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kalvano
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby kalvano » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:10 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
kalvano wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks Quiver for bumping my question!

Kalvano asked a similar question pages ago & never was answered. Like Kalvano, one of my recommenders is a judge & it just doesn't seem right to take up all his time and on top of that tell him what to do & how to do it...unless this is standard procedure....

As simple as this question seems, I'd really appreciate any suggestions esp from those that have gone through the process already. Also is it standard to give your recommenders a list of who you are applying to?

Thanks again!


My judge who is a recommender just sent me a copy of his letter, signed, and gave me permission to scan it and send that as part of my application package. It's just a "Dear Judge" letter.

Which begs the question, will that matter? Most state court judges require individual applications to their chambers, complete with LOR's. Meaning if there are 7 state Supreme Court judges, each one wants a separate application. Will sending in the letter printed off be a big black mark? Obviously, on electronic applications, it won't matter, but for judges that want paper applications, sending in a printed copy of a scanned letter will be somewhat noticeable.

It will be noticeable. It would be better for the judge to send you 7 originals. But if that cannot be avoided, well, just suck it up and send what you can. The process is not designed for the comfort and ease of applicants, that's for sure. Just accept that and do the best you can.



Thanks. Unfortunately, I'm applying quite broadly, and would need more like 77 copies of his letter, which is far too much of an imposition for him. I'll just do the highest quality scan I can and put it on nice paper and hope for the best.

As always, you are a gentleman and a scholar, and your help is much appreciated.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:26 pm

Seriously all that is expected of others, ie recommenders, alumni, people networking for you...especially non-professor recommenders....gives me enough reason to stop this application process. I really hate putting others in this situation for me.

But enough of that.

GLT thank you so much for all. I will continue to support your Scramble, click on the ads, & hope only the very best for you! You are the amazing! The best find on TLS ever!

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:13 am

How much do judges look at individual grades/classes? I have 180+ in all my 1L doctrinal classes, but a couple of bad apples in "Elements of the Law" and another non-core class really bring my overall average down.

Edited to be clear that I am a 2L.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:How much do judges look at individual grades/classes? I have 180+ in all my 1L doctrinal classes, but a couple of bad apples in "Elements of the Law" and another non-core class really bring my overall average down.

Edited to be clear that I am a 2L.


+1 to this, I had a similar experience. Did really well in all the 1L classes, had a drop when I took some fluffier classes 2L year. Sounds like most people have the opposite experience and have a upward trajectory 2L year.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:01 am

2L here with a few questions:

1. You mentioned earlier that at this point, I should have my judges identified and ready to apply in "waves." Sorry if this was answered earlier, but how many judges make up a wave?

2. As is likely the case for many, my school won't allow professors to give us their LORs, so I've had to simply provide their contact information and let the judge know that they would be willing to speak on my behalf at any time. Does that hurt my chances at nailing an interview and, if so, is there a better way to handle this situation?

3. Being that I am a 2L, i only have three semesters of grades to show at this point- should I be waiting until my spring grades, or will judges still look at my application despite having a somewhat limited transcript?

Thanks a ton!

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:42 pm

as many as you want


If that's the case, why not blanket everyone immediately, rather than apply in waves in the first place?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:44 pm

I asked recommenders to provide me with sealed, addressed envelopes to include with my application package. Is this permissible, as opposed to sending them under separate cover? I noticed on OSCAR many judges seemed to suggest that they'd prefer to get everything in one package.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
as many as you want


If that's the case, why not blanket everyone immediately, rather than apply in waves in the first place?

Because you might get an offer from a judge you don't particularly want before a judge you do want has even looked at your app. Also, many judges are not even considering looking at 2013 apps right now.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:18 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I asked recommenders to provide me with sealed, addressed envelopes to include with my application package. Is this permissible, as opposed to sending them under separate cover? I noticed on OSCAR many judges seemed to suggest that they'd prefer to get everything in one package.

Yes your approach is fine.


Thank you x1,000. My school's career services office is completely anemic. If I get a clerkship, it is because of you and others on TLS.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:33 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
as many as you want


If that's the case, why not blanket everyone immediately, rather than apply in waves in the first place?

Because you might get an offer from a judge you don't particularly want before a judge you do want has even looked at your app. Also, many judges are not even considering looking at 2013 apps right now.

Correct


It's probably worth noting that one needs to take several factors into account: how risk averse you are and how good your odds are in general (and with a particular judge).

