D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

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D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:47 pm

Which D.C. Circuit judges are off plan? I am thinking of sending in some applications now but don't know I would apply to.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Citizen Genet » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:19 pm

Yes.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:21 pm

Citizen Genet wrote:Yes.


Thanks for a helpful and constructive response.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Citizen Genet » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Citizen Genet wrote:Yes.


Thanks for a helpful and constructive response.

That's fair. I was going for a humorous way to say that every DC Circuit judge is off plan. Breaking into DC Circuit is very tough. If you are competitive, you should submit sooner rather than later.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:30 pm

Citizen Genet wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Citizen Genet wrote:Yes.


Thanks for a helpful and constructive response.

That's fair. I was going for a humorous way to say that every DC Circuit judge is off plan. Breaking into DC Circuit is very tough. If you are competitive, you should submit sooner rather than later.


I'm competitive (though if there any HLS D.C. Circuit clerks that browse these boards and want to fill me in on what you need that would be helpful). Thanks for the tip. I guess i'll just blanket them all? Can I send a list of references rather than request my recommenders to mail a bunch of letters since I can't yet send applications through OSCAR?

Also, thank you for an actual helpful and constructive response.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:57 pm

I think it is very, very hard to crack the D.C. Cir. without a strong professor connection (even when you're near the top of your class at HLS). Find out which of your recommenders know D.C. Cir. judges, and ask them who they'd be comfortable calling/emailing. I'm sure it occasionally happens just through simple cold applications, but every D.C. Cir. clerk I know got the clerkship through some sort of fairly strong back-door communication (whether from a professor or a district court judge). On top of super-top grades and all of that other stuff you'd expect.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:I think it is very, very hard to crack the D.C. Cir. without a strong professor connection (even when you're near the top of your class at HLS). Find out which of your recommenders know D.C. Cir. judges, and ask them who they'd be comfortable calling/emailing. I'm sure it occasionally happens just through simple cold applications, but every D.C. Cir. clerk I know got the clerkship through some sort of fairly strong back-door communication (whether from a professor or a district court judge). On top of super-top grades and all of that other stuff you'd expect.


I see. Well, i'm probably out of luck then. But I think i'll send in some applications nonetheless.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Citizen Genet » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think it is very, very hard to crack the D.C. Cir. without a strong professor connection (even when you're near the top of your class at HLS). Find out which of your recommenders know D.C. Cir. judges, and ask them who they'd be comfortable calling/emailing. I'm sure it occasionally happens just through simple cold applications, but every D.C. Cir. clerk I know got the clerkship through some sort of fairly strong back-door communication (whether from a professor or a district court judge). On top of super-top grades and all of that other stuff you'd expect.


I see. Well, i'm probably out of luck then. But I think i'll send in some applications nonetheless.


Definitely worth the postage to send them in if you're top 5% at Harvard. Also, I wouldn't resign yourself to not having a connection just yet. There's got to be a professor you know who knows a D.C. Cir. judge, even if they aren't a recommender right now. Consider looking for a connection and then asking the professor if you can talk about that specific judge.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:10 am

Agreed! Definitely don't give up (I was the poster from above who said it would be hard). I'm sure you're in a better spot to get a DC Cir. gig than most of us. It's just that sending a bunch of cold apps probably isn't the best way to do it. Talk to professors. Call HLS DC Cir. alum and ask how they got their gigs. This is the time to focus really hard on making and using connections.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:18 pm

Everyone I know who has interviewed with a D.C. Circuit judge applied on plan. Did they just go off plan? My impression is that they were the last bastion of on plan solidarity.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:39 pm

You need to distinguish between the feeders on the D.C. Cir and the rest of the judges. Getting a "regular" clerkship on the D.C. Circuit is certainly tougher than, say, getting a run-of-the-mill 9th circuit clerkship. But clerking for Garland/Tatel/Griffith/Kavanaugh is an entirely different matter, similar to getting any other top tier feeder like Kozinski/Wilkinson/Katzmann/Fletcher. For those you need a lot more than good grades.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Citizen Genet » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Everyone I know who has interviewed with a D.C. Circuit judge applied on plan. Did they just go off plan? My impression is that they were the last bastion of on plan solidarity.


As I understand it, those who require on-plan applications do so nominally. They receive and do official interviews then, but they have connected faculty members who identify candidates for them ahead of time. Certainly some have hired on-plan. But blind and on-plan, I think is an anomaly. I could be off on this and am free to anyone correcting me.

