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traydeuce
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Same anon.

Sorry, what I meant was that I recall reading, if not in this topic, in another,

1. that one clerkship before the other might better prepare you for the other
2. and that doing one clerkship before the other might better prepare you for practice(for reasons I don't remember)


I don't think that either really prepares you so well for the other. Say you're a district clerk. You learn a ton about procedure and how to produce a lot of imperfect legal product in a short amount of time. Then you go to a circuit, where your procedural knowledge is rarely needed, where quality control is much more demanding, and where you have all the time in the world. Cases tend to be more theoretical, your finely honed ability to peruse massive reams of evidentiary submissions is called upon much less. The facts below are what they were found to be (which isn't to say that the record doesn't matter anymore, it matters a lot, but it's peripheral to what you do) and your job largely shifts from applying well-settled law to making new law or glossing the ambiguities of the old. It's not a huge advantage, basically, to have clerked below. On the other hand, for about the same reasons, a great COA clerk could really be an awful district clerk, in much the same way that most law professors would make pretty iffy litigators. Yeah, you'll know ever so much about AEDPA, the sentencing guidelines, qualified immunity, whatever, but now you have to apply it at a speed to which you're unaccustomed, in these procedural contexts with which you're not familiar, and you have to deal with all these procedural issues and the record in ways you didn't have to as a coa clerk. Maybe the district clerkship is a marginally better preparation for the coa clerkship, but I think it really comes down to the individual's strengths and weaknesses.

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Gail
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Gail » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:17 pm

Where do clerks typically apply and get accepted?

Do you clerk in and around the state of your law school? Without t14 what's the likelihood of working into a clerkship (state or fed) in your home market away from your LS state? Does that matter?

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:38 pm

traydeuce wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Same anon.

Sorry, what I meant was that I recall reading, if not in this topic, in another,

1. that one clerkship before the other might better prepare you for the other
2. and that doing one clerkship before the other might better prepare you for practice(for reasons I don't remember)


I don't think that either really prepares you so well for the other. Say you're a district clerk. You learn a ton about procedure and how to produce a lot of imperfect legal product in a short amount of time. Then you go to a circuit, where your procedural knowledge is rarely needed, where quality control is much more demanding, and where you have all the time in the world. Cases tend to be more theoretical, your finely honed ability to peruse massive reams of evidentiary submissions is called upon much less. The facts below are what they were found to be (which isn't to say that the record doesn't matter anymore, it matters a lot, but it's peripheral to what you do) and your job largely shifts from applying well-settled law to making new law or glossing the ambiguities of the old. It's not a huge advantage, basically, to have clerked below. On the other hand, for about the same reasons, a great COA clerk could really be an awful district clerk, in much the same way that most law professors would make pretty iffy litigators. Yeah, you'll know ever so much about AEDPA, the sentencing guidelines, qualified immunity, whatever, but now you have to apply it at a speed to which you're unaccustomed, in these procedural contexts with which you're not familiar, and you have to deal with all these procedural issues and the record in ways you didn't have to as a coa clerk. Maybe the district clerkship is a marginally better preparation for the coa clerkship, but I think it really comes down to the individual's strengths and weaknesses.


Thanks. That makes a lot of sense, and goes with the other things I've been reading. From the way people have described it, I think I might prefer COA. I suspect that the best one for any given individual might have a lot to do with whether they want to do appellate work or trial work - which I haven't yet decided...

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vamedic03
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
traydeuce wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Same anon.

Sorry, what I meant was that I recall reading, if not in this topic, in another,

1. that one clerkship before the other might better prepare you for the other
2. and that doing one clerkship before the other might better prepare you for practice(for reasons I don't remember)


