Worth applyig to district courts?

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Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:12 pm

Top 15% at lower t13. Sub 3.0 undergrad gpa. DUI in 2012. 5+ years of WE but not great jobs. Want District court clerkship but not like Montana or Alaska (I know I'm out for comepetative districts). I know judge hiring is a crapshoot , but Is it worth working hard at school for another semester and going through the whole process? Just don't wanna waste my time if my chances are already cut in half.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:21 pm

Yea, you stand a chance. Might as well go for it. What's the downside? Just apply to anywhere you're willing to live.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby mjb447 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:21 pm

Since I'm not sure what you're hoping to get out of clerking it's hard to say if it's worth it, but I think you're "in the running" enough to merit applying some places. I also don't know how wide you'll cast your net (sounds like not competitive districts or super-flyover districts), but as long as you're not hellbent on clerking you can just put in apps wherever you're willing to go and see what happens.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:56 pm

lavarman84 wrote:


mjb447 wrote:


Thanks for the replies. I'm externing right now in a district court and really like it. I wanna clerk because I'm really interested in it and its also an extra credential that from what i understand carries weight with all kinds of employers. i hope to get biglaw litigation at OCI this summer, and my concern is having a leg up when its time to leave my first firm. it also sounds like it offers a ton of substantive experience that first year associates rarely get. i understand that i can do this later in my career, and thats something id definitely consider too if this doesn't work out.

i'm totally ready to do all the work and excited for the challenge, but given my history i just didn't want to waste my time if my application would never make the cut from 800 down to 20 resumes or whatever. I’m not hellbent on it, but Id like to see it through if I stand a chance of landing a clerkship in a decent metropolitan area like Detroit or Denver or something. Doesn’t even have to be that metropolitan. I just would rather not be in a rural area.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:21 pm

The majority of judges don't ask for an undergrad transcript, so I wouldn't send one unless you know the specific judge wants one (i.e. it's on their OSCAR profile). Don't think you need to put your undergrad GPA on your resume either.

Also I wouldn't think the DUI would come up in hiring unless you brought it up. Someone who's actually started their clerkship can probably answer whether you'd ever need to disclose it on a form when you start work.

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LET'S GET IT

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby LET'S GET IT » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:14 pm

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Last edited by LET'S GET IT on Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby wwwcol » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:22 pm

You should apply broadly. Top 15% at a t14 makes you competitive for most districts and should result in several interviews

LET'S GET IT wrote:
please don't quote


Disclose where? The criminal background check (at least in my experience) is run by HR and the judge never learns about it unless something unusual (and much more egregious than a DUI) comes up.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby LET'S GET IT » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:31 pm

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Last edited by LET'S GET IT on Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:35 pm

I think you would have to disclose it in the employment application, which asks if you have any convictions (felony/misdemeanor) within the last 10 years. I don't know if/when HR would tell the judge about a DUI on the application, but the correct answer is always to disclose. I can't say it would never go to the judge or that no judge would have a problem with it, but I think odds are definitely in your favor.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:43 pm

OP here. these replies are encouraging, so thanks everyone.

i definitely have every intention of disclosing the DUI at whatever stage it is required, and the terrible college grades too if need be (there are F's involved..). one question though: is it safe to assume that my chances are with judges that don't ask for grades and/or doesn't care about DUI? If a judge sees my grades AND knows i got a DUI and that is a concern, i'm sunk right? Sorry, i know that question requires a really speculative answer, but insights are greatly appreciated.

thanks again
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:43 pm

I would be shocked if a judge would opt not to hire you at that point. Based on my experience, the paperwork comes well after the offer.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. these replies are encouraging, so thanks everyone.

i definitely have every intention of disclosing the DUI at whatever stage it is required, and the terrible college grades too if need be (there are F's involved..). one question though: is it safe to assume that my chances are with judges that don't ask for grades and/or doesn't care about DUI? If a judge sees my grades AND knows i got a DUI and that is a concern, i'm sunk right? Sorry, i know that question requires a really speculative answer, but insights are greatly appreciated.

thanks again


It's hard to say. It depends on the judge. If the judge cares, yes, you're sunk. I expect the number of D. Ct. judges who care about undergrad grades is pretty minuscule, but I could be wrong. Regardless, applying for clerkships is all about accepting that the low odds of getting an interview. You won't know why most judges reject you. Reality is that you're doing well if you get 5 interviews per 100 applications. Just apply widely and accept the process for what it is.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:56 am

If a judge cares enough about undergrad grades to ask for them then you're probably not getting an interview. The good news is that most (especially at the district court level) don't ask.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:31 am

I was asked during one of my interviews, by the judge, whether I had ever been convicted of a felony. I had several others where it never came up.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby rpupkin » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If a judge cares enough about undergrad grades to ask for them then you're probably not getting an interview.

