How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:49 pm

lawman84 wrote:
HillandHollow wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:C.D. Cal clerk here. Our OSCAR account shows 798 applicants (some may have been deleted already, and some only submit paper versions). Checking the "Top 10%" and "Law Review" boxes filters it down to 393, (oddly, checking "Top 5%" only filters it to 337.) (Note that OSCAR's Top X% filter feature does not filter out applicants from schools that dont rank, so checking that box really just gives you a list of applicants who went to T20-30 schools (which dont rank) + applicants from Tier 2 or 3 schools who are in the Top X%). From there we generally sort by law school, and pick resumes to review from the schools we like/have had success with in the past (NOT always synonymous with T6, T14, etc.). If it is later in the clerkship hiring season, I will occasionally check the "Recent Applications" folder, and visually inspect for the above criteria. If its REALLY late in the season, and I am concerned that I may be reviewing resumes of people who already have clerkships at this point but just haven't updated their OSCAR applications, I will go to the "All Applicants" folder, and filter by "Submitted On" and "Last Updated," to ensure that the people I am looking at are still on the hunt for a clerkship (again, visually inspecting for the above-mentioned criteria, focusing on schools).

The only way I would even see a resume that is otherwise filtered out using the above methods is if the application is sent by mail (the clerk opening the envelopes will usually glance at the resume before tossing it into the circular filing basket), or if somebody impressive enough calls/emails on your behalf, prompting us to search for your name in OSCAR/keep a lookout for your name in the stacks of manila & priority-mail envelopes that the mailman delivers every day during peak clerkship application season.


This might be a dumb question, but how does OSCAR find that information? You said that you can filter by top X%, Law Review, and legal work experience. How does OSCAR determine a person has those credentials? Is it just scanning the application materials for those phrases?

I'm maybe being paranoid, but I have my ranking on my resume in the form of X/XXX. So it isn't expressed in percentage form. I'm wondering if I should add top X% to that. I also am curious how it determines the legal work experience.


It has been a minute since I filled it out, but doesn't OSCAR ask you in the transcripts page what your rank and percentage is?


EDIT: Just checked. I don't see anywhere to put rank. I only see cumulative GPA.



I think that OSCAR knows which schools rank, which dont, and which rank only some of their applicants. It is possible that OSCAR doesnt think your school ranks, and thus doesnt give you the option of inputting your rank.

From my view of the OSCAR website:
Many law schools do not provide class rankings for any of their students. To ensure equitable treatment of students from those schools, OSCAR has been configured so that a search on any percentage ranking will return all applicants from those schools. They will be identified in a search result by the words "School does not rank" in the class rank column.

A few law schools rank only a portion of their students. Ranked students from those schools will be returned with a search on a percentage ranking; unranked students will not (although they will show in other searches, e.g., by law school). Unranked students from those schools will be identified in a search result by the words "Student is not ranked" in the class rank column.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:35 pm

FascinatedWanderer wrote:Of those apps how many would you say are credible candidates?


First anon. The vast majority of apps are long shots hoping to get lucky, e.g., top third at state flagship. Maybe twenty percent are plausible, e.g., top five-to-ten percent at a flagship. And another couple percent are realistic (think HYS or decent grades at a T10) and probably will land a clerkship somewhere if they put effort into the process.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Lincoln » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:59 am

HillandHollow wrote:
Lincoln wrote:My judge has senior status (but a full docket), is not on Oscar, only accepts paper apps, only hires clerks who will have at least one year's (but preferably more) experience when they start, and is full for the next three terms. We still receive about one application per week for "any future term."

ETA: Not in a fly-over district.



I have heard that a fair number of judges opt out of the OSCAR system. How are people supposed to find out about an opening like this for a judge who is not on OSCAR, but also not so in demand that people already know who they are/will seek them out? I have discovered a lot of intriguing judges just by doing research as openings came up, but I would never have discovered them otherwise. Do judges ace themselves out of potentially good candidates by skipping OSCAR?


Well, this is SDNY, and many qualified applicants from the T14 just blanket the whole district with applications. We also get regular calls from candidates and from CSOs at the T14, so we get plenty of good applications but actually have time to read each one.

