Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

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letsdoit
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Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby letsdoit » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:40 pm

Can anyone help me ID these, other than the most obvious ones such as: DDC, SDNY, and CDCA? I'm looking to apply broadly, but I don't want to go to the middle of nowhere.

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Lincoln
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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Lincoln » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:43 pm

ND Cal, ND Ill., D.Mass, and EDNY all tend to be competitive, mostly because they are in cities that are sought-after locations.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:08 am

I'd add E.D. Tex. to the ones listed above. But the competitiveness of clerkships hinges just as much (if not more) on the judge than the district where they sit. For example, you probably won't get hired by Thapar (E.D.Ky.) unless you have the stats to also get interviews with "feeder" CoA judges. Same goes for Myron Thompson (M.D.Al.).

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:16 am

Tangerine Gleam wrote:I'd add E.D. Tex. to the ones listed above. But the competitiveness of clerkships hinges just as much (if not more) on the judge than the district where they sit. For example, you probably won't get hired by Thapar (E.D.Ky.) unless you have the stats to also get interviews with "feeder" CoA judges. Same goes for Myron Thompson (M.D.Al.).


Curious, what's the draw with these two?

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:30 am

TatteredDignity wrote:
Tangerine Gleam wrote:I'd add E.D. Tex. to the ones listed above. But the competitiveness of clerkships hinges just as much (if not more) on the judge than the district where they sit. For example, you probably won't get hired by Thapar (E.D.Ky.) unless you have the stats to also get interviews with "feeder" CoA judges. Same goes for Myron Thompson (M.D.Al.).


Curious, what's the draw with these two?

Thapar feeds to Sutton, who feeds to SCOTUS and Bristow. Thompson has fed a couple to DC Cir and SCOTUS, but doesn't have the same well-trodden path from his chambers -> COA -> SCOTUS/Bristow as Thapar does to Sutton, who is a big time feeder.

To answer the OP's question, the "most competitive districts" are the ones you identified, plus those in other major and coastal cities. SDNY, EDNY, CDCal, SDCal, NDIll, DDC, EDVA, DMass, etc. If it's a city that law students would like to live in for a year, it's going to be a competitive district.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:45 am

The above post nailed it. I overstated Thompson's competitiveness a bit (as far as saying that "feeder"-like stats were a prerequisite). It's more that he's been around for a very long time, is very well-respected, and has come to attract top-flight candidates who might not otherwise be rushing to live in Montgomery.

Edit: I'll also throw in Keith Ellison as a feeder-ish district court judge.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:47 am

N.D. Cal. is especially tough for law students, if only because so few of the district's judges will hire applicants straight out of law school. Layer the allure of San Francisco on top of it and it becomes very, very difficult to crack.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:28 am

toughest districts have historically been SDNY, DDC, NDCA, CDCA, ND Ill., and maybe D. Mass, EDVA, EDNY and other districts that have a certain pull, like the ED Tex.

There are certain judges that are much more competitive than the typical judge in the District. For example, unless you have something awesome on your resume you're not getting Gleeson or Weinstein (EDNY), Pollack (EDPA), Rakoff (SDNY), etc.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:toughest districts have historically been SDNY, DDC, NDCA, CDCA, ND Ill., and maybe D. Mass, EDVA, EDNY and other districts that have a certain pull, like the ED Tex.

There are certain judges that are much more competitive than the typical judge in the District. For example, unless you have something awesome on your resume you're not getting Gleeson or Weinstein (EDNY), Pollack (EDPA), Rakoff (SDNY), etc.


Pretty sure even something awesome on one's resume won't be enough for Pollack. He passed away last year.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Citizen Genet » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:toughest districts have historically been SDNY, DDC, NDCA, CDCA, ND Ill., and maybe D. Mass, EDVA, EDNY and other districts that have a certain pull, like the ED Tex.

There are certain judges that are much more competitive than the typical judge in the District. For example, unless you have something awesome on your resume you're not getting Gleeson or Weinstein (EDNY), Pollack (EDPA), Rakoff (SDNY), etc.


Pretty sure even something awesome on one's resume won't be enough for Pollack. He passed away last year.


Well, maybe if you put down "Seance Medium" under interests. But you'd have to pair that with Top 5% from HYS.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:
Tangerine Gleam wrote:I'd add E.D. Tex. to the ones listed above. But the competitiveness of clerkships hinges just as much (if not more) on the judge than the district where they sit. For example, you probably won't get hired by Thapar (E.D.Ky.) unless you have the stats to also get interviews with "feeder" CoA judges. Same goes for Myron Thompson (M.D.Al.).


Curious, what's the draw with these two?

Thapar feeds to Sutton, who feeds to SCOTUS and Bristow. Thompson has fed a couple to DC Cir and SCOTUS, but doesn't have the same well-trodden path from his chambers -> COA -> SCOTUS/Bristow as Thapar does to Sutton, who is a big time feeder.

