Unclear whether I should wait or apply now?

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Unclear whether I should wait or apply now?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:49 am

Currently at HS.

Have ~50% Hs with a 2L SA. No LR, secondary journal. Have professors lined up for letters of recommendation.

I'm on the fence about applying for federal clerkships (district or appellate) as I am unsure whether getting a P in Admin this fall may sink my chances with federal judges based on feedback I have received from faculty and 3Ls/people clerking that Admin is one of the key classes that judges want to see an H in.

Looking for guidance as to whether I should hold off on applying until I get more Hs to balance out getting a P in Admin.

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Re: Unclear whether I should wait or apply now?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Currently at HS.

Have ~50% Hs with a 2L SA. No LR, secondary journal. Have professors lined up for letters of recommendation.

I'm on the fence about applying for federal clerkships (district or appellate) as I am unsure whether getting a P in Admin this fall may sink my chances with federal judges based on feedback I have received from faculty and 3Ls/people clerking that Admin is one of the key classes that judges want to see an H in.

Looking for guidance as to whether I should hold off on applying until I get more Hs to balance out getting a P in Admin.


First of all, you're at HS so you'll be fine, in the sense that you'll get a federal clerkship somewhere. As far as maximizing your chances, it's fine to apply early to the judges that accept applications with just 1L grades (just about every judge's OSCAR page specifies how many semesters of grades you need to have to apply). You may be on the later side of that particular mini-cycle.

Regardless, you should apply broadly. You're competitive for COA clerkships and will probably get one if you apply to enough judges and interview well.

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Re: Unclear whether I should wait or apply now?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:05 pm

^OP here. Thanks for your response! Really appreciate the feedback.

I've been getting mixed advice from my peers here, which has made it hard to know if I should just go for it. It would be great to know from more folks if they also believe CoA is within range (I'm not really fixed on any specific circuit/judge; mainly looking for a judge who is more proactive with mentoring his/her clerks).

esther0123

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Re: Unclear whether I should wait or apply now?

Postby esther0123 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:^OP here. Thanks for your response! Really appreciate the feedback.

I've been getting mixed advice from my peers here, which has made it hard to know if I should just go for it. It would be great to know from more folks if they also believe CoA is within range (I'm not really fixed on any specific circuit/judge; mainly looking for a judge who is more proactive with mentoring his/her clerks).


Is this after 1L or 2L? If after 1L, probably a long shot, if after 2L, then maybe outside shot at CoA. To be honest, some CoA hiring is so idiosyncratic that so long as you have 50% H at HLS, the rest is very much up to intangible things... like personality match, whatever strikes the judge's fancy, etc. Generally, if you don't even give it a shot, you'll never know.

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mjb447

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Re: Unclear whether I should wait or apply now?

Postby mjb447 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:11 pm

I'd only hold off completely on that basis if you know that you're only applying to judges who care a lot about Admin (e.g. some list particular classes in their OSCAR posting). Otherwise, all you're doing is taking yourself out of the running preemptively for a position you might have a shot at.



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