2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

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emkay625
Posts: 1835
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:31 pm

Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby emkay625 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:26 pm

Br3v wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I need an objective third party I think, because the clerkship counselor has worked with me for months fine tuning everything, and I've had my writing sample looked at by everyone who will take a glance haha. Could also be resume or cover letter. In terms of the number of judges, yeah, it's a little less than 100 (though not by that much of a margin). I don't rely on OSCAR at all, I only rely on explicit knowledge.


Clerk at a non-feeder here, but we just went through the application review process so it's fresh in my mind what we look at when we review stuff. I'd be happy to look at your stuff if you like. PM me if interested.

Edited to add: I'd be happy to do this for anybody, not just the anon who posted above.


Not the anon you're talking to but:

It would actually be really helpful for us all I would think if you gave like 3 or 5 key points you tend to look for at apps!


Yeah, of course!

Here's basically what we look at, in order:
1. Grades overall
2. Grade in legal writing (tippy-top grades in doctrinal classes but median/below median in legal writing is a strike against you)
3. Other demonstrated legal writing accolades? (did you win best memo, are you a legal writing TA, are you taking advanced legal writing courses etc.)
4. Resume: what did you do 1L summer? Where are you going next summer?
5. Resume: any interesting pre-law school experience?
6. Are you on law review?
7. How are your rec letters? Are they generic or can we tell these people actually think you're great?
8. How is your writing sample? There should not be errors. (So many people have errors.)
9. Does clerking make sense for the picture your resume paints? (I.E. if you did transactional work last summer and this coming summer at a city 1500 miles away, why are you wanting to clerk for this court?)
10. your interests - do you seem like someone we would want to spend a whole year with? or do you seem stuckup/like a prick?
11. Do you seem too political? This can be bad no matter which side of the aisle you fall to. Something like ACS or Federalist Society is totally fine. But when your entire resume is all politics stuff (like we had someone whose undergraduate activities, pre-lawschool work experience, law school activities, law school work experience, and even interests were all super political/ideological in one direction), that might be too much for some judges. When you're a clerk, you can't engage in any political activity publicly (like can't even like a facebook status about politics that one of your friends wrote). if your resume suggests you'd be unable to restrain yourself, that's a bad sign. so some political stuff = fine. too much is a bad sign.

Other tips:
-if your school is on like a high pass/pass/fail/high pass system, please give us some sort of benchmark to measure how well you're doing. for instance, your school may not rank, but they probably have some sort of percentage as far as how many high passes a prof gives. you need to somehow show us that. we have chosen not to interview folks because we had no idea if they were at the top of the class, bottom of the class, or somewhere in the middle. doesn't matter if you go to hys.
-please don't list scholarship $ amounts you were awarded on your resume. this is weird.
-please explain any and all terms people who didn't go to your school wouldn't know. For example, at Georgetown, legal writing TAs are called "Law Fellows." We saw apps that just said "Law Fellow" on the resume with no explanation of what that was. Your resume in that scenario should say Law Fellow, 2015-2016 (Teaching Assistant for the Legal Writing Program), or something similar.

A lot of this is probably obvious, but this is really about all there is to it. I wish I had a magic bullet to tell y'all but i don't.

Other questions? I'm happy to help as much as I can.

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Br3v
Posts: 4174
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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Br3v » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:07 am

emkay625 wrote:
Br3v wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I need an objective third party I think, because the clerkship counselor has worked with me for months fine tuning everything, and I've had my writing sample looked at by everyone who will take a glance haha. Could also be resume or cover letter. In terms of the number of judges, yeah, it's a little less than 100 (though not by that much of a margin). I don't rely on OSCAR at all, I only rely on explicit knowledge.


Clerk at a non-feeder here, but we just went through the application review process so it's fresh in my mind what we look at when we review stuff. I'd be happy to look at your stuff if you like. PM me if interested.

Edited to add: I'd be happy to do this for anybody, not just the anon who posted above.


Not the anon you're talking to but:

It would actually be really helpful for us all I would think if you gave like 3 or 5 key points you tend to look for at apps!


Yeah, of course!

