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HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:56 am
by Anonymous User
OCS has a fair amount of information on this online, but their info always feels a little [intentionally] opaque and vague. Hoping for slightly more concrete answer here.

Assuming reasonable recs, etc., about what % in the class does a HLS student need in order to be competitive for a CoA clerkship? Not UNinterested in fed districts, but a lot more interested substantively by appellate and would take any bumblefuck circuit court over the most prestigious SDNY etc. district court, despite that the latter is, to my understanding, more selective.

If you'd (at least in theory) clerk in any flyover circuit for any judge, then approx what kind of grades do you need to be competitive for that? Thanks.

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:11 am
by Anonymous User
It's not that simple because clerkships are a total insiders game. I have friends (c/o 2013) that are clerking on circuit courts, including 9th circuit, that did not graduate with honors.

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:11 am
by Anonymous User
Edit: Sorry, double post.

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:50 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:It's not that simple because clerkships are a total insiders game. I have friends (c/o 2013) that are clerking on circuit courts, including 9th circuit, that did not graduate with honors.


depressing...

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:54 am
by lolwat
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It's not that simple because clerkships are a total insiders game. I have friends (c/o 2013) that are clerking on circuit courts, including 9th circuit, that did not graduate with honors.


depressing...


Unfortunately all legal employment is really like 75% connections and 25% merit.

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:58 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:It's not that simple because clerkships are a total insiders game. I have friends (c/o 2013) that are clerking on circuit courts, including 9th circuit, that did not graduate with honors.


OP here. I don't find that depressing, though it is a little surprising. Assume, then, that you don't have any legit "connections" and would need to bruteforce your way in w/ grades and other credentials, what kind of picture is it then, roughly speaking?

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:31 am
by Anonymous User
Top 40% I would guess to be competitive. Top half if you have great leadership/journal/public interest experience/great connections

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:38 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Top 40% I would guess to be competitive. Top half if you have great leadership/journal/public interest experience/great connections


For COA, really? That seems overly optimistic to me.

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:55 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Top 40% I would guess to be competitive. Top half if you have great leadership/journal/public interest experience/great connections


For COA, really? That seems overly optimistic to me.


Only to be competitive for any (not every) COA, but not suggesting that competitive means "more likely than not you will get hired," only that it is worth expending effort if something you are really interested in. Working geographic connections and faculty are best way to improve chances at this point.

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:00 am
by Anonymous User
One other point to keep in mind: it is really goddamn hard to tell who is in the top 40% or top 50%.

It might be manageable after 1L, but what happens after 2L or 3L when everyone takes different classes (and # of classes) with professors that all do whatever they want wrt grading? This probably gives marginal applicants more leeway.

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:07 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:One other point to keep in mind: it is really goddamn hard to tell who is in the top 40% or top 50%.

It might be manageable after 1L, but what happens after 2L or 3L when everyone takes different classes (and # of classes) with professors that all do whatever they want wrt grading? This probably gives marginal applicants more leeway.



Rough rule of thumb: You are in zone if someone looking at your transcript quickly (without counting) would think there are probably about as many Hs as Ps or better. Units for classes generally don't matter (i.e., I would tell anyone wanting to apply for clerkships never to take a 1-unit class unless you were sure you could get H), though judge might rather see H in evidence than American jury.

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:29 pm
by Anonymous User
Probably a 3.8+ (or, to be more impressionistic, about 3/4 H's with some DS's thrown in for good measure) to be competitive, TBH. You can get a COA clerkship with worse grades, but it takes really good connections or something exceptional on your resume.

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:33 pm
by Anonymous User
Just graduated HYS here. It really depends on the circuit and the judge. Some judges are much more into prestige than others, who might care more about connections - either personal connections to the area or law professors going to bat for you.

I would concur that top 40% (latin honors) will get you in the running (read - make it worth applying), although a good proportion of judges might demand top 20%, while a few will make an exception (see connections, re above).

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:01 am
by GertrudePerkins
If you cross-reference OCS's list of 2013 clerks and the 2013 Latin Honors list, you'll see that most of those with COA clerkships graduated with honors, but a good chunk of those are "only" (if you'll excuse the phrasing) cum laude. Also, a nontrivial number weren't even cum laude. Make of that what you will.

Re: HLS Circuit Clerkship Reqs

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:42 pm
by Anonymous User
Does anyone care to elaborate more on what it takes for someone to get a Circuit clerkship with "ok" grades. Lets say around borderline cum laude area. Is it all about the specific professors that the student becomes close to in the first three to four semesters? That seems to really be the only big factor other than grades (casting aside the 8th Circuit judge seated in SD taking large preference over an H student from SD)