Importance of LR

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
Anonymous User
Posts: 273240
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Importance of LR

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:12 pm

I'm not on law review, but my note was selected to be published in the law review. Any idea on how this will be viewed by judges/clerks? I'm hoping it gets me like half a check mark. T14, fwiw.

elipad
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:36 pm

Re: Importance of LR

Postby elipad » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:59 pm

Like most things with the clerkship hiring process, no single credential is dispositive. Some things, however, are heavily weighted. Law Review membership tends to be one of those credentials. This is also heavily dependent on other factors as well (especially your school). There is a wide range of success rates within the T14. For example, I went to a school towards the latter half of the T14 range. During my 2L application year, not one student without LR membership secured a clerkship. The year before me one 3L secured a district clerkship without LR. I didn't go to a school like HYS, but I suspect lack of LR membership becomes less of a liability as you go up the ranking. During the interview process, a few judges specifically told me they only seek applicants with LR membership (again, could be a product of my specific school). Lastly, the few clerks I encountered without LR membership usually had a secondary journal membership and came from the upper end of the T14. Ultimately, I think your note getting published is certainly a positive check and can certainly be a good resume talking point. I think if you have other strong writing credential proxies (secondary journal membership, high 1L writing grade, research for a prof, etc.) you won't be automatically shut out. And this is all with the assumption you are within the grade range of the court/school/judge.

Disclaimer: I applied and interviewed with primarily circuit courts. I suspect these judges care more about LR membership given the nature of their courts/positions. The district judges I interviewed with didn't pay much attention to, or asked question of, my LR membership. Circuit judges, conversely, discusses my responsibilities and student comment much more frequently.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273240
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Importance of LR

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:05 pm

elipad wrote:Like most things with the clerkship hiring process, no single credential is dispositive. Some things, however, are heavily weighted. Law Review membership tends to be one of those credentials. This is also heavily dependent on other factors as well (especially your school). There is a wide range of success rates within the T14. For example, I went to a school towards the latter half of the T14 range. During my 2L application year, not one student without LR membership secured a clerkship. The year before me one 3L secured a district clerkship without LR. I didn't go to a school like HYS, but I suspect lack of LR membership becomes less of a liability as you go up the ranking. During the interview process, a few judges specifically told me they only seek applicants with LR membership (again, could be a product of my specific school). Lastly, the few clerks I encountered without LR membership usually had a secondary journal membership and came from the upper end of the T14. Ultimately, I think your note getting published is certainly a positive check and can certainly be a good resume talking point. I think if you have other strong writing credential proxies (secondary journal membership, high 1L writing grade, research for a prof, etc.) you won't be automatically shut out. And this is all with the assumption you are within the grade range of the court/school/judge.

Disclaimer: I applied and interviewed with primarily circuit courts. I suspect these judges care more about LR membership given the nature of their courts/positions. The district judges I interviewed with didn't pay much attention to, or asked question of, my LR membership. Circuit judges, conversely, discusses my responsibilities and student comment much more frequently.


Very helpful, thank you!

User avatar
MarkRenton
Posts: 420
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:54 pm

Re: Importance of LR

Postby MarkRenton » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
elipad wrote:Like most things with the clerkship hiring process, no single credential is dispositive. Some things, however, are heavily weighted. Law Review membership tends to be one of those credentials. This is also heavily dependent on other factors as well (especially your school). There is a wide range of success rates within the T14. For example, I went to a school towards the latter half of the T14 range. During my 2L application year, not one student without LR membership secured a clerkship. The year before me one 3L secured a district clerkship without LR. I didn't go to a school like HYS, but I suspect lack of LR membership becomes less of a liability as you go up the ranking. During the interview process, a few judges specifically told me they only seek applicants with LR membership (again, could be a product of my specific school). Lastly, the few clerks I encountered without LR membership usually had a secondary journal membership and came from the upper end of the T14. Ultimately, I think your note getting published is certainly a positive check and can certainly be a good resume talking point. I think if you have other strong writing credential proxies (secondary journal membership, high 1L writing grade, research for a prof, etc.) you won't be automatically shut out. And this is all with the assumption you are within the grade range of the court/school/judge.

Disclaimer: I applied and interviewed with primarily circuit courts. I suspect these judges care more about LR membership given the nature of their courts/positions. The district judges I interviewed with didn't pay much attention to, or asked question of, my LR membership. Circuit judges, conversely, discusses my responsibilities and student comment much more frequently.


