When should I apply?

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Anonymous User
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When should I apply?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:43 pm

Hey all:

I am a 3L at CC, above median grades and no journal (yet, but am working with administration to start a new one). Good pre-law work experience, and will have good legal work experience through when I apply (corporate law job). So, I would like a state supreme court or district court clerkship anywhere (e.g., supreme court of Nevada, or northern district of Kansas). I have a few ties to judges, but nothing to write home about, and think I pissed off a prominent 5th Circuit judge the other day. I am a member of FedSoc, ACS, Outlaw, ACLU, Christian Legal Society, etc., and skew libertarian.

So, I am assuming the following, correct me if I am wrong:
1. I am better off waiting until the 2015-2016 cycle, as I haven't really started my materials yet;
2. two years of experience will help a lot more than one year of experience;
3. I have a decent shot with good recommendations to land something, somewhere, if I apply on the first day I possibly can for applications in 2015-2016;
4. being EIC of a new journal would help me a lot;
5. being published in a law review would help.

Thoughts?

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ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: When should I apply?

Postby ph14 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey all:

I am a 3L at CC, above median grades and no journal (yet, but am working with administration to start a new one). Good pre-law work experience, and will have good legal work experience through when I apply (corporate law job). So, I would like a state supreme court or district court clerkship anywhere (e.g., supreme court of Nevada, or northern district of Kansas). I have a few ties to judges, but nothing to write home about, and think I pissed off a prominent 5th Circuit judge the other day. I am a member of FedSoc, ACS, Outlaw, ACLU, Christian Legal Society, etc., and skew libertarian.

So, I am assuming the following, correct me if I am wrong:
1. I am better off waiting until the 2015-2016 cycle, as I haven't really started my materials yet;
2. two years of experience will help a lot more than one year of experience;
3. I have a decent shot with good recommendations to land something, somewhere, if I apply on the first day I possibly can for applications in 2015-2016;
4. being EIC of a new journal would help me a lot;
5. being published in a law review would help.

Thoughts?


How are you going to start a new journal during your last semester/quarter of law school?

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: When should I apply?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:01 pm

ph14 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey all:

I am a 3L at CC, above median grades and no journal (yet, but am working with administration to start a new one). Good pre-law work experience, and will have good legal work experience through when I apply (corporate law job). So, I would like a state supreme court or district court clerkship anywhere (e.g., supreme court of Nevada, or northern district of Kansas). I have a few ties to judges, but nothing to write home about, and think I pissed off a prominent 5th Circuit judge the other day. I am a member of FedSoc, ACS, Outlaw, ACLU, Christian Legal Society, etc., and skew libertarian.

So, I am assuming the following, correct me if I am wrong:
1. I am better off waiting until the 2015-2016 cycle, as I haven't really started my materials yet;
2. two years of experience will help a lot more than one year of experience;
3. I have a decent shot with good recommendations to land something, somewhere, if I apply on the first day I possibly can for applications in 2015-2016;
4. being EIC of a new journal would help me a lot;
5. being published in a law review would help.

Thoughts?


How are you going to start a new journal during your last semester/quarter of law school?


I've actually been working on it since beginning of 2L year, it has been a long and tiring process, and have collaborators who will take over the lead after I am gone. If it happens, I will help lead it in an emeritus role.

But, either way, what should I do?

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Bildungsroman
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Re: When should I apply?

Postby Bildungsroman » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:23 pm

Explain this pissing off of a 5th circuit judge.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: When should I apply?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:50 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:Explain this pissing off of a 5th circuit judge.


Cant- it will out me, but due to stupidity on my part in an academic context. Hilarity ensued.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: When should I apply?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:00 pm

I would imagine that many district and state supreme court judges still follow the plan, so it's not like you're on a time-crunch to apply to those judges. You can apply now and it should be easier to use the help of your school. Or at least get your stuff together and plan on applying over the summer. If you end up with nothing, you can just reapply the next year (and then at least you already have some of this stuff already in place).

Anonymous User
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Re: When should I apply?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:32 pm

I am not sure if I can "chance you" but I have been through the process and can offer some advice.
Anonymous User wrote: I am a 3L at CC . . .

Forgive me if it's obvious and I'm missing it, but what is "CC?"
Anonymous User wrote: think I pissed off a prominent 5th Circuit judge the other day.

I would like to hear this story too but understand if you'd rather not share details.

I will say this: I would think it is pretty unlikely he will take the initiative to call around and try to screw you over with his colleagues. That said, if your connection to him is something that other judges would notice in your application materials (e.g. you interned for him last summer or took a short course with him (which appears on your transcript) it is substantially more likely that other judges might ask him about you. So if there is any way to correct or mitigate the animus, you should do so. If not, you might try to leave his name out of your materials if possible. For example, at my school, if I print the PDF grade report, it doesn't say who the professors were whereas the official transcript does. This step might only be worth it with judges he is likely to know (other 5th Cir etc.). Hard to say given the dearth of details but at least considerations to think about.
Anonymous User wrote:I am a member of FedSoc, ACS, Outlaw, ACLU, Christian Legal Society, etc., and skew libertarian.

You should probably only list groups in which you are a mere participant to signal something specific about yourself. Your list above paints a confusing picture of yourself with little upside. A judge might assume that you have no particular perspective or just don't understand that FedSoc and ACS are at odds with each other. Some judges screen for ideology and some don't. But I would think that the above list will put you in an unflattering light regardless.

