Federal clerkships - class rank from non-HYSCC T14?

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Federal clerkships - class rank from non-HYSCC T14?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:29 pm

I've done my best to research this on TLS, but have found inconsistent advice. Interested in federal clerkships. Had assumed I had another semester to raise my GPA up, but with the number of off-plan judges it looks like it's only the first three semesters that actually matter. (Maybe I'm wrong here).

HYSCC seem to clean up on clerkships, but not sure what goes for the rest of the T14. Top 20%, think Penn/Cal/NYU/Michigan tier in terms of clerking placement.

I assume COA is flat-out impossible, but what about federal district clerkships? Or is too optimistic even to hope for that?

Thanks in advance. And sorry if there is in fact a thread that provides specific, reliable advice on this, not trying to double up.

theaccidentalclerk
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Re: Federal clerkships - class rank from non-HYSCC T14?

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:49 pm

Top 20%, think Penn/Cal/NYU/Michigan tier in terms of clerking placement.

I assume COA is flat-out impossible, but what about federal district clerkships? Or is too optimistic even to hope for that?


With this information, you could be anything from a shoe-in for a district court clerkship and a decent chance (maybe 30-40%) for a COA clerkship (if you just barely missed the top 10% with law review and great recs at NYU) to a long shot (maybe 10% chance) for any AIII clerkship (if you were just barely top 20% with no journal and nondescript recs at Michigan).

If you are in the magic middle -- say right around top 15% from one of the non-NYUs with board on a secondary journal and one good rec -- then my guess is that you'd get a few interviews (maybe two or three or four). Your chances then depend on which of those it is. (You're a bit less than 50-50 with two; a bit more with three; and looking solid at four.)

I'll also say the obligatory "you'd have an excellent chance as an alum." I was right at the top 20% mark at a CCN, and applying as an alum, I interviewed for roughly 20% of the clerkships I applied for (I only sent out 30 or so apps, targeting alum-only judges).

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Re: Federal clerkships - class rank from non-HYSCC T14?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:00 pm

theaccidentalclerk wrote:
Top 20%, think Penn/Cal/NYU/Michigan tier in terms of clerking placement.

I assume COA is flat-out impossible, but what about federal district clerkships? Or is too optimistic even to hope for that?


With this information, you could be anything from a shoe-in for a district court clerkship and a decent chance (maybe 30-40%) for a COA clerkship (if you just barely missed the top 10% with law review and great recs at NYU) to a long shot (maybe 10% chance) for any AIII clerkship (if you were just barely top 20% with no journal and nondescript recs at Michigan).

If you are in the magic middle -- say right around top 15% from one of the non-NYUs with board on a secondary journal and one good rec -- then my guess is that you'd get a few interviews (maybe two or three or four). Your chances then depend on which of those it is. (You're a bit less than 50-50 with two; a bit more with three; and looking solid at four.)

I'll also say the obligatory "you'd have an excellent chance as an alum." I was right at the top 20% mark at a CCN, and applying as an alum, I interviewed for roughly 20% of the clerkships I applied for (I only sent out 30 or so apps, targeting alum-only judges).


Agreed, particularly with the last paragraph. A friend graduated at around the median one of the schools in the 11-14 range and is currently clerking with a district judge in a semi-major market on the strength of a stellar recommendation from a well-connected partner. Bottom line, you never know.

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Re: Federal clerkships - class rank from non-HYSCC T14?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:02 pm

Who is better off, someone like OP (top 20% at mid-T14 like NYU, Boalt, MVP) or someone at the very top of the class (top 2-3%) at a lower T14 (DCNG)? What about top 10% at mid-T14 vs. the same second option? Just curious how much grades matter vs. school ranking.

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Re: Federal clerkships - class rank from non-HYSCC T14?

