Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

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Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:31 pm

I think this should be the exclusive thread re: 2015+ bankruptcy clerkships in all markets (flyover and Chapter 11 markets).

At this time, OSCAR has about seven bankruptcy judges re: 2015+ clerkships. For the sake of efficiency, this thread will cover all clerkships starting in 2015 (2015-2016 and 2015-2017).

Seventh - Goldgar
Eighth - Hastings
Fifth - Davis, Mott, Isgur, Gargotta, Houser
Ninth - Latham, Robles, Smith

I can continue to update as more judges post new clerkships.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:31 pm

Word goes around that Isgur (Fifth Circuit) has called candidates to set up interviews.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby upthebracket » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:46 am

Deleted
Last edited by upthebracket on Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:36 am

upthebracket wrote:Does anyone know when SDNY and Del will start hiring? I haven't started preparing my applications yet, so I'm wondering if I'm too late at this point? Thanks!


Maybe still a little too early? I put out paper applications to these districts in late June/early July last year and started getting responses soon after that. I see that some judges in non-SDNY/Del districts have already posted openings, but that may be to get a jump on hiring before judges in SDNY and Del.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
upthebracket wrote:Does anyone know when SDNY and Del will start hiring? I haven't started preparing my applications yet, so I'm wondering if I'm too late at this point? Thanks!


Maybe still a little too early? I put out paper applications to these districts in late June/early July last year and started getting responses soon after that. I see that some judges in non-SDNY/Del districts have already posted openings, but that may be to get a jump on hiring before judges in SDNY and Del.


I have a 2014-2015 D. Del. bankruptcy clerkship and I was offered in June 2013. I sent out my SDNY and D. Del. apps in the spring (maybe late March) for what its worth. I would say that most of the judges review apps on a rolling basis and with hiring season getting earlier every year, the review process has probably started earlier as well. When one of the Judges sees someone they like (or someone with some sort of "in" with chambers) he/she will probably jump on that applicant. So, I would say you are not "too late" yet but you are getting close. I would get my apps out in the next month or so if I were you.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:52 pm

I updated the main post to reflect new clerkship positions.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:15 pm

Do the DE and SDNY judges avoid oscar and just rely on solicitations? I have barely seen any postings from them for 15-16.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:Do the DE and SDNY judges avoid oscar and just rely on solicitations? I have barely seen any postings from them for 15-16.


I'd say it's safe to assume that. I've applied for clerkships on both courts for two application cycles, and over that period of time I've only seen a couple of judges from either court post positions on OSCAR. I think most of these judges employ at least one term clerk, so they are largely relying on the paper application process.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 15, 2014 9:30 am

I did a bk clerkship in CA. Happy to take questions.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:18 pm

How detailed do you need to be in your cover letter about why you are interested in bankruptcy? I thought it was sufficient to just state I'm interested in bankruptcy, then give examples of my bankruptcy related experience and course work. But then I came across this in a post from a former bankruptcy clerk:

viewtopic.php?f=34&t=206757&start=25
You've taken the right courses and you have a little experience in practice, which means all you need to do is - if you reach the interview stage - come up with a compelling end to the following sentence: "I am interested in bankruptcy because..."

You would not believe how many applicants are content merely to state, as if for the record, that they are interested in bankruptcy. That is not enough - you need to explain why, as well as what it was about your bankruptcy-related experience that led you to develop this interest.


Is he just talking about the interview stage, or do you need to come up with a reason why you are interested in bankruptcy in your cover letter? I don't think I could concisely get that across in a cover letter.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:21 pm

If I want one in 2015 for SDNY/DDel have I missed the bus?

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If I want one in 2015 for SDNY/DDel have I missed the bus?


I'm the anon future D Del. clerk that posted above. You probably haven't completely missed the boat but I would get on it ASAP if I were you. Some Judges have probably already hired but some may not have. I got my offer early summer.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:54 pm

IF I am median at T-14 (above median after 1L if that counts), with median BK grades but demonstrated interest, am I competitive for TX, DE, CA, IL or NY? Sending apps this week. Would appreciate any advice/prediction.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:55 pm

Are we supposed to send unsolicited paper applications to non-SDNY/DE judges, or just wait until they post on oscar / uscourts.gov? If the OSCAR posting indicates there is nothing available and says "do not contact chambers", do you send a paper application anyway?

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby emciosn » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:Are we supposed to send unsolicited paper applications to non-SDNY/DE judges, or just wait until they post on oscar / uscourts.gov? If the OSCAR posting indicates there is nothing available and says "do not contact chambers", do you send a paper application anyway?


Yeah just send in paper apps to all of them (if you are looking for 2015-201 you better do it ASAP). Many/most of them do not post on OSCAR at all if memory serves.

Anonymous User wrote:IF I am median at T-14 (above median after 1L if that counts), with median BK grades but demonstrated interest, am I competitive for TX, DE, CA, IL or NY? Sending apps this week. Would appreciate any advice/prediction.


