Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:03 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks for the mostly helpful advice. Yes, I know what litigation entails. Yes, I realize that a district court is more practical, and that's why I'm not ruling it out. And yes, I have an extremely tiny but not non-existent SCOTUS opportunity based on some connections at my law school and also falling into the grade requirements mentioned (#1 or #2 in my class). I will say that it has happened before many years ago via a similar path to the one that I'm taking (i.e. one of my recommenders who loves me orchestrated first COA --> second feeder COA --> SCOTUS). Not ruling it out, but not letting that tiny possibility cloud my judgment either.

I guess my main reason for not being convinced re district court is I don't know if its more useful or more prestigious than simply going straight to a V5 firm or a fancy boutique. Someone mentioned that a second COA might help for appellate litigation or a boutique, but I don't have my heart set on that. Not opposed to it either.

I like the idea of giving two years credit for pay and one year credit for partnership. I know of at least one big DC firm that does that. Mostly I have the luxury of having very little student loan debt and no family reasons for staying in any one place. I'm also really young for law school (went straight through and still young in that crowd) so I'm not worried about rushing into partnership (if that happens to be what I decide I want to do/am capable of doing).


Me again. How competitive are ND of IL clerkships? Who are the most prestigious judges there? Same questions for DDC?


N.D. Ill. is fairly prestigious and competitive; I would say it's less competitive than S.D.N.Y. or N.D. Cal., and probably comparable to D. Mass./E.D.N.Y./C.D. Cal. Feinerman is the most "prestigious" in N.D. Ill. No idea about DDC.


Just curious because I know a bunch of Feinerman clerks and they are super credentialed. What makes a district court judge "prestigious"?

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby mjb447 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:36 pm

Prestige - now THAT's a topic TLS needs to discuss more.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby nothingtosee » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks for the mostly helpful advice. Yes, I know what litigation entails. Yes, I realize that a district court is more practical, and that's why I'm not ruling it out. And yes, I have an extremely tiny but not non-existent SCOTUS opportunity based on some connections at my law school and also falling into the grade requirements mentioned (#1 or #2 in my class). I will say that it has happened before many years ago via a similar path to the one that I'm taking (i.e. one of my recommenders who loves me orchestrated first COA --> second feeder COA --> SCOTUS). Not ruling it out, but not letting that tiny possibility cloud my judgment either.

I guess my main reason for not being convinced re district court is I don't know if its more useful or more prestigious than simply going straight to a V5 firm or a fancy boutique. Someone mentioned that a second COA might help for appellate litigation or a boutique, but I don't have my heart set on that. Not opposed to it either.

I like the idea of giving two years credit for pay and one year credit for partnership. I know of at least one big DC firm that does that. Mostly I have the luxury of having very little student loan debt and no family reasons for staying in any one place. I'm also really young for law school (went straight through and still young in that crowd) so I'm not worried about rushing into partnership (if that happens to be what I decide I want to do/am capable of doing).


Me again. How competitive are ND of IL clerkships? Who are the most prestigious judges there? Same questions for DDC?


N.D. Ill. is fairly prestigious and competitive; I would say it's less competitive than S.D.N.Y. or N.D. Cal., and probably comparable to D. Mass./E.D.N.Y./C.D. Cal. Feinerman is the most "prestigious" in N.D. Ill. No idea about DDC.


Just curious because I know a bunch of Feinerman clerks and they are super credentialed. What makes a district court judge "prestigious"?


http://lmgtfy.com/?q=list+of+scotus+clerks

ctrl+f --> JUDGELASTNAME

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:02 pm

Is that it? That's pretty anticlimatic considering there isn't any district judge clerkship other than Thapar and Rakoff that will meaningfully increase your odds for a SCOTUS clerkship.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is that it? That's pretty anticlimatic considering there isn't any district judge clerkship other than Thapar and Rakoff that will meaningfully increase your odds for a SCOTUS clerkship.


Generally, it's that and/or the district.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby mjb447 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:49 pm

lawman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is that it? That's pretty anticlimatic considering there isn't any district judge clerkship other than Thapar and Rakoff that will meaningfully increase your odds for a SCOTUS clerkship.


Generally, it's that and/or the district.

Yeah, I think it's mostly being in a jurisdiction that's perceived to get really interesting or significant cases. Of course, if a judge in a competitive district wants to take only top 5% T6 clerks, he's in a better position to do so than most flyover judges and, if those clerks go on to have the careers that top 5% T6 people often have, that judge starts building a reputation for taking rock stars who go on to have great careers.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby proleteriate » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:02 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Getting hired at a "V5" office somewhere will be easy. I can't for the life of me understand why an aspiring litigator would target the V5, but that's a different issue.


Easy because of his grades or because of the COA clerkship?

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:28 pm

Easy because getting hired by a "V5" requires neither good grades (except Wachtell) nor a clerkship.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby runinthefront » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Easy because getting hired by a "V5" requires neither good grades (except Wachtell) nor a clerkship.

Remember, OP is not coming from a T14. That being said, because OP does have good grades and will have a CoA clerkship, a "V5" firm should be fairly easy to get. Whether that's an appropriate goal to shoot for is another story.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:37 pm

runinthefront wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Easy because getting hired by a "V5" requires neither good grades (except Wachtell) nor a clerkship.

