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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:09 pm

Thanks to all the clerks in this thread, it's amazing.

If you'll forgive the foray into stereotypical law student rankings obsession, I'm wondering if it's possible to roughly rank the different circuits in tiers of selectivity. My (admittedly very limited) understanding of the situation would lead me to say something like:

A. 2/9/DC
B. 3/4/7/1 - This guess is due entirely to geography/major cities, with the 3rd offering Philly & proximity to NYC via New Jersey, some of the 4th being near DC, 7th offering Chicago, and 1st offering Boston and perhaps to a lesser extent Providence.
C. 5/6/8/9/10/11 - Only because I'm assuming - perhaps wildly inaccurately! - that the students with the tippy top grades/stats have the ability to choose more prestigious and geographically desirable courts, making these courts a bit more regional-school heavy and open to students with ever-so-slightly less than the absolute highest grades. It's possible this group might be divisible into two tiers, but since I'm not in the know I wouldn't know how to begin.

Is this an accurate assessment? I ask not as an academic exercise, but because I'm wondering how these tiers - if they exist - might translate into an application strategy. What kind of grades would someone from HYS need to have a good shot at Tier B vs. Tier C? With/without LR?

Thanks!

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby vamedic03 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks to all the clerks in this thread, it's amazing.

If you'll forgive the foray into stereotypical law student rankings obsession, I'm wondering if it's possible to roughly rank the different circuits in tiers of selectivity. My (admittedly very limited) understanding of the situation would lead me to say something like:

A. 2/9/DC
B. 3/4/7/1 - This guess is due entirely to geography/major cities, with the 3rd offering Philly & proximity to NYC via New Jersey, some of the 4th being near DC, 7th offering Chicago, and 1st offering Boston and perhaps to a lesser extent Providence.
C. 5/6/8/9/10/11 - Only because I'm assuming - perhaps wildly inaccurately! - that the students with the tippy top grades/stats have the ability to choose more prestigious and geographically desirable courts, making these courts a bit more regional-school heavy and open to students with ever-so-slightly less than the absolute highest grades. It's possible this group might be divisible into two tiers, but since I'm not in the know I wouldn't know how to begin.

Is this an accurate assessment? I ask not as an academic exercise, but because I'm wondering how these tiers - if they exist - might translate into an application strategy. What kind of grades would someone from HYS need to have a good shot at Tier B vs. Tier C? With/without LR?

Thanks!


I really don't understand the desire to rank the Circuits. It's really about the judges - there are feeders in every circuit and there are good judges in every circuit. An example of the former - Judge Sutton might be 6th Circuit, but its harder to get a clerkship with him than pretty much any non-feeder in the 9th. An example of the latter, I think many people would take a clerkship with Judge Jerry Smith in the 5th over a random judge in the 7th.

Further, it really seems that unless someone is going to a feeder (and there are very few people in this category), the average COA competitive law student would be far better off trying to find the judge that: (a) will provide them with the best experience (i.e., good mentorship, work environment, quality of life) and (b) provide a good personality fit. So, rather than focus on "circuit prestige," it seems that one should spend time trying to figure out which judges sit in cities that they are willing to live in that meet requirements (a) and (b). Now, if you're competitive for a feeder, then things are a bit different.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:43 pm

Let's say that I apply for a judicial internship as a 1L, have a phone interview with the judge, and then get no email or phone call for 1 week and a half. Should I call the judge to inquire, or is that bad form? If I should inquire, how should I phrase my question?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:02 am

vamedic03 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks to all the clerks in this thread, it's amazing.

