Anonymous User wrote:Considering the madness that is the off-plan process, when should rising 2Ls start concerning themselves with Circuit and competitive District applications for 2015/2016? Should our ducks be in a row (recommenders lined up, writing sample done, etc) by early Fall?
As someone who just went through the process as a 2L, I'd say you should be ready to send apps to the most competitive COA judges as soon as fall semester grades come out (so, January at most schools). That ideally would mean you'd have recommendations ready by then as well. Make clear in your cover letter that law review elections haven't happened yet, and then send an addendum when they do. I sent some apps in late Feb. after that stuff had happened, to make sure my resume was as strong as possible, and it was already too late for some judges.
With that said, it was also clearly much too early for some other judges. The timing of this process is almost impossible to gauge, but do your best to find information about when individual judges have hired in past years and are hiring in your year. Send early, but only to those judges that will actually consider your application early. Oscar posts from the previous hiring cycle (meaning this one) are your friend in this regard. If a judge updated her profile in early February 2013, and hasn't since, and the info says she has completed hiring, you can put 2 and 2 together.
Oh, and connections + professor calls rule all. That's more important than any of my above advice.