Postby bruinfan10 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Who is better off, someone like OP (top 20% at mid-T14 like NYU, Boalt, MVP) or someone at the very top of the class (top 2-3%) at a lower T14 (DCNG)? What about top 10% at mid-T14 vs. the same second option? Just curious how much grades matter vs. school ranking.

you're probably going to take some flack for trying to differentiate "mid" from "lower" T14 - i'd bet on top 2-3% at DCNG over top-10/20% MVPB any day of the week. but clerkship hiring seems to be a little more unpredictable and impressionistic than firm hiring - maybe your favorite prof at Duke went to school with your first choice d.ct judge, etc. Michigan has better clerkship stats than I expected going in, but other than that I can't speak to specific schools.

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Re: Federal clerkships - class rank from non-HYSCC T14?

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:43 am

Who is better off, someone like OP (top 20% at mid-T14 like NYU, Boalt, MVP) or someone at the very top of the class (top 2-3%) at a lower T14 (DCNG)?


Really? If you're top 2-3% at Duke, Cornell or Northwestern, you're in the top 4-6 students in the class. You're probably not going to get any SCOTUS interviews (but that's not actually out of the question), but that's about all that's out of reach. If you're at the 20% mark at NYU, Cal, Michigan or Virginia, you're not even in the top 50 students in the class. Which would you hire if you were a judge? The woman who is #5 at Duke, or the dude who is #57 at NYU? Is this really a serious question?

(Caveats: Georgetown is a little different, though I suspect that you'll still probably get a COA clerkship if you're in the top 2-3%. Also, if you were around the top 15% at Penn, you'd be in the top 30 or so people in the class. Probably still not competitive for COA, but in a much stronger position that the 20% mark at the bigger schools.)

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Re: Federal clerkships - class rank from non-HYSCC T14?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:I've done my best to research this on TLS, but have found inconsistent advice. Interested in federal clerkships. Had assumed I had another semester to raise my GPA up, but with the number of off-plan judges it looks like it's only the first three semesters that actually matter. (Maybe I'm wrong here).

HYSCC seem to clean up on clerkships, but not sure what goes for the rest of the T14. Top 20%, think Penn/Cal/NYU/Michigan tier in terms of clerking placement.

I assume COA is flat-out impossible, but what about federal district clerkships? Or is too optimistic even to hope for that?

Thanks in advance. And sorry if there is in fact a thread that provides specific, reliable advice on this, not trying to double up.


Was around Top 15% as a rising 3L from one of these schools and I got two interviews at major market D. Cts but whiffed on both. Have applied to over 100 positions at district and CoA level and am hearing crickets despite being "competitive" for both levels. However, I have not applied to flyover districts or courts outside of major metropolitan areas so chances may be better for others at those levels.

Among my peers with similar or better stats, I've seen all over the map. Top 10% striking out at all levels, 25% landing a nice district court in secondary markets. I'd say once your grades put you in a competitive range for judges, the importance of recommendations and specific connections/people who can call judges become immensely more important to seperate you out from the rest of the group.

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Re: Federal clerkships - class rank from non-HYSCC T14?

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Who is better off, someone like OP (top 20% at mid-T14 like NYU, Boalt, MVP) or someone at the very top of the class (top 2-3%) at a lower T14 (DCNG)? What about top 10% at mid-T14 vs. the same second option? Just curious how much grades matter vs. school ranking.


Top of the class at any T14. /thread

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Re: Federal clerkships - class rank from non-HYSCC T14?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:16 am

OP here - sorry about not getting more into specifics on school/resume, just being cautious. Thanks to everyone for the advice/prognostication, and hope over the next year this'll be a great forum for people applying.

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Re: Federal clerkships - class rank from non-HYSCC T14?

Postby somewhatwayward » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:18 pm

theaccidentalclerk wrote:I was right at the top 20% mark at a CCN, and applying as an alum, I interviewed for roughly 20% of the clerkships I applied for (I only sent out 30 or so apps, targeting alum-only judges).


If UChi, you can ignore this question, but what was top 20% at your school?




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