2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:32 pm

Alum at a firm here. At this point (Late April/May), does it still make sense to send out apps for 2015-2016 in competitive districts (SDNY/DC) or to hold off until some "lull" period and apply for 2016-2017? If so, would that be Sept./Aug.? I realize many in SDNY have filled for 2015-2016. I'm trying to make sense of whether an "alumni advantage" can really be gained post-hiring plan at this point. The reality is I really could not get apps/letters together or out before this point...

Thanks in advance!

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Alum at a firm here. At this point (Late April/May), does it still make sense to send out apps for 2015-2016 in competitive districts (SDNY/DC) or to hold off until some "lull" period and apply for 2016-2017? If so, would that be Sept./Aug.? I realize many in SDNY have filled for 2015-2016. I'm trying to make sense of whether an "alumni advantage" can really be gained post-hiring plan at this point. The reality is I really could not get apps/letters together or out before this point...

Thanks in advance!


Just FYI, there are a number of SDNY judges already hiring/full for 2016-2017 too.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby bk1 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Alum at a firm here. At this point (Late April/May), does it still make sense to send out apps for 2015-2016 in competitive districts (SDNY/DC) or to hold off until some "lull" period and apply for 2016-2017? If so, would that be Sept./Aug.? I realize many in SDNY have filled for 2015-2016. I'm trying to make sense of whether an "alumni advantage" can really be gained post-hiring plan at this point. The reality is I really could not get apps/letters together or out before this point...

Thanks in advance!

Why not bother applying? It's not like you have anything to lose by sending an app. If you don't get anything, just apply again next year.

The advantage alums have is (and was) that some judges prefer alums; it was not anything that had to deal with the plan.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:22 pm

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Alum at a firm here. At this point (Late April/May), does it still make sense to send out apps for 2015-2016 in competitive districts (SDNY/DC) or to hold off until some "lull" period and apply for 2016-2017? If so, would that be Sept./Aug.? I realize many in SDNY have filled for 2015-2016. I'm trying to make sense of whether an "alumni advantage" can really be gained post-hiring plan at this point. The reality is I really could not get apps/letters together or out before this point...

Thanks in advance!

Why not bother applying? It's not like you have anything to lose by sending an app. If you don't get anything, just apply again next year.

The advantage alums have is (and was) that some judges prefer alums; it was not anything that had to deal with the plan.


Yeah, I mean, there was a brief period where alums had the advantage of being able to apply to any judge any time, while law students had to wait to apply to on plan judges, but the real alum advantage was always that your work experience gave you a boost for judges that would hire anyone and an in with judges who only hire alums.

As a first-year at a firm who just got a 2015 clerkship, of my four interviews, I got 3/4 because my work experience will make up for my grades and I got the final one because the judge only looks at alum candidates.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby bk1 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, I mean, there was a brief period where alums had the advantage of being able to apply to any judge any time, while law students had to wait to apply to on plan judges, but the real alum advantage was always that your work experience gave you a boost for judges that would hire anyone and an in with judges who only hire alums.

TBF, even the plan wasn't really much of an advantage since 2Ls would just send paper apps to judges who wanted to look at 2Ls prior to the plan date.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:38 pm

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, I mean, there was a brief period where alums had the advantage of being able to apply to any judge any time, while law students had to wait to apply to on plan judges, but the real alum advantage was always that your work experience gave you a boost for judges that would hire anyone and an in with judges who only hire alums.

TBF, even the plan wasn't really much of an advantage since 2Ls would just send paper apps to judges who wanted to look at 2Ls prior to the plan date.

Sure, but judges who followed the plan or only took apps through OSCAR wouldn't look at 2L applications early, while they would look at alums, and there used to be more judges that fit that description. It's not like you can quantify the benefit to alums, but it was something. I agree that having the work experience is much more significant.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby bk1 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:55 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Sure, but judges who followed the plan or only took apps through OSCAR wouldn't look at 2L applications early, while they would look at alums, and there used to be more judges that fit that description. It's not like you can quantify the benefit to alums, but it was something. I agree that having the work experience is much more significant.

