Penn --> Clerking

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Anonymous User
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Penn --> Clerking

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:36 pm

What is needed to land one of the following clerkships from Penn:

1. DC Circuit
2. 2nd Circuit
3. SDNY

Other?

Anonymous User
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Re: Penn --> Clerking

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:41 pm

No GPA will guarantee you any of those, or even put you in a position of "yours to lose." Clerkship hiring is a much bigger crapshoot than firm hiring.

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Re: Penn --> Clerking

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:56 pm

Just get the highest GPA you can get and apply broadly. There's really no point in calculating your chances because each judge is so different and individual. Don't limit yourself to those circuits, if I were you.

I don't have the traditional stats of a fed clerk, but I somehow landed one. I applied broadly.

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bk1
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Re: Penn --> Clerking

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:42 pm

FYI: clerkship apps aren't like law school apps.

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Re: Penn --> Clerking

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:47 pm

OP here.

I appreciate those responses, and I guess I "knew" that clerkship application was far more of a black box than law school applications.

That said, I am certain that we can get a bit more specific than that.

Are scotus feeder D.C. Circuit judges out of the question for Penn grads who arent 1 or 2 in the class?

Are SDNY out of the question for penn grads without LR?

I'm looking for info at that level of generality, if it exists. If not I guess I'll live :).

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bk1
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Re: Penn --> Clerking

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:50 pm

It's not that categorical. Is it unlikely for someone who isn't top 5 to get a DCC feeder? Sure. Is it impossible for someone outside that group to get it? No.

ClerkAdvisor
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Re: Penn --> Clerking

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

I appreciate those responses, and I guess I "knew" that clerkship application was far more of a black box than law school applications.

That said, I am certain that we can get a bit more specific than that.

Are scotus feeder D.C. Circuit judges out of the question for Penn grads who arent 1 or 2 in the class?

Are SDNY out of the question for penn grads without LR?

I'm looking for info at that level of generality, if it exists. If not I guess I'll live :).


Getting a feeder clerkship outside of #1, #2, or #3 in the class at a non-HYS school is incredibly unlikely. DC Circuit tends to be extremely difficult for anyone outside of HYS. More importantly, focusing on only DC and 2d Circuit is incredibly narrow -- the amtrak corridor is the most competitive region (not because of quality of clerkship/judges but because of law student bias), and there are great judges/circuits outside of the amtrak corridor.

Getting a major district court clerkship is getting more and more difficult for non-alums. District court clerkships can be quite intense with much more of a learning curve than circuit court clerkships, and more and more district judges prefer alums.

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Re: Penn --> Clerking

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:10 am

ClerkAdvisor wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

I appreciate those responses, and I guess I "knew" that clerkship application was far more of a black box than law school applications.

That said, I am certain that we can get a bit more specific than that.

Are scotus feeder D.C. Circuit judges out of the question for Penn grads who arent 1 or 2 in the class?

Are SDNY out of the question for penn grads without LR?

I'm looking for info at that level of generality, if it exists. If not I guess I'll live :).


Getting a feeder clerkship outside of #1, #2, or #3 in the class at a non-HYS school is incredibly unlikely. DC Circuit tends to be extremely difficult for anyone outside of HYS. More importantly, focusing on only DC and 2d Circuit is incredibly narrow -- the amtrak corridor is the most competitive region (not because of quality of clerkship/judges but because of law student bias), and there are great judges/circuits outside of the amtrak corridor.

Getting a major district court clerkship is getting more and more difficult for non-alums. District court clerkships can be quite intense with much more of a learning curve than circuit court clerkships, and more and more district judges prefer alums.


Getting a D.C. Circuit clerkship is extremely difficult for people at HYS, as well. It's extremely small and incredibly competitive. I agree with ClerkAdvisor on the rest.

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Re: Penn --> Clerking

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:13 am

I want to double up on the "clerking is a crapshot" advice. Feeder judges don't just troll through Oscar. They mostly pick from recommendations from professors they know, or at least depend heavily on getting calls. Even non-feeder judges aren't looking through OSCAR these days. I have a circuit clerkship in a large east coast city, and I found it hard as fuck to even get interviews for district courts in the same area. A lot of the judges just don't care about Oscar. They are going to hire the highly ranked person at the local tier 2 that their professor friend recommended.

The "Amtrak corridor" thing is absolutely right. DNJ, EDPa, and DMd are less competitive than SDNY, but you absolutely still have to hustle for those. A lot of those judges will hire half their clerks from Temple or UMD, and those districts still get tons of HYS apps. Top 10% (but not top 5 people) at Penn isn't going to blow these judges out of the water and get them to call.

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Re: Penn --> Clerking

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:I want to double up on the "clerking is a crapshot" advice. Feeder judges don't just troll through Oscar. They mostly pick from recommendations from professors they know, or at least depend heavily on getting calls. Even non-feeder judges aren't looking through OSCAR these days. I have a circuit clerkship in a large east coast city, and I found it hard as fuck to even get interviews for district courts in the same area. A lot of the judges just don't care about Oscar. They are going to hire the highly ranked person at the local tier 2 that their professor friend recommended.

The "Amtrak corridor" thing is absolutely right. DNJ, EDPa, and DMd are less competitive than SDNY, but you absolutely still have to hustle for those. A lot of those judges will hire half their clerks from Temple or UMD, and those districts still get tons of HYS apps. Top 10% (but not top 5 people) at Penn isn't going to blow these judges out of the water and get them to call.


Yes, yes. I got my clerkship in one of the more "competitive" districts, and it was mostly because of prof recommendations. The profs knew the judge and the judge knew and trusted them.

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Re: Penn --> Clerking

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:03 pm

Penn c/o 2013 here. I'm clerking but not in one of the courts you mentioned. I know of one person from my class with a clerkship in each of the three courts you asked about. FWIW, I pulled out the graduation honors sheet and found that the D.C. Cir. person was a summa grad (top 6 people in the class), the 2nd Cir. person was coif (top 10%) and the SDNY person was cum laude (lower than 15% but in the top 30%). Of course, graduation honors might not be indicative of where an applicant's grades sat when applying for the clerkship. And I absolutely agree with everyone else who said that grades are only a small part of landing a clerkship, especially a highly competitive one.




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