Applying as an alum

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Anonymous User
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Applying as an alum

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:34 pm

I am woefully ignorant about applying for clerkships in general, so my apologies if some of these questions are obvious.

I just graduated and will begin work at a firm in September. I am thinking about applying for both district and coa clerkships for 2015 and 2016. What's my timeline like? I had assumed that I would be OK if I had my application together by January-ish, but I've been hearing that many judges have already hired for both 2015 and 2016. Is this true? Is there any way to find out which judges are on an advanced timeline? OSCAR doesn't seem to be that helpful.

Also, I have 2 profs that will be willing to write letters for me. Would it be better to get the third from an employer or a clinical instructor? For those of you that asked an employer, did your apparent desire to leave so soon raise any issues?

Finally, specific to HLS alums: what grade ranges make you competitive for a district court clerkship in NY/SF/LA? I graduated cum laude, with about a 3.75 if you translate Hs to 4s and Ps to 3s.

(FWIW, I talked to someone at OCS after 1L - when my GPA-equivalent was just about what I graduated with, and she told me that if I applied, I should apply everywhere, but I'm not sure how accurate that is, or if judges would have expected my grades to go up after 1L. )

Thanks!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lolwat
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Re: Applying as an alum

Postby lolwat » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:51 am

Your timeline is now for some judges and starting early next year (Feb/Mar. probably) for most other judges. A few judges have already hired for 2015 but not THAT many.

Get whoever will write the best rec. Employer wouldn't be bad since you're applying as an alum, and some of the judges will actually require you to get one if you're applying as an alum. I think Berzon is one of those, Bea also maybe.

No idea about HLS, but you're in a slightly different league given you're applying as an alum. Your best bet, probably not surprisingly, is to apply to the judges that prefer/require people with experience. There's a lot of them in NDCA/SDNY/EDNY and some scattered across 9th/2d Cir/CDCA.

Anonymous User
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Re: Applying as an alum

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:49 am

Thanks!

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

Re: Applying as an alum

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:10 pm

Curious as well as to which judges prefer alums. I'm trying to 2014. Hopefully there is a position for me left.

Anonymous User
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Re: Applying as an alum

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:40 pm

Bump. Just wondering if any HLS folks had any thoughts about my grades.

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

Re: Applying as an alum

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:38 pm

Your grades are probably fine for the district courts you are looking at, although they won't get you pulled out of the pile on their own. I had a lower GPA after 2L year (around 3.65) and got multiple district court interview offers (and a 2013 clerkship) so I imagine you have pretty good chances applying as an alum. For some reason it seems like NDCA judges never hire HLS students, although I think your chances are far better as an alum than as a 2L/3L applicant.

I don't think COA is unrealistic for you, but it might be if you are limited to NY, LA, and SF (especially if you were not on HLR).

I had two professors and a Climenko write my letter. I generally think that you should get the 3 people who will write the strongest letters and/or make calls for you write your recs, but if it's a true toss-up I have heard that professors and regular legal employers have slightly more pull than clinical instructors. That said, if your clinical instructor will write you an awesome letter, I'd go for it.

Plenty of judges still have slots for 2015, although they might not be hiring for 2015 right now. OCS recently updated its lists of judicial clerks and it seems like a lot of people have clerkships lined up for 2014 but not very many people have them for 2015 or 2016.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Applying as an alum

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:42 pm

Thanks! Did you apply to any appellate courts, and if so, how did you?

Edit: Just saw the edits - Appreciate the tips.

One more question - did you ask your professors to make calls? Did they volunteer?

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

Re: Applying as an alum

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:52 pm

Applied to about 20-25 appellate judges last cycle and got one interview. I think I am a much stronger applicant now than I was a year ago (better writing sample, very strong 3L year, better recommenders, and district court clerkship) but I really have no idea how competitive I would be if I put in a round of COA applications in the future. Did not get professors to make calls last cycle but probably could have and should have.




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