Here's basically what we look at, in order:
1. Grades overall
2. Grade in legal writing (tippy-top grades in doctrinal classes but median/below median in legal writing is a strike against you)
3. Other demonstrated legal writing accolades? (did you win best memo, are you a legal writing TA, are you taking advanced legal writing courses etc.)
4. Resume: what did you do 1L summer? Where are you going next summer?
5. Resume: any interesting pre-law school experience?
6. Are you on law review?
7. How are your rec letters? Are they generic or can we tell these people actually think you're great?
8. How is your writing sample? There should not be errors. (So many people have errors.)
9. Does clerking make sense for the picture your resume paints? (I.E. if you did transactional work last summer and this coming summer at a city 1500 miles away, why are you wanting to clerk for this court?)
10. your interests - do you seem like someone we would want to spend a whole year with? or do you seem stuckup/like a prick?
11. Do you seem too political? This can be bad no matter which side of the aisle you fall to. Something like ACS or Federalist Society is totally fine. But when your entire resume is all politics stuff (like we had someone whose undergraduate activities, pre-lawschool work experience, law school activities, law school work experience, and even interests were all super political/ideological in one direction), that might be too much for some judges. When you're a clerk, you can't engage in any political activity publicly (like can't even like a facebook status about politics that one of your friends wrote). if your resume suggests you'd be unable to restrain yourself, that's a bad sign. so some political stuff = fine. too much is a bad sign.

Other tips:
-if your school is on like a high pass/pass/fail/high pass system, please give us some sort of benchmark to measure how well you're doing. for instance, your school may not rank, but they probably have some sort of percentage as far as how many high passes a prof gives. you need to somehow show us that. we have chosen not to interview folks because we had no idea if they were at the top of the class, bottom of the class, or somewhere in the middle. doesn't matter if you go to hys.
-please don't list scholarship $ amounts you were awarded on your resume. this is weird.
-please explain any and all terms people who didn't go to your school wouldn't know. For example, at Georgetown, legal writing TAs are called "Law Fellows." We saw apps that just said "Law Fellow" on the resume with no explanation of what that was. Your resume in that scenario should say Law Fellow, 2015-2016 (Teaching Assistant for the Legal Writing Program), or something similar.

A lot of this is probably obvious, but this is really about all there is to it. I wish I had a magic bullet to tell y'all but i don't.

Other questions? I'm happy to help as much as I can.


Super in depth thank you! Did you have much input when it came to the actual interview day? As in what the clerks thought about the interview?

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emkay625
Posts: 1835
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:31 pm

Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby emkay625 » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:16 am

Br3v wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
Br3v wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I need an objective third party I think, because the clerkship counselor has worked with me for months fine tuning everything, and I've had my writing sample looked at by everyone who will take a glance haha. Could also be resume or cover letter. In terms of the number of judges, yeah, it's a little less than 100 (though not by that much of a margin). I don't rely on OSCAR at all, I only rely on explicit knowledge.


Clerk at a non-feeder here, but we just went through the application review process so it's fresh in my mind what we look at when we review stuff. I'd be happy to look at your stuff if you like. PM me if interested.

Edited to add: I'd be happy to do this for anybody, not just the anon who posted above.


Not the anon you're talking to but:

It would actually be really helpful for us all I would think if you gave like 3 or 5 key points you tend to look for at apps!


Yeah, of course!

Here's basically what we look at, in order:
1. Grades overall
2. Grade in legal writing (tippy-top grades in doctrinal classes but median/below median in legal writing is a strike against you)
3. Other demonstrated legal writing accolades? (did you win best memo, are you a legal writing TA, are you taking advanced legal writing courses etc.)
4. Resume: what did you do 1L summer? Where are you going next summer?
5. Resume: any interesting pre-law school experience?
6. Are you on law review?
7. How are your rec letters? Are they generic or can we tell these people actually think you're great?
8. How is your writing sample? There should not be errors. (So many people have errors.)
9. Does clerking make sense for the picture your resume paints? (I.E. if you did transactional work last summer and this coming summer at a city 1500 miles away, why are you wanting to clerk for this court?)
10. your interests - do you seem like someone we would want to spend a whole year with? or do you seem stuckup/like a prick?
11. Do you seem too political? This can be bad no matter which side of the aisle you fall to. Something like ACS or Federalist Society is totally fine. But when your entire resume is all politics stuff (like we had someone whose undergraduate activities, pre-lawschool work experience, law school activities, law school work experience, and even interests were all super political/ideological in one direction), that might be too much for some judges. When you're a clerk, you can't engage in any political activity publicly (like can't even like a facebook status about politics that one of your friends wrote). if your resume suggests you'd be unable to restrain yourself, that's a bad sign. so some political stuff = fine. too much is a bad sign.