Being median AND having median BK grades I would say means you are a bit of a long shot in those states. You never know though, one of the judges might really like your experience and give you a shot. I would suggest applying as broadly as possible and seeing what sticks. I would definitely have some sort of contingency plan though--perhaps consider applying for clerkships in less competitive districts as well. Clerking even in flyover country beats unemployment and if you don't mind clerking for two years you could get a more competitive clerkship for your second year (some of the more competitive judges like clerking experience).

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:40 am

Can someone explain what BK clerks do after their clerkship? What are some of the goals of BK clerks, say, in SDNY?

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby emciosn » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:Can someone explain what BK clerks do after their clerkship? What are some of the goals of BK clerks, say, in SDNY?


I would say it varies. I have heard of/know of former BK clerks who went on to work at biglaw firms in non-BK fields, like securities or corporate. I would say generally the goal is to land at a midlaw to biglaw firm doing bankruptcy or some bankruptcy plus transactional/litigation/corporate/real estate/etc. (for when filings are down). By this I mean working at a firm that is not a high-volume mill (on either the debtor or creditor side--i.e. your not doing chapter 7s for $800 a pop or relief from stay motions/foreclosures all day). If you got a BK clerkship you probably had some sort of demonstrated interest in BK to begin with (maybe not) and the BK clerkship only further pigeon-holes you in to BK. Although, like I said I have heard of plenty of clerks from competitive districts that go on to work in other areas.

All of the D Del/SDNY clerks I have heard of have ended up at a biglaw NYC firm or at one of the prominent DE firms. Admittedly I have a fairly small sample size. If you had the drive and credentials to seek out and land a D Del./SDNY BK clerkship you are probably looking for Weil NY or Kirkland Chi or one of the firms almost at that level (like maybe Skadden or Jones Day right now). Also the US Trustee Program hires former clerks through the honors program every few years (clerking preserves your eligibility--I think they are hiring this year) so that would also be an option and would be interesting work, especially in the busier chapter 11 districts (obviously the pay is not as good as biglaw but probably as good or better than some midlaw--you start at $90k with two years clerking, like $75k with one year, plus the benefits associations with fed gov work).

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:46 pm

emciosn wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can someone explain what BK clerks do after their clerkship? What are some of the goals of BK clerks, say, in SDNY?


I would say it varies. I have heard of/know of former BK clerks who went on to work at biglaw firms in non-BK fields, like securities or corporate. I would say generally the goal is to land at a midlaw to biglaw firm doing bankruptcy or some bankruptcy plus transactional/litigation/corporate/real estate/etc. (for when filings are down). By this I mean working at a firm that is not a high-volume mill (on either the debtor or creditor side--i.e. your not doing chapter 7s for $800 a pop or relief from stay motions/foreclosures all day). If you got a BK clerkship you probably had some sort of demonstrated interest in BK to begin with (maybe not) and the BK clerkship only further pigeon-holes you in to BK. Although, like I said I have heard of plenty of clerks from competitive districts that go on to work in other areas.

All of the D Del/SDNY clerks I have heard of have ended up at a biglaw NYC firm or at one of the prominent DE firms. Admittedly I have a fairly small sample size. If you had the drive and credentials to seek out and land a D Del./SDNY BK clerkship you are probably looking for Weil NY or Kirkland Chi or one of the firms almost at that level (like maybe Skadden or Jones Day right now). Also the US Trustee Program hires former clerks through the honors program every few years (clerking preserves your eligibility--I think they are hiring this year) so that would also be an option and would be interesting work, especially in the busier chapter 11 districts (obviously the pay is not as good as biglaw but probably as good or better than some midlaw--you start at $90k with two years clerking, like $75k with one year, plus the benefits associations with fed gov work).


Thanks for the solid response

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:Can someone explain what BK clerks do after their clerkship? What are some of the goals of BK clerks, say, in SDNY?

I was a bk clerk in a less preftigious district and ended up doing business lit.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:36 pm

emciosn wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are we supposed to send unsolicited paper applications to non-SDNY/DE judges, or just wait until they post on oscar / uscourts.gov? If the OSCAR posting indicates there is nothing available and says "do not contact chambers", do you send a paper application anyway?


Yeah just send in paper apps to all of them (if you are looking for 2015-201 you better do it ASAP). Many/most of them do not post on OSCAR at all if memory serves.



i meant that I am NOT applying to SDNY / DE judges. I'm mostly just targeting flyover districts - I would be happy with almost any bankruptcy clerkship. So I should send paper apps to all 300+ bankruptcy judges who don't post on OSCAR? Weed out those who say they only have permanent clerks? I figure I'm out of the running for SDNY / DE with only top 15% at at T20, and no SA.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby emciosn » Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
emciosn wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are we supposed to send unsolicited paper applications to non-SDNY/DE judges, or just wait until they post on oscar / uscourts.gov? If the OSCAR posting indicates there is nothing available and says "do not contact chambers", do you send a paper application anyway?


