Clerkship Advice: State Supreme v. Federal; Need Advice

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
Anonymous User
Posts: 273408
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Clerkship Advice: State Supreme v. Federal; Need Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 24, 2013 1:35 pm

Okay, let me set the scene:

I'm a rising 3L at a Tier 2 law school on the East Coast. It's firmly a T2, but it has a decent reputation, especially in the region, and very much so in the state where it's located. After 1L year I was in the top 8% or so with a 3.966/4.33 GPA. I locked up a fancy Biglaw SA which starts next week. Again, it hasn't started yet, but given what I've heard, it takes a massive fuck up to not get an offer. I anticipate/hope to not massively fuck up.

Nonetheless, I'd like to clerk for a year (or two) after school before settling into the long haul of Biglaw life. That said, 2L year didn't go quite as swimmingly in terms of grades. It wasn't a disaster, but I got a handful of A's, B's, and one awful anomalous C+ in a stupid elective. Right now, with one grade to go, I have a 3.692/4.33. I anticipate this will put me in the top 20% or so, but maybe a little higher depending on what the class size is after this year. Offsetting this kind of shitty academic performance is a pretty big preftige factor, and that's that I was elected the EIC of the Law Review next year.

Thus, my pickle: The highest State court, where I think with these stats I have a relatively decent chance of at least scoring an interview, has been sneaky and is accepting applications for clerkships a few days BEFORE June 28th, when Fed Cts. on the hiring plan officially start scheduling interviews. So if I get an interview/an offer from the State Supreme before Fed. Cts. even start scheduling do I jump on it and take it? Do I ask them to let me interview with the Feds. and risk alienating them? Or have I essentially screwed myself out of the slight chance I had in securing a Federal clerkship? Am I not considering any other factors I should be?

All legitimate non-flaming advice welcome. Thanks guys and gals.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: Clerkship Advice: State Supreme v. Federal; Need Advice

Postby rad lulz » Fri May 24, 2013 1:37 pm

Apply for SSC if your firm is in the state

AIII clerkships are a LOOOOONG shot

Unless you got some profs who can get you in the door

lolwat
Posts: 604
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Clerkship Advice: State Supreme v. Federal; Need Advice

Postby lolwat » Fri May 24, 2013 1:49 pm

rad lulz wrote:Apply for SSC if your firm is in the state

AIII clerkships are a LOOOOONG shot

Unless you got some profs who can get you in the door


This.

Top 20% at your T2 school is likely not going to land you a federal clerkship.

The judges that hire from lower ranked, regional/local schools, do so from the very top of the class and can afford to be that picky.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22854
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Clerkship Advice: State Supreme v. Federal; Need Advice

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri May 24, 2013 3:29 pm

As someone with similar stats from a lower T1 (not EIC, but major board position - though I know they're less valued than EIC), I say go for SSC. Your stats are tough for federal district, and, frankly, for SSC (although if your T2 is the flagship regional school that helps a little). If you're interested in clerking for a couple of years, you could go from SSC to federal and get the experience of both (and having previous clerkship experience, even if state, and applying as an alum, often improves your chances of getting a federal clerkship. You don't have to have done the clerkship yet - just having it on the resume helps). For another, a bird in the hand is definitely worth two in the bush.

Also, depending on where the SSC is and what a judge thinks of you, they may not do exploding/on the spot offers as much as federal judges do, so you may not run into an actual conflict. (Both judges I've clerked for - state and federal - actually gave me lots of time to make a decision; but semi-flyover places, so YMMV.)

JusticeJackson
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:26 am

Re: Clerkship Advice: State Supreme v. Federal; Need Advice

Postby JusticeJackson » Fri May 24, 2013 6:28 pm

.
Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273408
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerkship Advice: State Supreme v. Federal; Need Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 25, 2013 12:48 pm

I don't even know if those stats are good enough for SSC. I worked for a SSC Justice my 1L summer and the clerks were all in the top 5-ish people in their class (at local T2's) with like 3.9+ GPA's and LR.

User avatar
nevdash
Posts: 409
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:01 pm

Re: Clerkship Advice: State Supreme v. Federal; Need Advice

Postby nevdash » Sat May 25, 2013 6:05 pm

Sorry for being off-topic, but what the hell is up with the curve at your school? A 3.97 after 1L, even at a school that gives A+s, is usually way way better than top 8%. This is especially true at non-T1 schools, where the median is usually much lower. I know that after my 1L year, 3.7/4.3 was top 10% on a 3.3 curve.

Does your school just have a group of 10-15 students who scoop up the As/A+s in every single class?
Last edited by nevdash on Sat May 25, 2013 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Lincoln
Posts: 1032
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: Clerkship Advice: State Supreme v. Federal; Need Advice

Postby Lincoln » Sat May 25, 2013 6:10 pm

nevdash wrote:Sorry for being off-topic, but what the hell is up with the curve at your school? A 3.97 after 1L, even at a school that gives A+s, is usually way way better than top 8%. This is especially true at non-T1 schools, where the median is usually much lower. I know that after my 1L year, 3.7/4.3 was top 10% on a 3.3 curve.


+1. I'm pretty sure 3.97 would have been #2 (not percent) in my class after 1L.

As for the OP, personally, I would go for federal all the way, but ask anyone and everyone at your school about clerkships. Perhaps there are alums who have clerked who could give you advice. I feel like you need to find a federal judge who doesn't follow the usual hiring patterns.




Return to “Judicial Clerkships”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.