Also, in the SDNY, many judges (but not mine) have instructions for clerkship applicant on the website regarding when they hire and what they require.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby deuceindc » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote: (Note that OSCAR's Top X% filter feature does not filter out applicants from schools that dont rank, so checking that box really just gives you a list of applicants who went to T20-30 schools (which dont rank) + applicants from Tier 2 or 3 schools who are in the Top X%).


My school doesn't rank. Is it helpful to tell y'all that I'm the top X% based on past graduating classes? If so, what's the best way to communicate that - quick mention on the resume, attach the grade breakdown from our Office of Student Affairs, note it in the Grade Sheet comments, etc.?

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:16 pm

deuceindc wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: (Note that OSCAR's Top X% filter feature does not filter out applicants from schools that dont rank, so checking that box really just gives you a list of applicants who went to T20-30 schools (which dont rank) + applicants from Tier 2 or 3 schools who are in the Top X%).


My school doesn't rank. Is it helpful to tell y'all that I'm the top X% based on past graduating classes? If so, what's the best way to communicate that - quick mention on the resume, attach the grade breakdown from our Office of Student Affairs, note it in the Grade Sheet comments, etc.?


Quoted Anon here. If your school really doesn't rank anyone, but does publish last year's % breakdowns by GPA, I guess you could include that info on your resume parenthetically. Its probably only helpful to chambers if your school has pronounced grade deflation. If your GPA is 3.92, and your school doesn't rank, I dont really need you to tell me that based on past years you are in the top 10%. I would definitely be interested in knowing that your GPA of 3.76 would put you in the top 10% though, if that makes any sense. The only way I see it hurting you by noting it parenthetically is if your school massively inflates grades. If I see that your GPA of 3.9 only puts you in the top 25%, i'm going to be suspicious. The clerks reviewing your application are also probably already familiar with the grade breakdown at your school (if you go to a school that places a lot of clerks), and will be comparing your GPA with that of your classmates who also applied to chambers.

Regarding formatting, you could include it like this on your resume: "GPA: 3.79 (Top 20% based on past ranking data)" or I have also seen "GPA: 3.79 (Top 20% is 3.75 and above based on past data)." I think the less words in that parenthetical the better, though.

I rarely ever look at the OSCAR grade sheet until after I have already decided that I like a candidate based on their resume, so I wouldn't put anything exclusively in there that you want seen by the clerks on the first pass.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:34 pm

Can anyone speak to the numbers for OSCAR paper judges or non-Oscar judges? I assume a lot fewer people apply to these judges for connivence reasons

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby DogDay90 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:04 pm

What about non-feeder COA judges--how many do they receive (yes, I know, it'll vary somewhat between judges based on location/prestige)?

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
deuceindc wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: (Note that OSCAR's Top X% filter feature does not filter out applicants from schools that dont rank, so checking that box really just gives you a list of applicants who went to T20-30 schools (which dont rank) + applicants from Tier 2 or 3 schools who are in the Top X%).


My school doesn't rank. Is it helpful to tell y'all that I'm the top X% based on past graduating classes? If so, what's the best way to communicate that - quick mention on the resume, attach the grade breakdown from our Office of Student Affairs, note it in the Grade Sheet comments, etc.?


Quoted Anon here. If your school really doesn't rank anyone, but does publish last year's % breakdowns by GPA, I guess you could include that info on your resume parenthetically. Its probably only helpful to chambers if your school has pronounced grade deflation. If your GPA is 3.92, and your school doesn't rank, I dont really need you to tell me that based on past years you are in the top 10%. I would definitely be interested in knowing that your GPA of 3.76 would put you in the top 10% though, if that makes any sense. The only way I see it hurting you by noting it parenthetically is if your school massively inflates grades. If I see that your GPA of 3.9 only puts you in the top 25%, i'm going to be suspicious. The clerks reviewing your application are also probably already familiar with the grade breakdown at your school (if you go to a school that places a lot of clerks), and will be comparing your GPA with that of your classmates who also applied to chambers.

Regarding formatting, you could include it like this on your resume: "GPA: 3.79 (Top 20% based on past ranking data)" or I have also seen "GPA: 3.79 (Top 20% is 3.75 and above based on past data)." I think the less words in that parenthetical the better, though.

I rarely ever look at the OSCAR grade sheet until after I have already decided that I like a candidate based on their resume, so I wouldn't put anything exclusively in there that you want seen by the clerks on the first pass.