I don't think that either really prepares you so well for the other. Say you're a district clerk. You learn a ton about procedure and how to produce a lot of imperfect legal product in a short amount of time. Then you go to a circuit, where your procedural knowledge is rarely needed, where quality control is much more demanding, and where you have all the time in the world. Cases tend to be more theoretical, your finely honed ability to peruse massive reams of evidentiary submissions is called upon much less. The facts below are what they were found to be (which isn't to say that the record doesn't matter anymore, it matters a lot, but it's peripheral to what you do) and your job largely shifts from applying well-settled law to making new law or glossing the ambiguities of the old. It's not a huge advantage, basically, to have clerked below. On the other hand, for about the same reasons, a great COA clerk could really be an awful district clerk, in much the same way that most law professors would make pretty iffy litigators. Yeah, you'll know ever so much about AEDPA, the sentencing guidelines, qualified immunity, whatever, but now you have to apply it at a speed to which you're unaccustomed, in these procedural contexts with which you're not familiar, and you have to deal with all these procedural issues and the record in ways you didn't have to as a coa clerk. Maybe the district clerkship is a marginally better preparation for the coa clerkship, but I think it really comes down to the individual's strengths and weaknesses.


Thanks. That makes a lot of sense, and goes with the other things I've been reading. From the way people have described it, I think I might prefer COA. I suspect that the best one for any given individual might have a lot to do with whether they want to do appellate work or trial work - which I haven't yet decided...


Two thoughts:

(1) The vast majority of COA clerks will be doing litigation. Only a tiny percentage will ever do any real appellate work.

(2) I think traydeuce's description of district court clerks doing imperfect legal work sells some district court clerks short. There are plenty of district court judges who demand high quality legal work and who pride themselves on the quality of their decisions (e.g., Judge Thapar). Of course, those clerkships are rumored to be much more difficult.

traydeuce
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:50 am

^^ Yeah, obviously these are gross generalizations. A lot of COA judges put out highly unpolished, half-baked opinions, some dist. ct. opinions read like works of scholarship. etc. But generally speaking there's a big difference.

traydeuce
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:56 am

Gail wrote:Where do clerks typically apply and get accepted?

Do you clerk in and around the state of your law school? Without t14 what's the likelihood of working into a clerkship (state or fed) in your home market away from your LS state? Does that matter?


These questions are too general and uninformed to answer; I'm not even sure what you're asking in question 1. People largely clerk wherever, but local schools, and local people, have an edge. Obviously "the likelihood of working into a clerkship in your home market away from your LS state" depends entirely on who you are. All things being equal, it'll help you that you're from that home market, but that's all one can say. Think of clerkship applications, basically, as a lottery in which people with strong grades and/or (but really more of an and than an or) law review at top schools have bought way, way more tickets than everyone else. That's about all you can say about it; it's not some kind of scientific matching system.

traydeuce
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks. That makes a lot of sense, and goes with the other things I've been reading. From the way people have described it, I think I might prefer COA. I suspect that the best one for any given individual might have a lot to do with whether they want to do appellate work or trial work - which I haven't yet decided...


Happily, should you not get appellate work (it's very hard), firms hiring people for general lit look kindly on people who've only clerked on the COA level. I'm not sure that makes a whole lot of sense on their part but it's the case.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:11 pm

The vast majority of COA clerks will be doing litigation. Only a tiny percentage will ever do any real appellate work.


This is silly. Almost all litigators will do appellate work in the first few years of their career. Now, for the overwhelming majority, it will only be when one of their cases goes up on appeal, and appellate work will probably only account for 5-10% of their practice in a given year. But cases do get appealed, and usually the same attorney who handled it at the trial level stays on the case.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:38 pm

    Hoping for some input on my chances. Top 10% at a T20, on the e-board (exec articles/EIC/ME level) on the flagship journal, with strong recs. I'm planning on applying to a few COAs but I'd primarily like to have a district court clerkship. I don't have a preference on location except I don't want to live in the deep south. Do I have a shot?

    Anonymous User
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    Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

    Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:21 pm

    traydeuce--your post implies that a district court clerkship in addition to a COA clerkship is actually disadvantageous for one interested in appellate lit. If that is the case, why?

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    Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

    Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:03 pm

    Anonymous User wrote:
      Hoping for some input on my chances. Top 10% at a T20, on the e-board (exec articles/EIC/ME level) on the flagship journal, with strong recs. I'm planning on applying to a few COAs but I'd primarily like to have a district court clerkship. I don't have a preference on location except I don't want to live in the deep south. Do I have a shot?