If you'll forgive the foray into stereotypical law student rankings obsession, I'm wondering if it's possible to roughly rank the different circuits in tiers of selectivity. My (admittedly very limited) understanding of the situation would lead me to say something like:

A. 2/9/DC
B. 3/4/7/1 - This guess is due entirely to geography/major cities, with the 3rd offering Philly & proximity to NYC via New Jersey, some of the 4th being near DC, 7th offering Chicago, and 1st offering Boston and perhaps to a lesser extent Providence.
C. 5/6/8/9/10/11 - Only because I'm assuming - perhaps wildly inaccurately! - that the students with the tippy top grades/stats have the ability to choose more prestigious and geographically desirable courts, making these courts a bit more regional-school heavy and open to students with ever-so-slightly less than the absolute highest grades. It's possible this group might be divisible into two tiers, but since I'm not in the know I wouldn't know how to begin.

Is this an accurate assessment? I ask not as an academic exercise, but because I'm wondering how these tiers - if they exist - might translate into an application strategy. What kind of grades would someone from HYS need to have a good shot at Tier B vs. Tier C? With/without LR?

Thanks!


I really don't understand the desire to rank the Circuits. It's really about the judges - there are feeders in every circuit and there are good judges in every circuit. An example of the former - Judge Sutton might be 6th Circuit, but its harder to get a clerkship with him than pretty much any non-feeder in the 9th. An example of the latter, I think many people would take a clerkship with Judge Jerry Smith in the 5th over a random judge in the 7th.

Further, it really seems that unless someone is going to a feeder (and there are very few people in this category), the average COA competitive law student would be far better off trying to find the judge that: (a) will provide them with the best experience (i.e., good mentorship, work environment, quality of life) and (b) provide a good personality fit. So, rather than focus on "circuit prestige," it seems that one should spend time trying to figure out which judges sit in cities that they are willing to live in that meet requirements (a) and (b). Now, if you're competitive for a feeder, then things are a bit different.


Oh no, I definitely agree that the things you mention are far more important than circuit prestige. My intention in ranking them wasn't at all about determining prestige levels, my apologies if it came across that way. The tiers as I set them up above likely correspond, for many, with geographic desirability, which goes to the "judges ... in cities that they are willing to live in" question. So my question about the selectivity of each circuit or circuit tier is just an imperfect method of trying to gauge prospects of ending up in a place I or someone else would consider livable.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:20 am

vamedic03 wrote:It's really about the judges - there are feeders in every circuit and there are good judges in every circuit.


I don't know if you meant this in a general sense, but if you know of any feeders on the 8th (the circuit to which my school places best), please share.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:49 am

So, first, a general question so this isn't entirely a "what are my chances" post: how horrible of a blow is it if there is a substantial GPA drop between 1L year and 2L Fall?


For some specifics: to provide some point of reference, I'm talking about a Top 1% --> Top 12% drop in total rank.

I don't know what's worse: that it looks like last semester I didn't try (I did), or that it looks like I did try but for some reason I forgot how to do law school (I didn't). Bah.

T30. I'm lining up two LORs that are going to be solid (a third, if needed, will be fairly "<student> was smart in this class" generic). LR board (but not an exec. board position). A not insubstantial chance that my Note is going to get published.

I know I'll be bringing the grades back up this semester--it is sufficient to say, to avoid going into specifics, that the issue causing the drop has passed. But that's not going to help for off plan judges that are looking at applications in Spring/Early Summer before final 2L grades come out. How much lower should I be setting my expectations?


Edit: btw, I've been following this thread since nearly its beginning, and thanks GTL and everyone else who has provided insight on the whole application process.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:59 am

Any idea on where to get info on clerking for a BK judge? Top-5% at a CCN doing restructuring at a Weil/Kirkland-type shop this summer and I'd love to clerk for a BK judge then COA.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:06 am

I think that ending up at top 12% at a t30, regardless of which way you do it, is a pretty big blow to your clerkship chances. And yeah, the drop is troubling, though 1L classes may be weighed a bit more heavily in the app review process. I would say coa is virtually out for you, not so great chances at district judges.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:09 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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.

The emphasized part matters a lot. And, as far as I can tell, it is not applicable to the 3.88 person. If it is, then my advice would change. But you also have to acknowledge that you had "great" recs, while the 3.88 person says they might not have any "truly solid" ones. That makes a gigantic difference. On top of those factors, you got a little bit lucky, and applied (1) off plan and (2) very broadly. In other words, I stand by my advice. COA is going to be very tough for the 3.88er; not impossible.

