Clerks Taking Questions

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
User avatar
vamedic03
Posts: 1579
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:50 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby vamedic03 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:06 am

Anonymous User wrote: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.


I'm confused. Are you asking if anyone is going to look negatively at someone taking Evidence, Class Actions, or Employment Discrimination?

Evidence is essential. No one should graduate law school without taking evidence. Class Actions and Employment Discrimination fill many court dockets and many litigators on both sides spend much of their careers handling these issues. These are certainly logical classes to take if anyone has an interest in litigation, clerking, big law, etc.

Citizen Genet
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:03 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Citizen Genet » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:56 am

I've seen the questions on writing samples - has there been any statement about using briefs from Moot Courts or classes as a writing sample? Most of my writing samples are more academic in nature - which I'll probably use for COA apps - and I want a good practical one for a District Court clerkship. Do clerks look at these disparagingly since they're not "real world" legal writing?

Citizen Genet
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:03 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Citizen Genet » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:27 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Citizen Genet wrote:I've seen the questions on writing samples - has there been any statement about using briefs from Moot Courts or classes as a writing sample? Most of my writing samples are more academic in nature - which I'll probably use for COA apps - and I want a good practical one for a District Court clerkship. Do clerks look at these disparagingly since they're not "real world" legal writing?

I do not think clerks look on more academic writing in a negative way. At least not the ones I know. But I am not well-qualified to answer about district courts, having never clerked/externed on one.

My advice would be to go with whatever you think best highlights your analytical and organizational skills.


Sorry, my writing wasn't very clear there (doesn't bode well for my writing samples....)

What about Moot Court briefs or briefs written as part of a class? Are these acceptable even though you're using essentially made-up facts and scenarios?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273380
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:31 pm

If someone writes a favorable, but poorly written LOR, how is that viewed? E.g., if an AUSA with personal knowledge of work ethic and ability wrote a LOR, and it said great things, but it was carelessly written, would that count against the applicant? There's a guy I know that I'm sure will say great things about me, but he's never written anything without a typo in his life.

smittytron3k
Posts: 197
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby smittytron3k » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:52 pm

Two questions:

(1) How big of a factor is political/judicial orientation in clerkship hiring? Is membership in FedSoc or ACS going to be a problem with many judges on the opposite side of the fence?
(2) What can you do to find judges with similar interests to yours, or rule out judges with highly incompatible interests? Anything besides word-of-mouth and reading through some of their decisions?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273380
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:25 am

A related question:

How important is a judge's political affiliation/political reputation to clerks seeking jobs post-clerkship? In other words, are there any CoA judges so conservative that it could make it difficult for one to work with more liberal organizations (or vice versa)? Or, is it generally the case that any CoA judge is deemed a good enough experience that clerking for a judge of a very different ideology of your "target" career isn't an issue? Obviously Reinhart will have more of an ACLU clerk network than O'Scannlain will, which will make getting an ACLU job post-clerkship easier, but I'm trying to get a sense for more whether the ACLU is going to blacklist O'Scannlain clerks.

Citizen Genet
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:03 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Citizen Genet » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:56 pm

Do you mind naming names? I assume...

Liberal/ACS: Reinhardt, Paez, Ikuta, Pregerson, Berzon, Wardlaw
Conservative/FedSoc: Bybee, O'Scannlain, Kozinski, Ikuta

Anonymous User
Posts: 273380
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:59 pm

Last minute question. A judge I'm applying to wants an Undergraduate transcript, and I failed by not ordering it much earlier because it is taking forever. I think waiting is out of the question at this point.

What do you think of the option to mention in the cover letter that the transcript will be forthcoming, and then I can send it later, but get the application in now?

User avatar
GeePee
Posts: 1273
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:35 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby GeePee » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:35 pm

Hey, GTLR, thanks for the thread.

Do you have any perspective on what's driving the "spend 2-3 years in big law, go clerk, go to boutique" trend that's been going on over the last few years? Obviously, this is a career path that some individuals have taken for years; what's making this so much more common recently? Is it simply a nod to the recognized desirability of clerkships, and driving more applications from students further out of school, or is it more of a shift in preferences of some judges?

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Big Shrimpin » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:08 am

luthersloan wrote:not a flame. I am nearly certain I know this fellow, and he is very real. Depressingly real.



TREYDEUCE?????????????