Very helpful, thank you!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273240
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Importance of LR

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:56 pm

elipad wrote:I didn't go to a school like HYS, but I suspect lack of LR membership becomes less of a liability as you go up the ranking. During the interview process, a few judges specifically told me they only seek applicants with LR membership (again, could be a product of my specific school). Lastly, the few clerks I encountered without LR membership usually had a secondary journal membership and came from the upper end of the T14.


This seems accurate. There are a handful of 3L students without LR at my HYS who have secured circuit court clerkships (including myself). That being said, there is a huge overlap between circuit court clerks and LR membership. It's clearly not entirely causal (gunners and such), but when I was going through the application process my advisor told me in no uncertain terms that several judges would not consider my application because I lacked that credential.

Tl;dr: not being on LR will limit your options even at HYS, but you're not hopelessly sunk without LR.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273240
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Importance of LR

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:09 am

elipad wrote:Like most things with the clerkship hiring process, no single credential is dispositive. Some things, however, are heavily weighted. Law Review membership tends to be one of those credentials. This is also heavily dependent on other factors as well (especially your school). There is a wide range of success rates within the T14. For example, I went to a school towards the latter half of the T14 range. During my 2L application year, not one student without LR membership secured a clerkship. The year before me one 3L secured a district clerkship without LR. I didn't go to a school like HYS, but I suspect lack of LR membership becomes less of a liability as you go up the ranking. During the interview process, a few judges specifically told me they only seek applicants with LR membership (again, could be a product of my specific school). Lastly, the few clerks I encountered without LR membership usually had a secondary journal membership and came from the upper end of the T14. Ultimately, I think your note getting published is certainly a positive check and can certainly be a good resume talking point. I think if you have other strong writing credential proxies (secondary journal membership, high 1L writing grade, research for a prof, etc.) you won't be automatically shut out. And this is all with the assumption you are within the grade range of the court/school/judge.

Disclaimer: I applied and interviewed with primarily circuit courts. I suspect these judges care more about LR membership given the nature of their courts/positions. The district judges I interviewed with didn't pay much attention to, or asked question of, my LR membership. Circuit judges, conversely, discusses my responsibilities and student comment much more frequently.


This overstates the situation a bit, I think. I go to a school just outside the T14 (Vandy/UCLA). Every year we get federal district, federal court of appeals, and state supreme court clerkships from secondary journals. Last year, we had a federal court of appeals clerkship without a journal at all, though that is more rare. Certainly the heaviest concentration comes from Law Review, but others can do quite well too.

As the commenter said, though, where the school is ranked will effect the expectations. For example, I believe that there are people who have clerked on SCOTUS from HYS without Law Review whereas, at my school, I don't think we have had anyone to clerk for SCOTUS without LR senior board.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273240
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Importance of LR

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
elipad wrote:Like most things with the clerkship hiring process, no single credential is dispositive. Some things, however, are heavily weighted. Law Review membership tends to be one of those credentials. This is also heavily dependent on other factors as well (especially your school). There is a wide range of success rates within the T14. For example, I went to a school towards the latter half of the T14 range. During my 2L application year, not one student without LR membership secured a clerkship. The year before me one 3L secured a district clerkship without LR. I didn't go to a school like HYS, but I suspect lack of LR membership becomes less of a liability as you go up the ranking. During the interview process, a few judges specifically told me they only seek applicants with LR membership (again, could be a product of my specific school). Lastly, the few clerks I encountered without LR membership usually had a secondary journal membership and came from the upper end of the T14. Ultimately, I think your note getting published is certainly a positive check and can certainly be a good resume talking point. I think if you have other strong writing credential proxies (secondary journal membership, high 1L writing grade, research for a prof, etc.) you won't be automatically shut out. And this is all with the assumption you are within the grade range of the court/school/judge.

Disclaimer: I applied and interviewed with primarily circuit courts. I suspect these judges care more about LR membership given the nature of their courts/positions. The district judges I interviewed with didn't pay much attention to, or asked question of, my LR membership. Circuit judges, conversely, discusses my responsibilities and student comment much more frequently.


This overstates the situation a bit, I think. I go to a school just outside the T14 (Vandy/UCLA). Every year we get federal district, federal court of appeals, and state supreme court clerkships from secondary journals. Last year, we had a federal court of appeals clerkship without a journal at all, though that is more rare. Certainly the heaviest concentration comes from Law Review, but others can do quite well too.