Edit to add: in light of the fact that there are a bunch of other clerks posting ITT, I am changing the name of the thread to "clerks, taking questions. . ."


Actually I didn't apply off-plan at all. But yes, I applied to everyone who was still hiring on-plan, minus pretty much the whole Second Circuit.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks to all the clerks in this thread, it's amazing.

If you'll forgive the foray into stereotypical law student rankings obsession, I'm wondering if it's possible to roughly rank the different circuits in tiers of selectivity. My (admittedly very limited) understanding of the situation would lead me to say something like:

A. 2/9/DC
B. 3/4/7/1 - This guess is due entirely to geography/major cities, with the 3rd offering Philly & proximity to NYC via New Jersey, some of the 4th being near DC, 7th offering Chicago, and 1st offering Boston and perhaps to a lesser extent Providence.
C. 5/6/8/9/10/11 - Only because I'm assuming - perhaps wildly inaccurately! - that the students with the tippy top grades/stats have the ability to choose more prestigious and geographically desirable courts, making these courts a bit more regional-school heavy and open to students with ever-so-slightly less than the absolute highest grades. It's possible this group might be divisible into two tiers, but since I'm not in the know I wouldn't know how to begin.

Is this an accurate assessment? I ask not as an academic exercise, but because I'm wondering how these tiers - if they exist - might translate into an application strategy. What kind of grades would someone from HYS need to have a good shot at Tier B vs. Tier C? With/without LR?

Thanks!


I think this is true in a very rough way, but there are a number of 4th cir and 3rd cir judges who aren't too selective (relatively speaking), and a fair number of 5th cir/11th cir judges who are. But yeah, when you compare a non-feeder, non-renowned judge on the 2nd to a non-feeder, non-renowned judge on the 8th, there's a big difference in the quality of clerk they hire. What I've seen is that someone from HY with middling grades and no HLR/YLJ can be quite competitive for a lot of coa clerkships in your third and even second tiers.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby uwb09 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:22 pm

can people give some quick tips/attack plan for landing a CoA/District clerkship post-grad (currently a 2L)

T2, made a journal but chose not to write a comment (aka won't be on board next year), Moot Court External, working on journal/publish quality paper with one of my professors, have very good relationships with two of my professors (both have been CoA clerks, one was a SCOTUS clerk), right now i'm around top 20%, but hoping to be in top 10-15% range by end of this semester (taking mostly seminars with no curves), will be interning at a DA's office this summer, and interning with a Judge next year.

I honestly don't care where in the country I do a clerkship, I just want to do one. CoA would obviously be nice, but I'm not naive and I know that it will be hard. What circuits/courts should I aim for? Should I give up the Federal court pipe dream and just focus on State Appeals/Supreme Courts?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:53 pm

This is a fairly esoteric question, but oh well.

I'm starting a federal clerkship as an alum in August/September. I just found out a case that I've been working on for a few years that is currently on cert petition to the state supreme court likely will need to be briefed in the late spring and early summer, and then argued in the fall. I'd love to do the argument -- this is my baby, I've seen it from the dismissal motion stage all the way up to now, and I'll do the briefing. Oh, and I probably know more about the issue than anyone else in the country right now (the case actually was the impetus for a LR article that I'm about to submit). I think that my current employer and (especially) my client would let me come back on a very discrete basis to prepare for and argue the matter -- they really like me and appreciate my expertise on the subject. Plus I'd do it for free.

Questions:

1.) If oral argument is scheduled within (say) three weeks of my clerkship start date, is there anything wrong with asking the judge to bump that back a little? He's already given me a four week window (two weeks on either side of September 1).