What school are these rankings based on?! My school doesn't rank, so we don't really know where people fall, but I would be very surprised if 3.76 was less than top 10%–-my guess is that it's top 8ish%

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
deuceindc wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: (Note that OSCAR's Top X% filter feature does not filter out applicants from schools that dont rank, so checking that box really just gives you a list of applicants who went to T20-30 schools (which dont rank) + applicants from Tier 2 or 3 schools who are in the Top X%).


My school doesn't rank. Is it helpful to tell y'all that I'm the top X% based on past graduating classes? If so, what's the best way to communicate that - quick mention on the resume, attach the grade breakdown from our Office of Student Affairs, note it in the Grade Sheet comments, etc.?


Quoted Anon here. If your school really doesn't rank anyone, but does publish last year's % breakdowns by GPA, I guess you could include that info on your resume parenthetically. Its probably only helpful to chambers if your school has pronounced grade deflation. If your GPA is 3.92, and your school doesn't rank, I dont really need you to tell me that based on past years you are in the top 10%. I would definitely be interested in knowing that your GPA of 3.76 would put you in the top 10% though, if that makes any sense. The only way I see it hurting you by noting it parenthetically is if your school massively inflates grades. If I see that your GPA of 3.9 only puts you in the top 25%, i'm going to be suspicious. The clerks reviewing your application are also probably already familiar with the grade breakdown at your school (if you go to a school that places a lot of clerks), and will be comparing your GPA with that of your classmates who also applied to chambers.

Regarding formatting, you could include it like this on your resume: "GPA: 3.79 (Top 20% based on past ranking data)" or I have also seen "GPA: 3.79 (Top 20% is 3.75 and above based on past data)." I think the less words in that parenthetical the better, though.

I rarely ever look at the OSCAR grade sheet until after I have already decided that I like a candidate based on their resume, so I wouldn't put anything exclusively in there that you want seen by the clerks on the first pass.


What school are these rankings based on?! My school doesn't rank, so we don't really know where people fall, but I would be very surprised if 3.76 was less than top 10%–-my guess is that it's top 8ish%


This speaks to a question I have about how familiar CoA chambers are with T14 grading schemes. My T14 doesn't rank (none of them do?) but I have a GPA in the above range that, I have been told by clerkship folks at my school, places me in top 5%. I am applying to CoAs in locations that don't attract a lot of people from my school, so I wonder how clerks (or whoever is screening applications) would perceive the relative strength of a GPA from a school they don't see a lot, without any rank to provide context. Can anyone speak to their experience screening applications? Do you just get a feel for how inflated a school is or is it really difficult to tell with schools that don't rank?

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This speaks to a question I have about how familiar CoA chambers are with T14 grading schemes. My T14 doesn't rank (none of them do?) but I have a GPA in the above range that, I have been told by clerkship folks at my school, places me in top 5%. I am applying to CoAs in locations that don't attract a lot of people from my school, so I wonder how clerks (or whoever is screening applications) would perceive the relative strength of a GPA from a school they don't see a lot, without any rank to provide context. Can anyone speak to their experience screening applications? Do you just get a feel for how inflated a school is or is it really difficult to tell with schools that don't rank?


Why not just put "3.7X (Top 5%)" in your resume? I'm in the same position and that's what I did.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
deuceindc wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: (Note that OSCAR's Top X% filter feature does not filter out applicants from schools that dont rank, so checking that box really just gives you a list of applicants who went to T20-30 schools (which dont rank) + applicants from Tier 2 or 3 schools who are in the Top X%).


My school doesn't rank. Is it helpful to tell y'all that I'm the top X% based on past graduating classes? If so, what's the best way to communicate that - quick mention on the resume, attach the grade breakdown from our Office of Student Affairs, note it in the Grade Sheet comments, etc.?


Quoted Anon here. If your school really doesn't rank anyone, but does publish last year's % breakdowns by GPA, I guess you could include that info on your resume parenthetically. Its probably only helpful to chambers if your school has pronounced grade deflation. If your GPA is 3.92, and your school doesn't rank, I dont really need you to tell me that based on past years you are in the top 10%. I would definitely be interested in knowing that your GPA of 3.76 would put you in the top 10% though, if that makes any sense. The only way I see it hurting you by noting it parenthetically is if your school massively inflates grades. If I see that your GPA of 3.9 only puts you in the top 25%, i'm going to be suspicious. The clerks reviewing your application are also probably already familiar with the grade breakdown at your school (if you go to a school that places a lot of clerks), and will be comparing your GPA with that of your classmates who also applied to chambers.

