SDNY Clerkship

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
Anonymous User
Posts: 309332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

SDNY Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:30 pm

Just finished 1L - can someone help navigate this process?

Interested in SDNY for securities, IP, antitrust, employment law focus. Reading through the requirements it seems most judges require at least 1-2 years work experience. Any one have anecdotal or linked information on GPA requirements or other unwritten softs?

Heard some horror stories about judges on the court, but would appreciate information on good experiences re work-life balance, exit opportunities, etc

User avatar
rpupkin

Platinum
Posts: 5658
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: SDNY Clerkship

Postby rpupkin » Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just finished 1L - can someone help navigate this process?

Interested in SDNY for securities, IP, antitrust, employment law focus. Reading through the requirements it seems most judges require at least 1-2 years work experience. Any one have anecdotal or linked information on GPA requirements or other unwritten softs?

Heard some horror stories about judges on the court, but would appreciate information on good experiences re work-life balance, exit opportunities, etc

You don't need 1-2 years of work experience to clerk on SDNY. Many—probably even most—SDNY judges hire students straight out of law school.

I doubt any judge has a "GPA requirement." They'll evaluate you based on a combination of your law school and class rank. Some judges are more selective than others.

Also, your "focus"—securities, IP, antitrust, employment law—is very broad. If you're really interested in IP, you should be looking to clerk in D. Del., N.D. Cal., or E.D. Tex. If you're interested in "employment law," there's no reason to focus on SDNY. You should be applying to judges all over the country, not just to judges in SDNY.

You would really benefit from talking to your law school's clerkship advisor (or whatever it's called at your school) about the process. They can give you an idea of how other students from your school have fared in SDNY and other districts. Good luck!

User avatar
Lincoln

Silver
Posts: 1208
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: SDNY Clerkship

Postby Lincoln » Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:42 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just finished 1L - can someone help navigate this process?

Interested in SDNY for securities, IP, antitrust, employment law focus. Reading through the requirements it seems most judges require at least 1-2 years work experience. Any one have anecdotal or linked information on GPA requirements or other unwritten softs?

Heard some horror stories about judges on the court, but would appreciate information on good experiences re work-life balance, exit opportunities, etc

You don't need 1-2 years of work experience to clerk on SDNY. Many—probably even most—SDNY judges hire students straight out of law school.

I doubt any judge has a "GPA requirement." They'll evaluate you based on a combination of your law school and class rank. Some judges are more selective than others.

Also, your "focus"—securities, IP, antitrust, employment law—is very broad. If you're really interested in IP, you should be looking to clerk in D. Del., N.D. Cal., or E.D. Tex. If you're interested in "employment law," there's no reason to focus on SDNY. You should be applying to judges all over the country, not just to judges in SDNY.

You would really benefit from talking to your law school's clerkship advisor (or whatever it's called at your school) about the process. They can give you an idea of how other students from your school have fared in SDNY and other districts. Good luck!


Agree with all this except I slightly disagree with the bolded. In my experience, many if not most SDNY judges prefer work experience, and even those that don't explicitly say so tend to hire far enough out that although they extend offers to law students, those students will have a year or two of experience before they start. For example, my judge extends offers up to three years in advance of the start date.

Unwritten softs: Experience at a firm or agency whose lawyers regularly appear before the judge and don't embarrass themselves when they do. Recommendations from a judge in the same court that you interned for and/or from a summer supervisor who is a former clerk will get your app pulled and actually considered, which is really the biggest hurdle in the SDNY.

WheninLaw

Silver
Posts: 620
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:35 pm

Re: SDNY Clerkship

Postby WheninLaw » Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:01 pm

Lincoln wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just finished 1L - can someone help navigate this process?

Interested in SDNY for securities, IP, antitrust, employment law focus. Reading through the requirements it seems most judges require at least 1-2 years work experience. Any one have anecdotal or linked information on GPA requirements or other unwritten softs?

