Clerkship Chances

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
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Fleetoffoot4
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:53 pm

Clerkship Chances

Postby Fleetoffoot4 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:50 pm

Looking for a little input regarding my chances for a clerkship.

Am a 2L at Lewis & Clark, with a 3.15 gpa which just puts me in the top 33% of my class. Currently interning for a District Court judge in portland and will be externing for another District Court judge in Reno this summer. No law review experience.

Would it be worth apply for District Court clerkships in some of the less competitive and/or more remote districts in the midwest and south? Just sticking to state circuit courts in Oregon? My current thinking is that my chances of a clerkships with any District Courts would be pretty slim at best, so any advice on whether it would be worth a shot, or whether sticking to state trial courts might really be my best chance at a clerkship following graduation would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

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A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22816
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Clerkship Chances

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:20 pm

Fleetoffoot4 wrote:Looking for a little input regarding my chances for a clerkship.

Am a 2L at Lewis & Clark, with a 3.15 gpa which just puts me in the top 33% of my class. Currently interning for a District Court judge in portland and will be externing for another District Court judge in Reno this summer. No law review experience.

Would it be worth apply for District Court clerkships in some of the less competitive and/or more remote districts in the midwest and south? Just sticking to state circuit courts in Oregon? My current thinking is that my chances of a clerkships with any District Courts would be pretty slim at best, so any advice on whether it would be worth a shot, or whether sticking to state trial courts might really be my best chance at a clerkship following graduation would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

Yes, unfortunately, your chances are slim for federal district courts, statistics-wise; getting something would probably be contingent on one of the judges you're interning/externing for being willing to hire you or go to bat for you and call judges (or if you have other kinds of connections that would have the same effect).

If you want to blanket-apply, you might be better off applying to all the district court judges in the 9th Circuit, who may be familiar with/have good experiences with L&C, rather than in parts of the country where L&C means nothing. Some regions are less competitive than others, but all clerkships are pretty competitive these days. The problem is that judges in remote districts often want to see some kind of connection to the area, and will likely hire top grads from the local T/TT/TTT over top 1/3 from L&C (unless you have ties to some of those districts that you haven't mentioned).

Also, I don't understand why your choice is between federal district courts and state trial courts. Admittedly I don't know much about the Oregon state courts, but state trial-level clerkships are not usually very helpful (except in New Jersey). In a lot of places they're as much administrative as they are legal positions. Why would you rule out state Supreme Court/Court of Appeals? (You may not be hugely competitive for those either, especially SSC, but if you're considering federal clerkships I don't know why those are off the table.)




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