Other tips:
-if your school is on like a high pass/pass/fail/high pass system, please give us some sort of benchmark to measure how well you're doing. for instance, your school may not rank, but they probably have some sort of percentage as far as how many high passes a prof gives. you need to somehow show us that. we have chosen not to interview folks because we had no idea if they were at the top of the class, bottom of the class, or somewhere in the middle. doesn't matter if you go to hys.
-please don't list scholarship $ amounts you were awarded on your resume. this is weird.
-please explain any and all terms people who didn't go to your school wouldn't know. For example, at Georgetown, legal writing TAs are called "Law Fellows." We saw apps that just said "Law Fellow" on the resume with no explanation of what that was. Your resume in that scenario should say Law Fellow, 2015-2016 (Teaching Assistant for the Legal Writing Program), or something similar.

A lot of this is probably obvious, but this is really about all there is to it. I wish I had a magic bullet to tell y'all but i don't.

Other questions? I'm happy to help as much as I can.


Super in depth thank you! Did you have much input when it came to the actual interview day? As in what the clerks thought about the interview?


A more helpful response is that I know this varies really widely by chambers. In some chambers judges will make the decision independently, whereas others will lean heavily on their clerks.

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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:17 am

emkay625 wrote:
Br3v wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I need an objective third party I think, because the clerkship counselor has worked with me for months fine tuning everything, and I've had my writing sample looked at by everyone who will take a glance haha. Could also be resume or cover letter. In terms of the number of judges, yeah, it's a little less than 100 (though not by that much of a margin). I don't rely on OSCAR at all, I only rely on explicit knowledge.


Clerk at a non-feeder here, but we just went through the application review process so it's fresh in my mind what we look at when we review stuff. I'd be happy to look at your stuff if you like. PM me if interested.

Edited to add: I'd be happy to do this for anybody, not just the anon who posted above.


Not the anon you're talking to but:

It would actually be really helpful for us all I would think if you gave like 3 or 5 key points you tend to look for at apps!


Yeah, of course!

Here's basically what we look at, in order:
1. Grades overall
2. Grade in legal writing (tippy-top grades in doctrinal classes but median/below median in legal writing is a strike against you)
3. Other demonstrated legal writing accolades? (did you win best memo, are you a legal writing TA, are you taking advanced legal writing courses etc.)
4. Resume: what did you do 1L summer? Where are you going next summer?
5. Resume: any interesting pre-law school experience?
6. Are you on law review?
7. How are your rec letters? Are they generic or can we tell these people actually think you're great?
8. How is your writing sample? There should not be errors. (So many people have errors.)
9. Does clerking make sense for the picture your resume paints? (I.E. if you did transactional work last summer and this coming summer at a city 1500 miles away, why are you wanting to clerk for this court?)
10. your interests - do you seem like someone we would want to spend a whole year with? or do you seem stuckup/like a prick?
11. Do you seem too political? This can be bad no matter which side of the aisle you fall to. Something like ACS or Federalist Society is totally fine. But when your entire resume is all politics stuff (like we had someone whose undergraduate activities, pre-lawschool work experience, law school activities, law school work experience, and even interests were all super political/ideological in one direction), that might be too much for some judges. When you're a clerk, you can't engage in any political activity publicly (like can't even like a facebook status about politics that one of your friends wrote). if your resume suggests you'd be unable to restrain yourself, that's a bad sign. so some political stuff = fine. too much is a bad sign.

Other tips:
-if your school is on like a high pass/pass/fail/high pass system, please give us some sort of benchmark to measure how well you're doing. for instance, your school may not rank, but they probably have some sort of percentage as far as how many high passes a prof gives. you need to somehow show us that. we have chosen not to interview folks because we had no idea if they were at the top of the class, bottom of the class, or somewhere in the middle. doesn't matter if you go to hys.
-please don't list scholarship $ amounts you were awarded on your resume. this is weird.
-please explain any and all terms people who didn't go to your school wouldn't know. For example, at Georgetown, legal writing TAs are called "Law Fellows." We saw apps that just said "Law Fellow" on the resume with no explanation of what that was. Your resume in that scenario should say Law Fellow, 2015-2016 (Teaching Assistant for the Legal Writing Program), or something similar.

A lot of this is probably obvious, but this is really about all there is to it. I wish I had a magic bullet to tell y'all but i don't.

Other questions? I'm happy to help as much as I can.