Remember, OP is not coming from a T14. That being said, because OP does have good grades and will have a CoA clerkship, a "V5" firm should be fairly easy to get. Whether that's an appropriate goal to shoot for is another story.


Depending on what school we're talking about, this isn't necessarily true. Keep in mind that Unifersity of Montana and University of New Mexico have #1 students every year, and like OP's school, #1 out of those schools have a decent shot at clerking for the local fed COA judge. But those students are generally limited to staying in the state they went to law school in.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
runinthefront wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Easy because getting hired by a "V5" requires neither good grades (except Wachtell) nor a clerkship.

Remember, OP is not coming from a T14. That being said, because OP does have good grades and will have a CoA clerkship, a "V5" firm should be fairly easy to get. Whether that's an appropriate goal to shoot for is another story.


Depending on what school we're talking about, this isn't necessarily true. Keep in mind that Unifersity of Montana and University of New Mexico have #1 students every year, and like OP's school, #1 out of those schools have a decent shot at clerking for the local fed COA judge. But those students are generally limited to staying in the state they went to law school in.


OP. My clerkship is not in same state as my law school. Pretty close to as far as one can go from here actually, and no ties to the new market. I'm at a school ranked between 25-45, and going to a V5 is definitely not easy from here (even with good grades).

Also, I'm not a man.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby lavarman84 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
runinthefront wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Easy because getting hired by a "V5" requires neither good grades (except Wachtell) nor a clerkship.

Remember, OP is not coming from a T14. That being said, because OP does have good grades and will have a CoA clerkship, a "V5" firm should be fairly easy to get. Whether that's an appropriate goal to shoot for is another story.


Depending on what school we're talking about, this isn't necessarily true. Keep in mind that Unifersity of Montana and University of New Mexico have #1 students every year, and like OP's school, #1 out of those schools have a decent shot at clerking for the local fed COA judge. But those students are generally limited to staying in the state they went to law school in.


OP. My clerkship is not in same state as my law school. Pretty close to as far as one can go from here actually, and no ties to the new market. I'm at a school ranked between 25-45, and going to a V5 is definitely not easy from here (even with good grades).

Also, I'm not a man.


Going to a V5 isn't difficult considering your credentials. I go to a school in the same range. As others said, the more salient point is that a V5 is likely a meaningless distinction for you. From what I understand, the Vault rankings more correspond to prestige in Corporate law. Since you're clerking, it seems like a safe assumption that you want to do litigation. In that scenario, the V5 designation isn't helpful for you. You're chasing the wrong prestige.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby rpupkin » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:26 am

lawman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
runinthefront wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Easy because getting hired by a "V5" requires neither good grades (except Wachtell) nor a clerkship.

Remember, OP is not coming from a T14. That being said, because OP does have good grades and will have a CoA clerkship, a "V5" firm should be fairly easy to get. Whether that's an appropriate goal to shoot for is another story.


Depending on what school we're talking about, this isn't necessarily true. Keep in mind that Unifersity of Montana and University of New Mexico have #1 students every year, and like OP's school, #1 out of those schools have a decent shot at clerking for the local fed COA judge. But those students are generally limited to staying in the state they went to law school in.


OP. My clerkship is not in same state as my law school. Pretty close to as far as one can go from here actually, and no ties to the new market. I'm at a school ranked between 25-45, and going to a V5 is definitely not easy from here (even with good grades).

Also, I'm not a man.


Going to a V5 isn't difficult considering your credentials. I go to a school in the same range. As others said, the more salient point is that a V5 is likely a meaningless distinction for you. From what I understand, the Vault rankings more correspond to prestige in Corporate law. Since you're clerking, it seems like a safe assumption that you want to do litigation. In that scenario, the V5 designation isn't helpful for you. You're chasing the wrong prestige.

Right. The Vault rankings are based on surveys filled out disproportionally by associates in corporate/transactional practices in NYC. Even if your goal is "prestige," Vault is the wrong place to look. You could make a decent argument that the five most sought-after, competitive, "prestigious" firms for litigation associates in the Vault 100 are Williams and Connolly (#19), Munger (#38), Susman (#60), Keker (#90), and Kellogg Huber (#97).

None of this is to say that you shouldn't consider a V5 (or V10) office if it seems like a good fit. There are great opportunities at some of those firms if you find the right practice groups and the right partners. I just wouldn't make "V5" a goal. It's not a sensible goal for an aspiring litigator.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby hlsperson1111 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is that it? That's pretty anticlimatic considering there isn't any district judge clerkship other than Thapar and Rakoff that will meaningfully increase your odds for a SCOTUS clerkship.


This is kind of backwards. It has less to do with these judges' feeding power and more to do with the fact that (a) these judges attract unusually well-credentialed clerks and (b) that they have connections with well-regarded feeder judges (Katzmann and Sutton, respectively).

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby hlsperson1111 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
runinthefront wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Easy because getting hired by a "V5" requires neither good grades (except Wachtell) nor a clerkship.

