2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 04/19/13

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DreamingInDigital
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Re: 2014/2015 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby DreamingInDigital » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Flips88 wrote:So a not "great first application cycle" for you is only getting an Art. III district court clerkship?


It's all relative. I had certain expectations, based on prior placements from my school, about my clerkship chances. I didn't meet those expectations my first year of applying, but I did my second year.

That said, I never said I didn't have a great application cycle. I was merely offering an encouraging word to other readers, because I really think it is true that applications tend to go better as an off-plan Spring 3L than as an on-plan Fall 3L or an off-plan Spring 2L.


I'll second this. I did much better off-plan (COA clerkship) than I did on-plan (D. Ct. clerkship). There's no reason to get discouraged if you fall a bit short of your goal during the first cycle.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: 2014/2015 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:11 pm

DreamingInDigital wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Flips88 wrote:So a not "great first application cycle" for you is only getting an Art. III district court clerkship?


It's all relative. I had certain expectations, based on prior placements from my school, about my clerkship chances. I didn't meet those expectations my first year of applying, but I did my second year.

That said, I never said I didn't have a great application cycle. I was merely offering an encouraging word to other readers, because I really think it is true that applications tend to go better as an off-plan Spring 3L than as an on-plan Fall 3L or an off-plan Spring 2L.


I'll second this. I did much better off-plan (COA clerkship) than I did on-plan (D. Ct. clerkship). There's no reason to get discouraged if you fall a bit short of your goal during the first cycle.


Except this isn't quite true if you land a COA position in the first cycle that's below what you believe you're competitive for. You can't just do another, more prestigious COA the next cycle.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: 2014/2015 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:19 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:
DreamingInDigital wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Flips88 wrote:So a not "great first application cycle" for you is only getting an Art. III district court clerkship?


It's all relative. I had certain expectations, based on prior placements from my school, about my clerkship chances. I didn't meet those expectations my first year of applying, but I did my second year.

That said, I never said I didn't have a great application cycle. I was merely offering an encouraging word to other readers, because I really think it is true that applications tend to go better as an off-plan Spring 3L than as an on-plan Fall 3L or an off-plan Spring 2L.


I'll second this. I did much better off-plan (COA clerkship) than I did on-plan (D. Ct. clerkship). There's no reason to get discouraged if you fall a bit short of your goal during the first cycle.


Except this isn't quite true if you land a COA position in the first cycle that's below what you believe you're competitive for. You can't just do another, more prestigious COA the next cycle.

Well, you could, right? There's nothing stopping you. I understand if you wouldn't want to do two clerkships, of course, but that's not the same thing.

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hope&change
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Re: 2014/2015 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby hope&change » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:39 pm

hope&change wrote:School range: T14
Rank: Top 5%
LR?:Yes, ed-board
Published?:No
Recs: 3 profs, 2 employers, all strong and willing to call.
2L/3L/Alum?:3L
Where applying?: COA (DC/4/3)
Any other factors: Significant relevant work experience.


I'm off the market--was lucky enough to get a '14 COA clerkship. Best of luck to everyone still applying!

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TatteredDignity
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Re: 2014/2015 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:37 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Well, you could, right? There's nothing stopping you. I understand if you wouldn't want to do two clerkships, of course, but that's not the same thing.


I'd personally have no problem doing back-to-back COA clerkships (given how everyone insists it's the best job they've ever had), but wouldn't having that on my resume raise eyebrows? I think people would understandably want to know why I felt it was necessary to do that.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: 2014/2015 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:29 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Well, you could, right? There's nothing stopping you. I understand if you wouldn't want to do two clerkships, of course, but that's not the same thing.


I'd personally have no problem doing back-to-back COA clerkships (given how everyone insists it's the best job they've ever had), but wouldn't having that on my resume raise eyebrows? I think people would understandably want to know why I felt it was necessary to do that.