      Obviously GTL Rev will chime in here, but I would say your chances are small but not 0. There are simply too many people with top 10% from top 20 and an e-board position. If your position is EIC it would be a significant boost. If your school feeds well into a local district or circuit, you'll have your best shot there. Or if you have significant ties to another market, there. (Assuming those markets are not highly competitive like SDNY or CDCal.) If your recommenders know judges personally or professionally and are willing to make calls, that also will help.

      I would recommend shooting for as many early judges as possible, in order to maximize your chances. This may mean applying to some COA judges who hire off-plan. In my opinion, you lose nothing by doing this (assuming you can get your ducks in a row soon to do so). And you help yourself by not relying totally on the plan. This will help people in your shoes in particular because you will have to apply very broadly, and if you rely on the plan dates, you may be unable to get to, say, 2 D.Ct. interviews on opposite coasts.

      traydeuce
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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby traydeuce » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:23 pm

      Anonymous User wrote:traydeuce--your post implies that a district court clerkship in addition to a COA clerkship is actually disadvantageous for one interested in appellate lit. If that is the case, why?


      It's not at all the case, but, if you are (a) interested in mostly appellate practice, and (b) clerk for a great COA judge and didn't get lucky in doing so, that is to say, have really strong credentials, and are therefore a strong candidate for good appellate practice groups, then there's no reason to do a district ct. clerkship too. But if you want the experience it's not harmful in any way, other than the added year of lost money.

      Anonymous User
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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:01 am

      I would appreciate input on my chances, especially how much it will hurt me to not have a board position. I am 2L hoping for a feeder COA judge. Approximately a 3.97 at an MVP. LR, but no board position. Three very supportive faculty who I believe will write excellent recs for me, but they are not the most well connected professors for federal clerkships. Thanks in advance!!

      2LLLL
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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby 2LLLL » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:38 am

      This is silly. Almost all litigators will do appellate work in the first few years of their career. Now, for the overwhelming majority, it will only be when one of their cases goes up on appeal, and appellate work will probably only account for 5-10% of their practice in a given year. But cases do get appealed, and usually the same attorney who handled it at the trial level stays on the case.



      This is extremely incorrect. First, especially at the BigLaw level, very very very few cases actually even get to a trial. 99.9% of litigation is discovery and motions practice, and you can't have an appeal without a trial. Second, if your appeal is worth anything, then there's a good chance you're going to a specialist for it. Appellate lit is a very different creature from trial lit. Both are rare. Appellate work isn't 5-10% of anyone's practice except an appellate specialist.

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      koalatriste
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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby koalatriste » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:16 am

      2LLLL wrote:
      This is silly. Almost all litigators will do appellate work in the first few years of their career. Now, for the overwhelming majority, it will only be when one of their cases goes up on appeal, and appellate work will probably only account for 5-10% of their practice in a given year. But cases do get appealed, and usually the same attorney who handled it at the trial level stays on the case.



      This is extremely incorrect. First, especially at the BigLaw level, very very very few cases actually even get to a trial. 99.9% of litigation is discovery and motions practice, and you can't have an appeal without a trial. Second, if your appeal is worth anything, then there's a good chance you're going to a specialist for it. Appellate lit is a very different creature from trial lit. Both are rare. Appellate work isn't 5-10% of anyone's practice except an appellate specialist.


      I got a B- in civ pro, but I am fairly sure that this is incorrect. interlocutory appeals? summary judgment?

      dunno, just throwing those out there.

      Anonymous User
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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:44 pm

      I got a B- in civ pro, but I am fairly sure that this is incorrect. interlocutory appeals? summary judgment?

      dunno, just throwing those out there.


      Actually, true interlocutory appeals are pretty rare. But your point stands. You get appeals of SJs, dismissals (especially now Twiqbal dismissals), arbitration denials (specifically authorized by FAA), class certification decisions (specifically authorized by CAFA), etc. It's an empirical question, but I'd guess that the majority -- and probably even the substantial majority -- of civil appeals (excluding habeas cases) filed in federal court are not post-trial appeals.