First, if you are risk averse - you should send out applications sooner than later to every judge you are willing to work for. The process is competitive and by waiting for a particular judge (or particular circuit (probably not a good idea)), you increase your odds of striking out (especially if you choose not to apply to judges that your school has a good track record with out of fear that they will hire you).

Second, you need to get a really good sense of how competitive you are. I think people tend to overestimate their odds and underestimate the competition for Article III clerkships. If you are in the top 10 people at a T-14 school and you are on exec. board of your law review, then you most likely will get a circuit court or competitive district court clerkship. You can probably have the luxury of being a bit picky as to who you apply to, but you shouldn't necessarily be too picky (if you're #1, #2, or #3 you can be a bit more picky). You should find a judge who will be good to work for/has a good reputation. But, unless you are at HYS, you don't have the luxury of holding out for a feeder.

If you fall outside of this narrow range, you should probably apply early and broadly. Yes, there are outliers, but you often don't have information as to why those outliers got the job. Perhaps a particular judge always hires from a local school. Perhaps those two people with lower than expected GPA's were absolutely perfect fits for a particular judge with closely connected recommenders. You need to be talking to recommenders to figure out where they can push for you and where you have a realistic shot.

tl;dr version - don't be too picky.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:56 pm

With respect to those judges hiring "on plan," is there anything useful a 2L applicant can do b/w now and September to gain a leg up with the judges that he/she is most interested in?

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:39 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It's probably worth noting that one needs to take several factors into account: how risk averse you are and how good your odds are in general (and with a particular judge).

First, if you are risk averse - you should send out applications sooner than later to every judge you are willing to work for. The process is competitive and by waiting for a particular judge (or particular circuit (probably not a good idea)), you increase your odds of striking out (especially if you choose not to apply to judges that your school has a good track record with out of fear that they will hire you).

Second, you need to get a really good sense of how competitive you are. I think people tend to overestimate their odds and underestimate the competition for Article III clerkships. If you are in the top 10 people at a T-14 school and you are on exec. board of your law review, then you most likely will get a circuit court or competitive district court clerkship. You can probably have the luxury of being a bit picky as to who you apply to, but you shouldn't necessarily be too picky (if you're #1, #2, or #3 you can be a bit more picky). You should find a judge who will be good to work for/has a good reputation. But, unless you are at HYS, you don't have the luxury of holding out for a feeder.

If you fall outside of this narrow range, you should probably apply early and broadly. Yes, there are outliers, but you often don't have information as to why those outliers got the job. Perhaps a particular judge always hires from a local school. Perhaps those two people with lower than expected GPA's were absolutely perfect fits for a particular judge with closely connected recommenders. You need to be talking to recommenders to figure out where they can push for you and where you have a realistic shot.

tl;dr version - don't be too picky.

I agree -- particularly about people overestimating their chances. One of the best things applicants can do is talk to lots of alumni, faculty, and 3Ls to get a sense of how competitive they are, and where.


I agree that most people overestimate their chances, but I also think a lot of people on this board create the impression that you are completely shut out of Art III clerkships if you're not in the top 10% at a t14 and on LR. This is not true. Even in this economy with droves of people applying on OSCAR, you can still land a clerkship with the right connections and maybe a year or two of firm experience.

Citizen Genet
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Citizen Genet » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:33 am

Putting the last few posts together, would it be accurate to say a lot of people underestimate how much doing legwork for clerkships impacts things? People at the 10% mark at Michigan might need to network into a chambers as much as possible and people outside the top 14 can still get Art. III clerkships if they apply smart and do the right amount of reaching out?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:32 am

For applying as an alumni to the more competitive districts (e.g., SDNY), how important are grades vs. firm/practice-area vs. connections (either from professors or from co-workers who clerked)? In other words, how much do your grades as a student affect your ability to get a clerkship if you're applying as an alumni?

FYI: T10, Top 15-20%

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby anongoodnurse » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:38 am

FYI: T10, Top 15-20%


I was right at top 20% from CCN applying as an alum. I got interviews from about 20% of the judges I applied to. I was applying mostly to district judges who seemed to want more experienced clerks (which I found out either through their OSCAR page or through the grapevine). I didn't send off that many applications, though -- probably about 30.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:46 pm

Citizen Genet wrote:Putting the last few posts together, would it be accurate to say a lot of people underestimate how much doing legwork for clerkships impacts things? People at the 10% mark at Michigan might need to network into a chambers as much as possible and people outside the top 14 can still get Art. III clerkships if they apply smart and do the right amount of reaching out?


