COA Application Strategies & Outlook

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COA Application Strategies & Outlook

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:52 pm

I have a single year DCT clerkship lined up in a flyover state, but I'd like to get a COA for after. Need advice on:

(1) Best strategy on COA apps. Where do I focus? How do I structure my covers? How to tactfully point out my DCT clerkship?

(2) What kind of career outlook is possible after a COA clerkship? (I'm considering COA because my clerkship is in a flyover state, and my school is fairly well outside of T14, and I wasn't coif or LR.)

Thank you!!!

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rpupkin

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Re: COA Application Strategies & Outlook

Postby rpupkin » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:06 pm

(1) Your best strategy would be to target COA judges with whom your district court judge has a connection. You'll obviously want to work with your district court judge on this strategy.

(2) A COA clerkship is not likely to have a significant effect on your career. In general, a district court clerkship (which you're already going to do) is more useful, as you'll learn things that will help you immediately in litigation. A COA clerkship can help if you're dead set on appellate litigation, but there aren't many true appellate lit jobs out there. (In big law, the appellate groups are small and generally don't make money for law firms.) A clerkship with a feeder or SCOTUS justice can open up some doors, but that's not going to happen for you with your credentials.

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Re: COA Application Strategies & Outlook

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:15 pm

rpupkin wrote: (2) A COA clerkship is not likely to have a significant effect on your career. In general, a district court clerkship (which you're already going to do) is more useful, as you'll learn things that will help you immediately in litigation.


OP Here, thanks for the reply. Considering my credentials and the fact that I'm at a flyover state, COA still wouldn't help much?

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rpupkin

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Re: COA Application Strategies & Outlook

Postby rpupkin » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote: (2) A COA clerkship is not likely to have a significant effect on your career. In general, a district court clerkship (which you're already going to do) is more useful, as you'll learn things that will help you immediately in litigation.


OP Here, thanks for the reply. Considering my credentials and the fact that I'm at a flyover state, COA still wouldn't help much?

How are you thinking it would help? What do you want to do after your clerkship(s)?

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Re: COA Application Strategies & Outlook

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:21 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote: (2) A COA clerkship is not likely to have a significant effect on your career. In general, a district court clerkship (which you're already going to do) is more useful, as you'll learn things that will help you immediately in litigation.


OP Here, thanks for the reply. Considering my credentials and the fact that I'm at a flyover state, COA still wouldn't help much?

How are you thinking it would help? What do you want to do after your clerkship(s)?


I'd like to go to a lit boutique like Susman or Keker Van Nest. Major metropolitan area is key. I'd like to live in LA or SF.

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Re: COA Application Strategies & Outlook

Postby mjb447 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:23 pm

Given your background, if you really, really want a COA clerkship you might be better advised to "blunderbuss" than to focus on any particular judges and geographic areas. There really aren't that many COA judges, some of them will be out of reach or stretches for you right off the bat, and the hiring process is sufficiently weird otherwise that you'll want to seize every chance you get. (pupkin's right, of course, that if your district judge is willing to go to bat for you and work with you re: certain judges, you should take full advantage.)

My cover letters (if that's what you mean by covers) were pretty generic unless I had a particular relationship to a geographic area. I don't think they're ultimately that important unless there truly is a special connection between you and the judge or you want to highlight something that's not on your resume, e.g., what you're hoping to do in the future.

If you have a district court clerkship lined up, it can go on your resume with "anticipated" dates and be mentioned in your cover letter.

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rpupkin

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Re: COA Application Strategies & Outlook

Postby rpupkin » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'd like to go to a lit boutique like Susman or Keker Van Nest. Major metropolitan area is key. I'd like to live in LA or SF.

Straight talk: those firms aren't going to hire a lower T1 grad with good (but not great) grades, regardless of your clerkship situation.

Look, doing a COA clerkship could help a bit with some law firms. But, for the most part, firms that would not hire someone with your law school/grades + district court clerkship would also not hire someone with your law school/grades + COA clerkship.

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Re: COA Application Strategies & Outlook

Postby lawlorbust » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote: (2) A COA clerkship is not likely to have a significant effect on your career. In general, a district court clerkship (which you're already going to do) is more useful, as you'll learn things that will help you immediately in litigation.


OP Here, thanks for the reply. Considering my credentials and the fact that I'm at a flyover state, COA still wouldn't help much?

How are you thinking it would help? What do you want to do after your clerkship(s)?


I'd like to go to a lit boutique like Susman or Keker Van Nest. Major metropolitan area is key. I'd like to live in LA or SF.


Lol, yeah. This isn't going to happen, with or without the appellate clerkship.

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Re: COA Application Strategies & Outlook

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:34 pm

lawlorbust wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote: (2) A COA clerkship is not likely to have a significant effect on your career. In general, a district court clerkship (which you're already going to do) is more useful, as you'll learn things that will help you immediately in litigation.


OP Here, thanks for the reply. Considering my credentials and the fact that I'm at a flyover state, COA still wouldn't help much?

How are you thinking it would help? What do you want to do after your clerkship(s)?


I'd like to go to a lit boutique like Susman or Keker Van Nest. Major metropolitan area is key. I'd like to live in LA or SF.


Lol, yeah. This isn't going to happen, with or without the appellate clerkship.


Lol ok, that's fair. What about something like Weil or Latham? Good shot?

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Re: COA Application Strategies & Outlook

Postby RustyRyan » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Lol ok, that's fair. What about something like Weil or Latham? Good shot?
Nobody can give you a good answer to that question without more information. Fortunately, you can help yourself out (a lot) by going to the websites of firms like Weil or Latham and clicking around their associate bios. Find associates who came from your school and similar ones, and see what kind of credentials they have. My guess is that almost all of them will have at least honors/LR, or a STEM/patent background. Seeing what past clerks are doing is also a good barometer.

Clerkships don't work quite they way you think they do; they aren't a magic bullet. You will probably get more mileage working hard for your judge and then trying to work the connections he/she has to firms. Also, at the risk of being blunt, the likelihood of you getting an appellate clerkship, other than with somebody your d.ct. judge knows and calls personally, is basically zero.

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Re: COA Application Strategies & Outlook

Postby JusticeJackson » Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:39 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:38 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: COA Application Strategies & Outlook

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:38 am

That's remarkable. School prestige/rank and class rank still matter that much after a CoA clerkship?

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Re: COA Application Strategies & Outlook

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:05 pm

JusticeJackson wrote:I did a fed d ct clerkship and a fed COA clerkship.

Susman and KVN rejected me a few days after I sent my application.

I think you apply to every COA judge that has ever hired from your law school. I think you talk to your current judge and ask if he can put in a word with any COA judges. I think you apply to every COA judge your judge has ever fed to. I think you do a mass mail to every single COA judge in any city you have ties to.

But be realistic. You probably won't land a fed COA clerkship. And even if you did, I don't think a COA will give you the bump you're anticipating.


OP here. Justice Jackson, how did you end up? Happy? Did you have the option in geography at least?



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