Remember, OP is not coming from a T14. That being said, because OP does have good grades and will have a CoA clerkship, a "V5" firm should be fairly easy to get. Whether that's an appropriate goal to shoot for is another story.


Depending on what school we're talking about, this isn't necessarily true. Keep in mind that Unifersity of Montana and University of New Mexico have #1 students every year, and like OP's school, #1 out of those schools have a decent shot at clerking for the local fed COA judge. But those students are generally limited to staying in the state they went to law school in.


That's not really true. The "local fed COA judge" in Montana is Sidney Thomas. I am sure that clerking for him and being #1 in your class will get you a biglaw job somewhere.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:41 am

hlsperson1111 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
runinthefront wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Easy because getting hired by a "V5" requires neither good grades (except Wachtell) nor a clerkship.

Remember, OP is not coming from a T14. That being said, because OP does have good grades and will have a CoA clerkship, a "V5" firm should be fairly easy to get. Whether that's an appropriate goal to shoot for is another story.


Depending on what school we're talking about, this isn't necessarily true. Keep in mind that Unifersity of Montana and University of New Mexico have #1 students every year, and like OP's school, #1 out of those schools have a decent shot at clerking for the local fed COA judge. But those students are generally limited to staying in the state they went to law school in.


That's not really true. The "local fed COA judge" in Montana is Sidney Thomas. I am sure that clerking for him and being #1 in your class will get you a biglaw job somewhere.


I agree with this. My judge (not Thomas but a similar profile) always hires at least one clerk from one of the local schools (which are T2/lower T1), and these clerks have hardly been limited to in-state practice.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby runinthefront » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:40 am

In fairness, OP was specifically targeting V5 firms (as opposed to any out-of-state gig or "biglaw job somewhere"). But I think both of the above responses, as well as my own, are still correct.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:59 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks for the mostly helpful advice. Yes, I know what litigation entails. Yes, I realize that a district court is more practical, and that's why I'm not ruling it out. And yes, I have an extremely tiny but not non-existent SCOTUS opportunity based on some connections at my law school and also falling into the grade requirements mentioned (#1 or #2 in my class). I will say that it has happened before many years ago via a similar path to the one that I'm taking (i.e. one of my recommenders who loves me orchestrated first COA --> second feeder COA --> SCOTUS). Not ruling it out, but not letting that tiny possibility cloud my judgment either.

I guess my main reason for not being convinced re district court is I don't know if its more useful or more prestigious than simply going straight to a V5 firm or a fancy boutique.


I can't for the life of me understand why an aspiring litigator would target the V5, but that's a different issue.


I know very little about litigation. Why would a litigator not target a V5? What would they target instead?

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby rpupkin » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:02 pm

RedPurpleBlue wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks for the mostly helpful advice. Yes, I know what litigation entails. Yes, I realize that a district court is more practical, and that's why I'm not ruling it out. And yes, I have an extremely tiny but not non-existent SCOTUS opportunity based on some connections at my law school and also falling into the grade requirements mentioned (#1 or #2 in my class). I will say that it has happened before many years ago via a similar path to the one that I'm taking (i.e. one of my recommenders who loves me orchestrated first COA --> second feeder COA --> SCOTUS). Not ruling it out, but not letting that tiny possibility cloud my judgment either.

I guess my main reason for not being convinced re district court is I don't know if its more useful or more prestigious than simply going straight to a V5 firm or a fancy boutique.


I can't for the life of me understand why an aspiring litigator would target the V5, but that's a different issue.


I know very little about litigation. Why would a litigator not target a V5? What would they target instead?

Read the rest of the thread.

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:14 pm

rpupkin wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks for the mostly helpful advice. Yes, I know what litigation entails. Yes, I realize that a district court is more practical, and that's why I'm not ruling it out. And yes, I have an extremely tiny but not non-existent SCOTUS opportunity based on some connections at my law school and also falling into the grade requirements mentioned (#1 or #2 in my class). I will say that it has happened before many years ago via a similar path to the one that I'm taking (i.e. one of my recommenders who loves me orchestrated first COA --> second feeder COA --> SCOTUS). Not ruling it out, but not letting that tiny possibility cloud my judgment either.

I guess my main reason for not being convinced re district court is I don't know if its more useful or more prestigious than simply going straight to a V5 firm or a fancy boutique.


I can't for the life of me understand why an aspiring litigator would target the V5, but that's a different issue.


I know very little about litigation. Why would a litigator not target a V5? What would they target instead?

Read the rest of the thread.


Got it; found your answer later. Thanks!

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Re: Two Federal Appellate Clerkships

Postby hlsperson1111 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:37 am

runinthefront wrote:In fairness, OP was specifically targeting V5 firms (as opposed to any out-of-state gig or "biglaw job somewhere"). But I think both of the above responses, as well as my own, are still correct.


It's a bizarre hypothetical, but I think being #1 in your class (even at the University of Montana!) and clerking for the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit will open up more options than working at a "biglaw job somewhere." Whether or not it opens up the V5 is a separate question - I think the answer is "yes" (but it might be "no" if Skadden wasn't in the V5), but more importantly it's a dumb question.



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