Edit: Never mind on the second question. The below post pretty much answers it. Just what I thought. Thanks!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:23 pm

I have no special insight, but seems to me approaching the judge with the request, with the acknowledgment up fromt that you will honor his decision, no matter what, would be a reasonable approach. Of course I'd probably do my homework first to see whether there are any Professional Responsibility or Court Administrative Rules that push this one way or the other. As always, GTL's view on this would probably be the most informed.

[Edit] In fact the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees Canon 3 covers this:


http://www.uscourts.gov/RulesAndPolicies/CodesOfConduct/CodeConductJudicialEmployees.aspx

D. Practice of Law. A judicial employee should not engage in the practice of law except that a judicial employee may act pro se, may perform routine legal work incident to the management of the personal affairs of the judicial employee or a member of the judicial employee's family, and may provide pro bono legal services in civil matters, so long as such pro se, family, or pro bono legal work does not present an appearance of impropriety, does not take place while on duty or in the judicial employee's workplace, and does not interfere with the judicial employee's primary responsibility to the office in which the judicial employee serves, and further provided that:(1) in the case of pro se legal work, such work is done without compensation (other than such compensation as may be allowed by statute or court rule in probate proceedings);
(2) in the case of family legal work, such work is done without compensation (other than such compensation as may be allowed by statute or court rule in probate proceedings) and does not involve the entry of an appearance in a federal court;
(3) in the case of pro bono legal services, such work (a) is done without compensation; (b) does not involve the entry of an appearance in any federal, state, or local court or administrative agency; (c) does not involve a matter of public controversy, an issue likely to come before the judicial employee's court, or litigation against federal, state or local government; and (d) is reviewed in advance with the appointing authority to determine whether the proposed services are consistent with the foregoing standards and the other provisions of this code.
Judicial employees may also serve as uncompensated mediators or arbitrators for nonprofit organizations, subject to the standards applicable to pro bono practice of law, as set forth above, and the other provisions of this code.

A judicial employee should ascertain any limitations imposed by the appointing judge or the court on which the appointing judge serves concerning the practice of law by a former judicial employee before the judge or the court and should observe such limitations after leaving such employment.

Note: See also 18 U.S.C. § 203 (representation in matters involving the United States); 18 U.S.C. § 205 (claims against the United States); 28 U.S.C. § 955 (restriction on clerks of court practicing law).
E. Compensation and Reimbursement. A judicial employee may receive compensation and reimbursement of expenses for outside activities provided that receipt of such compensation and reimbursement is not prohibited or restricted by this code, the Ethics Reform Act, and other applicable law, and provided that the source or amount of such payments does not influence or give the appearance of influencing the judicial employee in the performance of official duties or otherwise give the appearance of impropriety. Expense reimbursement should be limited to the actual cost of travel, food, and lodging reasonably incurred by a judicial employee and, where appropriate to the occasion, by the judicial employee's spouse or relative. Any payment in excess of such an amount is compensation.

A judicial employee should make and file reports of compensation and reimbursement for outside activities to the extent prescribed by the Ethics Reform Act, other applicable law, or the Judicial Conference of the United States.

Notwithstanding the above, a judicial employee should not receive any salary, or any supplementation of salary, as compensation for official government services from any source other than the United States, provided, however, that court reporters are not prohibited from receiving compensation for reporting services to the extent permitted by statute and by the court.

Note: See 5 U.S.C. App. §§ 101 to 111 (Ethics Reform Act financial disclosure provisions); 28 U.S.C. § 753 (court reporter compensation). See also 5 U.S.C. App. §§ 501 to 505 (outside earned income and employment).

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:10 pm

I have top 10% grades from a T10, but no LR. (I know that means i'm likely out of the running for most of the prestigious Art III clerkships.) But would being EIC of a secondary journal help at all towards my F. District Ct or lower C.A. applications?

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote: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


Hi gang, I think my post (above) might have been disregarded. No need to answer all the questions, but I just had a rather disheartening chat with a professor recommender ("no LR? why not? well, you won't be completely excluded from federal clerkships, but you might consider SSCs...") and am hoping someone can offer advice on how to best strengthen my application this semester. I'm thinking of trying to churn out a kickass paper in a seminar class and asking that professor for a recommendation. But should I focus more on doing well in classes than on getting that paper big and good enough to be published (next year, given publication cycle is almost ready to kick off)?

