Grades needed for CoA clerkship

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Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:27 pm

Hey all,

One of my best friends is a 2L at MVP and wants to know about CoA clerkship chances. She's in the low 3.7s and doing a secondary journal but no LR. What's the general GPA cutoff?

Also, does being an URM make a difference for Art III clerkships or nah?

hlsperson1111
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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby hlsperson1111 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:15 am

Those grades probably are not disqualifying for most COA judges, but they will not independently get her app pulled from the pile.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:00 am

I know of a few judges who hire exclusively URMs, or make an effort to hire URMs. (They are almost all URMs themselves.) I don't know that it's enough to say URMs get a boost, but it may help with a few.

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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:35 pm

This is OP. And what kind of grades would get one's app pulled out of the pile? Is it like top 5% at MVP + ed board position on LR or even higher?

I guess I'm wondering what the typical COA person from MVP has.

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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This is OP. And what kind of grades would get one's app pulled out of the pile? Is it like top 5% at MVP + ed board position on LR or even higher?

I guess I'm wondering what the typical COA person from MVP has.



top 10% at mvp tends to be pretty competitive. also journal (usually LR, maybe ed board) & good prof recs (think RA-type stuff).

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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This is OP. And what kind of grades would get one's app pulled out of the pile? Is it like top 5% at MVP + ed board position on LR or even higher?

I guess I'm wondering what the typical COA person from MVP has.



top 10% at mvp tends to be pretty competitive. also journal (usually LR, maybe ed board) & good prof recs (think RA-type stuff).


And to be a competitive applicant for a judge on the DC Cir or some other feeder would probably require at least the qualifications I mentioned before?

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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This is OP. And what kind of grades would get one's app pulled out of the pile? Is it like top 5% at MVP + ed board position on LR or even higher?

I guess I'm wondering what the typical COA person from MVP has.



top 10% at mvp tends to be pretty competitive. also journal (usually LR, maybe ed board) & good prof recs (think RA-type stuff).


And to be a competitive applicant for a judge on the DC Cir or some other feeder would probably require at least the qualifications I mentioned before?


yeah, at least. usually takes those stats plus some strong lobbying by at least one prof who either (1) knows the judge or (2) is a big name in her field.

daleearnhardt123
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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby daleearnhardt123 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:19 am

OP, if one of your friends wants to know COA chances, why are you posting for them?

Top 10% at MVP is really not that competitive for COA. There are some doors that are open, but nowhere is this candidate a compelling one. Perhaps for some of the circuits where no one wants to go to (8, 10), these grades are somewhat competitive. But generally they're not. Top 10% without LR to boot is probably just not getting a COA clerkship period.

Top 5% at MVP with a position on LR as an editor is competitive for a lot of COA positions, though not the more desirable ones that you mentioned (i.e. the DC Circuit).

Those exceptionally desirable positions, such as feeders and judges in big coastal cities, will generally require something higher than top 5% and a managing board position on LR in order to be competitive.

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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby sundance95 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:30 pm

daleearnhardt123 wrote:OP, if one of your friends wants to know COA chances, why are you posting for them?

Top 10% at MVP is really not that competitive for COA. There are some doors that are open, but nowhere is this candidate a compelling one. Perhaps for some of the circuits where no one wants to go to (8, 10), these grades are somewhat competitive. But generally they're not. Top 10% without LR to boot is probably just not getting a COA clerkship period.

Top 5% at MVP with a position on LR as an editor is competitive for a lot of COA positions, though not the more desirable ones that you mentioned (i.e. the DC Circuit).

Those exceptionally desirable positions, such as feeders and judges in big coastal cities, will generally require something higher than top 5% and a managing board position on LR in order to be competitive.

I disagree with this post insofar as it reduces getting a desirable COA clerkship to a QUERY: GPA? + QUERY: LR? + QUERY: MANAGING BOARD? formula. Much more important than any of these factors is how close your recommenders are to the particular judge, which is how a top 10% MVP candidate is going to get pulled from the pile and looked at. If we're talking about feeders, you'll obviously need both (great credentials + great recommenders) but top 10% MVP can certainly get a COA clerkship in a desirable circuit. It's just that your grades alone aren't sufficient to get your app pulled from the stack, so you'll need a great rec that will get you looked at.

Clerkship hiring is incredibly idiosyncratic--it's not a science.

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bruinfan10
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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby bruinfan10 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:13 am

sundance95 wrote:
daleearnhardt123 wrote:OP, if one of your friends wants to know COA chances, why are you posting for them?

Top 10% at MVP is really not that competitive for COA. There are some doors that are open, but nowhere is this candidate a compelling one. Perhaps for some of the circuits where no one wants to go to (8, 10), these grades are somewhat competitive. But generally they're not. Top 10% without LR to boot is probably just not getting a COA clerkship period.

Top 5% at MVP with a position on LR as an editor is competitive for a lot of COA positions, though not the more desirable ones that you mentioned (i.e. the DC Circuit).

Those exceptionally desirable positions, such as feeders and judges in big coastal cities, will generally require something higher than top 5% and a managing board position on LR in order to be competitive.

