from your resume -- lots of people do that. Or list the final UGPA. But do not list a partial UGPA, as I think that is disingenious.

The good news for you is that most judges I know of don't care much about undergrad grades, if at all.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:34 pm

Hey, curious if you have a thought on how much appellate judges demand prior work experience (i.e., pre-law school work experience) compared to trial court/district court judges.

In my primitive research on judges through Oscar, it seems as if district court judges more often emphasize work experience or ask for applicants a year out of law school, while Circuit judges rarely say this (though some may say that they prefer someone with district court experience).

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:15 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:First, you should use this piece as your writing sample. You wrote it, and the topic seems fine. Second, no way in a million years is anyone, let a lone a judge, going to go online to ferret out a second publication -- even if a citation appears on your resume. If you get an interview, then maybe someone would. But the initial review of your app and the process leading up to whether or not you are invited in for an interview is far more cursory than you seem to expect. We get hundreds and hundreds of apps. Some judges get thousands. Do you honestly think that clerks and judges are spending so much time with each that they are logging in to Lexis or SSRN to find more?


Along these lines, I had a question about the nature of excerpting a note. As it stands, I just sliced away a 12 page portion of the note. However, a lot of the citations refer back to footnotes I did not include the excerpt (e.g. Jones, supra note 4, at 23). Should I go back to revise those short-form cites to include the full cite somewhere in the writing sample in case someone wants to look it up?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Renzo » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:49 pm

I am not applying this cycle, but will apply 1 or 2 years out of school. I cannot find a way to cram all the classes I want to take (all bona fide classes, no Law & _____ classes); how bad is it if I don't ever take fed courts?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:03 pm

How much does course selection matter for those of us going into public interest? Im at HYS, and within the top 25%. Looking at top district courts, like ND/CD CA, SD/ED NY, ND IL, etc. If I take courses like Employment Discrimination, Class Actions/Multi-Party Litigation, Evidence, Legal Ethics, etc., am I going to be looked at disparagingly (provided I get good grades). Assume I'm planning on taking things like Corporations, Admin, and Fed Courts before graduation.

Thanks again for all the assistance in this thread! Incredibly, incredibly helpful.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby annapavlova » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:02 pm

My question is:

Why do so many people want to have such a boring job?

Clerkin' ain't workin'.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:22 pm

annapavlova wrote:My question is:

Why do so many people want to have such a boring job?

Clerkin' ain't workin'.


Are you kidding, or is this a weak flame?

What on earth would give you any indication that an AIII clerkship is boring?




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