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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:11 pm

Just wondering if you could weigh in on my chances (after 1-2 years NYC big law): TTT, top 2-4%, LR EIC, 3 publications. Thanks for your help, GTL!

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:57 pm

First, thank you for this thread and all the info. Even if I don't end up landing a clerkship, this thread will have contributed immensely to many (most?) correct decisions in law school.

Here for an assessment of chances but also for 2L spring advice. Transfer from T25 with 3.77 to CCN. 3.88 2L fall, non-EIC/SAE board on secondary journal, no pubs and none in the works, not sure I will have any truly solid recs. Am I sunk for major market D.Ct./all COA? If yes, what does the gap look like for shoring it up?

I am 50/50 on corp/lit right now and am SAing somewhere where both are viable. If the chips fall to lit, will having foregone an attempt to clerk be that big of a mistake?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:45 pm

My one piece of advice after having gone thru the clerkship app process is to look beyond OSCAR. I know of many district ct judges who only list clerkship openings on their court's website. Obviously that means far fewer applications for those jobs.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:02 pm

Question on recommendations.

Checked on the Clerkship Scramble, and it linked to this post:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=146252&start=350#p4456451

Which was helpful, but didn't answer my question specifically - how does one go about deciding WHICH professors to get a recommendation from? Or, what makes a recommendation "great"? I assume I want to get recommendations from professors who I got good grades from, but at HYS and while I have several H's I don't have any awards for the highest grade in the class so there's no guidance there...

EDIT: For example, is it necessary that they have clerked on the Supreme Court/for a feeder judge?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Corwin » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:47 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Not to quibble unnecessarily, but Easterbrook, Wood, and Sykes are not feeders. None of them have sent more than two clerks to SCOTUS in the last five terms, IIRC.

Easterbrook as a non-feeder always seemed weird to me. Any thought for why this is? Is it just because of Posner?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:50 pm

Corwin wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Not to quibble unnecessarily, but Easterbrook, Wood, and Sykes are not feeders. None of them have sent more than two clerks to SCOTUS in the last five terms, IIRC.

Easterbrook as a non-feeder always seemed weird to me. Any thought for why this is? Is it just because of Posner?


He writes his own opinions and his clerks are basically RAs that work 35 hours/week and warm him up for oral arguments.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Corwin » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Corwin wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Not to quibble unnecessarily, but Easterbrook, Wood, and Sykes are not feeders. None of them have sent more than two clerks to SCOTUS in the last five terms, IIRC.

Easterbrook as a non-feeder always seemed weird to me. Any thought for why this is? Is it just because of Posner?


He writes his own opinions and his clerks are basically RAs that work 35 hours/week and warm him up for oral arguments.

Does Posner let his clerks write opinions?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby tww909 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:28 pm

Corwin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Corwin wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Not to quibble unnecessarily, but Easterbrook, Wood, and Sykes are not feeders. None of them have sent more than two clerks to SCOTUS in the last five terms, IIRC.

Easterbrook as a non-feeder always seemed weird to me. Any thought for why this is? Is it just because of Posner?


He writes his own opinions and his clerks are basically RAs that work 35 hours/week and warm him up for oral arguments.

Does Posner let his clerks write opinions?


not from what i've heard, though that may have changed. lessig mentioned in an interview that when he clerked for posner their responsibility was to read his draft opinion and then write an opposing memo, then posner edited based on the opposing arguments his clerks came up with.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:46 pm

Hi G.T.L. are you or anyone else willing to help chance/gameplan my objective criteria?

Stats: Top 4% first year at N/C/G, grades have improved and I hope to be 3% by end of 2L. Published on a secondary journal; elected not to apply to editorial position. Government and top firm work experience on resume, upcoming S.A. at top firm. A pleasant set of law school extracurriculars. 3-4 professors willing to write me recs, two of whom are well-connected and (I think) like me.

Thoughts: Beginning to feel like maybe I'd prefer to do a USDC clerkship over a COA clerkship. Want to apply off-plan, but is this going to be pretty restricted to COA judges, or do a lot of USDC judges look off-plan, too? I'm meeting with professors this week to talk judges and recommendations. Wise to get 4 recommenders, then split up who they go to based on where those profs clerked? I'm also considering asking an AUSA ex-boss who is extremely well connected for a rec - good idea? Finally, I'm sort of hoping to write a serious academic piece under the tutelage of a current professor; is there any way to represent this on my resume and is this a good way to strengthen my application, given I'm not on LR?