To answer the OP's question, the "most competitive districts" are the ones you identified, plus those in other major and coastal cities. SDNY, EDNY, CDCal, SDCal, NDIll, DDC, EDVA, DMass, etc. If it's a city that law students would like to live in for a year, it's going to be a competitive district.


Re: Thapar -- in recent years, he's sent people to other feeders apart from Sutton. Another district court judge who is more competitive than most is Feinerman (N.D. Ill.)

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:18 pm

d. del is very tough in that you must have demonstrated patent experience and there are very few judges in the first place, so limited positions. also they prefer people with connections to DE

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:29 pm

I'm looking to apply broadly, but I don't want to go to the middle of nowhere


One thing to consider for those who only want to clerk in/near a big city is the peripheral markets oftentimes have courthouses within easy commuting distance from the more competitive big city. Everyone knows about EDNY (so much so that it's nearly as competitive as SDNY), but there are others. Off the top of my head, you could easily live in the big city and commute to the courthouse in the following:

DNJ -- courthouses in Newark (for NYC) and Camden (for Philly).
DMd -- courthouse in Greenbelt (for DC).
ED Va -- courthouse in Alexandria (for DC, though ED Va is probably nearly as competitive as DDC at this point).
ED Tex -- courthouse in Plano (for Dallas).
ND Ind -- courthouse in Hammond (for Chicago).

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby kalvano » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:37 pm

theaccidentalclerk wrote:ED Tex -- courthouse in Plano (for Dallas).



That also includes Sherman, which is about 2 hours north of Dallas, maybe more. Be careful with that one.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:43 pm

That also includes Sherman, which is about 2 hours north of Dallas, maybe more. Be careful with that one.


Sorry, didn't mean to imply that all of the courthouses in the district are within commuting distance -- just the ones I identified.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby exitoptions » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:49 pm

theaccidentalclerk wrote:
I'm looking to apply broadly, but I don't want to go to the middle of nowhere


One thing to consider for those who only want to clerk in/near a big city is the peripheral markets oftentimes have courthouses within easy commuting distance from the more competitive big city. Everyone knows about EDNY (so much so that it's nearly as competitive as SDNY), but there are others. Off the top of my head, you could easily live in the big city and commute to the courthouse in the following:

DNJ -- courthouses in Newark (for NYC) and Camden (for Philly).
DMd -- courthouse in Greenbelt (for DC).
ED Va -- courthouse in Alexandria (for DC, though ED Va is probably nearly as competitive as DDC at this point).
ED Tex -- courthouse in Plano (for Dallas).
ND Ind -- courthouse in Hammond (for Chicago).


I bet DNJ (Newark) is roughly as competative as EDNY. There are some good judges And it's easily commutable from the City.

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Detrox
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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Detrox » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:27 pm

exitoptions wrote:
theaccidentalclerk wrote:
I'm looking to apply broadly, but I don't want to go to the middle of nowhere


One thing to consider for those who only want to clerk in/near a big city is the peripheral markets oftentimes have courthouses within easy commuting distance from the more competitive big city. Everyone knows about EDNY (so much so that it's nearly as competitive as SDNY), but there are others. Off the top of my head, you could easily live in the big city and commute to the courthouse in the following:

DNJ -- courthouses in Newark (for NYC) and Camden (for Philly).
DMd -- courthouse in Greenbelt (for DC).
ED Va -- courthouse in Alexandria (for DC, though ED Va is probably nearly as competitive as DDC at this point).
ED Tex -- courthouse in Plano (for Dallas).
ND Ind -- courthouse in Hammond (for Chicago).


I bet DNJ (Newark) is roughly as competative as EDNY. There are some good judges And it's easily commutable from the City.


While I would hesitate to equate DNJ and EDNY. I'd certainly say that everyone I knew who was applying to SDNY/EDNY were also applying to DNJ and EDPA for what it's worth.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:01 pm

1. EDNY is very different than DNJ. Many, but not all, DNJ judges really value connections to the state. You're going to have a much easier time if you're magna at Seton Hall or if you went to college/high school in the state. If not, you'll probably have a tougher time. This does not apply to all judges though -- a significant number of them don't seem to care. Also, EDNY tends to be extremely close to SDNY in terms of competitiveness. There are many outstanding judges and the docket has a lot of interesting criminal cases. I've also heard that a lot of the big impact litigations get filed in the EDNY because of a percieved liberal bent and a more diverse, left-leaning jury pool.

2. Another thing I've noticed is that the satalite courthouses in competitive districts are often much less competitive. Central Islip and White Plains judges, generally, are easier to get.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:
Tangerine Gleam wrote:I'd add E.D. Tex. to the ones listed above. But the competitiveness of clerkships hinges just as much (if not more) on the judge than the district where they sit. For example, you probably won't get hired by Thapar (E.D.Ky.) unless you have the stats to also get interviews with "feeder" CoA judges. Same goes for Myron Thompson (M.D.Al.).