I disagree with this post insofar as it reduces getting a desirable COA clerkship to a QUERY: GPA? + QUERY: LR? + QUERY: MANAGING BOARD? formula. Much more important than any of these factors is how close your recommenders are to the particular judge, which is how a top 10% MVP candidate is going to get pulled from the pile and looked at. If we're talking about feeders, you'll obviously need both (great credentials + great recommenders) but top 10% MVP can certainly get a COA clerkship in a desirable circuit. It's just that your grades alone aren't sufficient to get your app pulled from the stack, so you'll need a great rec that will get you looked at.

Clerkship hiring is incredibly idiosyncratic--it's not a science.

I agree with this. Connections are huge, prof phone calls to chambers can be huge, and top 10% at MVP certainly doesn't rule you out. It just requires you to do something extra to get noticed.

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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:24 am

daleearnhardt123 wrote:OP, if one of your friends wants to know COA chances, why are you posting for them?

Top 10% at MVP is really not that competitive for COA. There are some doors that are open, but nowhere is this candidate a compelling one. Perhaps for some of the circuits where no one wants to go to (8, 10), these grades are somewhat competitive. But generally they're not. Top 10% without LR to boot is probably just not getting a COA clerkship period.

Top 5% at MVP with a position on LR as an editor is competitive for a lot of COA positions, though not the more desirable ones that you mentioned (i.e. the DC Circuit).

Those exceptionally desirable positions, such as feeders and judges in big coastal cities, will generally require something higher than top 5% and a managing board position on LR in order to be competitive.


I know a T14 grad top 1/3 who got a 9th cir. clerkship (not a well known judge and not in CA). Last year one of the grads from my T1 got a CoA clerkship in our circuit and he was not order of the coif and is not a URM, but was on law review. These may well be exceptions to the general rule though.

timmyd
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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby timmyd » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:04 pm

Does it help overcome somewhat lower grades if one has a d.ct. clerkship before applying to coa? Sure will depend a lot on judge's preferences but just wondering. Also, if anyone knows anecdotally of judges that prefer hiring clerks with clerking experience, please post.

hiima3L
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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby hiima3L » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:55 pm

timmyd wrote:Does it help overcome somewhat lower grades if one has a d.ct. clerkship before applying to coa? Sure will depend a lot on judge's preferences but just wondering. Also, if anyone knows anecdotally of judges that prefer hiring clerks with clerking experience, please post.


It can. I know of a COA judge who will only hire those with d. ct. experience beforehand.

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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby VulcanVulcanVulcan » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:59 pm

sundance95 wrote:I disagree with this post insofar as it reduces getting a desirable COA clerkship to a QUERY: GPA? + QUERY: LR? + QUERY: MANAGING BOARD? formula. Much more important than any of these factors is how close your recommenders are to the particular judge, which is how a top 10% MVP candidate is going to get pulled from the pile and looked at. If we're talking about feeders, you'll obviously need both (great credentials + great recommenders) but top 10% MVP can certainly get a COA clerkship in a desirable circuit. It's just that your grades alone aren't sufficient to get your app pulled from the stack, so you'll need a great rec that will get you looked at.

Clerkship hiring is incredibly idiosyncratic--it's not a science.


Thank you thank you thank you! People obsess over top 5%/10% when it doesn't really matter all that much, for the following reasons:
1. Clerks, and judges, really have no idea where the GPA cutoffs are unless it's obvious (Coif, etc.). I am a COA clerk and went to DCNG and know the GPA range really well for my school, but have no idea of how it works elsewhere. It takes a lot of work to figure it out.

2. Judges get like 1000 apps. There will be like 25 apps or more from each T14 school. They will all have high GPAs. Whether or not a student is top 5% or top 10% isn't really that important because the students will all seem the same.

So, ergo, tell your "friend" to marshal some good letters, apply and get some calls in. There's no harm in applying, esp. if you're primed not to expect much.

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Re: Grades needed for CoA clerkship

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:07 am

VulcanVulcanVulcan wrote:
sundance95 wrote:I disagree with this post insofar as it reduces getting a desirable COA clerkship to a QUERY: GPA? + QUERY: LR? + QUERY: MANAGING BOARD? formula. Much more important than any of these factors is how close your recommenders are to the particular judge, which is how a top 10% MVP candidate is going to get pulled from the pile and looked at. If we're talking about feeders, you'll obviously need both (great credentials + great recommenders) but top 10% MVP can certainly get a COA clerkship in a desirable circuit. It's just that your grades alone aren't sufficient to get your app pulled from the stack, so you'll need a great rec that will get you looked at.

Clerkship hiring is incredibly idiosyncratic--it's not a science.


Thank you thank you thank you! People obsess over top 5%/10% when it doesn't really matter all that much, for the following reasons:
1. Clerks, and judges, really have no idea where the GPA cutoffs are unless it's obvious (Coif, etc.). I am a COA clerk and went to DCNG and know the GPA range really well for my school, but have no idea of how it works elsewhere. It takes a lot of work to figure it out.

2. Judges get like 1000 apps. There will be like 25 apps or more from each T14 school. They will all have high GPAs. Whether or not a student is top 5% or top 10% isn't really that important because the students will all seem the same.

So, ergo, tell your "friend" to marshal some good letters, apply and get some calls in. There's no harm in applying, esp. if you're primed not to expect much.


If no one is calling on an applicant's behalf, what kind of grades/school does it take to get pulled out of the pile in your chambers?




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