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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:37 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:For a opening that requires 3 letters of rec, should they all be from faculty? Or would a letter from a sitting judge be helpful?

2 academic + 1 from a judge should be fine.


Thanks. Follow-up: do they need to be targeted to the specific position, or are general LOR's acceptable for clerkship applications? If you intend to apply to several different clerkship opportunities, then targeted seems difficult to accomplish. I don't foresee a professor being willing to write 10 different letters.

Generalized is the norm. Profs personalize every now and then, but the main way they do this is by making phone calls.


Thank you very much for taking the time to answer questions. I appreciate it.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:20 am

How important is law review for COA? Not on law review, however, given my grades I'd place myself easily within the top 10% if not top ~5% at T6.

Note: I am on a secondary journal.

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ggocat
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby ggocat » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:13 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
kalvano wrote:Does anyone know anything about the Oregon clerkship posted on Symplicity at my T50? Not in Oregon, but pretty interested. Is it super-awesomely competitive? It's a general application for the Oregon Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. What kind of grades would be necessary for it? Law review needed, or secondary journal acceptable?

I have no idea, as I know next to nothing about state court clerkship hiring. Maybe others? Can anyone help Kalvano out with this?

I don't know anything about Oregon, but in my state, supreme seems just as competitive as most USDC, especially the USDCs outside major metro areas. Most successful candidates have local ties (but that could be self-selection more than a comment on a particular applicant's chances). I'm not sure what you would need from a non-local T50 to get an interview with supreme. Top 10% + any journal exec board or law review from a T50 would give you a good shot at an interview for intermediate courts. Top 10% + lower tier 1/2 + law review frequently gets an interview at my court. Most recent successful applicants had a prior judicial internship; some for the same court.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby delusional » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:45 pm

Off topic, but you mentioned in another thread that you got straight A's or had a GPA above 4.0 (sorry, don't remember which). What do you think that you "got" about law school exams that other people may not have "gotten" intuitively? I apologize if this has been asked before.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:51 am

I'm a 2L at Boalt and am interested in a district court clerkship (geographically very flexible). Are there particular districts that you know of that are both easier to get into than others and would be looked upon favorably by a NY V10 firm (I'm undecided between lit and corp)? My school has a provided a list of current and past clerks and there seems to be a pretty strict pattern year to year for certain states. Is applying for a clerkship the kind of thing where, e.g., I would be really happy to clerk at the USDC in South Dakota, but because judges have never hired students from my school there, my application would not be reviewed so it wouldn't be worth applying?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:09 am

Are there particular districts that you know of that are both easier to get into than others and would be looked upon favorably by a NY V10 firm


Virtually any Article III clerkship would be looked on favorably by virtually any V10 firm, IF you want to be a litigator. I'd suspect that the views of a USDC clerkship would vary firm by firm (and maybe group by group) if you want to be a transactional attorney. Some would look at it as a frivolous waste of time; some would see it a prestigious resume booster; and some wouldn't care. But that's all pure speculation.

No district court clerkship is "easy" to get these days. Even the proverbial DSD* clerkship is probably going to get 300+ applications. But some are definitely harder -- SDNY, CD/ND Cal, DDC, D Mass, ND Ill, maybe one or two others.

Is applying for a clerkship the kind of thing where, e.g., I would be really happy to clerk at the USDC in South Dakota, but because judges have never hired students from my school there, my application would not be reviewed so it wouldn't be worth applying


Some judges are like this, some aren't. My general intuition is that as the clerkship market becomes super-competitive, you get a lot fewer hire-only-the-local-law-school-grads judges these days -- even the judges in (say) Wyoming realize that they can hire top 1/3 students from HSY, top 20% students from CCN, and top 10% students from the rest of the T14 (plus the top grad from Wyoming). So even if they used to hire only locally, they don't now.

* By the way, if the DSD clerkship was in Rapid City, it would be awesome. The Black Hills area is really pretty, and the weather is a bit better than the rest of the state.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:13 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:I agree with the first part of the above, but not the second. I have seen little evidence that judges who historically have hired from local schools suddenly are moving toward hiring top 20% people from CCN or whatever. In the case of the hypothetical D.S.D. judge, I do think your application is at a high risk of going in the trash if the judge has not hired from Boalt before. Nonetheless, the marginal cost of applying to judges like that is quite low, so you should definitely try. Some judges would love to hire from a particular school, but get so few qualified apps from there that they just have not been able to do so.