Also, I believe that there are people who clerk on SCOTUS from HYS without Law Review.


OP here. My experience viewing friends go through the gambit last year at a non-HYS T14 also suggests that although there is a correlation between LR and likelihood of obtaining a clerkship, people can do quite well without it (I have two friends who will be on COA next year without LR). I guess my question is whether publishing a note in the flagship journal helps overcome the deficit, or whether it's just a nice thing that won't really help much.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18414
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Importance of LR

Postby bk1 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. My experience viewing friends go through the gambit last year at a non-HYS T14 also suggests that although there is a correlation between LR and likelihood of obtaining a clerkship, people can do quite well without it (I have two friends who will be on COA next year without LR). I guess my question is whether publishing a note in the flagship journal helps overcome the deficit, or whether it's just a nice thing that won't really help much.

Is it the same or better than having LR? Probably not. Will it completely make up for no LR with most judges? Probably not. Will some judges be enamored with the fact that you're published? Of course. Will it help ameliorate the lack of LR? Probably at least somewhat, but it's unclear how many judges it will actually make a difference with.

Judge hiring is incredibly idiosyncratic. There are a whole host of things most judges tend to prefer such as top school/top grades/LR. But there are also judges who like incredibly random things such as working at a specific place, being published, etc. If you happen to apply to a judge that really likes people who've published, then it will probably go a long way (I have heard of at least one judge who was completely enamored by an applicant who had a handful of publications). If you happen to apply to a judge that doesn't particularly care, then my guess is that it is still a decent plus that shows writing chops.

But the bottom line is that worrying about this kind of stuff is irrelevant. You can't get on LR and you already have the publication locked down. Asking just how much each of those things affects your clerkship chances isn't going to change your actual chances. Also, clerkship applications aren't necessarily about meeting a minimum amount of "check marks."

User avatar
BearState
Posts: 239
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:37 pm

Re: Importance of LR

Postby BearState » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:41 pm

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. My experience viewing friends go through the gambit last year at a non-HYS T14 also suggests that although there is a correlation between LR and likelihood of obtaining a clerkship, people can do quite well without it (I have two friends who will be on COA next year without LR). I guess my question is whether publishing a note in the flagship journal helps overcome the deficit, or whether it's just a nice thing that won't really help much.

Is it the same or better than having LR? Probably not. Will it completely make up for no LR with most judges? Probably not. Will some judges be enamored with the fact that you're published? Of course. Will it help ameliorate the lack of LR? Probably at least somewhat, but it's unclear how many judges it will actually make a difference with.

Judge hiring is incredibly idiosyncratic. There are a whole host of things most judges tend to prefer such as top school/top grades/LR. But there are also judges who like incredibly random things such as working at a specific place, being published, etc. If you happen to apply to a judge that really likes people who've published, then it will probably go a long way (I have heard of at least one judge who was completely enamored by an applicant who had a handful of publications). If you happen to apply to a judge that doesn't particularly care, then my guess is that it is still a decent plus that shows writing chops.

But the bottom line is that worrying about this kind of stuff is irrelevant. You can't get on LR and you already have the publication locked down. Asking just how much each of those things affects your clerkship chances isn't going to change your actual chances. Also, clerkship applications aren't necessarily about meeting a minimum amount of "check marks."


To your knowledge, do judges appreciate academic publications in fields outside of law?

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18414
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Importance of LR

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:57 pm

BearState wrote:To your knowledge, do judges appreciate academic publications in fields outside of law?

I'm sure some do, but I doubt that it is a big factor for most.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22835
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Importance of LR

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:09 pm

bk1 wrote:
BearState wrote:To your knowledge, do judges appreciate academic publications in fields outside of law?

I'm sure some do, but I doubt that it is a big factor for most.