True, but yeah it's hard to figure how much of an advantage it was overall.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:21 pm

Just to chime in, as a current 3L who will be clerking coming September (state appellate court) the loss of the plan does somewhat ruin it for "alums" since I'm in the awkward position of applying now as a 3L, with work experience that has not even occurred yet. When does someone in my position apply? Gives me a say 1 month advantage having applied in February than the 2Ls at my school who sent out apps in March/April. So yeah, I'm just a 3L with an upcoming clerkship...can't even get my judge to give me a recommendation since he barely knows me! The plan gave order...now it's chaos. The alum advantage is dead...unless you're at a firm or say in my position but clerking for a federal appeals court.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:22 pm

Your upcoming clerkship counts as work experience even though you haven't started it yet, though, which is an advantage over current 2Ls.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:30 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Your upcoming clerkship counts as work experience even though you haven't started it yet, though, which is an advantage over current 2Ls.

This. While having your judge recommend you would be great, you're just not going to be able to get such a recommendation if you want to do a federal clerkship following your state one (if you're willing to do a federal one a year after your state one then you may be able to get a recommendation from your judge). But judges will know that you will have a year of experience when you would start for them and they will value that.

If you want a 15-16 clerkship you should be applying now, just like everyone else. If you want a 16-17 clerkship you should be applying starting this fall through next spring/summer.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:38 pm

bk1 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Your upcoming clerkship counts as work experience even though you haven't started it yet, though, which is an advantage over current 2Ls.

This. While having your judge recommend you would be great, you're just not going to be able to get such a recommendation if you want to do a federal clerkship following your state one (if you're willing to do a federal one a year after your state one then you may be able to get a recommendation from your judge). But judges will know that you will have a year of experience when you would start for them and they will value that.

If you want a 15-16 clerkship you should be applying now, just like everyone else. If you want a 16-17 clerkship you should be applying starting this fall through next spring/summer.


I think that it is important to note that there are a good number of judges who have already FILLED 16-17 slots and they aren't always the judges you'd expect. In fact, there are some judges (outside of 2, 9, DC) who are filled/nearly filled for 17-18. Unless a judge explicitly says he/she will not be looking at any applicants for later years, I would send those apps as soon as possible.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 01, 2014 10:19 pm

I'm looking for any advice anyone can offer. I'm an alum who did a state trial court clerkship, practiced at a firm for some time in the geographic area where I want to permanently live, and am now completing a SSC clerkship (same state as where I want to permanently live). My ultimate goal is to get back to private practice in the geographic area where I used to live.

I've had/will have some district court clerkship interviews in geographic areas that are within a driving distance from where I want to permanently live, but they are still somewhat far away and are in different states. Some of my interviews are for 2-year clerkships.

I'm struggling with whether doing a 2-year clerkship is worthwhile, especially given that it would leave me with 4+ years of clerking. I'm not sure that firms will take me seriously, but completing a federal clerkship is something that I have aspired to do for several years. Should I withdraw from the 2-year clerkships and focus only on 1-year clerkships? Also, should I only focus on clerkships that are near the geographic area where I want to permanently live? Part of me thinks a federal clerkship is a federal clerkship and should make me a competitive candidate where I want to live, but then another part of me is very concerned about giving off the impression of a career law clerk.

I'd appreciate any advice/insights! Thank you!!

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Arbiter213 » Thu May 01, 2014 10:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm looking for any advice anyone can offer. I'm an alum who did a state trial court clerkship, practiced at a firm for some time in the geographic area where I want to permanently live, and am now completing a SSC clerkship (same state as where I want to permanently live). My ultimate goal is to get back to private practice in the geographic area where I used to live.

I've had/will have some district court clerkship interviews in geographic areas that are within a driving distance from where I want to permanently live, but they are still somewhat far away and are in different states. Some of my interviews are for 2-year clerkships.

I'm struggling with whether doing a 2-year clerkship is worthwhile, especially given that it would leave me with 4+ years of clerking. I'm not sure that firms will take me seriously, but completing a federal clerkship is something that I have aspired to do for several years. Should I withdraw from the 2-year clerkships and focus only on 1-year clerkships? Also, should I only focus on clerkships that are near the geographic area where I want to permanently live? Part of me thinks a federal clerkship is a federal clerkship and should make me a competitive candidate where I want to live, but then another part of me is very concerned about giving off the impression of a career law clerk.

I'd appreciate any advice/insights! Thank you!!


Warranted I'm just a 3L, but I can't imagine a 3rd year of clerking will add anything to your employability.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby arkhamhorror » Fri May 02, 2014 3:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm looking for any advice anyone can offer. I'm an alum who did a state trial court clerkship, practiced at a firm for some time in the geographic area where I want to permanently live, and am now completing a SSC clerkship (same state as where I want to permanently live). My ultimate goal is to get back to private practice in the geographic area where I used to live.