Edit: sorry for unnecessarily bumping the thread, GTL. My apologies to one of the most productive poasters on TLS. I couldn't help myself. :lol:

Anonymous User
Posts: 273380
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:51 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Updated Feeder List. Old lists here: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 6#p4024613 and http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 6#p4024746

SCOTUS Clerk Placement Among Sitting Judges*, OT06-12 (OT11 & OT12 data partial)
1. Garland (D.C. Cir.) 20
2. Wilkinson (4th Cir.) 16
3. Kozinski (9th Cir.) 13
3. Boudin (1st Cir.) 13
5. Kavanaugh (D.C. Cir.) 12
6. Sutton (6th Cir.) 11
7. Sentelle (D.C. Cir.) 10
8. D. Ginsburg (D.C. Cir.) 9
8. Calabresi (2d Cir.) 9
8. W. Fletcher (9th Cir.) 9
8. Katzmann (2d Cir.) 9
12. Tatel (D.C. Cir.) 7
12. Reinhardt (9th Cir.) 7
14. Posner (7th Cir.) 6
15. Leval (2d Cir.) 5
15. O'Scannlain (9th Cir.) 5
17. J. Brown (D.C. Cir.) 4
18. S. Williams (D.C. Cir.) 3
18. Niemeyer (4th Cir.) 3
18. Cabranes (2d Cir.) 3
18. E. Jones (5th Cir.) 3
18. Gorsuch (10th Cir.) 3
23. Randolph (D.C. Cir.) 2
23. Silberman (D.C. Cir.) 2
23. Jacobs (2d Cir.) 2
23. Anderson (11th Cir.) 2
23. Barry (3d Cir.) 2
23. Carnes (11th Cir.) 2
23. Sack (2d Cir.) 2
23. Colloton (8th Cir.) 2

*Retired or elevated judges (e.g., Alito, McConnell, Luttig) excluded


Nice update! It's interesting if you look at "conservative" feeders, there seems to be a clear "tier" of Wilkinson, Kozinski, Kavanaugh, Sutton, Sentelle, and Ginsburg, and then a bit of a drop off down to Posner etc. (Boudin is probably the only feeder sending multiple clerks to both sides of the political spectrum, but there's an argument to include Posner). But for the liberal feeders, there's clearly Garland at the top, then huge drop off to Calabresi/Fletcher/Katzmann, who aren't that far from next in line (Tatel, Reinhardt, etc.).

I'm too lazy to actually run the numbers, but I wonder if conservative justices are more likley to hire a larger percentage from this top tier of feeders, where the liberal justices hire a Garland clerk and then whoever else they like that year.

It also seems like D.C. Cir. is more of a feeder for conservative justices, but for liberal justices, once you get past Garland and Tatel, it's pretty open (e.g. Boudin/Calabresi/Fletcher/Katzmann).

Anonymous User
Posts: 273380
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:55 am

Thoughts about this career path:

Clerk on D.Ct. or COA immediately post graduation
Go to biglaw for 1-2 years
Return to clerk
Go to boutique, hopefully with 3-6 years of partnership credit?

Is there some inherent downside to clerking twice, separated by a couple years in biglaw?

luthersloan
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby luthersloan » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:59 am

Big Shrimpin wrote:
luthersloan wrote:not a flame. I am nearly certain I know this fellow, and he is very real. Depressingly real.



TREYDEUCE?????????????

Edit: sorry for unnecessarily bumping the thread, GTL. My apologies to one of the most productive poasters on TLS. I couldn't help myself. :lol:



Correct. It is in fact the deuce.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273380
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thoughts about this career path:

Clerk on D.Ct. or COA immediately post graduation
Go to biglaw for 1-2 years
Return to clerk
Go to boutique, hopefully with 3-6 years of partnership credit?

Is there some inherent downside to clerking twice, separated by a couple years in biglaw?


No. Someone at my firm is heading down this path (i.e. started at D Ct, worked for a year, going back for COA), though I don't know what he wants to do after COA.

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Big Shrimpin » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:37 pm

.
Last edited by Big Shrimpin on Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

vacate123
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:51 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby vacate123 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:14 am

title should be "clerk taking questions for a year"

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby A'nold » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:56 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:I have been meaning to post something on this for a while now, and finally have time.

CLERKSHIP COVER LETTERS: SOME EXAMPLES.

Thank you very much. I cannot tell you how helpful this was considering that I am working on my cover letters this week.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273380
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:51 pm

I couldn't disagree more with this girl's advice on the cover letter front.
I'm on 2/9/DC feeder, and cover letters mean a ton. We see people from the same schools using the exact same 3 paragraph structures. Makes no sense. Cover letter's your single forum to converse with the judge. Be you. Tell us something interesting.

We get a lot of top 15% t6 letters, especially for my judge - I see the SAME school names, the SAME ed board positions on law review, the SAME grades - do you really think its a great idea for me to see the SAME cover letters?

Yes, structure your letter so we can get the essentials quickly (school, standing, LR). Yes, write concisely. But make it individualized. Tell us ONE thing about you.

The best letters are the ones that are custom to a judge. Not too many candidates apply in this way. They are too lazy or are so clearly using mail merge with the same boilerplate, that its just very challenging to have any reason to pick up your app and separate it from the rest.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273380
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:51 am

****Rising 2L Strategy****

I would love any and all advice on how, with clerkships in mind, to maintain a good GPA throughout 2L year. Right now I am top 1-2%(LR) at a t10 school. I *really* don't want to fuck this up over the next two semesters.

