Classes selection question

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VulcanVulcanVulcan
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Classes selection question

Postby VulcanVulcanVulcan » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:15 pm

Quick question--I'm a 3L applying to clerkships (top 20%, lower T14). How much of an issue for a judge will it be if I take a sports law class? I've taken a lot of doctrinal classes, although it's dropped off this year in favor of a lot of seminars which sound semi-serious (i.e., are not "Law and Humanities") or whatever.

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tww909
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Re: Classes selection question

Postby tww909 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:28 am

my transcript features well-known doctrinal favorites like critical theory, wine and the law, deconstructing big law, and the US senate as a legal institution, and i will be clerking on the district court. in fact none of the judges or clerks in any of my interviews asked a single question about why i took certain classes and not others (including not taking federal courts).

granted i was at HYS, so maybe people expect our transcripts to be loaded with classes on the influence of kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th century bulgaria, but i wouldn't fret about it.

Anonymous User
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Re: Classes selection question

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:47 am

I have yet had a judge ask me about my classes I took during my interviews. If it came up, it was usually in the context of "which class do you enjoy the most?". So in my experience, while classes may help you (say if you took appellate, advance lit, etc), they are not going to hurt you.

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bruinfan10
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Re: Classes selection question

Postby bruinfan10 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:58 am

I've probably done close to seven interviews over the course of landing two clerkships, and judges have asked about classes in at least three of them. In one case I was asked about an undergraduate class (although that was for a feeder). So make sure you take FedCourts, Evidence, and at least a few other doctrinals. Sports Law doesn't sound like a Yale-type blow-off course though; I'm sure you'll be fine provided a good chunk of the rest of your courseload is semi-rigorous.

apparentlynew
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Re: Classes selection question

Postby apparentlynew » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:04 pm

On-topic, my (dist.) judge didn't ask me anything about my class selection, but I took very standard doctrinal classes.

I'd love to see responses from people who know or have reason to suspect they got dinged for not taking Fed Courts specifically--and which judges those were.

Thanks in advance!

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bruinfan10
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Re: Classes selection question

Postby bruinfan10 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:34 pm

I have it on good authority that skipping or doing poorly in FedCourts can be a significant negative (although I can't imagine close to a dispositive factor) for SCOTUS clerkships and Bristow Fellowships.

I also have considerable anecdotal evidence from fellow non-HYS T14 clerkship candidates that run of the mill CoA judges (and even some feeders) -- and definitely your average D.Ct judge -- won't bat an eyelash if you skip FedCourts, so long as you meet whatever their other requirements are (GPA, LR Position, Publication: whatever that judge may be into).

So long story short, I don't think anyone would dispute that a solid FedCourts grade is a plus for clerkships, but unless you're applying at the highest levels, I think you could squeak by without it.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Classes selection question

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:43 pm

This is all kind of hard to quantify. I didn't take Fed Courts and I got a federal clerkship (I also applied as an alum and my courses pretty much never came up). I also didn't get a lot of federal clerkships, which may be because I didn't take Federal Courts, but is more likely because I had semi-ordinary grades and went to an ordinary school. Some judges might care, others probably won't.

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Re: Classes selection question

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:07 pm

D. Ct. clerk here.

I've never heard of any judge ever caring about the classes an applicant took, with the only exception being Evidence because that is class is so critical to everything and can't be learned as you go. Aside from that, course selection seems like a law school flame, but of course I'm relying almost entirely on anecdotes (or lack thereof).




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