Alaska clerkships

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Alaska clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:34 am

I'm just looking for extra information on clerkships up in Alaska, if anyone has some, specifically on how competitive things are. I grew up there and am looking to go back to practice. However, my school (tier 2, where I am doing well) is rather far away and I never see anything posted on the career website. I've secured an externship with a district court judge for my 3L year, so I'm hoping that will help. I will also be working in AK for the summer and hope to make connections that way. Thanks.

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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:48 pm

I think the state court website has info on this. I'm not from Alaska so I don't know much about this, but I suspect being from Alaska is a huge plus. I recall hearing about someone from a T2 far from Alaska getting a clerkship with the Supreme Court there. I don't know the stats of that person though.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:12 pm

I have heard that the Alaska supreme court is sort of competitive, and that people from all over apply, because there's so many opportunities to write on issues of first impression (there isn't as much settled law in Alaska as in, say, NY). But I don't know what "sort of competitive" means, really - tougher for T14-ers than other SSCs, but not as tough as federal district? No idea, sorry. I would think connections to Alaska and intent to practice there would be a big plus. (Someone from my lower T1 is doing a state-level trial clerkship there - I don't think she was top of the class but probably top half.)

I think there is a sort of centralized process for applying for the Alaska SSC - there's a deadline (June, maybe? I want to say late spring/early summer), and the justices (or some of them) travel to CA and hold interviews for all clerks there (just because the logistics of interviewing are otherwise difficult). I don't know if they hire outside this process at all. If you check the Vermont state clerkship guide, it should have more info on this.

I don't know anything about the federal district court judges in Alaska, sorry.

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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby nevdash » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:18 pm

Isn't there a lot of hype surrounding clerkships with the AKSC? I think the judges all heavily recruit HYS types because AK state law is young and the court routinely hears cases of first impression, or something.

See, for example, this thread: http://www.xoxohth.com/thread.php?threa ... forum_id=2

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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:26 pm

Well that is interesting. I wasn't aware they recruited heavily in the top schools. I guess I will just hope that my connections to the state give me a bump. Thanks.

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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:48 pm

FWIW, I know that Yale usually sends one or two students each year to clerk on the Alaska Supreme Court.

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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:31 pm

I interviewed with the Alaska Supreme Court back when I was a 3L. I thought it went well, but I didn't get it. It's very competitive, but it's hard to gauge in comparison to other clerkships. They take a lot of T14 folks, and other top-of-clas types at certain law schools in the NW and California. I get the sense that they really want smart people who are going to take advantage of living in Alaska and genuinely want to go there. The interview seemed like a big sales pitch for the state.

They have a fairly organized clerkship system. You can apply to the Sup Court and Court of Appeals (only hears criminal appeals). You can also apply to the trial courts by district, I believe. Like Anchorage, Juneau, etc. If a judge is interested they'll call you. Someone in my class clerked for a trial judge in Anchorage and loved it. Based on the photos on facebook, it seemed like an awesome place to live.

Alaska ties would help a lot I think, but the Supreme Court is pretty competitive and you might need more than that.

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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:13 pm

Alaska Supreme Court interviews Stanford students in the Bay Area every year I believe. They may also interview Boalt students at the same time. Generally 1-3 SLS students clerk on the court every year.

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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:51 pm

The composition of the AK Supreme Court clerkship class last year was, I think, all Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, or Boalt. Take that FWIW.

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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby nevdash » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The composition of the AK Supreme Court clerkship class last year was, I think, all Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, or Boalt. Take that FWIW.

Makes sense. If you're constantly deciding novel issues, I imagine it would be an awesome clerkship for someone who wants to go into academia. You basically get to write law review articles that become actual law.

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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby ph14 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:35 pm

nevdash wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The composition of the AK Supreme Court clerkship class last year was, I think, all Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, or Boalt. Take that FWIW.

Makes sense. If you're constantly deciding novel issues, I imagine it would be an awesome clerkship for someone who wants to go into academia. You basically get to write law review articles that become actual law.


Even if they are novel though, odds are they have been addressed by some of the other 50 states. So while it might be a case of first impression in Alaska, it's still not totally new and has probably been analyzed before to some degree.

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nevdash
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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby nevdash » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:42 pm

ph14 wrote:
nevdash wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The composition of the AK Supreme Court clerkship class last year was, I think, all Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, or Boalt. Take that FWIW.

Makes sense. If you're constantly deciding novel issues, I imagine it would be an awesome clerkship for someone who wants to go into academia. You basically get to write law review articles that become actual law.


Even if they are novel though, odds are they have been addressed by some of the other 50 states. So while it might be a case of first impression in Alaska, it's still not totally new and has probably been analyzed before to some degree.

Yeah, but taking a survey of many different jurisdictions' laws, comparing them, and then choosing the best rule is still a pretty academic exercise.

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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:39 pm

I just wanted to update for further opinions. I mis-posted in my original post, in that my school is in Tier 1, albeit low Tier 1. I also worked up there for a municipality this summer and did well. I wrote a portion of a brief and the entirety of a response to a petition for rehearing that were filed with the Court. I won on the response to petition. I also wrote a note that will be published in the Duke Alaska Law Review this December.

Still not from Harvard/Yale, but I like to think I've helped myself.

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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:01 pm

. I just wanted to update for further opinions. I mis-posted in my original post, in that my school is in Tier 1, albeit low Tier 1. I also worked up there for a municipality this summer and did well. I wrote a portion of a brief and the entirety of a response to a petition for rehearing that were filed with the Court. I won on the response to petition. I also wrote a note that will be published in the Duke Alaska Law Review this December.

Still not from Harvard/Yale, but I like to think I've helped myself.


You have definitely helped yourself - AK judges definitely care about ties/desire to be in Alaska long term. I still would say that the Supreme Court is pretty unlikely, but if you're proactive you could certainly get an interview and then it's your game to win. There's only one active District judge, I believe (plus a senior or two), so low odds there for anyone. You should have a great shot at the court of appeals or superior court if you are interested in those.

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Re: Alaska clerkships

Postby hiima3L » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Alaska Supreme Court interviews Stanford students in the Bay Area every year I believe. They may also interview Boalt students at the same time. Generally 1-3 SLS students clerk on the court every year.


They send one Justice to interview X candidates at schools across the nation for all of the state's courts. They seem very, very competitive.

I talked with one alum (UC Hastings) who clerked with the AKSC and she graduated summa (i.e., top 1%). I know a few of the justices went to Boalt/Stanford and seem to have an affinity for those schools.




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