Current 2/9/DC clerk chiming in. This just goes to show how different chambers are re: legal writing grades. These are meaningless for us (and others). Too subjective. The writing sample, in contrast, is a make or break in terms of whether you get an interview offer. It just differs with each chambers, though.

Oh and as a side note, do not put generic interests on your resume. You like movies and books? Yeah, so does everyone else. You've got to give us something to talk to you about. Just be a bit more specific.

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emkay625
Posts: 1835
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:31 pm

Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby emkay625 » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
Br3v wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I need an objective third party I think, because the clerkship counselor has worked with me for months fine tuning everything, and I've had my writing sample looked at by everyone who will take a glance haha. Could also be resume or cover letter. In terms of the number of judges, yeah, it's a little less than 100 (though not by that much of a margin). I don't rely on OSCAR at all, I only rely on explicit knowledge.


Clerk at a non-feeder here, but we just went through the application review process so it's fresh in my mind what we look at when we review stuff. I'd be happy to look at your stuff if you like. PM me if interested.

Edited to add: I'd be happy to do this for anybody, not just the anon who posted above.


Not the anon you're talking to but:

It would actually be really helpful for us all I would think if you gave like 3 or 5 key points you tend to look for at apps!


Yeah, of course!

Here's basically what we look at, in order:
1. Grades overall
2. Grade in legal writing (tippy-top grades in doctrinal classes but median/below median in legal writing is a strike against you)
3. Other demonstrated legal writing accolades? (did you win best memo, are you a legal writing TA, are you taking advanced legal writing courses etc.)
4. Resume: what did you do 1L summer? Where are you going next summer?
5. Resume: any interesting pre-law school experience?
6. Are you on law review?
7. How are your rec letters? Are they generic or can we tell these people actually think you're great?
8. How is your writing sample? There should not be errors. (So many people have errors.)
9. Does clerking make sense for the picture your resume paints? (I.E. if you did transactional work last summer and this coming summer at a city 1500 miles away, why are you wanting to clerk for this court?)
10. your interests - do you seem like someone we would want to spend a whole year with? or do you seem stuckup/like a prick?
11. Do you seem too political? This can be bad no matter which side of the aisle you fall to. Something like ACS or Federalist Society is totally fine. But when your entire resume is all politics stuff (like we had someone whose undergraduate activities, pre-lawschool work experience, law school activities, law school work experience, and even interests were all super political/ideological in one direction), that might be too much for some judges. When you're a clerk, you can't engage in any political activity publicly (like can't even like a facebook status about politics that one of your friends wrote). if your resume suggests you'd be unable to restrain yourself, that's a bad sign. so some political stuff = fine. too much is a bad sign.

Other tips:
-if your school is on like a high pass/pass/fail/high pass system, please give us some sort of benchmark to measure how well you're doing. for instance, your school may not rank, but they probably have some sort of percentage as far as how many high passes a prof gives. you need to somehow show us that. we have chosen not to interview folks because we had no idea if they were at the top of the class, bottom of the class, or somewhere in the middle. doesn't matter if you go to hys.
-please don't list scholarship $ amounts you were awarded on your resume. this is weird.
-please explain any and all terms people who didn't go to your school wouldn't know. For example, at Georgetown, legal writing TAs are called "Law Fellows." We saw apps that just said "Law Fellow" on the resume with no explanation of what that was. Your resume in that scenario should say Law Fellow, 2015-2016 (Teaching Assistant for the Legal Writing Program), or something similar.

A lot of this is probably obvious, but this is really about all there is to it. I wish I had a magic bullet to tell y'all but i don't.

Other questions? I'm happy to help as much as I can.


Current 2/9/DC clerk chiming in. This just goes to show how different chambers are re: legal writing grades. These are meaningless for us (and others). Too subjective. The writing sample, in contrast, is a make or break in terms of whether you get an interview offer. It just differs with each chambers, though.

Oh and as a side note, do not put generic interests on your resume. You like movies and books? Yeah, so does everyone else. You've got to give us something to talk to you about. Just be a bit more specific.


+1. Every judge is different.

And interests are such a wild card/hard. You don't want to be boring, but also don't lie! Also, for the love of all that is holy, please do not put things like "five-star travel" or "traveled to 75+ countries before the age of 18." travel is fine (but put a specific region so it's not so generic), but don't come across as just bragging about how much $ you have.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:39 am

emkay625 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
Br3v wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I need an objective third party I think, because the clerkship counselor has worked with me for months fine tuning everything, and I've had my writing sample looked at by everyone who will take a glance haha. Could also be resume or cover letter. In terms of the number of judges, yeah, it's a little less than 100 (though not by that much of a margin). I don't rely on OSCAR at all, I only rely on explicit knowledge.