:D

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby kalvano » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:39 pm

In writing a cover letter for a place you have no real connection to (but would like to move to), is it better to ignore the issue entirely, or to address it more head-on and acknowledge the concern about ties? If it's better to acknowledge, is there any way that might be helpful in setting their mind more at ease? I'm happy to share some info, but I obviously don't want to get overly personal.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:15 am

Recommendation anon here.

Thanks so much for your answer! I'll definitely be checking back in over the next few days for the follow up.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:37 am

Do you know specific judges who are "academia friendly"?--in terms of encouraging their clerks to work on getting published during their time clerking and who are attracted to hiring clerks who are interested in legal academia? If you do know particular names, do you know how competitive? (I'm assuming most, if not all, judges like this will be COA, but hopefully were not talking feeder-competitive level, right?)

I remember seeing this discussion somewhere on TLS before, with a few judges named, but I can't find it now. (I assume it was you who was providing the information, but it may have been someone else.)

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you know specific judges who are "academia friendly"?--in terms of encouraging their clerks to work on getting published during their time clerking and who are attracted to hiring clerks who are interested in legal academia? If you do know particular names, do you know how competitive? (I'm assuming most, if not all, judges like this will be COA, but hopefully were not talking feeder-competitive level, right?)

I remember seeing this discussion somewhere on TLS before, with a few judges named, but I can't find it now. (I assume it was you who was providing the information, but it may have been someone else.)


Williams (D.C. Cir.) is the most obvious one. He's super-competitive and is a feeder judge. I'm sure there are others. Boudin (1st Cir.) seems to produce a ton of legal academics, but is also a super-competitive feeder and I'm not sure how much he actually encourages his clerks to work on their writing during the clerkship.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you know specific judges who are "academia friendly"?--in terms of encouraging their clerks to work on getting published during their time clerking and who are attracted to hiring clerks who are interested in legal academia?


In my experience (clerk to feeder COA judge who has turned out numerous academics), the only publications judges encourage their clerks to work on are the ones with the judge's name as the author and the clerk's name buried in the acknowledgement footnote. Our soul-crushing workload prevented us from drafting our own articles, though some of us had articles in the editing stage that we worked on. We didn't do any of these extracurricular activities overtly, however, since the judge would have been peeved to see us working on anything other than his cases and pet projects.

Though there may be some academia-friendly judges out there, don't count on a clerkship to be a good time to write your own articles (unless you get a clerkship with a senior judge who likes to play golf--but with a judge like that on your resume, it may be harder for you to get an academic gig). Try for a VAP after your clerkship.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:28 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just wondering if you could weigh in on my chances (after 1-2 years NYC big law): TTT, top 2-4%, LR EIC, 3 publications. Thanks for your help, GTL!

Sounds like a pretty strong app to me. Any COA judges with a history of hiring from your school would definitely be in play. Otherwise, I think an east coast district court sounds like a pretty decent bet. In fact, assuming strong recs and an intelligent application strategy, I would say you are a strong favorite to get one of those.


Thanks, GTL. I believe I have strong reccs: state supreme court judge and two well-respected profs. If you have a minute, could you elaborate on what you mean by an "intelligent application strategy." As it stands, I was planning on a super-broad application approach to district courts.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:20 pm

If you have a minute, could you elaborate on what you mean by an "intelligent application strategy." As it stands, I was planning on a super-broad application approach to district courts.


Earlier on this thread, GTL Rev explained what the really, really strong applicants do to try to maximize their chances of landing a preferred clerkship -- applying in waves, having profs make select calls to the few preferred judges early in the clerkship application process, etc. Otherwise, the problem you run into if you apply too broadly all at once is that you are at the mercy of whichever judges review apps and make offers first. That is a little easier to manage on plan, because everything is happening so fast and right together so you can play scheduling games, but off plan for alums? You'll apply starting in March or so, and continue applying through July, and particular judges could start the review process at any point in between there, really.

To show you what I mean, I had a chambers call for an interview 3-4 months after I submitted a paper app, and I had a chambers call the next day when I submitted an electronic app.

ETA: I should note that I'm not saying to not do a super-broad approach. You should. But you probably will want to be more strategic with timing and calls than just blasting everything off over the same weekend, at least if you are looking for particular courts/regions.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:56 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:First, thank you for this thread and all the info. Even if I don't end up landing a clerkship, this thread will have contributed immensely to many (most?) correct decisions in law school.