I'm not sure this is right. At least a few years ago, my judge's oscar posting asked for undergraduate transcripts even though my judge never seemed to care about undergrad grades one way or the other. I asked him about this, and the story was that—when my judge started—he asked his JA to copy the posting of another judge on the circuit. He just assumed it was a standard thing to ask for undergrad transcripts. I think there's way more of this kind of thing than applicants realize. If a judge asks for something on an application, don't self-select out of applying based on the assumption that the judge must really care about that thing.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:04 pm

RE: undergrad grades. Here's a personal story.

I had a pretty mediocre undergrad GPA (think 3.2-3.4), but with an "F" for the very first semester. My law school grades were top 1-5% at a lower t-14. I only applied to judges that expressly did not ask for undergrad grades on OSCAR out of embarassment/fear of being questioned about them (looking back, this was very very very very dumb. You'll miss 100% of the shots you don't take).

My (eventual) CoA judge didn't list UGPA transcript as a requirement, but his career law clerk sent me an email asking me for it to "complete" my application. I spent hours agonizing over what I was going to do, but I eventually just sent it in without comment. I was offered an interview the next day and my judge never brought it up during our interview.

Some judges will care about UGPA. Some won't. Some will ask for it as if they care, but they don't. Some won't ask for it on OSCAR, but they'll require you to produce it before the interview. Your grades may sway their decision, but it probably wont.

ETA: Scooped by this post

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If a judge cares enough about undergrad grades to ask for them then you're probably not getting an interview.

If a judge asks for something on an application, don't self-select out of applying based on the assumption that the judge must really care about that thing.


Looking back, based on URM status and extracurrics, it was incredibly foolish of me to self-select out of certain chambers. Don't do that.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby GoneSouth » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:44 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If a judge cares enough about undergrad grades to ask for them then you're probably not getting an interview.

I'm not sure this is right. At least a few years ago, my judge's oscar posting asked for undergraduate transcripts even though my judge never seemed to care about undergrad grades one way or the other. I asked him about this, and the story was that—when my judge started—he asked his JA to copy the posting of another judge on the circuit. He just assumed it was a standard thing to ask for undergrad transcripts. I think there's way more of this kind of thing than applicants realize. If a judge asks for something on an application, don't self-select out of applying based on the assumption that the judge must really care about that thing.


But do you really think that if someone sent an undergrad transcript in with Fs that the judge wouldn't have cared?

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby rpupkin » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:42 am

GoneSouth wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If a judge cares enough about undergrad grades to ask for them then you're probably not getting an interview.

I'm not sure this is right. At least a few years ago, my judge's oscar posting asked for undergraduate transcripts even though my judge never seemed to care about undergrad grades one way or the other. I asked him about this, and the story was that—when my judge started—he asked his JA to copy the posting of another judge on the circuit. He just assumed it was a standard thing to ask for undergrad transcripts. I think there's way more of this kind of thing than applicants realize. If a judge asks for something on an application, don't self-select out of applying based on the assumption that the judge must really care about that thing.


But do you really think that if someone sent an undergrad transcript in with Fs that the judge wouldn't have cared?

I suppose there are law schools out there who would admit a student with a bunch of Fs in undergrad, but my judge only looked at applications from students of the top 10 or so law schools, and those schools don't admit students with that kind of undergrad record. So your hypo would never materialize.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby GoneSouth » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:48 pm

rpupkin wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If a judge cares enough about undergrad grades to ask for them then you're probably not getting an interview.

I'm not sure this is right. At least a few years ago, my judge's oscar posting asked for undergraduate transcripts even though my judge never seemed to care about undergrad grades one way or the other. I asked him about this, and the story was that—when my judge started—he asked his JA to copy the posting of another judge on the circuit. He just assumed it was a standard thing to ask for undergrad transcripts. I think there's way more of this kind of thing than applicants realize. If a judge asks for something on an application, don't self-select out of applying based on the assumption that the judge must really care about that thing.


But do you really think that if someone sent an undergrad transcript in with Fs that the judge wouldn't have cared?

I suppose there are law schools out there who would admit a student with a bunch of Fs in undergrad, but my judge only looked at applications from students of the top 10 or so law schools, and those schools don't admit students with that kind of undergrad record. So your hypo would never materialize.