The biggest thing I would point out is that sending early - particularly if you're competitive - will not hurt you. If the judge hires on-plan, the applicant just re-submit come August.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Citizen Genet » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:39 pm


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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm competitive (though if there any HLS D.C. Circuit clerks that browse these boards and want to fill me in on what you need that would be helpful).

It's obviously not literally true that you have to be on HLR to clerk for the D.C. Circuit, but the large majority of HLSers who clerk there are on HLR. So that would be one thing you almost need. As for grades, I'd say something like no more than two Ps and at least 4-6 DSs after 2L fall semester.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:39 pm

Citizen Genet wrote:And boom goes the dynamite.

http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/h ... k%20Hiring

Oooh, fascinating.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm competitive (though if there any HLS D.C. Circuit clerks that browse these boards and want to fill me in on what you need that would be helpful).

It's obviously not literally true that you have to be on HLR to clerk for the D.C. Circuit, but the large majority of HLSers who clerk there are on HLR. So that would be one thing you almost need. As for grades, I'd say something like no more than two Ps and at least 4-6 DSs after 2L fall semester.


Are those minimum qualifications? Or competitive qualifications?

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm competitive (though if there any HLS D.C. Circuit clerks that browse these boards and want to fill me in on what you need that would be helpful).

It's obviously not literally true that you have to be on HLR to clerk for the D.C. Circuit, but the large majority of HLSers who clerk there are on HLR. So that would be one thing you almost need. As for grades, I'd say something like no more than two Ps and at least 4-6 DSs after 2L fall semester.


Are those minimum qualifications? Or competitive qualifications?

That plus strong recommenders, ideally a professor with a connection, would certainly make you competitive. I don't think it's possible to say there's any objective minimum qualification. If your recommender has a better connection or lobbies harder on your behalf, you can probably get away with lower grades. If you don't have any recommender connections, you'd probably need better grades. The really opaque thing is the professor/recommender connections. Don't be afraid to talk to former/current/future clerks: they may not want to share their grades, but they might at least be willing to tell you general grade ranges and whether recommender connections are critical.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm competitive (though if there any HLS D.C. Circuit clerks that browse these boards and want to fill me in on what you need that would be helpful).

It's obviously not literally true that you have to be on HLR to clerk for the D.C. Circuit, but the large majority of HLSers who clerk there are on HLR. So that would be one thing you almost need. As for grades, I'd say something like no more than two Ps and at least 4-6 DSs after 2L fall semester.


Are those minimum qualifications? Or competitive qualifications?

That plus strong recommenders, ideally a professor with a connection, would certainly make you competitive. I don't think it's possible to say there's any objective minimum qualification. If your recommender has a better connection or lobbies harder on your behalf, you can probably get away with lower grades. If you don't have any recommender connections, you'd probably need better grades. The really opaque thing is the professor/recommender connections. Don't be afraid to talk to former/current/future clerks: they may not want to share their grades, but they might at least be willing to tell you general grade ranges and whether recommender connections are critical.


Thanks a lot! Are you a D.C. Cir. clerk? So should I just mail in snail mail apps? Do that many people have 4-6 DSs after 2L fall? :shock:

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks a lot! Are you a D.C. Cir. clerk? So should I just mail in snail mail apps?
I'm within the former/current/future spectrum, and that's as much as I'll say. I don't want to give any specific advice on how to apply for fear of leading you astray; I would just look at the judges' OSCAR listings and follow whatever application guidance they provide. If you're in serious doubt, contact OCS.

Anonymous User wrote:Do that many people have 4-6 DSs after 2L fall? :shock:
No, they don't. But then, not that many people get D.C. Cir. clerkships. :)

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm competitive (though if there any HLS D.C. Circuit clerks that browse these boards and want to fill me in on what you need that would be helpful).

It's obviously not literally true that you have to be on HLR to clerk for the D.C. Circuit, but the large majority of HLSers who clerk there are on HLR. So that would be one thing you almost need. As for grades, I'd say something like no more than two Ps and at least 4-6 DSs after 2L fall semester.


Are those minimum qualifications? Or competitive qualifications?

That plus strong recommenders, ideally a professor with a connection, would certainly make you competitive. I don't think it's possible to say there's any objective minimum qualification. If your recommender has a better connection or lobbies harder on your behalf, you can probably get away with lower grades. If you don't have any recommender connections, you'd probably need better grades. The really opaque thing is the professor/recommender connections. Don't be afraid to talk to former/current/future clerks: they may not want to share their grades, but they might at least be willing to tell you general grade ranges and whether recommender connections are critical.

Not OP HLS student here.