Feeling a little scattered.

Thanks.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have top 10% grades from a T10, but no LR. (I know that means i'm likely out of the running for most of the prestigious Art III clerkships.) But would being EIC of a secondary journal help at all towards my F. District Ct or lower C.A. applications?


Yes, and I think you have an alright shot at some districts. With the right recommenders, you just might get your foot in the door in some coa chambers too.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:34 pm

traydeuce wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have top 10% grades from a T10, but no LR. (I know that means i'm likely out of the running for most of the prestigious Art III clerkships.) But would being EIC of a secondary journal help at all towards my F. District Ct or lower C.A. applications?


Yes, and I think you have an alright shot at some districts. With the right recommenders, you just might get your foot in the door in some coa chambers too.



What about D. Courts w/in commuting distance of NYC? I'll be working there at a highly ranked vault firm and don't want to move.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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


Hi gang, I think my post (above) might have been disregarded. No need to answer all the questions, but I just had a rather disheartening chat with a professor recommender ("no LR? why not? well, you won't be completely excluded from federal clerkships, but you might consider SSCs...") and am hoping someone can offer advice on how to best strengthen my application this semester. I'm thinking of trying to churn out a kickass paper in a seminar class and asking that professor for a recommendation. But should I focus more on doing well in classes than on getting that paper big and good enough to be published (next year, given publication cycle is almost ready to kick off)?

Feeling a little scattered.

Thanks.


Yeah, you're nowhere near being completely excluded from federal clerkships. Look, I think a surprisingly small percentage of clerks are published, and the amount of time given in the app review process to reading that publication, over and above your writing sample, isn't great. Forming a relationship with the prof you're writing the paper for (or other profs, my lecturers were my best recommenders) is a lot more important than publication, and your grades are a lot more important than publication too. In terms of relationship-building, I think people underrate office hours and underrate e-mail correspondence. I had a lot of conversations after or outside class with all my recommenders, and that matters because there's only so much you can show in class or on an exam.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
traydeuce wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have top 10% grades from a T10, but no LR. (I know that means i'm likely out of the running for most of the prestigious Art III clerkships.) But would being EIC of a secondary journal help at all towards my F. District Ct or lower C.A. applications?


Yes, and I think you have an alright shot at some districts. With the right recommenders, you just might get your foot in the door in some coa chambers too.



What about D. Courts w/in commuting distance of NYC? I'll be working there at a highly ranked vault firm and don't want to move.


My completely wild guess, which GTL Rev may or may not confirm, is that SDNY/EDNY may be out, but D.N.J. (which has a ton of great judges) is not.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:04 pm

Does anyone know how competitive the S.D. of CA is? (district judges)

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:20 pm

3L here, getting a bit burned out from applying and looking for some positive encouragement/advice.

Stats: MVP, top 6-8%, LR ed board, published, solid (though maybe not stellar) recs. I've been applying very broadly (all CoAs, districts in pretty much any major city). Had a few interviews last fall that didn't pan out (back then my GPA put me in top 10-12%, and not yet published), but haven't heard a peep since.

Like I said, I'm getting pretty burned out -- thoughts on my odds of eventually getting something for 2013? I'm also wondering, for those 2013 positions opening up early (mostly CoAs), are judges mainly looking for picking up top 2Ls (putting me mainly out of the running)?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:03 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:quality
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
traydeuce wrote:when you compare a non-feeder, non-renowned judge on the 2nd to a non-feeder, non-renowned judge on the 8th, there's a big difference in the quality of clerk they hire.
Do you mean "quality of clerk they hire" or "quality of credentials their clerks tend to have"? Although I have little basis for this, I am skeptical that the #1 student at Kansas or UNC is of lesser quality than a middling YHS student. At least a few of the SCOTUS justices seem to take the same view, if their hiring decisions are any measure.


