How competitive am I?

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Anonymous User
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How competitive am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:23 am

I am top 5%ish at a T20 school, LR associate editor, moot court. Working in government this summer and want to end up in government but don't have a job lined up. I am pretty geographically flexible for an aiii clerkship. How competitive am I for the top districts like DDC/SDNY, especially compared to "flyover" districts that I don't have much connection to?

Citizen Genet
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Re: How competitive am I?

Postby Citizen Genet » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:44 am

Those two districts are two of the three most alum-focused districts for clerkship hiring. (DDC is, as a percentage, probably the heaviest.) After alum hiring is complete, there is major competition for the remaining spots. If you have some in with a specific judge (rec with close relationship, dads friend from the glory days, etc) you have a chance, albeit not sure fire. Absent a connection, it is a tremendous long shot. (If you are at GW, there maybe MAYBE might be a DC judge who likes gw grads, but you would have to find that out through CSO.)

Consider broadening your district applications while staying in the region. D MD, EDNY, DNJ are all still competitive, but nothing like the two you mentioned. Or consider clerking wherever you can for a year then applying to DDC or SDNY.

Anonymous User
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Re: How competitive am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:09 am

It hardly hurts to throw your hat in the ring, but I wouldn't count on it. Keep in mind also that applicants to DDC/SDNY aren't solely competing against people who only want a district court clerkship. A lot of those judges have relationships with judges on the circuit level, so tons of their clerks actually clerk in the 2nd Circuit or the D.C. Circuit before going to them. Rakoff (SDNY) & Katzmann (2d Cir.) often hire together in this fashion for effectively a two-year clerkship for the applicant. Even at Yale the people getting DDC/SDNY clerkships are arguably more competitive than the average person getting a circuit clerkship -- better positions on the law journal, better grades, etc.

Anonymous User
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Re: How competitive am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:20 am

If you broaden your search to other districts--especially if you have any connection to those districts, including going to school in them--you have a good shot at interviews. If you limit yourself to DDC/SDNY your chances are relatively slim, although you likely would have a good chance after 1-2 years of working if you get a biglaw or biggov job.

Anonymous User
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Re: How competitive am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:50 am

OP here. thanks for the feedback. I'm at UT/UCLA/Vandy. I'm not applying for the clerkships I mentioned because I can find 100 other OSCAR clerkships I'm more likely to get interviews for, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't selling myself short.

Anonymous User
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Re: How competitive am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. thanks for the feedback. I'm at UT/UCLA/Vandy. I'm not applying for the clerkships I mentioned because I can find 100 other OSCAR clerkships I'm more likely to get interviews for, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't selling myself short.

Apply all over the circuit where your law school sits, as well as the circuits in which you grew up and went to college. These are your best bets. I would think you are competitive for 6th and 5th circuit district courts. California circuits may be a bit of a stretch, but it's worth applying. You may as well apply for COA too if you're interested. Obviously less competitive there but it's not outside the realm of possibility and you may get lucky.




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