Yeah, that's true. Though I think if the second one was "feeder" enough, that would/could be sufficient explanation. But you're right, it's certainly less common, so I take your point. (I'm not used to thinking of any COA as being a disappointing outcome!) (I don't mean that to be snarky, just that some considerations don't occur to me, sorry!)

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TatteredDignity
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Re: 2014/2015 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:59 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Well, you could, right? There's nothing stopping you. I understand if you wouldn't want to do two clerkships, of course, but that's not the same thing.


I'd personally have no problem doing back-to-back COA clerkships (given how everyone insists it's the best job they've ever had), but wouldn't having that on my resume raise eyebrows? I think people would understandably want to know why I felt it was necessary to do that.

Yeah, that's true. Though I think if the second one was "feeder" enough, that would/could be sufficient explanation. But you're right, it's certainly less common, so I take your point. (I'm not used to thinking of any COA as being a disappointing outcome!) (I don't mean that to be snarky, just that some considerations don't occur to me, sorry!)


You're right, it shouldn't be a disappointing outcome for almost anybody. It's just that my school has a strong history of placing people at the top of the class into local COA clerkships on a noncompetitive circuit in undesirable locations. It would be nice to do slightly better than that, but I certainly won't shed any tears if that's what I end up with.

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Re: 2014/2015 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:46 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Well, you could, right? There's nothing stopping you. I understand if you wouldn't want to do two clerkships, of course, but that's not the same thing.


I'd personally have no problem doing back-to-back COA clerkships (given how everyone insists it's the best job they've ever had), but wouldn't having that on my resume raise eyebrows? I think people would understandably want to know why I felt it was necessary to do that.


I don't think this is necessarily so. I know a number of people who first secured a clerkship for a year out and then had to decide how to fill that year and chose to do so by getting an additional clerkship (both COA). The firm doesn't necessarily know which one you got first or how it went down. And it shouldn't be too hard to justify why the different experience would be worthwhile: non-feeder vs. feeder (as mentioned above) or 9th Circuit after 5th Circuit etc. I would prioritize whether you want to do it way above what a firm might think about it later, especially because I can't imagine anyone thinking anything particularly negative.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: 2014/2015 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Well, you could, right? There's nothing stopping you. I understand if you wouldn't want to do two clerkships, of course, but that's not the same thing.


I'd personally have no problem doing back-to-back COA clerkships (given how everyone insists it's the best job they've ever had), but wouldn't having that on my resume raise eyebrows? I think people would understandably want to know why I felt it was necessary to do that.


I don't think this is necessarily so. I know a number of people who first secured a clerkship for a year out and then had to decide how to fill that year and chose to do so by getting an additional clerkship (both COA). The firm doesn't necessarily know which one you got first or how it went down. And it shouldn't be too hard to justify why the different experience would be worthwhile: non-feeder vs. feeder (as mentioned above) or 9th Circuit after 5th Circuit etc. I would prioritize whether you want to do it way above what a firm might think about it later, especially because I can't imagine anyone thinking anything particularly negative.


Interesting perspective. Thanks.

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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:54 pm

Noonan (9th Cir.) is full, as per e-mail response to application.

ClerkAdvisor
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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:20 am

theaccidentalclerk wrote:Protip #1: No one cares about the paper stock that you use. If anything, using fancy weight for resume and then regular paper for the writing sample will flag you as a ponce (though even this is unlikely).

Protip #2: We're reviewing apps now. Folks, make sure your cover letter SINGS. I've read so many that I've dinged because it's obvious from the 250 or whatever words that the person can't write. I mean, if your prose is so painful in a one pager that you should have honed for months, how will the fifteen page opinion that you need to crank out in three days read?

Protip #3: Here's a free tip for everyone. Every paragraph of your cover letter should begin with a short, active-tense sentence. NO PREFATORY PHRASES. No "with respect to," no "in that regard," no "as a result of." You can reword a sentence beginning with those phrases as two shorter and more declarative sentences. It reads sooooo much cleaner. (Seriously, this is a lesson that a lot of practitioners should learn. It's a really powerful rhetorical trick to start every paragraph with a very short and sweet -- and hopefully punchy -- topic sentence.)