Yeah just send in paper apps to all of them (if you are looking for 2015-201 you better do it ASAP). Many/most of them do not post on OSCAR at all if memory serves.



i meant that I am NOT applying to SDNY / DE judges. I'm mostly just targeting flyover districts - I would be happy with almost any bankruptcy clerkship. So I should send paper apps to all 300+ bankruptcy judges who don't post on OSCAR? Weed out those who say they only have permanent clerks? I figure I'm out of the running for SDNY / DE with only top 15% at at T20, and no SA.


Ah I see--sorry RC fail. I did about 80 or so paper apps when I applied the first time around (plus all the OSCAR apps I could fill out). I would say only send in paper apps to judges who hire term clerks, if you have a way of weeding that out (sending apps to every non-OSCAR BK judge would be a pain). These judges expect to get essentially unsolicited paper apps. My law school career services office had this spreadsheet that said which BK judges hired/did not hire term clerks on a yearly basis (or whose hiring practices were unknown). Apparently the school, along with some other law schools, called around and asked every judge (D.CT. and COA as well as BK). You may want to ask your OCS about it.

I would highly recommend making the effort to do paper apps. A good number of my interviews and my eventual offer came from a judge who I sent a paper app. I have also heard from a number of judges and career clerks that paper apps are more likely to actually be read/considered than OSCAR apps (with paper apps you cant just look at the GPA, click and delete).

ETA: the fact that you are flexible and would be happy with any BK clerkship is good too. The wider you cast your net, the more likely you are to land something. That is what I did with some pretty good results. There are some judges that only like to hire local but some judges only care about your qualifications and will give you a shot no matter where you are coming from.
Last edited by emciosn on Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
emciosn wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are we supposed to send unsolicited paper applications to non-SDNY/DE judges, or just wait until they post on oscar / uscourts.gov? If the OSCAR posting indicates there is nothing available and says "do not contact chambers", do you send a paper application anyway?


Yeah just send in paper apps to all of them (if you are looking for 2015-201 you better do it ASAP). Many/most of them do not post on OSCAR at all if memory serves.



i meant that I am NOT applying to SDNY / DE judges. I'm mostly just targeting flyover districts - I would be happy with almost any bankruptcy clerkship. So I should send paper apps to all 300+ bankruptcy judges who don't post on OSCAR? Weed out those who say they only have permanent clerks? I figure I'm out of the running for SDNY / DE with only top 15% at at T20, and no SA.


I would not be so sure if I were you. I got a SDNY/DE BK clerkship with very similar credentials. I had to do a little bit of networking to get my foot in the door, had to clerk in flyover country for a year first, and had some pretty good other BK-specific credentials though.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:24 pm

i meant that I am NOT applying to SDNY / DE judges. I'm mostly just targeting flyover districts - I would be happy with almost any bankruptcy clerkship. So I should send paper apps to all 300+ bankruptcy judges who don't post on OSCAR? Weed out those who say they only have permanent clerks? I figure I'm out of the running for SDNY / DE with only top 15% at at T20, and no SA.


Ah I see--sorry RC fail. I did about 80 or so paper apps when I applied the first time around (plus all the OSCAR apps I could fill out). I would say only send in paper apps to judges who hire term clerks, if you have a way of weeding that out (sending apps to every non-OSCAR BK judge would be a pain). These judges expect to get essentially unsolicited paper apps. My law school career services office had this spreadsheet that said which BK judges hired/did not hire term clerks on a yearly basis (or whose hiring practices were unknown). Apparently the school, along with some other law schools, called around and asked every judge (D.CT. and COA as well as BK). You may want to ask your OCS about it.

I would highly recommend making the effort to do paper apps. A good number of my interviews and my eventual offer came from a judge who I sent a paper app. I have also heard from a number of judges and career clerks that paper apps are more likely to actually be read/considered than OSCAR apps (with paper apps you cant just look at the GPA, click and delete).

ETA: the fact that you are flexible and would be happy with any BK clerkship is good too. The wider you cast your net, the more likely you are to land something. That is what I did with some pretty good results. There are some judges that only like to hire local but some judges only care about your qualifications and will give you a shot no matter where you are coming from.


Thanks for the great advice. I'll start sending out paper applications now.

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:34 pm

Does anybody have an idea when most Judges that are not posting on OSCAR are hiring/interviewing? I interviewed with Judges in the W.D.Tex. and didn't receive an offer so I decided to mail out hard copies to other judges (95 of them) last week. Am I too late in the process? Or are there a decent number of judges that haven't even started looking yet?

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Re: Federal Bankruptcy Clerkships 2015-2016

Postby Chuck59 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:07 pm

Any chance at all I can still find something for the 15/16 terms?

I was no-offered extremely late in August so I am recently interested in bankruptcy courts.

Stats for reference:

Top 15% at regional (south) T50
Law Review
2L big law regional SA (no-offer)
Took Sec. Tran. - Taking Bankruptcy now - Considering a directed research on bankruptcy topic




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