Sort of. It is certainly helpful to meet former clerks. Unfortunately, you are most likely to have a meaningful connection with them if: (a) they are an alum of your school or (b) you worked with them at their firm over 2L summer. Absent one of those two factors, its hard to develop but so much of a connection -- it can at least show the judge that you're interested.

More important is (a) who your recommenders know and (b) how much your recommenders are willing to do for you. The best way to increase your odds at a given clerkship is to have someone that the judge trusts put their reputation on the line for you. But, this is hard to control: (a) you have to impress that recommender and (b) that recommender has to be someone the judge trusts. Now, outside of that, it certainly helps if you have a recommender who is willing to both make calls for you and sing your praises.

What the poster said before about people who don't necessarily have the grades and school getting clerkships is certainly right. But, the biggest factor there is that those things are random. That's why even if your odds at a clerkship are ~1%, it's still worth applying. That said, if you fall outside the typical numbers and if you venture outside the typical judges your school place with, your odds drop dramatically. This is why people need to make a real assessment of their odds before they start holding out for certain judges.

A side note to the question earlier about on-plan hiring. You need to do whatever you can to have recommenders make connections for you. If a recommender knows a judge and thinks you be a good fit, they should be dropping your name when they speak with that judge. Likewise, once your materials are received by chambers (in the intervening week), your recommenders should be calling those judges and trying to convince them to give you a good look.

That said, you should be aware that some on-plan hiring is a bit misleading: many DC circuit judges will have informal lunches and quasi-interviews over the summer and many 2d Circuit judges are only hiring for a 1 year + out during the plan. I recently heard that ~80% of the Harvard clerks clerking on the 2d Circuit in 10-11 were alumni (i.e., 1+ year out).

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Would future COA clerkship help with getting dct clerkship n

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:21 pm

I've been lucky enough to land a COA clerkship for some time down the line, and I'm curious if the fact that I have that future clerkship listed on my resume - with future start and end date indicated, of course - would up my chances at all in getting a district clerkship in the meantime.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:49 am

i worked at a t14 career office for some time pre-ls (dont out me, i think i'm pretty rare in this). this thread overstates how selective district and circuit clerkships are. t14 top-25% is good enough for a prestigious large-city regional district (i.e. ndill for nu/chi, sdny for columbia/nyu, c/ndcal for berk/ucla/stanford, etc.); and top 15% is good enough for a prestigious large-city regional circuit (see parenthetical above).

only time you need top5% t14 LR board + publication etc. is when you're trying to win an away game, i.e. Berkeley student trying to land 7th Cir. etc. NU top 15% has muuuuch better landing a 7th Cir. job than the Berkeley top 15%. this point is key. locate the nearest prestigious district/circuit and focus your attention there if you're at any t14. this thread totally misses the mark, misrepresents how accessible clerkships are, and is only appropriate advice if you're trying to win an away game. maybe the author has the limited perspective of class of '11 or something. also, forget this thread for feeder clerkships, if you haven't been approached by anyone at your school (see e.g. dean/prof), then you're not going to get a feeder clerkship. peace.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:i worked at a t14 career office for some time pre-ls (dont out me, i think i'm pretty rare in this). this thread overstates how selective district and circuit clerkships are. t14 top-25% is good enough for a prestigious large-city regional district (i.e. ndill for nu/chi, sdny for columbia/nyu, c/ndcal for berk/ucla/stanford, etc.); and top 15% is good enough for a prestigious large-city regional circuit (see parenthetical above).

only time you need top5% t14 LR board + publication etc. is when you're trying to win an away game, i.e. Berkeley student trying to land 7th Cir. etc. NU top 15% has muuuuch better landing a 7th Cir. job than the Berkeley top 15%. this point is key. locate the nearest prestigious district/circuit and focus your attention there if you're at any t14. this thread totally misses the mark, misrepresents how accessible clerkships are, and is only appropriate advice if you're trying to win an away game. maybe the author has the limited perspective of class of '11 or something. also, forget this thread for feeder clerkships, if you haven't been approached by anyone at your school (see e.g. dean/prof), then you're not going to get a feeder clerkship. peace.


This is rather misleading. No one on here has said that top5% LR is a necessary condition. It certainly isn't. Yes, some people who are not there will get great clerkships. But, your post is misleading. Most people who are top 15% are not able to get a COA clerkship, at least not as a student. And, there are certainly some district courts where top 15% is barely crosses the necessary condition threshold. And, this is based on having seen data on the past several years. Perhaps you were looking at pre-ITE numbers, I don't know. Or, perhaps you are only looking at the lower outlier.