I think bk1 is probably right. The judges I clerked for both saw my past academic publications as a big plus (one of them has a policy of trying to hire only people who have significant pre-law writing experience) ...but they're 2 judges out of the many many many that I applied to. All things being equal, I would say anything that shows you have writing experience helps more than it hurts, but all those other things are rarely equal.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273240
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Importance of LR

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
elipad wrote:Like most things with the clerkship hiring process, no single credential is dispositive. Some things, however, are heavily weighted. Law Review membership tends to be one of those credentials. This is also heavily dependent on other factors as well (especially your school). There is a wide range of success rates within the T14. For example, I went to a school towards the latter half of the T14 range. During my 2L application year, not one student without LR membership secured a clerkship. The year before me one 3L secured a district clerkship without LR. I didn't go to a school like HYS, but I suspect lack of LR membership becomes less of a liability as you go up the ranking. During the interview process, a few judges specifically told me they only seek applicants with LR membership (again, could be a product of my specific school). Lastly, the few clerks I encountered without LR membership usually had a secondary journal membership and came from the upper end of the T14. Ultimately, I think your note getting published is certainly a positive check and can certainly be a good resume talking point. I think if you have other strong writing credential proxies (secondary journal membership, high 1L writing grade, research for a prof, etc.) you won't be automatically shut out. And this is all with the assumption you are within the grade range of the court/school/judge.

Disclaimer: I applied and interviewed with primarily circuit courts. I suspect these judges care more about LR membership given the nature of their courts/positions. The district judges I interviewed with didn't pay much attention to, or asked question of, my LR membership. Circuit judges, conversely, discusses my responsibilities and student comment much more frequently.


This overstates the situation a bit, I think. I go to a school just outside the T14 (Vandy/UCLA). Every year we get federal district, federal court of appeals, and state supreme court clerkships from secondary journals. Last year, we had a federal court of appeals clerkship without a journal at all, though that is more rare. Certainly the heaviest concentration comes from Law Review, but others can do quite well too.

Also, I believe that there are people who clerk on SCOTUS from HYS without Law Review.


OP here. My experience viewing friends go through the gambit last year at a non-HYS T14 also suggests that although there is a correlation between LR and likelihood of obtaining a clerkship, people can do quite well without it (I have two friends who will be on COA next year without LR). I guess my question is whether publishing a note in the flagship journal helps overcome the deficit, or whether it's just a nice thing that won't really help much.


Former clerk here who wasn't on a journal.

As everyone mentioned it's chamber specific. Some judges require it, some do not. Of the people who clerked in my class, there were people besides me who got clerkships without being on a journal (though I don't remember anyone getting COA without it).

Other factors can easily help you overcome not being a journal also. For instance, if a well respected professor is willing to call on your behalf and say why you are great and why you should be interviewed, that will likely overcome any journal issues.

Anyway outside of HYS, the whole process seems to be a mixture of knowing the right people, applying at the right time, and, ultimately, just getting lucky.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273240
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Importance of LR

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyway outside of HYS, the whole process seems to be a mixture of knowing the right people, applying at the right time, and, ultimately, just getting lucky.


Hell, even at HYS it's a mixture of knowing the right people, applying a the right time, and getting lucky. Compared to other schools you can get away with weaker connections to judges/current clerks, slightly less optimal timing, and slightly less luck, but it's still pretty crapshooty.

User avatar
Doorkeeper
Posts: 4872
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:25 pm

Re: Importance of LR

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
elipad wrote:I didn't go to a school like HYS, but I suspect lack of LR membership becomes less of a liability as you go up the ranking. During the interview process, a few judges specifically told me they only seek applicants with LR membership (again, could be a product of my specific school). Lastly, the few clerks I encountered without LR membership usually had a secondary journal membership and came from the upper end of the T14.


This seems accurate. There are a handful of 3L students without LR at my HYS who have secured circuit court clerkships (including myself). That being said, there is a huge overlap between circuit court clerks and LR membership. It's clearly not entirely causal (gunners and such), but when I was going through the application process my advisor told me in no uncertain terms that several judges would not consider my application because I lacked that credential.

Tl;dr: not being on LR will limit your options even at HYS, but you're not hopelessly sunk without LR.

This is not really true. I know multiple people at H who are clerking for top feeder judges without being on LR. They all have fantastic grades, but not being a LR member is not a per se bar on anything really at HYS if your grades are good enough and you have the right faculty pulling for you.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273240
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Importance of LR

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:52 pm

Also consider whether the LR at your school does "grade on." If it does, you're basically selecting on the dependent variable: judges care about grades, so LR is also a proxy for good grades after 1L year.

At Y grades have no bearing on LR membership, and while LR membership definitely correlates with more feeder-y clerkships, amazing people without LR get amazing clerkships. I think it's simply that the people who want amazing clerkships also want LR and will do everything they can to get both. My sense is that outside of a handful of judges, LR matters FAR FAR less than grades when LR is not mostly a proxy for grades.




Return to “Judicial Clerkships”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.