Here for an assessment of chances but also for 2L spring advice. Transfer from T25 with 3.77 to CCN. 3.88 2L fall, non-EIC/SAE board on secondary journal, no pubs and none in the works, not sure I will have any truly solid recs. Am I sunk for major market D.Ct./all COA? If yes, what does the gap look like for shoring it up?

I am 50/50 on corp/lit right now and am SAing somewhere where both are viable. If the chips fall to lit, will having foregone an attempt to clerk be that big of a mistake?

Depending on your ties, the strength of the recs you do ultimately obtain, and how broadly you apply, I could see some district court interviews coming your way. Hard to say for sure, though. I think COA is going to be very tough, given the higher standards applied to xfers, the lack of standout recs, and your apparent lack of a strong writing sample. You really do need to address that to max out your odds.

As for your second question, no, it would not be a mistake at all to not clerk. Clerk if you would enjoy the experience, or if you think it would help you trade up to a firm you would enjoy more (warning: not always possible!). But there is never a need to clerk if all you want is general lit.


To counter this, I got 2 COA offers after transferring to a lower t14 than he did, and getting exactly the gpa that he did. (Though that gpa, at my school, amounted to top 1%.) I had no real pubs, but my recs were great. my writing sample ended up being a paper I wrote in a day; no one, apparently, could tell, and it was very good. I wasn't the EIC of my awful secondary, but I was up there.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
If you have a minute, could you elaborate on what you mean by an "intelligent application strategy." As it stands, I was planning on a super-broad application approach to district courts.


Earlier on this thread, GTL Rev explained what the really, really strong applicants do to try to maximize their chances of landing a preferred clerkship -- applying in waves, having profs make select calls to the few preferred judges early in the clerkship application process, etc. Otherwise, the problem you run into if you apply too broadly all at once is that you are at the mercy of whichever judges review apps and make offers first. That is a little easier to manage on plan, because everything is happening so fast and right together so you can play scheduling games, but off plan for alums? You'll apply starting in March or so, and continue applying through July, and particular judges could start the review process at any point in between there, really.

To show you what I mean, I had a chambers call for an interview 3-4 months after I submitted a paper app, and I had a chambers call the next day when I submitted an electronic app.

ETA: I should note that I'm not saying to not do a super-broad approach. You should. But you probably will want to be more strategic with timing and calls than just blasting everything off over the same weekend, at least if you are looking for particular courts/regions.


This was helpful. Thanks!

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:32 pm

Any general advice for someone who will be applying after first or second year at a firm (NYC V20)? How would this change the timing of the process, how you present yourself in cover letters, and overall application strategy? Thanks for this thread!

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:48 pm

Edited for thoi
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:G. T. L. Rev., you're a cock. Do you need an ego boost that bad? Chill. You have a clerkship. Great. You're prestigious. Get excited. Even though this is an anonymous forum, tone it down a bit.


What are you talking about? He's helped countless people on this forum.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Big Shrimpin » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:G. T. L. Rev., you're a cock. Do you need an ego boost that bad? Chill. You have a clerkship. Great. You're prestigious. Get excited. Even though this is an anonymous forum, tone it down a bit.



:lol:

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kalvano
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby kalvano » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:G. T. L. Rev., you're a cock. Do you need an ego boost that bad? Chill. You have a clerkship. Great. You're prestigious. Get excited. Even though this is an anonymous forum, tone it down a bit.


By God, you nailed it! The last 40 pages plus the blog have been purely in service to his ego!

Glad you cleared that up for everyone.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:G. T. L. Rev., you're a cock. Do you need an ego boost that bad? Chill. You have a clerkship. Great. You're prestigious. Get excited. Even though this is an anonymous forum, tone it down a bit.


He's such a pro that there's no chance of this happening, but if he gives less advice because of idiots like you, I'll find you.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby kalvano » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:04 pm

kalvano wrote:In writing a cover letter for a place you have no real connection to (but would like to move to), is it better to ignore the issue entirely, or to address it more head-on and acknowledge the concern about ties? If it's better to acknowledge, is there any way that might be helpful in setting their mind more at ease? I'm happy to share some info, but I obviously don't want to get overly personal.


I think this got posted while you were in an answering flurry, and I just wanted to see if you had any advice. If not, no worries.




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