In previous pages of this thread, we've gone through how it's important to take a good amount of substantive doctrinal classes during 2L -- this is a given. I plan on taking three solid final-curved doctrinal classed with the hopes that I will work really hard and try to do as well on those classes as I did during 1L year.

Question, though...is there a danger of taking too *few* classes? I will only be doing 13 credits next semester; on top of law review and some research assistant positions, I really dont want to fuck myself over grade-wise; I just hear that 2L is nuts. However I also don't want a judge looking at my transcript and thinking, "slacker" when most kids will be doing 14 or 15 credits.

Does this shit matter?

Also, any advice in general on planning for 2L year would be greatly appreciated!

User avatar
jonas
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 6:25 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby jonas » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:Question, though...is there a danger of taking too *few* classes? I will only be doing 13 credits next semester; on top of law review and some research assistant positions, I really dont want to fuck myself over grade-wise; I just hear that 2L is nuts. However I also don't want a judge looking at my transcript and thinking, "slacker" when most kids will be doing 14 or 15 credits.

Does this shit matter?

Also, any advice in general on planning for 2L year would be greatly appreciated!

GTLR might have a different take, but I think 13 credits is fine, particularly because you're taking meaty classes and you'll be busy with LR and RA responsibilities. So I say don't sweat it.

As for general advice re 2L year, I'd focus on (1) making some strong connections with faculty members if you haven't already done so, (2) finding a topic you care about for your LR note, and (3) doing an excellent job on your LR assignments. And remember to have fun, too! Law school will be over before you know it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273380
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:15 am

Interested in clerking and academia. Should I stay #5(LR) at a T-35 that has great Art. III placement for its ranking or transfer to CCN?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273380
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:22 am

Will working on my school's Supreme Court clinic help at all? I'm at HYS.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273380
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:08 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Interested in clerking and academia. Should I stay #5(LR) at a T-35 that has great Art. III placement for its ranking or transfer to CCN?

Congrats on a very successful 1L year! Do you have $$ at the T-35? Can you get the job you want at OCI from that school? If the answer to both is yes, then I would stay. If not, the question becomes a much closer call.


Some money (It is inexpensive to begin with) and on jobs... sort of, it just has to be in a particular city. I think I'd like a little bit of mobility and I'm thinking about doing a PhD in Econ at CCN if I do transfer. Thoughts?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273380
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:04 pm

I'm thinking about doing a PhD in Econ at CCN if I do transfer.

I can't speak to the other two, but good luck doing an Econ PhD at Chicago -- either through Booth or through the Econ department. I knew a lot of JD/PhDs at Chicago over the years, and none of them were ballsy enough to go that route. (Most were doing a History PhD; I think a couple were doing Public Policy.) The Law School recently hired a JD/Econ PhD, but he clerked for a year and then worked for several more at Mayer Brown in between JD and PhD programs.

(By the way, the admission requirements are probably going to be a 800Q/700+V GRE, plus a 3.6+ GPA in a math or hard science -- actually strike that, probably just physics or MAYBE chemistry -- undergrad BS. My understanding is that it's actually pretty difficult to get in with "only" an econ BS/BA, unless you were lucky enough to go somewhere that was extremely math-heavy. As in Econ 101 for majors required calculus on the first day heavy.)

User avatar
GeePee
Posts: 1273
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:35 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby GeePee » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm thinking about doing a PhD in Econ at CCN if I do transfer.

I can't speak to the other two, but good luck doing an Econ PhD at Chicago -- either through Booth or through the Econ department. I knew a lot of JD/PhDs at Chicago over the years, and none of them were ballsy enough to go that route. (Most were doing a History PhD; I think a couple were doing Public Policy.) The Law School recently hired a JD/Econ PhD, but he clerked for a year and then worked for several more at Mayer Brown in between JD and PhD programs.

(By the way, the admission requirements are probably going to be a 800Q/700+V GRE, plus a 3.6+ GPA in a math or hard science -- actually strike that, probably just physics or MAYBE chemistry -- undergrad BS. My understanding is that it's actually pretty difficult to get in with "only" an econ BS/BA, unless you were lucky enough to go somewhere that was extremely math-heavy. As in Econ 101 for majors required calculus on the first day heavy.)

This is even a bit too generous. Columbia and Chicago (not on the same level, but Columbia's is formidable) have some of the top ranked Economics departments in the country -- when I was thinking about going down this route in undergrad, I was cautioned that some schools might look at my A- in advanced linear algebra, which was the most conceptually rigorous math class I took, with a discerning eye (and my undergrad math department enforced a pretty strict curve with only minor grade inflation). The elite PhD programs are absolutely brutal to get into now, and I highly doubt being concurrently enrolled in a JD program will help much with admission.

If OP is interested in legal academia, then that's totally valid, but a JD/PhD program probably shouldn't influence that decision.

EDIT: Didn't realize this, but NYU's program has gotten quite strong/competitive as well.




Return to “Judicial Clerkships”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.