Anonymous User wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:I have to disagree here. The answer is probably no. The top 1% at a T-10 is pretty much guaranteed some COA clerkship (top 1% at pretty much every school is going to mean someone in the top 5 students in their class). The real question is going to be what COA clerkship this person gets. The biggest concern for the OP is going to be positioning themselves to have a realistic shot at the Court, such that a feeder would be interested.
The most important thing that the OP should do here is maintain their grades. Do whatever you have to do to either: (a) continue doing as well or (b) bump up your rank to #1. EIC is generally not conducive to this. EIC tends to be very work heavy and, at many law reviews, the EIC position is pretty notorious for wrecking GPAs. Instead, the OP should look for a substantive board position - Articles Editor, Senior Articles Editor - that gives the LR board bump while not wrecking your GPA.
Second, the OP should focus on (a) lining up top quality recommenders (professors who will pick up the phone and aggressively get your name out there) and (b) get a good writing sample lined up (and preferably get something published).
As you say, he's got a good shot at COA with top 1% at top 10 after 3 semesters with no EIC. If he wants a feeder judge and a realistic shot at SCOTUS, he should apply for EIC. Feeder judges are going to hire based on the grades he already has
plus any other substantive resume lines including exec board position. If EIC makes his grades drop, that won't have an effect on feeder hiring, because it will already have happened. Yes, it may lower his chances of a SCOTUS clerkship, but the #1 thing he should be doing if he wants a SCOTUS clerkship is securing a feeder COA clerkship, and EIC is a big boost for that.
You're saying he should avoid EIC because it might make 3L grades drop and that could put him out of the running for SCOTUS. But not getting a feeder clerkship pretty much puts him out of the running for SCOTUS, and EIC is going to help substantially with getting a feeder clerkship.
Also, "articles editor" is not a board position.
(1) "Articles editor" is indeed, on most law reviews, a managing board (or editorial board, or whatever you call it) position. Perhaps it is not on your
law review; however, that would be an exception to the rule.
(2) "Not getting a feeder" certainly does not put someone out of the running for SCOTUS. 30-50% of all SCOTUS clerks come from either (a) non-feeders or (b) judges who have sent 1-2 prior clerks. Hence, it is certainly not necessary to get a feeder. Further, unless you have SCOTUS credentials in the first place, a feeder isn't going to help you get SCOTUS. The reason that feeder judges are feeder judges is because they consistently hire clerks with SCOTUS credentials.
(3) At 1% at a T10, the poster will
get a COA clerkship if she applies broadly. And, other than taking a shot at SCOTUS, the poster should focus on finding the judge that will be the best experience for her. The real world simply does not distinguish between judges the way that law students do. So, if the poster is aiming at feeder judges it should be with the aim of getting a SCOTUS clerkship.
(4) If you are aiming for SCOTUS, your absolute, number 1 concern should be maintaining your GPA. You should jealously guard that GPA and strategize your remaining 1.5 years of law school around either: (a) improving it or (b) maintaining it. Same with class rank. The poster should not be doing anything that carries the potential of harming the GPA. So, the poster would likely be better off finding the law review board position that is (a) managing board and (b) involves the least amount of work. Some people can be EIC and maintain their grades; however, many are not able to do so.
ETA - a fair amount of feeder hiring happens over the summer (yes, Kozinski and Wilkinson hire far earlier) which means that an EIC who takes a grade hit in the Spring could certainly be impacted.