      In any event, in my first three years of biglaw, I was significantly involved in cases that went on appeal to the 7th and 10th circuits and the state intermediate COA. I wasn't in appellate lit, and I wasn't unique among my fellow associates. On the first two we used a guy in appeals to answer questions on an ad hoc basis and (I think) review a brief or two, but he wasn't technically assigned to the case. On the last we actually had someone come in and join the team -- probably because it was a much bigger case.

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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:01 pm

      Anonymous User wrote:I would appreciate input on my chances, especially how much it will hurt me to not have a board position. I am 2L hoping for a feeder COA judge. Approximately a 3.97 at an MVP. LR, but no board position. Three very supportive faculty who I believe will write excellent recs for me, but they are not the most well connected professors for federal clerkships. Thanks in advance!!


      Congratulations on your excellent grades! I'll assume you're not at Virginia, because with those grades you'd have a clerkship with Wilkinson if you were. The good news is that you are competetive for just about any judge in the country. The bad news is that there are a lot of competetive folks, and at the feeder level, you need more than grades to get a real look.

      I would do two things: (1) start applying based on GTL's advice and timetable; and (2) sit down with your professors to see who they can call. If they don't know any feeders (unlikely), ask if they would be willing to refer you to another prof or the dean who can conduct some outreach. It is highly unlikely that you would get an interview with a feeder without some meaningful outreach, your grades notwithstanding.

      To give you some reference, I'm a 3L at CN in New York with very similar grades. Like MP, we don't have a great track record of placing with feeders and I got only one or two feeder interviews and that was with a well-connected prof who really went to bat. I am clerking for a semi-feeder and happy with how it worked out. But there are folks here with similar grades who did not get jobs with feeders, and one or two who did with much lower grades but particularly well-connected profs. Bottom line: put together a game plan with your profs, and keep your expectations in check.

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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:21 pm

      .

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      Detrox
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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby Detrox » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:39 pm

      Curious as to how many interviews an applicant can expect when he/she is applying to about 80-100 judges (district & circuit) assuming their grades make them at least in a competitive range (aka. around median for of gpa for previous, similarly situatated clerks accepted)?

      I know factors like work experience, professors connections, and prior clerking etc. can all affect this, but I'm just trying to get a general feel for decent estimates. From what I've read on these boards, my uneducated guess would be around 3-5 interviews but I'm not sure if that has any real justification...

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      semperfi1860
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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby semperfi1860 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:27 am

      Detrox wrote:Curious as to how many interviews an applicant can expect when he/she is applying to about 80-100 judges (district & circuit) assuming their grades make them at least in a competitive range (aka. around median for of gpa for previous, similarly situatated clerks accepted)?

      I know factors like work experience, professors connections, and prior clerking etc. can all affect this, but I'm just trying to get a general feel for decent estimates. From what I've read on these boards, my uneducated guess would be around 3-5 interviews but I'm not sure if that has any real justification...


      Sounds about right from my experience and others in my class with similar situations.

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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:42 am

      For those clerks who have reviewed transcripts/applications: is there any big negative to having unfinished "in progress" credits on one's transcript?

      I am working on an independent study this semester which may drag on in to the fall. It's just two units. If I don't complete it by the time applications go out, my transcript will say "IP" (for "in progress") next to my independent credit, but it will have no negative impact on my GPA. This apparently happens a good deal at my school, but could it be construed the wrong way during applications?

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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:06 am

      Does anyone know the hiring tendencies of Lawrence Stengel (EDPA)?

      Anonymous User
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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:48 pm

      Have my EIC interview for a secondary journal coming up soon. Can any of you with experience choosing an EIC comment on tips for the interview, etc?

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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:32 pm

      G. T. L. Rev. wrote:To give you some reference, I'm a 3L at CN in New York with very similar grades.


      ???

      traydeuce
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      Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

      Postby traydeuce » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:01 am

      G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
      traydeuce wrote:
      Gail wrote:Where do clerks typically apply and get accepted?...


      These questions are too general and uninformed to answer; I'm not even sure what you're asking in question 1. People largely clerk wherever, but local schools, and local people, have an edge...

      Agree, as amended.


      You can tell what she's asking in question 1?




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