You're right to be skeptical about that, and there are some - many even - judges on 6/8/10/11 who hire that kind of student, but I think there are a lot who take people with middling grades and no law review from YHS, who wouldn't get a clerkship with Richard Wesley or Janice Rogers Brown. And I'm actually not so sure, having seen some come in for interviews, that the people at the top of schools in the 20s-50s are always as competent as middling YHS students. Or at least, I'm sure the #1's are good, but the EIC's at those schools, who may get as much or more play in the process, aren't always impressive.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:3L here, getting a bit burned out from applying and looking for some positive encouragement/advice.

Stats: MVP, top 6-8%, LR ed board, published, solid (though maybe not stellar) recs. I've been applying very broadly (all CoAs, districts in pretty much any major city). Had a few interviews last fall that didn't pan out (back then my GPA put me in top 10-12%, and not yet published), but haven't heard a peep since.

Like I said, I'm getting pretty burned out -- thoughts on my odds of eventually getting something for 2013? I'm also wondering, for those 2013 positions opening up early (mostly CoAs), are judges mainly looking for picking up top 2Ls (putting me mainly out of the running)?


One would think you'd have pretty decent odds, especially in 6/4/3 depending on which MVP you go to, but do you think your interviewing might have been at fault in the interviews you did get? If so, you'd of course want to work on that. On people hiring off-plan, I don't think it's generally true, if it ever were, that off-plan hirers are super-selective types looking for top 2L's. Off plan hiring is, more and more, the norm, not the exception.

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

Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Citizen Genet » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:25 pm

traydeuce wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:quality
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
traydeuce wrote:when you compare a non-feeder, non-renowned judge on the 2nd to a non-feeder, non-renowned judge on the 8th, there's a big difference in the quality of clerk they hire.
Do you mean "quality of clerk they hire" or "quality of credentials their clerks tend to have"? Although I have little basis for this, I am skeptical that the #1 student at Kansas or UNC is of lesser quality than a middling YHS student. At least a few of the SCOTUS justices seem to take the same view, if their hiring decisions are any measure.


You're right to be skeptical about that, and there are some - many even - judges on 6/8/10/11 who hire that kind of student, but I think there are a lot who take people with middling grades and no law review from YHS, who wouldn't get a clerkship with Richard Wesley or Janice Rogers Brown. And I'm actually not so sure, having seen some come in for interviews, that the people at the top of schools in the 20s-50s are always as competent as middling YHS students. Or at least, I'm sure the #1's are good, but the EIC's at those schools, who may get as much or more play in the process, aren't always impressive.


Serious question: What makes a student stand out as impressive during the interviews? Certainly people should be themselves, but I'm not sure how to come across as impressive while simultaneously being relaxed and not trying to sell myself. I am sure this is a misconception on my part of what constitutes "impressive," which is why I ask.

traydeuce
Posts: 680
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:07 pm

Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:24 pm

^^ I mean, I'm only a 3L who has a COA clerkship/got to see a lot of interviews and post-interview debriefings at my COA internships. Some people, I think, fail by projecting a studied, hyperprofessional version of themselves. Obviously not having good reasons for wanting to clerk is fatal. Coming across as extremely cautious and deferential can be a problem - talking about your writing sample in a self-deprecating way, saying your approach to an issue is "very academic," seeming afraid to criticize how courts have looked at an issue you're talking about. Giving boilerplate, pat answers to questions like favorite SCOTUS Justice doesn't help. A lot of it, as with biglaw callbacks and screeners, is personality; I've seen people walk in to chambers and known that they wouldn't be hired the moment they walked in. I think asking good questions matters, but it isn't absolutely crucial. I think what I did well, in the interviews where I got offers, was (a) being myself or appearing to be, (b) asking very good, focused questions, (c) forcefully, articulately, but not stridently or emotionally expressing views on legal questions, (d) emphasizing my thoroughness and intellectual honesty without overtly stating "I'm really thorough and really intellectually honest."




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