Clerk at a non-feeder here, but we just went through the application review process so it's fresh in my mind what we look at when we review stuff. I'd be happy to look at your stuff if you like. PM me if interested.

Edited to add: I'd be happy to do this for anybody, not just the anon who posted above.


Not the anon you're talking to but:

It would actually be really helpful for us all I would think if you gave like 3 or 5 key points you tend to look for at apps!


Yeah, of course!

Here's basically what we look at, in order:
1. Grades overall
2. Grade in legal writing (tippy-top grades in doctrinal classes but median/below median in legal writing is a strike against you)
3. Other demonstrated legal writing accolades? (did you win best memo, are you a legal writing TA, are you taking advanced legal writing courses etc.)
4. Resume: what did you do 1L summer? Where are you going next summer?
5. Resume: any interesting pre-law school experience?
6. Are you on law review?
7. How are your rec letters? Are they generic or can we tell these people actually think you're great?
8. How is your writing sample? There should not be errors. (So many people have errors.)
9. Does clerking make sense for the picture your resume paints? (I.E. if you did transactional work last summer and this coming summer at a city 1500 miles away, why are you wanting to clerk for this court?)
10. your interests - do you seem like someone we would want to spend a whole year with? or do you seem stuckup/like a prick?
11. Do you seem too political? This can be bad no matter which side of the aisle you fall to. Something like ACS or Federalist Society is totally fine. But when your entire resume is all politics stuff (like we had someone whose undergraduate activities, pre-lawschool work experience, law school activities, law school work experience, and even interests were all super political/ideological in one direction), that might be too much for some judges. When you're a clerk, you can't engage in any political activity publicly (like can't even like a facebook status about politics that one of your friends wrote). if your resume suggests you'd be unable to restrain yourself, that's a bad sign. so some political stuff = fine. too much is a bad sign.

Other tips:
-if your school is on like a high pass/pass/fail/high pass system, please give us some sort of benchmark to measure how well you're doing. for instance, your school may not rank, but they probably have some sort of percentage as far as how many high passes a prof gives. you need to somehow show us that. we have chosen not to interview folks because we had no idea if they were at the top of the class, bottom of the class, or somewhere in the middle. doesn't matter if you go to hys.
-please don't list scholarship $ amounts you were awarded on your resume. this is weird.
-please explain any and all terms people who didn't go to your school wouldn't know. For example, at Georgetown, legal writing TAs are called "Law Fellows." We saw apps that just said "Law Fellow" on the resume with no explanation of what that was. Your resume in that scenario should say Law Fellow, 2015-2016 (Teaching Assistant for the Legal Writing Program), or something similar.

A lot of this is probably obvious, but this is really about all there is to it. I wish I had a magic bullet to tell y'all but i don't.

Other questions? I'm happy to help as much as I can.


Current 2/9/DC clerk chiming in. This just goes to show how different chambers are re: legal writing grades. These are meaningless for us (and others). Too subjective. The writing sample, in contrast, is a make or break in terms of whether you get an interview offer. It just differs with each chambers, though.

Oh and as a side note, do not put generic interests on your resume. You like movies and books? Yeah, so does everyone else. You've got to give us something to talk to you about. Just be a bit more specific.


+1. Every judge is different.

And interests are such a wild card/hard. You don't want to be boring, but also don't lie! Also, for the love of all that is holy, please do not put things like "five-star travel" or "traveled to 75+ countries before the age of 18." travel is fine (but put a specific region so it's not so generic), but don't come across as just bragging about how much $ you have.


Another non-feeder clerk here. Ditto on the interest line advice. I'd also add that you should aim for interests that show (1) you're a pretty normal person, and (2) you've got some intellectual curiosity about non-law-related things. Most clerkship candidates can talk about the law pretty easily, but the interviews are always better when you show that you use your brain for other things, too.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:39 pm

Br3v wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I need an objective third party I think, because the clerkship counselor has worked with me for months fine tuning everything, and I've had my writing sample looked at by everyone who will take a glance haha. Could also be resume or cover letter. In terms of the number of judges, yeah, it's a little less than 100 (though not by that much of a margin). I don't rely on OSCAR at all, I only rely on explicit knowledge.