I've had/will have some district court clerkship interviews in geographic areas that are within a driving distance from where I want to permanently live, but they are still somewhat far away and are in different states. Some of my interviews are for 2-year clerkships.

I'm struggling with whether doing a 2-year clerkship is worthwhile, especially given that it would leave me with 4+ years of clerking. I'm not sure that firms will take me seriously, but completing a federal clerkship is something that I have aspired to do for several years. Should I withdraw from the 2-year clerkships and focus only on 1-year clerkships? Also, should I only focus on clerkships that are near the geographic area where I want to permanently live? Part of me thinks a federal clerkship is a federal clerkship and should make me a competitive candidate where I want to live, but then another part of me is very concerned about giving off the impression of a career law clerk.

I'd appreciate any advice/insights! Thank you!!


Clerking that long (4+) may cause issues not only in terms of firms questioning your desire, but also practical problems of where you fit in terms of class year/advancement. You'll have at least four years of clerking experience, so you'll be priced out of being a first or second year, but you don't have any real litigation experience, so you really can't be a fourth year. Granted, different firms have different criteria for advancement, but I know this is something my firm and I have discussed (I'll end up having clerked for about three years when I'm done).

As far as the "federal clerkship is a federal clerkship" argument, that is sort of true, but the sad fact is that district court clerkships are no longer the golden ticket that they once were. If you're really concerned about geographic location, I'd focus on that specific area and not elsewhere (unless that elsewhere is something crazy competitive like S.D.N.Y).

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 04, 2014 11:52 pm

Looking for advice...

At a firm here, regularly practicing in federal court. By the time I start a hypothetical clerkship in 2015, I will have two years' experience. I also did an externship routinely appearing in federal court 3L year under the student practice rule.

I'm just wondering how much having experience will help with mediocre grades (top 1/3) from a T2. My firm is a good firm (but not V100 so no national recognition). I'm not looking competitive like SDNY or DDC but I am looking at flyover circuit and district clerkships. Even worth applying? (I get the "what's the worst case scenario, they turn you down-you should apply anyways just to see" train of thought, but I don't have a ton of free time and I'm wondering if it's worth the endeavor to contact old recommenders and spend time going through the process on OSCAR).

Thanks in advance for the advice.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby arkhamhorror » Mon May 05, 2014 11:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:Looking for advice...

At a firm here, regularly practicing in federal court. By the time I start a hypothetical clerkship in 2015, I will have two years' experience. I also did an externship routinely appearing in federal court 3L year under the student practice rule.

I'm just wondering how much having experience will help with mediocre grades (top 1/3) from a T2. My firm is a good firm (but not V100 so no national recognition). I'm not looking competitive like SDNY or DDC but I am looking at flyover circuit and district clerkships. Even worth applying? (I get the "what's the worst case scenario, they turn you down-you should apply anyways just to see" train of thought, but I don't have a ton of free time and I'm wondering if it's worth the endeavor to contact old recommenders and spend time going through the process on OSCAR).

Thanks in advance for the advice.


As someone who came from a T2 school to clerk, I feel your pain, and you definitely have your work cut out. That said, nothing is impossible. I will say that flyover circuits are pretty competitive, and while flyover districts may not be as competitive, you'll likely have to give the judge a good reason why you want to leave a firm to relocate to a different area to clerk (a lot of flyover judges hire local).

If you want to clerk, I would call your recommenders and just get the ball rolling. Like you sort of admitted, there's really no harm in it, and if it's something you really want to do then why pass up the opportunity?

If you don't mind me asking, is the long term plan to go back to your firm, are you looking to lateral, or are you looking to jump ship from private work altogether? Feel free to PM if you'd like.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 08, 2014 4:05 pm

How strong a norm is it for new judges (i.e. recent appointments who haven't hired yet) to take on the clerks of a judge who has to retire / dies either during a term, or before the clerks can start?

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Thu May 08, 2014 4:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How strong a norm is it for new judges (i.e. recent appointments who haven't hired yet) to take on the clerks of a judge who has to retire / dies either during a term, or before the clerks can start?


I don't know how common, but it would certainly seem to make a lot of sense for this sort of thing to happen. I know of one situation where a judge died and his/her clerks were allowed to finish their terms with other judges in the same building as "extra" clerks.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Emma. » Thu May 08, 2014 5:27 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How strong a norm is it for new judges (i.e. recent appointments who haven't hired yet) to take on the clerks of a judge who has to retire / dies either during a term, or before the clerks can start?