Any advice on how to navigate the professor/recommender situation? Is there any way to navigate that in advance if you're otherwise competitive since this is one aspect that you need to put some time and forethought into?

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:02 pm

Citizen Genet wrote:And boom goes the dynamite.

http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/h ... k%20Hiring


Not to derail the thread, but does this have any implications for the D.C. District Court's adherence to the Plan?

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are those minimum qualifications? Or competitive qualifications?

That plus strong recommenders, ideally a professor with a connection, would certainly make you competitive. I don't think it's possible to say there's any objective minimum qualification. If your recommender has a better connection or lobbies harder on your behalf, you can probably get away with lower grades. If you don't have any recommender connections, you'd probably need better grades. The really opaque thing is the professor/recommender connections. Don't be afraid to talk to former/current/future clerks: they may not want to share their grades, but they might at least be willing to tell you general grade ranges and whether recommender connections are critical.

Not OP HLS student here.

Any advice on how to navigate the professor/recommender situation? Is there any way to navigate that in advance if you're otherwise competitive since this is one aspect that you need to put some time and forethought into?

Is the gist of your question how can you figure out which (if any) possible recommenders have connections? If yes, I would suggest two courses of action.

First, meet with those professors you think would be good potential recommenders and ask for their general advice about clerking. Then say that you're particularly interested in D.C. (or wherever it might be) and ask them if they have any insight into which judges on that court might be good to work for. If the professor has any kind of connection and would be willing to use it for you, that line of questioning will probably be enough to get them to mention it. If they don't have a connection (or if they don't feel comfortable using it), they can just reply generally and there's no harm done.

Second, get in touch with students from your school who are former/current/future clerks on that court and talk to them about the application process. (If you are at HLS, use the Lists of HLS Clerks [it's password protected]; I assume and hope other schools have comparable lists.) This is probably easiest with future clerks who are still in school and whom you might know personally or through a mutual friend. I think most former/current/future clerks won't feel awkward about telling a fellow student who their recommenders were and whether that played a big part in the process. Then hopefully you can establish (or perhaps already have) a relationship with those influential recommenders.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is the gist of your question how can you figure out which (if any) possible recommenders have connections? If yes, I would suggest two courses of action.

First, meet with those professors you think would be good potential recommenders and ask for their general advice about clerking. Then say that you're particularly interested in D.C. (or wherever it might be) and ask them if they have any insight into which judges on that court might be good to work for. If the professor has any kind of connection and would be willing to use it for you, that line of questioning will probably be enough to get them to mention it. If they don't have a connection (or if they don't feel comfortable using it), they can just reply generally and there's no harm done.

Second, get in touch with students from your school who are former/current/future clerks on that court and talk to them about the application process. (If you are at HLS, use the Lists of HLS Clerks [it's password protected]; I assume and hope other schools have comparable lists.) This is probably easiest with future clerks who are still in school and whom you might know personally or through a mutual friend. I think most former/current/future clerks won't feel awkward about telling a fellow student who their recommenders were and whether that played a big part in the process. Then hopefully you can establish (or perhaps already have) a relationship with those influential recommenders.

Thank you for the response. Yes, that's the gist of my question.

Now that judges are increasingly moving off plan, I realize that I have a small amount of time to get to a good enough position with enough professors (i.e. take a class and/or RA) that would elicit a solid recommendation and/or a phone call (unless I apply as an alum). I've thought of cold emailing alums, but that feels a bit unseemly to me since it's such a naked proposition. It's just such an opaque situation aside from the 5-6 obvious faculty names that I'm not really sure how to navigate the process.

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm competitive (though if there any HLS D.C. Circuit clerks that browse these boards and want to fill me in on what you need that would be helpful).

It's obviously not literally true that you have to be on HLR to clerk for the D.C. Circuit, but the large majority of HLSers who clerk there are on HLR. So that would be one thing you almost need. As for grades, I'd say something like no more than two Ps and at least 4-6 DSs after 2L fall semester.


Where would that put as far as class rank?

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Re: D.C. Circuit - Off Plan Judges?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It's obviously not literally true that you have to be on HLR to clerk for the D.C. Circuit, but the large majority of HLSers who clerk there are on HLR. So that would be one thing you almost need. As for grades, I'd say something like no more than two Ps and at least 4-6 DSs after 2L fall semester.

Where would that put as far as class rank?

Alas, no real idea. I suspect it puts you on the road to magna cum laude, so that would put in you top 10%, but beyond that hunch, I couldn't say. Maybe smart math/stats people can figure it out from the theoretical distribution of grades, but I am not such a person.




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