Does that change if your undergrad (and hometown) was at the school the judge does hire from?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Citizen Genet » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:I agree with the first part of the above, but not the second. I have seen little evidence that judges who historically have hired from local schools suddenly are moving toward hiring top 20% people from CCN or whatever. In the case of the hypothetical D.S.D. judge, I do think your application is at a high risk of going in the trash if the judge has not hired from Boalt before. Nonetheless, the marginal cost of applying to judges like that is quite low, so you should definitely try. Some judges would love to hire from a particular school, but get so few qualified apps from there that they just have not been able to do so.


Does that change if your undergrad (and hometown) was at the school the judge does hire from?



That will almost entirely depend on the judge's reasons. If it's because the judge likes to hire people who will stay in the region or have ties to the region, probably. If it's because the judge is an alum of the school in question, it seems less likely to matter. The key is, at this level of personal nuance, no one will be able to give you a good general rule. Highlight the tie and hope it helps.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:23 am

How hard to get SDNY/Delaware BK judges? Anything in particular I should know? Thoughts on SDNY/Del. BK --> COA?

Top 5% at a CCN, no LR.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby kalvano » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:25 am

Kind of a dumb question, but for state courts that don't utilize OSCAR, what's the appropriate application procedure? Just send one in, or email the judges chambers and inquire? It seems odd to just randomly mail in an application, but I don't want to waste time or irritate them with needless emails, either.

And, is there any way to research hiring practices of state court judges? I know G.T.L.R. has said state courts are not really in his wheelhouse, so anyone with info would be much appreciated.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby ggocat » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:52 am

kalvano wrote:Kind of a dumb question, but for state courts that don't utilize OSCAR, what's the appropriate application procedure? Just send one in, or email the judges chambers and inquire? It seems odd to just randomly mail in an application, but I don't want to waste time or irritate them with needless emails, either.

And, is there any way to research hiring practices of state court judges? I know G.T.L.R. has said state courts are not really in his wheelhouse, so anyone with info would be much appreciated.

Depends on the state.

Not all of the info in this guide is correct, but it's a good start:
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... 6WxuI3Q-Ng.

Step two, I'd go to the state court's website to look for application info. If there's no info, I'd call the court/clerk's office to ask whether the court hires attorney's for term clerkships, and if so, how to apply.

Much like federal judges, some state judges do their own thing and will consider unsolicited applications sent by mail or email.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:23 pm

Apologies if this has been addressed, but I have read the whole thread as it developed and don't remember seeing something like this.

I am a T1 to HYS transfer whose 1L grades put me comfortably near the top of the class with one exception. My 1L school made us take Criminal Procedure and I got a B-, without any really great excuse/explanation. Other than this I have the resume - no Law Review, but top board position of a secondary (either Articles Editor or Editor in Chief); good grades at new school; recommenders.

Does this totally sink any Art. III chances? I have strong Midwest connections and would be willing to do flyover districts in the Midwest or Court of Appeals anywhere. I just want to assess how much effort I should put into this process.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Apologies if this has been addressed, but I have read the whole thread as it developed and don't remember seeing something like this.

I am a T1 to HYS transfer whose 1L grades put me comfortably near the top of the class with one exception. My 1L school made us take Criminal Procedure and I got a B-, without any really great excuse/explanation. Other than this I have the resume - no Law Review, but top board position of a secondary (either Articles Editor or Editor in Chief); good grades at new school; recommenders.

Does this totally sink any Art. III chances? I have strong Midwest connections and would be willing to do flyover districts in the Midwest or Court of Appeals anywhere. I just want to assess how much effort I should put into this process.


GTL might have further thoughts, but I was very similar to you two years ago and I did well. I was from a T2 rather than a T1 (with a similar grade on my transcripts from the T2). I transferred to MVPD, was in the top percentile of my class after 2L year, had a high board position on a secondary, and had good recommendations from professors at the new school. I applied broadly; interview calls included invitations from judges in one competitive district (think NDIL, SDNY, DDC, etc.) and several circuits (2/7/9 and others). I didn't get calls from the top feeders, but I did end up with calls from judges who have sent a fair number of clerks to SCOTUS.

PS: Not sure what you mean by good grades; if you mean top 5 percent, I think you'll get COA calls if you apply broadly. If you're more top ten to twenty percent, that might change things a bit.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby semperfi1860 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:08 pm

Do federal clerks get relocation benefits for the move before their clerkship? If so, how much?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:42 pm

Do federal clerks get relocation benefits for the move before their clerkship? If so, how much?


HA HA HA HA HA!

(Seriously, if the answer to this is anything other than "uh, no," my judge is going to have some explaining to do.)

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby pareteohead » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:54 pm

semperfi1860 wrote:Do federal clerks get relocation benefits for the move before their clerkship? If so, how much?