Clerk at a non-feeder here, but we just went through the application review process so it's fresh in my mind what we look at when we review stuff. I'd be happy to look at your stuff if you like. PM me if interested.

Edited to add: I'd be happy to do this for anybody, not just the anon who posted above.


Not the anon you're talking to but:

It would actually be really helpful for us all I would think if you gave like 3 or 5 key points you tend to look for at apps!

2/9/DC clerk here. Echoing what everyone said about chambers being different, I still thought it might be helpful to add another datapoint regarding what is looked at in hiring:

1. School. The truth of the matter is that if you aren't at a T14, your app will never get pulled. Even the bottom half of the T14 is at a real disadvantage, though there are certain exceptions to that which are too idiosyncratic for me to get into.

2. Recommendations. The single best way to get out of the pile and on a desk is to have someone the judge knows call or write about you. Next best--but far less effective than the previous option--is a rec letter that gives a superlative recommendation (e.g., "Student X is one of the top three/five/ten students I have ever taught in X years of teaching."). A warm, engaging letter that speaks super-highly of a candidate--but doesn't include such a superlative--is the baseline norm. A letter that says little besides "so-and-so got a decent grade in my class" is death. Also, many, many letters contain read-between-the-lines language about personality defects (e.g., "So-and-so is not the most loquacious, but when s/he speaks, others listen."; "Student X is on the quiet side, which I find to be a nice contrast from high-achieving students, who, in my experience, can be somewhat brash."). These are death (though I'm not sure if there's much you can do about them).

3. Grades. Excellent grades are necessary, but not sufficient.

4. Don't fuck up your writing sample. Have no typos. (Same with your resume.) Make your sample comprehensible. (Once I've read the beginning, do I know what the issues are and what your conclusion is, and have a basic understanding of why you reached it?) If possible, use something other than a 1L writing course brief. Things written in summer jobs serve well for this purpose, but remember: use a version that no one else has edited, and don't make us wonder if you have betrayed confidences--include a cover letter saying that you cleared it with the employer, and remove identifying information as necessary.

5. Be interesting. Is there something about you that makes us want to interview you? There is little you can do to change this once you are in law school. As far as the interest line is concerned, I've found that people who are actually interesting don't have trouble putting interesting things on it.

6. Have a district court clerkship lined up for the term before you want to clerk here. In our chambers, this can be a big advantage, though it is not always essential.

Here's some tips for if you get an interview:

1. Remember that you really do not know much yet. (This is especially true if you are interviewing as a 1L/rising 2L.) I've been surprised at how arrogant interviewees can come across as. It's fine to be confident and have some pride in your achievements, but remember that you are competing with top students from many schools and that the clerks who are interviewing you are pretty accomplished themselves. Don't act like you shit gold just because you externed at a USAO. Don't criticize strategic decisions made by your 1L summer job supervisors. If you don't seem like you will be pleasant to work with, you're doomed, even if you are literally top-five at HYS (at least in our chambers).

2. Further to the above: don't disclose confidences. You don't need to tell us that you worked on a matter for PepsiCo--we know the firms you worked for in your 2L summer have big corporate clients, so you don't need to namedrop. Speak generally when talking about the matters you've worked on, especially if they are ongoing. I've been stunned by how often this arises.

3. Be prepared to get in the weeds on at a few issues of substantive law. If a whole interview has passed and we haven't talked substance, you're in trouble. Your discussion of your past work experience should be a platform to launch into a discussion of the substantive law you dealt with. It doesn't really matter what the area is; we just want to see that you can cogently talk through semi-complex legal issues.

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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Br3v wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I need an objective third party I think, because the clerkship counselor has worked with me for months fine tuning everything, and I've had my writing sample looked at by everyone who will take a glance haha. Could also be resume or cover letter. In terms of the number of judges, yeah, it's a little less than 100 (though not by that much of a margin). I don't rely on OSCAR at all, I only rely on explicit knowledge.


Clerk at a non-feeder here, but we just went through the application review process so it's fresh in my mind what we look at when we review stuff. I'd be happy to look at your stuff if you like. PM me if interested.

Edited to add: I'd be happy to do this for anybody, not just the anon who posted above.


Not the anon you're talking to but:

It would actually be really helpful for us all I would think if you gave like 3 or 5 key points you tend to look for at apps!