I don't know how common, but it would certainly seem to make a lot of sense for this sort of thing to happen. I know of one situation where a judge died and his/her clerks were allowed to finish their terms with other judges in the same building as "extra" clerks.


Yeah, my understanding is that if your judge dies or retires during your term as a clerk, you can continue working (as an extra clerk for another judge) through the end of your term because your salary has already been budgeted.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 08, 2014 6:07 pm

.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 10, 2014 10:37 pm

arkhamhorror wrote:As someone who came from a T2 school to clerk, I feel your pain, and you definitely have your work cut out. That said, nothing is impossible. I will say that flyover circuits are pretty competitive, and while flyover districts may not be as competitive, you'll likely have to give the judge a good reason why you want to leave a firm to relocate to a different area to clerk (a lot of flyover judges hire local).

If you want to clerk, I would call your recommenders and just get the ball rolling. Like you sort of admitted, there's really no harm in it, and if it's something you really want to do then why pass up the opportunity?

If you don't mind me asking, is the long term plan to go back to your firm, are you looking to lateral, or are you looking to jump ship from private work altogether? Feel free to PM if you'd like.


So I like my firm. It's a top-5 firm in a secondary market (City A) with a good reputation and a relatively humane billable requirement. Problem is I'm not a huge fan of City A. I'm looking to move back closer to my friends/family (in Cities B and C). Long term, I'm looking to become an AUSA. Second to that, I would like to get into appellate work, which is rare in both my current market (my firm handles zero appellate work) and target markets, but I do have strong ties to DC and would be willing to move there and grind out Big Law or a good litigation boutique for a few years if it meant I got to do appellate work.

Both of those being long shot goals, I would be willing to come back to private practice in a larger firm in Cities B and C (NLJ250, no Vault firms) for a few years before trying to go AUSA, despite the pay cut from my current firm. This is not the ideal option because I think that between years 2 and 4 at my current firm, I could probably make a lateral move to firms in Cities B and C (without the pay cut taken to clerk).

The thing I'm afraid of most is getting a clerkship then not being able to land a job after that. The clerkships I'm applying for are closer to my friends and family and would be of little value to my firm now, so I believe leaving would likely eliminate the possibility of coming back. So outcomes after a hypothetical clerkship, ranked in order from optimal to least optimal: AUSA or Big Fed, then appellate type work in DC Big Law, then competitive Lit. boutique (in primary markets because there aren't any in Cities B and C), then Big Law in general, then large/mid law in Cities B and C. I have just under $100K in debt, so smaller firms' payscales aren't exactly optimal at this point of my career.

Sorry for the information overload. Thanks for the advice thus far.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby arkhamhorror » Sun May 11, 2014 6:44 pm

Alright. Well, first off there's the general caveat that's been discussed all over this forum (and which you seem to be very aware of) that even a CoA clerkship is no longer a golden ticket.

But, if you're looking to jump cities, or jump to appellate work, or jump to an AUSA position (or all of the above), I think trying for a CoA clerkship is worth the gamble. Putting aside the prestige factor of the position, it comes with its own set of career advantages. In terms of appellate work, you'll be doing exclusively that, and you'll be able to observe and meet a lot of appellate lawyers. In terms of AUSA-ing, judges are extremely valuable in terms of connections, and maybe he/she can point you in the right direction or place a few calls for you. In my experience, judges are much better, and much more valuable, at going to bat for you than partners in private practice.

If you're super worried about striking out afterward, see if your firm will let you come back afterward (they most certainly will). That way, even if you don't want to live in City A over the long term, you have something to fall back on if all else goes south. Having a job at a good firm in a suboptimal location is better than being unemployed as the interest racks up on your debt, and you can always look to actively relocate once you get back on your feet.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby objctnyrhnr » Tue May 20, 2014 8:39 pm

has anybody ever gotten a hypo in a jud clerkship interview?

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby 2012LawGrad » Wed May 21, 2014 12:03 am

objctnyrhnr wrote:has anybody ever gotten a hypo in a jud clerkship interview?


Yes.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Danger Zone » Wed May 21, 2014 12:07 am

objctnyrhnr wrote:has anybody ever gotten a hypo in a jud clerkship interview?

If you were to be asked a hypothetical question on an internet message board, would you answer it?




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