Heard some horror stories about judges on the court, but would appreciate information on good experiences re work-life balance, exit opportunities, etc

You don't need 1-2 years of work experience to clerk on SDNY. Many—probably even most—SDNY judges hire students straight out of law school.

I doubt any judge has a "GPA requirement." They'll evaluate you based on a combination of your law school and class rank. Some judges are more selective than others.

Also, your "focus"—securities, IP, antitrust, employment law—is very broad. If you're really interested in IP, you should be looking to clerk in D. Del., N.D. Cal., or E.D. Tex. If you're interested in "employment law," there's no reason to focus on SDNY. You should be applying to judges all over the country, not just to judges in SDNY.

You would really benefit from talking to your law school's clerkship advisor (or whatever it's called at your school) about the process. They can give you an idea of how other students from your school have fared in SDNY and other districts. Good luck!


Agree with all this except I slightly disagree with the bolded. In my experience, many if not most SDNY judges prefer work experience, and even those that don't explicitly say so tend to hire far enough out that although they extend offers to law students, those students will have a year or two of experience before they start. For example, my judge extends offers up to three years in advance of the start date.

Unwritten softs: Experience at a firm or agency whose lawyers regularly appear before the judge and don't embarrass themselves when they do. Recommendations from a judge in the same court that you interned for and/or from a summer supervisor who is a former clerk will get your app pulled and actually considered, which is really the biggest hurdle in the SDNY.


Worthless anecdote: My circuit judge said the "tiebreaker" between me and other candidates was that he knew my firm and they didn't piss him off in court. Judges are strange creatures.

Anonymous User
Posts: 309332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: SDNY Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 11, 2016 8:48 pm

OP here

thank you for the information so far - I'm most interested in antitrust out of the four areas (I listed them straight off Judge Buchwald's Clerk Hiring page of courses students should take to be prepared for the subject matter most heard by the court)

could anyone shed light on what class rank should be before applying - our school pushes to apply right after 1L, but from reading the clerk hiring memos on the SDNY site it seems the standard is apply at minimum after fall 2L (with extremes like after 4 semesters of grades + summer firm recommendation) which would allow for some more time to get rank up

thank you for your help!

User avatar
jbagelboy

Diamond
Posts: 10236
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: SDNY Clerkship

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:19 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just finished 1L - can someone help navigate this process?

Interested in SDNY for securities, IP, antitrust, employment law focus. Reading through the requirements it seems most judges require at least 1-2 years work experience. Any one have anecdotal or linked information on GPA requirements or other unwritten softs?

Heard some horror stories about judges on the court, but would appreciate information on good experiences re work-life balance, exit opportunities, etc

You don't need 1-2 years of work experience to clerk on SDNY. Many—probably even most—SDNY judges hire students straight out of law school.


yea as lincoln said, this might have changed since you were in law school but the definitive majority of judges on SDNY (and to a similar extent EDNY) are now hiring people for 1-2 years after graduation. Part of this is the rush nature of the hiring process--if you're hiring law students for 2019-20 before the class of 2019 has started law school, obviously you're taking law students that will have had work experience (and yes there are judges hiring for this year already, and many that hired for 2018-19 before looking at current 1L applicants). There are also judges that hire much closer to their start dates but are only looking for 3Ls and alums. This is true of the judge I externed for and a number of other judges that participate in the externship program who I've met.

Then there are judges that always save room for one person directly out of law school, but whose other two clerks will have worked first, either because they were hired earlier while they were in law school for a year further out or because the judge wanted an alum.

User avatar
rpupkin

Platinum
Posts: 5658
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: SDNY Clerkship

Postby rpupkin » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here

thank you for the information so far - I'm most interested in antitrust out of the four areas (I listed them straight off Judge Buchwald's Clerk Hiring page of courses students should take to be prepared for the subject matter most heard by the court)

could anyone shed light on what class rank should be before applying - our school pushes to apply right after 1L, but from reading the clerk hiring memos on the SDNY site it seems the standard is apply at minimum after fall 2L (with extremes like after 4 semesters of grades + summer firm recommendation) which would allow for some more time to get rank up

I'm still not sure why you're so fixated on SDNY. There are antitrust cases in SDNY, but why aren't you also considering DDC, ND Ill., ND Cal, and CD Cal? This isn't like Securities litigation, where SDNY really does get way more action than anywhere else.

