Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

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Anonymous User
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Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:08 pm

Hi all,

I am a 2L.

I got no-offered as a 1L SA. There were some projects I did not do well on, and the firm said that was enough to show me the door. Even though I got rave reviews otherwise. Not fair, not just, but can't change it now.

I knew going into my second year that I was going to clerk after law school regardless of what happened with the firm. I struck out at OCI.

So, am I just completely screwed for clerkships?

UnderrateOverachieve
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:11 pm

Why would this hurt your chances of clerking? Are you planning on skipping out this summer?

Anonymous User
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:12 pm

Judges likely won't ask about you getting an offer. Though a fair number will ask for references so ideally you should have someone at your 1L SA firm that can serve as a positive reference. I also doubt judges will care where you work your 2L summer and aren't going to hold you striking out of large firms against you.

lolwat
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby lolwat » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:17 pm

You didn't do well on some projects but it's not fair or just to no-offer you? o_o

Anyway, no, you're not completely screwed for clerkships, though some judges might ask you about offers and such.

Anonymous User
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:20 pm

OP here.

Sorry, I should have been more specific.

There were 2-3 projects where I turned in work that didn't "fully meet the attorney's expectations." 2-3 out of 14 total. The other reviews were extremely positive.

I gave them all good faith effort, and tried to ask for direction whenever I was lost. But the attorneys were out of the office a lot. And would never get back to me on projects. I reached out to some of the associates in the group on how to best approach everything. And even doing that, I did not turn in projects that met the attorney's expectations.

Anonymous User
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Sorry, I should have been more specific.

There were 2-3 projects where I turned in work that didn't "fully meet the attorney's expectations." 2-3 out of 14 total. The other reviews were extremely positive.

I gave them all good faith effort, and tried to ask for direction whenever I was lost. But the attorneys were out of the office a lot. And would never get back to me on projects. I reached out to some of the associates in the group on how to best approach everything. And even doing that, I did not turn in projects that met the attorney's expectations.


How are your 2L summer prospects.

maximator
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby maximator » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:25 pm

Clerkships depend mostly on a combination of grades and connections. So no, you are not completely screwed for clerkships. Working at a firm might help to the extent you can use it to make connections, but otherwise it isn't probably that important.

Do you have a sense of why you struck out for 2L OCI? If it was a grade-related, then you might be in trouble for clerkships. If it was interviewing, then that is something that is fixable and you can work with career services before clerkship season starts.

Anonymous User
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:29 pm

My grades took a slight dip. I was solidly in the top quartile after the first semester, and dipped down to top 40% at the end of the year.

It likely was a combination of average grades, and firms simply assuming that I was no-offered.

I know that as of now, I am not very competitive for federal court clerkships.

I do not have good 2L summer prospects.

I'm sorry if it just seems that I'm complaining. I know that I was lucky enough to get a 1L SA. And believe me, I feel like a complete failure because I did not get a return offer.

lolwat
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby lolwat » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:39 pm

Alright, this makes more sense, and this isn't a good position to be in. Sorry if my previous post appeared insensitive. Unfortunately, top 40% at any school (even HYS) won't be terribly competitive for clerkships, and that has nothing to do with your no-offer or your potentially striking out at a 2L SA position. The grades just aren't there. The way to a clerkship--assuming you're in the mindset of "I REALLY WANT TO CLERK NO MATTER WHAT" is to apply extremely broadly and also target less competitive clerkships, e.g., state courts, magistrate judges, and the like. You might be able to get one through connections as well (e.g., if you have no 2L SA prospects, spending your 2L summer doing an externship with a federal judge and the judge is sufficiently impressed with your work & likes you enough to hire you as a clerk after or recommend you to some other judges they know) but this is much less likely and not doing a 2L SA is going to make it really difficult to get a firm job later on, too.

Anonymous User
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:48 pm

^ Any thoughts on whether a state appellate clerkship will open a few doors? A few of the senior partners in at my 1L firm clerked for state appellate judges and they are now renowned in their respective fields.

Also, does being a URM at all help for clerkships?

lolwat
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby lolwat » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:^ Any thoughts on whether a state appellate clerkship will open a few doors? A few of the senior partners in at my 1L firm clerked for state appellate judges and they are now renowned in their respective fields.

Also, does being a URM at all help for clerkships?


The general wisdom is that state appellate clerkships will generally open doors in the state you clerked in, but will often not be very transferable out of that particular state.

I don't know. It's an intangible, and I think it can only be a plus. I mean, my judge liked having diversity in chambers, whether it be gender, race, interests, personality, etc., but it's impossible to say whether being a URM helps.

Anonymous User
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:17 pm

lolwat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:^ Any thoughts on whether a state appellate clerkship will open a few doors? A few of the senior partners in at my 1L firm clerked for state appellate judges and they are now renowned in their respective fields.

Also, does being a URM at all help for clerkships?


The general wisdom is that state appellate clerkships will generally open doors in the state you clerked in, but will often not be very transferable out of that particular state.

I don't know. It's an intangible, and I think it can only be a plus. I mean, my judge liked having diversity in chambers, whether it be gender, race, interests, personality, etc., but it's impossible to say whether being a URM helps.


In your opinion, would obtaining a state appellate court clerkship [maybe State Supreme Court if I am seriously the luckiest person in history] make up for my 1L SA no-offer?

Thank you.

lolwat
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby lolwat » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:25 pm

Honestly, I know you're worried about it, but I just don't think your 1L SA no-offer is an issue at this point. It's just ... mostly irrelevant. Yes, you'll more than likely come across firms and judges that ask you why you didn't go back there--you just give them a good reason why you didn't. It helps a LOT if you get a 2L SA position at another firm, you can explain why you went to that firm: "that firm is really awesome in X practice area that I'm interested in so I decided to go there instead." It's a little harder to come up with a reason for going to a non-firm job, but I'm sure you can come up with something (or ask around until someone that knows more than I do on TLS can offer a solution).

It's your 2L summer that really matters, IMO.

A state appellate/supreme court clerkship should "make up" for a lot of things but it's very, very difficult to tell. It's not possible to quantify these things. I didn't do a 2L SA gig and I get asked about that all the damn time. My federal clerkship might have "made up for" striking out at OCI but it certainly still doesn't help that I did something else that summer instead of working at a firm.

Myself
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.

Postby Myself » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:35 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:56 pm

My impression is that getting no-offered as a 1L raises major red flags, and future firms may pass on a 2L who had 1L SA experience, even if the 2L is well-credentialed.

That's the sense I've been getting from other posters, and just a knee-jerk/anxiety ridden thinking process.

Anonymous User
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Re: Got no offered as a 1L, am I out of luck for clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:50 pm

in my opinion, what you do with your 2L year is what really matters (as far as your 1L offer situation). I struck out at OCI and opted to do a NON PAID internship at a court house my 2L year. I ended up turning it into a federal clerkship which I am doing right now. Granted, I graduated within top 10%. So what is really going to be limiting your chances are you grades and not your 1L summer no offer. I know many people who never went back to their 1L summer firm and had succesfully clerked upon graduation.

At your stage, you cant change what happen, so now do what you can now to position yourself better moving forward. If you land another summer associate position your 2L year, I doubt anyone will ask you about your 1L firm. If that is not happening, I think you should be more focused on finding something your 2L summer that will be appealing to a Judge and apply. Also, you may want to consider fed magistrate or state supreme courts if you really are bent on clerking. But if you only want to clerk for Article III Judges, you can also try to get your grades up as high as you can during the fall so you can try applying in spring to those judges that are still hiring after the first wave of applicants (sept-Jan) crowd.

Just my two




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