Curious, what's the draw with these two?

Thapar feeds to Sutton, who feeds to SCOTUS and Bristow. Thompson has fed a couple to DC Cir and SCOTUS, but doesn't have the same well-trodden path from his chambers -> COA -> SCOTUS/Bristow as Thapar does to Sutton, who is a big time feeder.

To answer the OP's question, the "most competitive districts" are the ones you identified, plus those in other major and coastal cities. SDNY, EDNY, CDCal, SDCal, NDIll, DDC, EDVA, DMass, etc. If it's a city that law students would like to live in for a year, it's going to be a competitive district.


Re: Thapar -- in recent years, he's sent people to other feeders apart from Sutton. Another district court judge who is more competitive than most is Feinerman (N.D. Ill.)


Likewise, Judges Brinkema and Ellis are probably the most competitive in the EDVA.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:49 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote:The above post nailed it. I overstated Thompson's competitiveness a bit (as far as saying that "feeder"-like stats were a prerequisite). It's more that he's been around for a very long time, is very well-respected, and has come to attract top-flight candidates who might not otherwise be rushing to live in Montgomery.

Edit: I'll also throw in Keith Ellison as a feeder-ish district court judge.


I'll do more than that: I happen to know for a fact that Ellison ONLY hires Yale Law candidates. PERIOD. (And has no problem in finding them: his three 2015-2016 term slots were on Oscar for less than two weeks before they were filled.) While I assumed this type of school snobbery existed at the CoA level, this is the first instance I've heard of such extreme snobbery at the federal district level. District!! I mean fine, the Southern District of Texas (and, more specifically, the Houston district) happens to be the largest in the country, and I know Ellison is a Yalie himself, but I still find it shocking that the man wouldn't even consider someone like a T14 law review EIC. It ain't the S.D.N.Y. or something.

Anyway, I should goddamn well HOPE he's a feeder if he has standards that high...

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tangerine Gleam wrote:The above post nailed it. I overstated Thompson's competitiveness a bit (as far as saying that "feeder"-like stats were a prerequisite). It's more that he's been around for a very long time, is very well-respected, and has come to attract top-flight candidates who might not otherwise be rushing to live in Montgomery.

Edit: I'll also throw in Keith Ellison as a feeder-ish district court judge.


I'll do more than that: I happen to know for a fact that Ellison ONLY hires Yale Law candidates. PERIOD. (And has no problem in finding them: his three 2015-2016 term slots were on Oscar for less than two weeks before they were filled.) While I assumed this type of school snobbery existed at the CoA level, this is the first instance I've heard of such extreme snobbery at the federal district level. District!! I mean fine, the Southern District of Texas (and, more specifically, the Houston district) happens to be the largest in the country, and I know Ellison is a Yalie himself, but I still find it shocking that the man wouldn't even consider someone like a T14 law review EIC. It ain't the S.D.N.Y. or something.

Anyway, I should goddamn well HOPE he's a feeder if he has standards that high...

I don't think it's that weird for a judge to hire only from their alma mater. It's an easy way to cut down the number of applications you have to read.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:30 pm

I know three Ellison clerks from the last five years. None of them went to Yale. Just sayin.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Jredelman15 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:32 am

ED Tex is in beaumont. ND Tex is in Dallas... Dallas is much more competitive than beaumont.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby JusticeJackson » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:13 am

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Most Competitive Clerkship Districts

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tangerine Gleam wrote:The above post nailed it. I overstated Thompson's competitiveness a bit (as far as saying that "feeder"-like stats were a prerequisite). It's more that he's been around for a very long time, is very well-respected, and has come to attract top-flight candidates who might not otherwise be rushing to live in Montgomery.

Edit: I'll also throw in Keith Ellison as a feeder-ish district court judge.


I'll do more than that: I happen to know for a fact that Ellison ONLY hires Yale Law candidates. PERIOD. (And has no problem in finding them: his three 2015-2016 term slots were on Oscar for less than two weeks before they were filled.) While I assumed this type of school snobbery existed at the CoA level, this is the first instance I've heard of such extreme snobbery at the federal district level. District!! I mean fine, the Southern District of Texas (and, more specifically, the Houston district) happens to be the largest in the country, and I know Ellison is a Yalie himself, but I still find it shocking that the man wouldn't even consider someone like a T14 law review EIC. It ain't the S.D.N.Y. or something.

Anyway, I should goddamn well HOPE he's a feeder if he has standards that high...


The current SLS clerks in Ellison's chambers beg to differ (as does the one clerking for him next year). None were on Law Review.




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