As for your question about "class rank," any answer would be of course depend on your law school. If you're not willing to share your law school in this thread, we can't answer. (And even if you share your law school, our anecdotal answers would be inferior to what you would get from you law school's clerkship advisor, who will have data on how recent clerkship applicants from your school have fared.)
Last edited by rpupkin on Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
rpupkin

Platinum
Posts: 5658
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: SDNY Clerkship

Postby rpupkin » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:04 pm

jbagelboy wrote:yea as lincoln said, this might have changed since you were in law school but the definitive majority of judges on SDNY (and to a similar extent EDNY) are now hiring people for 1-2 years after graduation. Part of this is the rush nature of the hiring process--if you're hiring law students for 2019-20 before the class of 2019 has started law school, obviously you're taking law students that will have had work experience (and yes there are judges hiring for this year already, and many that hired for 2018-19 before looking at current 1L applicants). There are also judges that hire much closer to their start dates but are only looking for 3Ls and alums. This is true of the judge I externed for and a number of other judges that participate in the externship program who I've met.

That makes sense, However, based on what I've seen on recent applications, at least a few SDNY judges are still hiring students straight out of school. But I can believe that the trend has shifted more toward hiring applicants with work experience.

Anonymous User
Posts: 309332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: SDNY Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:22 pm

OP here

at GULC, targeting SDNY for family reasons - open to broadening search but not more than a short train ride from NY

User avatar
rpupkin

Platinum
Posts: 5658
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: SDNY Clerkship

Postby rpupkin » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here

at GULC, targeting SDNY for family reasons - open to broadening search but not more than a short train ride from NY

To have a reasonable shot at clerking in SDNY right out of GULC, you probably need something like top 5% + strong prof recommendations. If you're willing to apply as an alumni, it gets easier; your grades don't have to be as strong.

User avatar
Lincoln

Silver
Posts: 1208
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: SDNY Clerkship

Postby Lincoln » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here

at GULC, targeting SDNY for family reasons - open to broadening search but not more than a short train ride from NY


You need to target EDNY, D.NJ.

User avatar
Mr. Blackacre

Bronze
Posts: 314
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:48 pm

Re: SDNY Clerkship

Postby Mr. Blackacre » Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:28 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here

at GULC, targeting SDNY for family reasons - open to broadening search but not more than a short train ride from NY

To have a reasonable shot at clerking in SDNY right out of GULC, you probably need something like top 5% + strong prof recommendations. If you're willing to apply as an alumni, it gets easier; your grades don't have to be as strong.


That's about right. Maybe top 10% if you have very good recommendations and are a few years out. Be warned though, not only is the career services office a joke when it comes to clerkships, but the resources they have for SDNY are even more pathetic than what they have for the DC area. It will be much harder to connect with former clerks / get information on specific judges / etc.

Also edit:
rpupkin wrote:even if you share your law school, our anecdotal answers would be inferior to what you would get from you law school's clerkship advisor, who will have data on how recent clerkship applicants from your school have fared.


Haha. No.

Lincoln wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here

at GULC, targeting SDNY for family reasons - open to broadening search but not more than a short train ride from NY


You need to target EDNY, D.NJ.


I would suggest doing this as well. Keep in mind though that the value of a clerkship is heavily dependent on the relationship you have with the judge, so applying broadly just for the sake of getting *a* clerkship at any cost could result in you spending a very unpleasant year in a location / working for and with people that you don't like. I would do as much research as possible, both on judges at SDNY and in the surrounding districts, to figure out a little more about what the judges are like.



Return to “Judicial Clerkships?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.