Regarding formatting, you could include it like this on your resume: "GPA: 3.79 (Top 20% based on past ranking data)" or I have also seen "GPA: 3.79 (Top 20% is 3.75 and above based on past data)." I think the less words in that parenthetical the better, though.

I rarely ever look at the OSCAR grade sheet until after I have already decided that I like a candidate based on their resume, so I wouldn't put anything exclusively in there that you want seen by the clerks on the first pass.


What school are these rankings based on?! My school doesn't rank, so we don't really know where people fall, but I would be very surprised if 3.76 was less than top 10%–-my guess is that it's top 8ish%


My numbers were all made up, but based on general observations. The fact that there is some confusion speaks to the fact that GPA ranges are extremely varied among schools, and judges' chambers are not always able to build an accurate (or even coherent) picture of where a given GPA places you on the continuum at your particular school. If your school is one the judge's chambers sees a lot, they are much more likely to be able to accurately judge your GPA. If your school is not commonly seen, and the judge doesn't have a lot of other data points from your school to compare you to, its best to give them as much information about your academic excellence beyond GPA (awards, specific class grades, % breakdowns for your school if available, etc.).

A very effective strategy I have seen recently is to have one of your recommenders explain your particular school's grading scheme in their letter, and note how your performance places you among your peers. For example "Applicant X received a 3.XX after his first year, which I am told historically places him within the top 5% of his class." If your school has marked grade deflation, or a weird grading system, and you have a professor you would feel comfortable asking to do this, this could be an effective strategy. (It also presupposes that the professor can actually ask someone in the administration where a 3.XX would generally place a student relative to the rest of his class).

Comparing clerkship applicants from different schools is further complicated by the fact that many top schools don't even give GPAs (or letter grades), but thats a whole different discussion.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:Why not just put "3.7X (Top 5%)" in your resume? I'm in the same position and that's what I did.


This is definitely what you should do if your school actually gives you your specific rank in "Top X%" form. Where the confusion comes in is when your school doesn't give you your specific rank, but either publishes historic GPA ranges or doesn't give any indication at all.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What school are these rankings based on?! My school doesn't rank, so we don't really know where people fall, but I would be very surprised if 3.76 was less than top 10%–-my guess is that it's top 8ish%


Our registrar provides estimated rankings, based an average of the prior five graduating classes.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 02, 2017 2:10 pm

please delete

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 08, 2017 3:19 pm

What % of chambers actually filter for law review and only look at law review applications, regardless of school/grades? Seems like you'd miss people who are more qualified than much of the set you're reviewing (e.g. missing the top 1/4 Stanford student on a secondary journal for the median UCLA student that happened to write-on).

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 08, 2017 3:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What % of chambers actually filter for law review and only look at law review applications, regardless of school/grades? Seems like you'd miss people who are more qualified than much of the set you're reviewing (e.g. missing the top 1/4 Stanford student on a secondary journal for the median UCLA student that happened to write-on).


The OSCAR search feature I think you are referring to just says: "Law Review/Journal." I ran a quick search and found that applicants are checking that box even when they are only on a secondary journal, so I don't think there is a way to filter out people who aren't on the flagship journal/law review other than just reviewing people's resumes individually.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby lolwat » Mon May 08, 2017 5:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What % of chambers actually filter for law review and only look at law review applications, regardless of school/grades? Seems like you'd miss people who are more qualified than much of the set you're reviewing (e.g. missing the top 1/4 Stanford student on a secondary journal for the median UCLA student that happened to write-on).


I've seen very few judges "require" or "prefer" the flagship law review specifically as opposed to some other journal (I believe one judge in 9th Circuit does but I forget who now). Given the fact that the search feature won't get you just the flagship law reviews, I would guess most judges would just filter by grades, and go from there. That's more or less what we did. Once you filter it to people with top 5% or top 10% or whatever, then the clerks can view individual resumes and toss those who aren't on law review if that's what the judge wants...



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