For my current chambers - a cover letter can only hurt you. The only info we need from your cover letter is your school, your year, what term you're applying for, and the contact info for your recommenders (I'm a fan of placing these in the cover letter). Everything else we'll get from you resume and transcript. What is not helpful is a 10 paragraph, 500 word cover letter where I can't even discern whether you're applying for a clerkship or an internship.

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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:22 am

TatteredDignity wrote:
Tangerine Gleam wrote:I don't recall using nice paper for any of my clerkship applications. But I did use nice paper when applying for some 1L jobs -- I would put the cover letter and resume on nice paper, and the rest on printer paper.

I want to say "it doesn't matter, man," but for all I know, maybe some of my applications got tossed because of it. :D But I'd really like to think a judge wouldn't do that...


Yeah, I was wondering if I'm over thinking this and regular copy paper would be fine. But I have no one else to ask, and that's why I turned here. I figure it can't hurt to put the resume and cover letter on nice paper.

bk1 wrote:Why not just send an official transcript?



Good point. Thanks.


When I was applying, I always used an unofficial school transcript. From chambers perspective, it really doesn't matter what you send. We just want to be able to see: your grades, your classes, and your professors.

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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:25 am

thsmthcrmnl wrote:When judges say on OSCAR that they are hiring without specifically saying they are hiring 2Ls, should we assume that this means they are hiring just 3Ls and alumni, or that 2Ls are included too? Every judge who specifically includes 2Ls makes me more concerned that the ones who don't mean to exclude them.


I would assume that they are hiring 2Ls. If they aren't looking at 2L's right now, they'll either file or throw away your application, but if they are hiring 2L's, then you'll miss out. To put it simply, you take no risk sending in an application. You always risk not getting the job by not sending in an application.

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Re: 2014/2015 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:School range: T14
Rank: 1%
LR?: Y
Published?: Y
Recs: Three very strong recs from tenured professors who have clerked
2L/3L/Alum?: 3L
Where applying?: Mostly D.C. Cir. and some other feeders for now. Not expecting a feeder judge though, so if nothing happens in the next two or three weeks, I'll apply much more broadly to other circuit court judges.
Any other factors: Clerking for a district court judge in 2013-2014.


OP anon here. Got something lined up after all. :)

Everyone: if you don't have a great first application cycle, apply again the next year. Applying as a 3L with a district court clerkship helped me get attention from judges who might have overlooked me last year.



Congrats! Quick question though: why wouldn't you expect a feeder (though "expect" is probably too strong of a word)? It seems like Top 1% at a T14 with the other boxes checked (LR, published, etc) would make you a prime candidate. I'm hoping for a quasi feeder and am a couple of spots down from you in school and class rank. I have been told that is not unrealistic, though of course still difficult. Are they wrong?

I just noticed what you crossed out and assume that means you got a clerkship with a feeder. Do you mind sharing which block of feeders you locked down? i.e. Between Garland and Sutton, or between Sutton and Gorsuch or between Gorsuch and Pryor (or whatever).


Not OP, but a current clerk (with a 2d clerkship to follow).

General consensus out there:

Outside of T6, and most likely outside of HYS, single digit rank is needed for a feeder, and typically only #1, 2, or 3 has a real shot at a strong feeder (and more importantly, the Court).

Perhaps more importantly, I'm not sure what your "block of feeders" discussion is really about? These days, Judges Gorsuch, Sutton, and Garland are all hiring about the same caliber of people (though, liberals are far more likely to target Judge Garland). And, unless things have changed, Judge Pryor really likes to hire people who are from Alabama (also, I'm not sure if 2 clerks is quite feeder status).

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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:School range: UT
Rank: 1%
LR?: Y
Published?: Will find out in May
Recs: Three prof. recs. One is major prof. in an area of law somewhat unique to 5th circuit.
2L/3L/Alum?: 2L
Where applying?: Mostly 5th Circuit. Might throw a few apps at the 9th Circuit.
Any other factors: Public policy work experience prior to LS.