Right...so the student with Fs isn't going to get a clerkship with said judge, which was my point all along.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby rpupkin » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:51 pm

GoneSouth wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If a judge cares enough about undergrad grades to ask for them then you're probably not getting an interview.

I'm not sure this is right. At least a few years ago, my judge's oscar posting asked for undergraduate transcripts even though my judge never seemed to care about undergrad grades one way or the other. I asked him about this, and the story was that—when my judge started—he asked his JA to copy the posting of another judge on the circuit. He just assumed it was a standard thing to ask for undergrad transcripts. I think there's way more of this kind of thing than applicants realize. If a judge asks for something on an application, don't self-select out of applying based on the assumption that the judge must really care about that thing.


But do you really think that if someone sent an undergrad transcript in with Fs that the judge wouldn't have cared?

I suppose there are law schools out there who would admit a student with a bunch of Fs in undergrad, but my judge only looked at applications from students of the top 10 or so law schools, and those schools don't admit students with that kind of undergrad record. So your hypo would never materialize.


Right...so the student with Fs isn't going to get a clerkship with said judge, which was my point all along.

Sorry, I don't follow this at all.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:52 pm

GoneSouth wrote:
But do you really think that if someone sent an undergrad transcript in with Fs that the judge wouldn't have cared?

I literally just posted my true story of my CoA judge on a very competitive circuit not caring about an F in my undergrad transcript.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:56 pm

GoneSouth wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If a judge cares enough about undergrad grades to ask for them then you're probably not getting an interview.

I'm not sure this is right. At least a few years ago, my judge's oscar posting asked for undergraduate transcripts even though my judge never seemed to care about undergrad grades one way or the other. I asked him about this, and the story was that—when my judge started—he asked his JA to copy the posting of another judge on the circuit. He just assumed it was a standard thing to ask for undergrad transcripts. I think there's way more of this kind of thing than applicants realize. If a judge asks for something on an application, don't self-select out of applying based on the assumption that the judge must really care about that thing.


But do you really think that if someone sent an undergrad transcript in with Fs that the judge wouldn't have cared?

I suppose there are law schools out there who would admit a student with a bunch of Fs in undergrad, but my judge only looked at applications from students of the top 10 or so law schools, and those schools don't admit students with that kind of undergrad record. So your hypo would never materialize.


Right...so the student with Fs isn't going to get a clerkship with said judge, which was my point all along.

His point is that it wouldn't be because of the Fs.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby GoneSouth » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:19 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If a judge cares enough about undergrad grades to ask for them then you're probably not getting an interview.

I'm not sure this is right. At least a few years ago, my judge's oscar posting asked for undergraduate transcripts even though my judge never seemed to care about undergrad grades one way or the other. I asked him about this, and the story was that—when my judge started—he asked his JA to copy the posting of another judge on the circuit. He just assumed it was a standard thing to ask for undergrad transcripts. I think there's way more of this kind of thing than applicants realize. If a judge asks for something on an application, don't self-select out of applying based on the assumption that the judge must really care about that thing.


But do you really think that if someone sent an undergrad transcript in with Fs that the judge wouldn't have cared?

I suppose there are law schools out there who would admit a student with a bunch of Fs in undergrad, but my judge only looked at applications from students of the top 10 or so law schools, and those schools don't admit students with that kind of undergrad record. So your hypo would never materialize.


Right...so the student with Fs isn't going to get a clerkship with said judge, which was my point all along.

His point is that it wouldn't be because of the Fs.


Well it would be because the Fs would preclude the applicant from getting into a school that the judge would consider. Unless I'm reading this wrong

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby GoneSouth » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
But do you really think that if someone sent an undergrad transcript in with Fs that the judge wouldn't have cared?

I literally just posted my true story of my CoA judge on a very competitive circuit not caring about an F in my undergrad transcript.


I know. I'm not saying he shouldn't apply. There's never any harm in applying. All I said was that with Fs, he's probably not going to get an interview from people who see them, which I stand by. Obviously it happens occasionally (as with your judge), but I doubt it's common.

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Re: Worth applyig to district courts?

Postby BulletTooth » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was asked during one of my interviews, by the judge, whether I had ever been convicted of a felony. I had several others where it never came up.


I was asked this in an externship interview as well. The judge also mentioned that he hired a clerk once who didn't disclose a DUI, and the judge fired the clerk because of it. I'm not sure if the judge had asked the clerk about it during the interview process and the clerk denied, but things like this can happen.



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