I would pick the ones that best represent your perspective and then only list them to judges who are likely to agree with you, leaving them off completely for judges that are unlikely to agree with you. Just to be clear, I would not recommend listing FedSoc and CLS to conservatives while listing ACS, ACLU, and Outlaw to liberals. That seems misleading (even if you attended events for all of them). I am not saying you can't be a gay conservative or a Christian liberal or whatever else, but just that you will be needlessly limiting the pool of judges who might hire you if you include a confusing list of signals.

TLDR: Judges don't care what events you attended. The only reason to list group affiliations like that is to say something larger about yourself. So make sure that what you are saying is both accurate and helpful to your application.

Hope that makes sense.

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emciosn
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Re: When should I apply?

Postby emciosn » Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey all:

I am a 3L at CC, above median grades and no journal (yet, but am working with administration to start a new one). Good pre-law work experience, and will have good legal work experience through when I apply (corporate law job). So, I would like a state supreme court or district court clerkship anywhere (e.g., supreme court of Nevada, or northern district of Kansas). I have a few ties to judges, but nothing to write home about, and think I pissed off a prominent 5th Circuit judge the other day. I am a member of FedSoc, ACS, Outlaw, ACLU, Christian Legal Society, etc., and skew libertarian.

So, I am assuming the following, correct me if I am wrong:
1. I am better off waiting until the 2015-2016 cycle, as I haven't really started my materials yet;
2. two years of experience will help a lot more than one year of experience;
3. I have a decent shot with good recommendations to land something, somewhere, if I apply on the first day I possibly can for applications in 2015-2016;
4. being EIC of a new journal would help me a lot;
5. being published in a law review would help.

Thoughts?


1. I don't know where you have to be numbers-wise from "CC" (Columbia/Chicago??) but I think there are plenty of 2014-2015 clerkships available (maybe even a few 2013-2014 with new appointments--if you have something lined up for work them maybe focus on 2014-2015 at the earliest). If you are focusing on D. Ct. and SSC I think you will have plenty of opportunities for 2014-2105, just get your applications materials together ASAP and get them out. Judges that are on plan haven't even started looking at applications for 2014-2015 yet. I would start on this yesterday since professors usually want a couple weeks to get their LORs ready. You should be fine (or at least have a shot) for some D. Ct. and SSC clerkships for 2014-2015 if you cast a wide net (doesn't sound like you have a geographical preference) get your applications in the next couple weeks. If you are at a T14 I would assume your CSO will help you get your stuff together.

2. I'm not sure on this but intuitively I would think that 2 years of WE would no have that much more of a beneficial impact on your applications than 1 year. Just my intuition.

3. I don't exactly know what "CC" means but above median at Columbia or Chicago might be enough? I dunno, I go to a T20. As far as the "first day I can possibly apply" notion goes I'm not exactly sure what that means. Some D. Ct. and COA judges are accepting applications for 2015-2016 positions now I'm pretty sure. There are plenty of D. Ct. judges that are judge now getting into the swing of things for 2014-2015 as well. See my answer to #1 but I would get out some applications to D. Ct.s and SSCs for 2014-2015 in the next couple weeks if possible and if you strike out its not a big deal since you have something to do. Then, get your applications out really early next spring (late fall?) for 2015-2016.

4. This is my intuition again but I don't know if having your journal accepted by this school will really help you all that much. You are currently the EIC of a journal that is not "school-approved" and I would think that most judges would see this as a positive (not as much as being the EIC of the flagship journal but what can you do right?). I don't think that the journal being officially accepted by the school will give you a significantly bigger boost. Again, just my intuition. I think it is a really good thing you have done I just don't think the strength of it depends on whether the school accepts the journal.

5. Yes. Definitely. But, was this publication in the journal that is not school sponsored and that you started? If so, it will probably help yes.

HTH. These are all just my thoughts so take them with a grain of salt. Good luck!

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: When should I apply?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:02 pm

Thanks a ton for the advice everyone. The journal is not off the ground yet, but is likely pointless without school support. I guess I thought two years might be better than one on experience. I will try to get my materials together ASAP. By CC, I meant Columbia/Chicago.

If I am indifferent to location(I mean I am from a major market, but it might be super competitive there), is it bad to blanket all judges I can??

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emciosn
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:53 pm

Re: When should I apply?

Postby emciosn » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks a ton for the advice everyone. The journal is not off the ground yet, but is likely pointless without school support. I guess I thought two years might be better than one on experience. I will try to get my materials together ASAP. By CC, I meant Columbia/Chicago.

If I am indifferent to location(I mean I am from a major market, but it might be super competitive there), is it bad to blanket all judges I can??


If I were you I would apply everywhere you can if you don't have a geographical preference. Some judges will want someone local or someone who is interested in practicing in the area but others won't care. Judges who want geographical ties may ignore you but others who don't will probably bite. If I were you I would just cast as wide a net as possible. Note that not all judges who are hiring are on OSCAR--some (many?) don't post on OSCAR. Apply to the OSCAR judges for sure but maybe think about the judges who aren't on OSCAR as well--your CSO may have some information on which non-OSCAR judges are hiring, ask them about it. Also, its a pain but you may want to consider paper applications as opposed to online/OSCAR applications. There is a thread from a couple days ago about paper v. online/OSCAR applications (should be right below this one).

FWIW, I cast a fairly wide net last fall for 2013-2014 clerkships and ended up interviewing all over the country (California, Texas, Wisconsin, Vermont, and more...) so being geographically flexible can be an advantage. You may be able to stumble on some judges who just didn't get as many applications for whatever reason or just happen to hit that judge that really likes your resume.




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