I sent out most of my apps a few weeks ago. Trying to decide how long I should wait on COA judges before moving on to district judges.


Depends on whether the COA judges are moving -- if they're moving and you haven't heard anything, then you might want to start broadening your applications. Also, get your recommenders to call judges who you think would be a particularly good fit. Just a general suggestion -- there are a number of 5th circuit judges who are known to move early. Also, if you're applying to the 5th, what about the 11th or 4th?

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Re: 2014/2015 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Well, you could, right? There's nothing stopping you. I understand if you wouldn't want to do two clerkships, of course, but that's not the same thing.


I'd personally have no problem doing back-to-back COA clerkships (given how everyone insists it's the best job they've ever had), but wouldn't having that on my resume raise eyebrows? I think people would understandably want to know why I felt it was necessary to do that.


I don't think this is necessarily so. I know a number of people who first secured a clerkship for a year out and then had to decide how to fill that year and chose to do so by getting an additional clerkship (both COA). The firm doesn't necessarily know which one you got first or how it went down. And it shouldn't be too hard to justify why the different experience would be worthwhile: non-feeder vs. feeder (as mentioned above) or 9th Circuit after 5th Circuit etc. I would prioritize whether you want to do it way above what a firm might think about it later, especially because I can't imagine anyone thinking anything particularly negative.


I've also known several people who have doen back-to-back COA, but I think it's generally a bit odd. In general, if you end up with an offer for a year out, you would probably be much better off doing a district court clerkship. I can only think of a couple situations where back to back COA would be beneficial:

-regional circuit + fed circuit

-regional circuit + judge who's known for supporting budding academics (e.g., Judge Williams in DC Cir)

-2 regional circuits, where you're trying to break into the second market unexpectedly (e.g., spouse has to move to that market)

That said, I really doubt that firms would care, but I just don't see the overall career benefit (in general) of 2 COA's.

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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:02 pm

Judge Boggs is following the plan is he not?

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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:School range: UT
Rank: 1%
LR?: Y
Published?: Will find out in May
Recs: Three prof. recs. One is major prof. in an area of law somewhat unique to 5th circuit.
2L/3L/Alum?: 2L
Where applying?: Mostly 5th Circuit. Might throw a few apps at the 9th Circuit.
Any other factors: Public policy work experience prior to LS.

I sent out most of my apps a few weeks ago. Trying to decide how long I should wait on COA judges before moving on to district judges.


Why not apply to Gorsuch? He hired someone from UT.

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cardinals1989
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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby cardinals1989 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:00 pm

Tagging this thread.

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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:10 pm

Cole (6th Cir.) is accepting paper applications and plans to begin hiring shortly.

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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:17 pm

Care to share a source re: Cole? As of early last week, chambers was saying the judge stuck to the plan for 2Ls.

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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:42 pm

Is Sandra Lynch done? What about Murphy (8th), Motz (4), and Moore (6)?
Edit: I now see on Oscar that Lynch is done for 14-15: "THERE ARE NO OPEN POSITIONS FOR 2014-2015." that's pretty clear, no?

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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Care to share a source re: Cole? As of early last week, chambers was saying the judge stuck to the plan for 2Ls.



Seconded.

A lot of confusion going around :/ Nature of the process I suppose

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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:59 am

Checking in. Had a COA interview last week, haven't heard back yet.. the suspense is killing me. The more time that passes, the dimmer my hopes get..

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Re: 2014-2015 Clerkship Application Thread - OP Updated 03/01/13

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:Checking in. Had a COA interview last week, haven't heard back yet.. the suspense is killing me. The more time that passes, the dimmer my hopes get..


If you had the interview a week ago you are probably not getting the job, unfortunately. I've been there so I can commiserate. I get the sense you hear back quicker for clerkships than you might for firms.




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