As a side note, the advice of focusing on the nearest "circuit and focus your attention there if you're at any T14" misses the mark. You need to focus on the circuits/judges where your school places the most people.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Br3v » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:19 am

Sorry if this is obvious, but are clerkships political
in the sense that judges tend/only hire those on the same side of the political spectrum, or does this not play a role?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:37 am

Br3v wrote:Sorry if this is obvious, but are clerkships political
in the sense that judges tend/only hire those on the same side of the political spectrum, or does this not play a role?


Depends on the judge. Some judges like people who are share the same political ideology or the same judicial philosophy. Other judges don't care. From what I can gather, most judges don't care, just so long as your views are not so extreme such that you couldn't write an opinion the way the judge wants it written. And, it's generally not that hard to find out who the ideologues are if you ask around.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby GertrudePerkins » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:44 pm

Can federal clerks contribute to TSP?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:49 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:i worked at a T19 career office for some time pre-ls (dont out me, i think i'm pretty rare in this). this thread overstates how selective district and circuit clerkships are. T19 top-25% is good enough for a prestigious large-city regional district (i.e. ndill for nu/chi, sdny for columbia/nyu, c/ndcal for berk/ucla/stanford, etc.); and top 15% is good enough for a prestigious large-city regional circuit (see parenthetical above).

only time you need top5% T19 LR board + publication etc. is when you're trying to win an away game, i.e. Berkeley student trying to land 7th Cir. etc. NU top 15% has muuuuch better landing a 7th Cir. job than the Berkeley top 15%. this point is key. locate the nearest prestigious district/circuit and focus your attention there if you're at any T19. this thread totally misses the mark, misrepresents how accessible clerkships are, and is only appropriate advice if you're trying to win an away game. maybe the author has the limited perspective of class of '11 or something. also, forget this thread for feeder clerkships, if you haven't been approached by anyone at your school (see e.g. dean/prof), then you're not going to get a feeder clerkship. peace.
100% wrong. This was the case several years ago, but is no longer. Things have become far more competitive as application #s have risen sharply and more alumni have entered the clerkship market.


Maybe. Are you basing your advice on anecdotes from 2011 applicants, wrt district clelrkships? Or do you have access to data we don't? Haven't you previously admitted you lack sources re district clerkship hiring? I just want to know the fact basis of all your advice here. Most because it contradicts what I saw in real data at lower t14 wrt d ct clelrkships.

For instance, I wouldn't give someone career advice on big law based on class of 2011, maybe same thing applies to clelrkships. Im stating facts based on internal database at my place of employment and the projects we worked on with FJC.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby skrillt » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:i worked at a T19 career office for some time pre-ls (dont out me, i think i'm pretty rare in this). this thread overstates how selective district and circuit clerkships are. T19 top-25% is good enough for a prestigious large-city regional district (i.e. ndill for nu/chi, sdny for columbia/nyu, c/ndcal for berk/ucla/stanford, etc.); and top 15% is good enough for a prestigious large-city regional circuit (see parenthetical above).

only time you need top5% T19 LR board + publication etc. is when you're trying to win an away game, i.e. Berkeley student trying to land 7th Cir. etc. NU top 15% has muuuuch better landing a 7th Cir. job than the Berkeley top 15%. this point is key. locate the nearest prestigious district/circuit and focus your attention there if you're at any T19. this thread totally misses the mark, misrepresents how accessible clerkships are, and is only appropriate advice if you're trying to win an away game. maybe the author has the limited perspective of class of '11 or something. also, forget this thread for feeder clerkships, if you haven't been approached by anyone at your school (see e.g. dean/prof), then you're not going to get a feeder clerkship. peace.
100% wrong. This was the case several years ago, but is no longer. Things have become far more competitive as application #s have risen sharply and more alumni have entered the clerkship market.


Maybe. Are you basing your advice on anecdotes from 2011 applicants, wrt district clelrkships? Or do you have access to data we don't? Haven't you previously admitted you lack sources re district clerkship hiring? I just want to know the fact basis of all your advice here. Most because it contradicts what I saw in real data at lower T19 wrt d ct clelrkships.

For instance, I wouldn't give someone career advice on big law based on class of 2011, maybe same thing applies to clelrkships. Im stating facts based on internal database at my place of employment and the projects we worked on with FJC.

Nothing to add here, but LOL, just LOL, at "T19"

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:05 pm

Meant to say top fourteen not sure why that happnd .. Replaced 4 w 9 everywhere




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