1L (rising 2L) Moot Court/Secondary Journal ranking advice

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1L (rising 2L) Moot Court/Secondary Journal ranking advice

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 15, 2017 5:46 pm

1L at a NYC T2, currently probably top 2% of class but there's a possibility that I drop out of the top 10% after this semester's finals roll in. If that were to happen and I subsequently don't make LR, and I still have my sights set on a clerkship at some point, does a relatively well-known secondary journal or interschool moot court look better? Not being lazy, we can only do one, get matched, and I'm thinking about writing competition rankings.

Thanks!

Barrred

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Re: 1L (rising 2L) Moot Court/Secondary Journal ranking advice

Postby Barrred » Mon May 15, 2017 6:28 pm

If your question is: which looks better for clerkship hiring purposes, moot court or a secondary journal," as a former clerk who looked at tons of resumes I would say secondary journal is marginally better, but I think that this comes from the fact that I was on law review and not moot court. I bet that clerks who did moot court might have the opposite bias, so your mileage my vary.

In reality, though, you should be putting all of your effort into grades and not worrying about much else at this point. GPA will make or break your clerkship application coming from a T2 school---you need to stay in the top 2% of your class.

lolwat

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Re: 1L (rising 2L) Moot Court/Secondary Journal ranking advice

Postby lolwat » Mon May 15, 2017 7:50 pm

Barrred wrote:In reality, though, you should be putting all of your effort into grades and not worrying about much else at this point. GPA will make or break your clerkship application coming from a T2 school---you need to stay in the top 2% of your class.


I agree with this above. As to the question though, I did both a secondary journal and a moot court and can tell you that no one has ever given a flying fuck about either of them at the interview stage, except I guess the note that I wrote/published in the secondary journal that also acted as my writing sample. But whether either of them would help or hurt you at the selection-for-interview stage, I would imagine the secondary journal gets you much farther than moot court does, even if it's just in the sense that you can select "YES" when OSCAR asks you if you were on Law Review/Journal so you don't get filtered out that way. No one in my limited seems to care about moot court even at the selection stage.

I just noticed you said "relatively well known" secondary journal. I'd 100% choose that over moot court if the only thing you cared about is gunning for a clerkship.

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mjb447

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Re: 1L (rising 2L) Moot Court/Secondary Journal ranking advice

Postby mjb447 » Mon May 15, 2017 7:58 pm

I'd choose journal on the theory that judges tend to associate journals with the writing and editing skills that judges look for in clerkship applicants. Really hard question to answer in the abstract, though, as judges almost certainly vary on this issue, and like others said this is probably a secondary (maybe tertiary) consideration.

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Re: 1L (rising 2L) Moot Court/Secondary Journal ranking advice

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 16, 2017 11:16 am

Anon here. As I was formulating the question I realized how my journal rankings would only kick in if I drop out of top 10% (top 15% if I'm cool with that well-ish regarded secondary), in which case my clerkship chances are drastically lower. Figured I'd ask anyway though--I've gotta rank journals/moot in the next few days so I wanted some insight for that.

I know absolutely nothing about OSCAR yet, so lolwat's filtering advice alone answers my question; also, Barred's comment raises the point that far more clerks were on LR than moot (if you're from an either/or school like I am, at least), so that's another point in the journal column.

Finals are done but no grades are back yet; writing comp. started this am and I'm doing it because why tf not. Heard rumors property professor posts grades before writing comp. started so we'd have more of an idea if we'd grade on, but that hasn't happened.

Anyways, thanks for the advice all.

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Re: 1L (rising 2L) Moot Court/Secondary Journal ranking advice

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue May 16, 2017 2:03 pm

My school let you do journal and moot court, and I did both, and literally no one has ever mentioned moot court in interviews. (It was fun, I don't regret doing it, and my note sucked so it gave me a helpful "practice"-ish writing sample, but if you can only do one I would probably say journal. Go get other experience through internships.)

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Re: 1L (rising 2L) Moot Court/Secondary Journal ranking advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 17, 2017 8:40 am

I did hiring for an uncompetitive federal judge and the judge cared about journals, not moot court. Even my conditioning by the process up to that point agreed and whenever an app said moot court I kind of saw it as irrelevant. But I never did moot court. I was journal heavy. So that likely affects my thinking. I just don't see the point of pretending to argue or try a case where the goal isn't to change someone's mind or attain a favorable outcome but is instead to score points. Waste of time.

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Re: 1L (rising 2L) Moot Court/Secondary Journal ranking advice

Postby lolwat » Wed May 17, 2017 12:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I did hiring for an uncompetitive federal judge and the judge cared about journals, not moot court. Even my conditioning by the process up to that point agreed and whenever an app said moot court I kind of saw it as irrelevant. But I never did moot court. I was journal heavy. So that likely affects my thinking. I just don't see the point of pretending to argue or try a case where the goal isn't to change someone's mind or attain a favorable outcome but is instead to score points. Waste of time.


Well, there's a huge difference between what a judge looks for in clerkship hiring and what would be most useful in practice. To me, the practical benefits of moot court heavily outweigh journal by a mile. I obviously don't know what it's like at any school besides the one I went to, but all journal did substantively was Bluebook articles to death through 3-4 tiers of citation edits, sometimes offer stylistic or grammar edits, and then publish articles that often have nothing to do with what anyone is interested in. Besides that it was mostly a social thing which I didn't give a shit about.

Moot court you're basically doing most everything you would do if you were given an appeal to run in practice. The difference is it's in an academic setting and at the end of it you're trying to "score points" by being judged on how well your oral argument went and how persuasive you were to whomever. But for clerkship hiring purposes, judges don't care about it, nor do they care about trial practice courses either in terms of initial filters for clerkships (even though that's also probably one of the most useful practical courses you could take if you're going into lit or even a trial level clerkship). So there's that.



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