Defying reality?

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Anonymous User
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Defying reality?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:56 pm

So here is the thing. I am a 2L at a TTTT law school, which I enrolled in to avoid debt. It's not like I got into T14 anyway, but I did get accepted to GW and Minnesota. I chose TTTT over those T20 schools because I wanted to stay out of debt.

I'm a 2L now (4th semester) with a 3.0 GPA. The low GPA is probably because I treated law school like college, where very little work used to get me As (in law school that amount of work got me Bs and B-s). I am chalking it up to naivety and working while going to law school. Now that I am a 2L, older and have more experience, I finally realize how potentially stupid my decisions have been.

I recently interned with a judge at SDNY and it has been one of my best experiences. I can see myself clerking in the same court and even perhaps with the same judge. It's just sad because reality is I can't get a clerkship with my current grades at my current school.

My thread is titled "Defying reality" because I realize that it might take a miracle for me to bounce back from this. So is it over for me or is there any hope? And if there is hope, what should I be doing right now (I've considered transferring to any school that would take a 3L but with my grades I probably have no chance of that anyway).

I appreciate any help any of you can give. If you can't help please don't rub it in. Thanks.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Defying reality?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:10 pm

Your best shot is probably to get a job and work for a couple of years, then apply as an alum. I don't think transferring is going to do you any good - first, it's probably not possible (you'd have to give up a bunch of credits as you usually have to complete 2 years at a school to graduate from that school, and there's a cap on transfer credits that a school will take), and second, a school you could get in to isn't going to improve your situation and you'd just incur debt for no reason. But there are judges who much prefer alums so that can help.

Unfortunately SDNY is probably the most competitive district court in the country, so you do face an uphill battle. (Unless you judge loved you and hires their former interns.)

Anonymous User
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Re: Defying reality?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:32 am

Thank you very much for your response. This might be an obvious question but what kind of job should I aim for upon graduation that could help me reach my goal to clerk in a federal district? Should I try to get a state clerkship or are my chances also zero for that? Thank you again for entertaining these questions.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Defying reality?

Postby JohannDeMann » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:38 am

yure fucked. talk to youre judge though and see what they would recommend and what other options may be availale that you would also like career wise

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Defying reality?

Postby ManoftheHour » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:41 am

Anonymous User wrote: It's not like I got into T14 anyway, but I did get accepted to GULC and Minnesota. .

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Emma.
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Re: Defying reality?

Postby Emma. » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:59 am

Your goal should be finding the best permanent position you can. Don't make any job decisions based on the (frankly, very remote) possibility that some job or another might help you land a federal clerkship. Clerkships are great and all, but it is one or two years of your career.

I don't mean to sound harsh but I can't imagine with your GPA you are going to be in a position where you can pick and choose among post-law school gigs. If you are lucky enough to have options, choose the one that seems like it'll be the best for you long term, with no regard to whether it might help you land a clerkship down the road.

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Re: Defying reality?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:39 am

Thanks for your replies. @ManoftheHour my mistake I wrote GULC in haste, I actually got into GW not GULC (edited now).

Thanks again for your advice guys, it definitely helps.

Anonymous User
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Re: Defying reality?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:52 pm

Similar GPA as OP (3.006) however I'm at a T30 (BC/BU). Are state trial court clerkships a pipe dream? I am interested in Court of Common Pleas in PA and Probate and Family Court in MA. Lots of family and crim law experience.

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Re: Defying reality?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:54 am

I went to a TTTT and clerked on SDNY, so it is possible. Although SDNY judges do tend to hire mostly from the highest ranked schools, there's still some judges on the court who do not mind taking a TTTT grad or two (hell, TTTT grads can even make it to SCOTUS). For SDNY judges, however, my impression was that this was limited mostly to area schools, like Brooklyn LS, NYLS, or St. Johns, where the judge may have some connection -- though, I should note that I didn't attend any of those schools.

My experience also was that there usually was no correlation between the schools from which a judge hired his/her interns and the schools from which he/she hired clerks. There were plenty of judges who had clerks from Harvard and Yale and interns from Brooklyn LS or Pace. Where did the clerks you worked for during your time in chambers go to school? If it was not a T14, then maybe you have a shot. Similarly, if your judge hires former interns and liked you a lot, you also might have a shot.

Your biggest problem is your grades. I think you can overcome TTTT to an extent by being at the top of your class, but a 3.0 is really unlikely to be very impressive for ANY federal judge across the country, let alone those in major markets like NYC. There's simply too many candidates out there with insane credentials -- and clerkship hiring is idiosyncratic to the judge's personal tastes to begin with.

Sadly, I think you'll be facing an uphill battle. If you're dead-set on clerking in the federal system, you should apply as broadly as you can. The good news is is that there's a lot of judges out there. Apply early and often. Be open to going to less desirable jurisdictions or clerking for magistrate/bankruptcy/state court judges. Those positions can sometimes be stepping stones to Art. III. In the end though, your best bet may be judges in the courthouse nearest to your school who are either alums or have taken clerks from your school in the past. Play up the experience you had as an intern at SDNY. If the judge you worked for isn't going to hire you, ask him to write you a letter or at least serve as a reference.

If you don't get a clerkship, but want to position yourself for one, you should go BigLaw if you can. Tons of SDNY judges hire from biglaw. Actually, of the people I met who didn't come straight from school or another clerkship, I can't think of any who came from firms that were not biglaw. Unfortunately, with your grades from a TTTT though, you're likely going to have the same problem getting into biglaw.

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Re: Defying reality?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:14 am

Your solution is to keep in your judge's good graces and hopefully turn him into a mentor, combined with putting your nose to the grindstone and busting a$$ to come out above median at graduation. You should also be working on lining up your 2L summer gig and getting yourself involved with your local bar associations. People hire people they know and like.




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