What counts as a "flyover" COA location?

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Anonymous User
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What counts as a "flyover" COA location?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:35 pm

A lot of advice on this forum about COA clerkships depends on whether you characterize certain locations as "Flyover" or not. What's the general understanding when people use that term?

I'm assuming Chicago isn't a flyover COA location, and a town like Des Moines is. What about cities like Baltimore, Charlotte, Tampa, Austin / Houston? Do they count as "flyover" locations? I know judges matter above all else, but for those of us who are competitive for COA but not super-prestigious judges or feeders, any clarification might be helpful.
Thanks!

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ymmv
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Re: What counts as a "flyover" COA location?

Postby ymmv » Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:43 pm

Does your school keep data on past clerkship applicants? That's probably your best bet for getting a feel for the relative competitiveness of each judge and region.

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rpupkin
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Re: What counts as a "flyover" COA location?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:00 am

I suggest finding an alumnus of your school who clerked for a judge, preferably a non-flyover judge. Ask the former clerk if he/she will let you see the federal judge prestige rankings. The rankings--which are based on surveys submitted by current clerks, former clerks, and federal judges--are compiled annually by the clerks of a particular D.C. Circuit judge. The rankings are supposed to be kept secret, but two alumni from my school let me see them when I applied.

If the judge you're interested in has a score below 60, then that judge can fairly be characterized as a "flyover" COA judge. But to be absolutely sure you aren't stuck clerking for a flyover judge, I suggest clerking only for judges with prestige scores of 75 or higher.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: What counts as a "flyover" COA location?

Postby TatteredDignity » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:09 am

Anonymous User wrote: a town like Des Moines is.


Not according to Judge Colloton. Des Moines is "ranked #1 by Forbes in 2011 among 'America's Best Cities for Young Professionals.'"

So, yeah.

jimmythecatdied6
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Re: What counts as a "flyover" COA location?

Postby jimmythecatdied6 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:45 am

A judge is either a feeder for supreme court clerkships or a non-feeder. If you aren't super competitive, apply to everyone but the feeders.

Even in "flyover" country, there are feeder judges, so I think the term is a bit misleading at the circuit court level.

badaboom61
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Re: What counts as a "flyover" COA location?

Postby badaboom61 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:23 am

"Flyover" is not a great metric for what constitutes a competitive district. It is true that, on average, clerkships in big cities with big legal markets (mostly referring to NY, DC, LA, SF, Chicago) are more competitive than clerkships in less populated areas. This effect is greater for district clerkships than COA clerkships. That's not to say, though, that there aren't plenty of very selective judges who live in flyover country, or that only kids on Harvard Law Review can land a clerkship in SDNY.

If your credentials are on the margin, you might hit more judges willing to consider your credentials if you target judges in metro areas with low populations; there's probably at least some degree of correlation between city size and selectivity. However, it won't guaranty you a clerkship, and you might overlook a judge in a bigger city who likes your resume and would be willing to hire you.

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parkslope
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Re: What counts as a "flyover" COA location?

Postby parkslope » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:38 am

rpupkin wrote:I suggest finding an alumnus of your school who clerked for a judge, preferably a non-flyover judge. Ask the former clerk if he/she will let you see the federal judge prestige rankings. The rankings--which are based on surveys submitted by current clerks, former clerks, and federal judges--are compiled annually by the clerks of a particular D.C. Circuit judge. The rankings are supposed to be kept secret, but two alumni from my school let me see them when I applied.

If the judge you're interested in has a score below 60, then that judge can fairly be characterized as a "flyover" COA judge. But to be absolutely sure you aren't stuck clerking for a flyover judge, I suggest clerking only for judges with prestige scores of 75 or higher.


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FSK
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Re: What counts as a "flyover" COA location?

Postby FSK » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:50 am

Generally Flyover means Non NY/DC/Chi/Bos/LA/SF - basically big city or bust.

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fats provolone
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Re: What counts as a "flyover" COA location?

Postby fats provolone » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:51 am

just ask the judge

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Shaggier1
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Re: What counts as a "flyover" COA location?

Postby Shaggier1 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:34 pm

just ask the judge

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: What counts as a "flyover" COA location?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:17 pm

fats provolone wrote:just ask the judge




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