Applying 1L Summer

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Applying 1L Summer

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:52 pm

I had very good grades first semester at CCN, so I'm looking at applying for circuit clerkships this summer if my grades go well second semester. Does anyone who applied 1L summer have any advice, particularly in the realm of writing sample, recommenders, and judge selection?

I'm not super in love with my brief, so I'd rather use my open memo as a writing sample - would this look too amateur? Would it be weird to have a recommendation from my legal writing instructor (not a full-time faculty member, but did a circuit clerkship fairly recently and might have some connections - I'm confident he would write me a very good rec)? Obviously I don't have a ton of options for recommenders at this point, and the clerkship office suggested that I might want to get letters now from first semester profs so I can apply earlier, rather than waiting for letters from second-semester profs after grades.

The clerkship office suggested that I may want to be selective in who I apply to right off the bat to avoid the issue of getting grabbed by a judge early when I may have a shot at DC Circuit or other feeders. From my maybe naive view, it seems like DC Circuit is primarily hiring from HYS anyway, so I'm questioning whether this is a great strategy. The thought of clerking for a feeder is somewhat appealing to me, but I mostly just want to get a clerkship, period, so I obviously don't want to get in a situation where I wait and then don't get anything - not sure how likely this is.

Sorry if this has been covered in other threads, but I try to keep up with what's going on here and I don't remember seeing a lot of stuff tailored to 1L summer specifically.

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Re: Applying 1L Summer

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:29 am

Unless you have multiple, highly regarded professors actively going calling judges for you, you cannot at all be picky. I was north of the top 5% at CCN after my 1L year and got almost 0 interest from the feeders.

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Re: Applying 1L Summer

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:29 am

Recommenders NEED to call for you as a 1L if you really want the app to get looked at. Everyone I know who had calls got at least a response. Everyone who didn't (myself included) had dead silence.

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Re: Applying 1L Summer

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:06 pm

Got a 2/9/DC clerkship after 1L summer from a T14 (not HYS).

If you're in the running for a highly selective clerkship after your second semester of grades, your school's clerkship advisers will almost certainly let you know and help you with applications. I used a 1L memo as a writing sample. Some judges require two samples and/or an unedited writing sample, which is something to keep an eye on. If you think you might be competitive for some of the early movers, absolutely get recs now - it will save you the trouble of scrambling if judges hire earlier than expected. This is a real concern, since hiring seems to happen earlier every year - I know some judges were taking applications by late June/early July last year. The other thing is many of the most competitive judges hire early, which should alleviate some of your strategic worry about whether to apply selectively. Also, if you have top-quality stats, you will get a clerkship at some point (assuming you're not a terrible writer/terrible person), so I wouldn't worry about missing out entirely by being selective 1L summer. If you strike out in the first wave, you can start applying more broadly as a 2L.

Fwiw, I disagree with the above two comments.



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