Checking in as well!
School range: HS
Rank: Between top half and top third? (more Hs than Ps). Two class prize awards.
LR?: Nope. Was a secondary EIC, though.
Published?: 2 Articles, one in a top 100 journal. Hoping to swing another article this year.
Recs: 2 very strong, 1 mediocre. 1 prof willing to make a few calls
Where applying?: West coast district courts, probably 5-10 COA apps (grades are low, though...any chance?)
Any other factors: Limited by location to the west coast, mainly CA, NV, and OR. Want to go into academia (hence the publications). Any chance applying as an alum with good recs and pubs makes up for lower grades?
I tried to do something very similar to you.
Clerkship chances: I think that you'd be competitive with alum-only judges except maybe in ND Cal and SD Cal. The main problem that you'll have is that those two districts are super competitive, and the other West Coast districts aren't that big. I don't think you'll have a shot at COA. Maaaaaybe as a second clerkship out of a district one. But your grades just aren't competitive.
Academia: DANGER WILL ROBINSON. I struck out this year with two well-placed articles (one top 100 and one top 50), substantive and interesting practice experience, cum laude/honors/Stone from a T6 school, and a clerkship. The academic hiring market is just awful. Awful, awful, awful. Over half of the schools I interviewed with ended up not hiring entry-level people (they either cancelled their searches or hired laterals). I've heard reliable stories about Bigelows and Climenkos (who usually have multiple offers from great schools) struggling to get anything. And everyone I've talked to thinks that it's going to get worse before it gets better. Maybe catastrophically worse if more than a handful of schools close.
I'm not saying that academia can't or shouldn't be a goal. But understand that if you want to go down that route, you're going to need to write a lot more, and then you'll probably need a VAP/fellowship or PhD to even have a shot. So you're looking at a minimum of three years before you could go on the market, and probably more like four or five. And even then, it's probably only a chance, and not a particularly good one at that.