2/9/DC clerk here. Echoing what everyone said about chambers being different, I still thought it might be helpful to add another datapoint regarding what is looked at in hiring:

1. School. The truth of the matter is that if you aren't at a T14, your app will never get pulled. Even the bottom half of the T14 is at a real disadvantage, though there are certain exceptions to that which are too idiosyncratic for me to get into.

2. Recommendations. The single best way to get out of the pile and on a desk is to have someone the judge knows call or write about you. Next best--but far less effective than the previous option--is a rec letter that gives a superlative recommendation (e.g., "Student X is one of the top three/five/ten students I have ever taught in X years of teaching."). A warm, engaging letter that speaks super-highly of a candidate--but doesn't include such a superlative--is the baseline norm. A letter that says little besides "so-and-so got a decent grade in my class" is death. Also, many, many letters contain read-between-the-lines language about personality defects (e.g., "So-and-so is not the most loquacious, but when s/he speaks, others listen."; "Student X is on the quiet side, which I find to be a nice contrast from high-achieving students, who, in my experience, can be somewhat brash."). These are death (though I'm not sure if there's much you can do about them).

3. Grades. Excellent grades are necessary, but not sufficient.

4. Don't fuck up your writing sample. Have no typos. (Same with your resume.) Make your sample comprehensible. (Once I've read the beginning, do I know what the issues are and what your conclusion is, and have a basic understanding of why you reached it?) If possible, use something other than a 1L writing course brief. Things written in summer jobs serve well for this purpose, but remember: use a version that no one else has edited, and don't make us wonder if you have betrayed confidences--include a cover letter saying that you cleared it with the employer, and remove identifying information as necessary.

5. Be interesting. Is there something about you that makes us want to interview you? There is little you can do to change this once you are in law school. As far as the interest line is concerned, I've found that people who are actually interesting don't have trouble putting interesting things on it.

6. Have a district court clerkship lined up for the term before you want to clerk here. In our chambers, this can be a big advantage, though it is not always essential.

Here's some tips for if you get an interview:

1. Remember that you really do not know much yet. (This is especially true if you are interviewing as a 1L/rising 2L.) I've been surprised at how arrogant interviewees can come across as. It's fine to be confident and have some pride in your achievements, but remember that you are competing with top students from many schools and that the clerks who are interviewing you are pretty accomplished themselves. Don't act like you shit gold just because you externed at a USAO. Don't criticize strategic decisions made by your 1L summer job supervisors. If you don't seem like you will be pleasant to work with, you're doomed, even if you are literally top-five at HYS (at least in our chambers).

2. Further to the above: don't disclose confidences. You don't need to tell us that you worked on a matter for PepsiCo--we know the firms you worked for in your 2L summer have big corporate clients, so you don't need to namedrop. Speak generally when talking about the matters you've worked on, especially if they are ongoing. I've been stunned by how often this arises.

3. Be prepared to get in the weeds on at a few issues of substantive law. If a whole interview has passed and we haven't talked substance, you're in trouble. Your discussion of your past work experience should be a platform to launch into a discussion of the substantive law you dealt with. It doesn't really matter what the area is; we just want to see that you can cogently talk through semi-complex legal issues.


Different 2/9/DC clerk (anon posting above re: interest on resume & calls to chambers)

Agree with most of the above, particularly about the interview itself. There are a handful of times we don't talk too much substantive law because it often depends on the tone of the interview but agree that you need to have at least one example of a legal issue you worked on/wrote about that you can talk clearly about. Also try not to get the law wrong on that issue. You'd be amazed at how often this happens...

A note on T-14 schools. It is entirely true that HYS rules these circuits for the most part. But there are judges who look not only at lower T-14 (hi, i am from there) but also significantly lower ranked schools. Look at where the judges themselves went, there are a very few that came from state law schools. While not frequent, these judges will look outside the T-14. That being said you need to be literally the top student at those schools but still, it happens.

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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:19 am

It's great that the TLS community has so many clerks now to give this substantive advise on resume review.

Incoming 2/9/DC clerk here for next term, and I will say that my COA interviews were all as the above described; very heavy on substance, both of my own work experience and of the recent supreme court term and major decisions. It helps to have the gist of your judge's writing style and biggest decisions too (if your interviewing with the major players on these three circuits, their panels have reached SCOTUS on cert again and again).