No. The best you can hope for is that your judge puts you in the Leave Act (two weeks paid vacation that you get reimbursed for if you don't use).

Also, fyi for alum clerks/people doing two clerkships. If you're hoping to get bumped up to JS-12, make sure you are admitted to the bar before you start your clerkship. Because of budget cuts, they've eliminated automatic step increases for judiciary employees. So if you want to get JS-12, you need to have your judge appoint you to JS-12 when you start.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:40 pm

Thanks for taking questions!

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:34 am

What's the timetable for applying to the Supreme Court? I have a COA clerkship lined up but don't think I have much of a shot, as I'm not clerking for a feeder. But, you know what they say -- the only way you can ensure failure is to never try. Do the Justices tend to hire years out in advance? Is it justice-by-justice? Do they tend to mirror the plan, just for off-plan applicants? (Hire the August before the start of the OT.)

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:33 pm

Thanks for doing this, GTL. I read through the thread, but wondered if you'd give your thoughts on my chances. I am a transfer to MVP, with a 4.1x in my first semester here. There are no ranks here so I won't venture a guess. I know you have noted elsewhere in the thread that you can't guess as accurately at the chances of transfers, but any thoughts you have would be great. Secondary journal, don't know yet if my comment will be published, don't know yet about e-board. Reccomenders will probably be average to a little better than average. What do you think of chances at 3rd Circuit, or nearby districts like SDNY, EDNY, DNJ, and EDPA? Do you think it is wise to apply to off plan judges who will only see 1 semester of grades at my current school, or should I just apply on plan after I have a full year of grades here?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:41 pm

First, GTL, you are crazy awesome for doing this. I've gone through this thread (and the others I could pull up on clerking), and was wondering what you made of my chances. T-20 top 5%, LR (possibly on the e-board next year, though that selection hasn't happened yet; I am running, though. No idea of my note will be published), extra-curriculars are the usual internships/clubs/etc. Is there any hope at all for a COA gig (I'm guessing not in the more competitive circuits, but I don't know about the others)? If I'm from the area, is C.D. or N.D. Cal possible? DC? Or am I mostly looking at fly-over districts? I know some judges hire fairly early -- is it worth it to get stuff out before summer starts, or not?

Sorry to bombard you with all the questions, but you seemed like the right guy to ask.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby missinglink » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:28 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
semperfi1860 wrote:Do federal clerks get relocation benefits for the move before their clerkship? If so, how much?

I know a guy who clerked on te district of Hawaii and he got some relocation assistance. The same may be true for Alaska. Otherwise, my understanding is that the answer is no.

I know someone who clerked in Hawaii too, and that person got relocation assistance too.

Most everything went by way of ship. I'm imagining that took a while.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:First, GTL, you are crazy awesome for doing this. I've gone through this thread (and the others I could pull up on clerking), and was wondering what you made of my chances. T-20 top 5%, LR (possibly on the e-board next year, though that selection hasn't happened yet; I am running, though. No idea of my note will be published), extra-curriculars are the usual internships/clubs/etc. Is there any hope at all for a COA gig (I'm guessing not in the more competitive circuits, but I don't know about the others)? If I'm from the area, is C.D. or N.D. Cal possible? DC? Or am I mostly looking at fly-over districts? I know some judges hire fairly early -- is it worth it to get stuff out before summer starts, or not?

Sorry to bombard you with all the questions, but you seemed like the right guy to ask.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:12 pm

Feel free to reply with "it's way too early to be thinking about this."

I'm a 1L at WUSTL, and after first semester I'm #1. Because of our numerical grading system, it was possible for me to take a fairly sizable lead on #2 (I note this only to show that I stand a good chance of holding on to #1 after this semester). I'm interested in trying for a competitive clerkship, but I don't really know how high I can reach. Our school traditionally sends 3-4 people to COA positions, but never to feeders. If I were able to transfer to Y, how likely is it that I will become more competitive for a feeder or semi-feeder? I understand it's probably a long shot; if it's nearly impossible, I think I'd be better off staying put. Without probably knowing much about our clerkship placement, how good would you say my chances are of landing a prestigious 2/9/DC spot if I can hold on to #1 and I stay here?

Thanks!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby YourCaptain » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:59 am

pm'd you, thoughts?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:09 pm

HLS 2L. Top 25-30% including one DS. Ed board of secondary journal, V50 SA in non NY/DC major market, plus other random stuff (RA, a writing prize, participated in Ames). Chances at flyover COA and/or competitive district courts (EDVA, CDCA, NDIL, etc., but not SDNY/DDC)?




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