I will say that it's incredibly difficult to know the quality of all your recs and judge the quality of your writing sample independently. I knew I had one weak recommendation, since the third prof I lined up who would have been great become non-communicative due to personal issues and I had to go with a backup who didn't know me well but just gave me a high grade. I was worried he gave me a lackluster rec, and maybe it damned me for some chambers but my other two letters ultimately were sufficient to get a bunch of interviews and an offer. As for the writing sample, I always found the "make it perfect" and "don't have anyone else edit" to be totally oxymoronic, since you're never going to spot all the flaws in your writing, that's why we set up peer review. So I did my very best to clean it up but I'm certain my sample still had errors, and again, it didn't bar me from all selective judges--it was at the very least clearly all entirely my own product.

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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:15 pm

I have a 3.85/top 1% at a tier III school in Philadelphia. Am I competitive for Third Circuit or ED. PA clerkships?

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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have a 3.85/top 1% at a tier III school in Philadelphia. Am I competitive for Third Circuit or ED. PA clerkships?


Look at District of Delaware too.

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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Manali » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have a 3.85/top 1% at a tier III school in Philadelphia. Am I competitive for Third Circuit or ED. PA clerkships?


Look at District of Delaware too.


I have no corporate law experience though, don't even plan to take corps in law school.

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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby xael » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:51 am

Manali wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have a 3.85/top 1% at a tier III school in Philadelphia. Am I competitive for Third Circuit or ED. PA clerkships?


Look at District of Delaware too.


I have no corporate law experience though, don't even plan to take corps in law school.


Did you just quote your own anonymous post? And then make a thread about it, too?

Manali
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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Manali » Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:59 am

Would I be competitive for District of NJ?

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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClubberLang » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:37 am

Manali wrote:Would I be competitive for District of NJ?


No.

There's a lot of good information on these forms. Please stop crapping them up.

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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:14 pm

Manali wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have a 3.85/top 1% at a tier III school in Philadelphia. Am I competitive for Third Circuit or ED. PA clerkships?


Look at District of Delaware too.


I have no corporate law experience though, don't even plan to take corps in law school.


The district of Delaware is mostly patent, not corporate law.

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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Manali » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Manali wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have a 3.85/top 1% at a tier III school in Philadelphia. Am I competitive for Third Circuit or ED. PA clerkships?


Look at District of Delaware too.


I have no corporate law experience though, don't even plan to take corps in law school.


The district of Delaware is mostly patent, not corporate law.


Will not taking IP type classes hurt my chances for a Delaware clerkship?

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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby xael » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:16 pm

I suspect there will be other limiting factors on your application beyond lack of patent classes.

Manali
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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Manali » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:20 pm

xael wrote:I suspect there will be other limiting factors on your application beyond lack of patent classes.


You mean the Tier III school?

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xael
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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby xael » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:23 pm

Manali wrote:
xael wrote:I suspect there will be other limiting factors on your application beyond lack of patent classes.


You mean the Tier III school?


lol sure bluelotus sure

Manali
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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Manali » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:31 pm

xael wrote:
Manali wrote:
xael wrote:I suspect there will be other limiting factors on your application beyond lack of patent classes.


You mean the Tier III school?


lol sure bluelotus sure


This is your jealousy talking.

WheninLaw
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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby WheninLaw » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:50 pm

Manali wrote:
xael wrote:
Manali wrote:
xael wrote:I suspect there will be other limiting factors on your application beyond lack of patent classes.


You mean the Tier III school?


lol sure bluelotus sure


This is your jealousy talking.


Current clerk: You are the type of person I'd shut down the interview with 5 minutes in.

Manali
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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Manali » Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:08 pm

WheninLaw wrote:
Manali wrote:
xael wrote:
Manali wrote:
xael wrote:I suspect there will be other limiting factors on your application beyond lack of patent classes.


You mean the Tier III school?


lol sure bluelotus sure


This is your jealousy talking.


Current clerk: You are the type of person I'd shut down the interview with 5 minutes in.


Why?

jrass
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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby jrass » Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:59 pm

Manali wrote:
WheninLaw wrote:
Manali wrote:
xael wrote:
Manali wrote:
xael wrote:I suspect there will be other limiting factors on your application beyond lack of patent classes.


You mean the Tier III school?


lol sure bluelotus sure


This is your jealousy talking.


Current clerk: You are the type of person I'd shut down the interview with 5 minutes in.


Why?

Because if you don't get along with people it doesn't matter how qualified you are unless you are the one calling the shots.

Manali
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Re: 2017-2018 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Manali » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:24 am

Are part-time paid clerkships a thing? Not sure if I'm ready for full-time work.




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