Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

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Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:59 pm

State ties, great recommenders, but solidly below median grades (I would say hovering around 35% percentile). Is it even worth trying for a district court clerkship?

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby rpupkin » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:State ties, great recommenders, but solidly below median grades (I would say hovering around 35% percentile). Is it even worth trying for a district court clerkship?

Yes.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:04 am

Absolutely. I know people with straight Ps 1L year who got Article III clerkships. No reason not to apply.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:48 am

Not OP, but similar situation. What about circuit clerkships? State ties and decent recommenders.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:Not OP, but similar situation. What about circuit clerkships? State ties and decent recommenders.


I agree that you will have a shot at flyover Art III district court clerkships, but as for circuit, the "lowest" grades I've seen people have who've snagged circuits were around median, unless they knew the judge personally. And of course, these circuits were often in less competitive cities.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby wwwcol » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:Not OP, but similar situation. What about circuit clerkships? State ties and decent recommenders.


Best chance is probably securing a D. ct. clerkship and then applying to COA.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:12 am

Thanks! I'm around median (5H/5P) and I was looking at a circuit judge in my flyover home state. I'll focus on district courts first!

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby hlsperson1111 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks! I'm around median (5H/5P) and I was looking at a circuit judge in my flyover home state. I'll focus on district courts first!


While I wouldn't get my hopes up, I think applying to a COA judge in your home state is fine and not a waste of an application at all. Depending on the strength of your recommenders, how well you interview, and how broadly you are willing to apply (among other factors), I think you have a 50/50 shot or better at landing some Article III clerkship.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks! I'm around median (5H/5P) and I was looking at a circuit judge in my flyover home state. I'll focus on district courts first!


Assuming you're at HLS based on your number of classes. Don't sell yourself short, 5H is solidly above median. Consensus is that median is 3H.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:37 pm

Also, are you conservative? That may help. Not implying that conservatives are dumb or mediocre students, just that they're pretty rare at HYS relative to their representation in the federal judiciary. I've heard of median HYS people with solid conservative credentials getting feeders so I think it can be a boost.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:58 pm

Unfortunately, very liberal. But I didn't realize that 5Hs was above median, so that's encouraging!

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:19 pm

I know someone who was 1H/9P and 2H/8P his 1L and 2L years. He had a slight uptick in grades fall semester of 3L, and snagged a COA clerkship the next semester. No ties to the judge, nothing extraordinary on his resume.

I myself was merely around median at HLS. I have about a month left on a district court clerkship and will begin a COA clerkship after that.

So, to all y'all who take S or Y because it will be "easier" to clerk from there, think twice.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby nothingtosee » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know someone who was 1H/9P and 2H/8P his 1L and 2L years. He had a slight uptick in grades fall semester of 3L, and snagged a COA clerkship the next semester. No ties to the judge, nothing extraordinary on his resume.

I myself was merely around median at HLS. I have about a month left on a district court clerkship and will begin a COA clerkship after that.

So, to all y'all who take S or Y because it will be "easier" to clerk from there, think twice.



Statistics tho

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:35 pm

Depends on which of "H", "S", or "Y"

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby rpupkin » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:39 pm

jbagelboy wrote:Depends on which of "H", "S", or "Y"

Not really. I guess it helps a bit to be at Y because it's hard to tell "bottom half" from "median." But it's not that different of a situation.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:33 pm

Not HY or S, but is it really easier to land COA after getting a D. Ct. clerkship? I'm slated for one in 2/9/DC and curious about how much that improves chances at COA.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not HY or S, but is it really easier to land COA after getting a D. Ct. clerkship? I'm slated for one in 2/9/DC and curious about how much that improves chances at COA.


It's exponentially easier, especially if you were a borderline candidate before the district clerkship. In many cases, your judge will just call a friend on the circuit. Even if you haven't begun the district clerkship yet (ie you won't have a district judge recommending you), many circuit judges will prefer you over a new graduate.

I got 1 circuit interview from about 30 apps in law school. As a district clerk, I got 2 interviews out of 3 apps. Disclaimer: these apps are all in 4-8 territory. Maybe DC and 9 are different (they probably are to some extent), but I suspect you'll still have a good odds.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby mjb447 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not HY or S, but is it really easier to land COA after getting a D. Ct. clerkship? I'm slated for one in 2/9/DC and curious about how much that improves chances at COA.

Yes, noticeably. Hard to say how much in a vacuum - clerkship hiring is already difficult to reduce to a formula, and it depends on the district judge's relationships and reputation, the circuit judges you're applying to, your other credentials, etc.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:Absolutely. I know people with straight Ps 1L year who got Article III clerkships. No reason not to apply.


OP here -- my and all my Ps are very happy to hear this! I feel like everyone talking about clerkships right now has amazing grades, and I wanted to make sure it wouldn't be a waste of my recommender's time to ask them for these letters.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Quichelorraine » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Absolutely. I know people with straight Ps 1L year who got Article III clerkships. No reason not to apply.


OP here -- my and all my Ps are very happy to hear this! I feel like everyone talking about clerkships right now has amazing grades, and I wanted to make sure it wouldn't be a waste of my recommender's time to ask them for these letters.


This may be a heterodox position, but: never think in terms of "wasting a professor's time." Writing recommendation letters is part of an academic's job. If you want to try for something, try for it, and recruit the people who can help you get it. Don't worry, they'll find time between minimal class loads, subcontracting out writing assignments to overworked RAs, and procrastinating grading exams to get their Administrative Assistant to put something together for you.

(I kid, somewhat, but the thing you should be concerned about instead is recommenders who half-ass it and/or can't show that they know you well. Also, I imagine that there are some superstars at places like HYS whose touch is golden and who shan't deign to write for anybody who isn't a guaranteed Kozinski hire. That's their problem, not yours.)

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:59 pm

nothingtosee wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know someone who was 1H/9P and 2H/8P his 1L and 2L years. He had a slight uptick in grades fall semester of 3L, and snagged a COA clerkship the next semester. No ties to the judge, nothing extraordinary on his resume.

I myself was merely around median at HLS. I have about a month left on a district court clerkship and will begin a COA clerkship after that.

So, to all y'all who take S or Y because it will be "easier" to clerk from there, think twice.



Statistics tho


The statistics are what they are, but anecdotally, HLS has a lot of people who self-select out of clerkships. Lots more dual degree people who don't clerk at H than at Y/S, plus a fair number of people who want to go right into biglaw and start making money. Plus a big chunk of the class is international and can't clerk. Obviously, I haven't attended Y or S, but my sense from interacting with Y/S (particularly Y) people is that there's much less self selection out of clerkships than at H. Just one person's opinion though-this has and will be discussed on TLS ad nauseum and can't be meaningfully answered without the internal clerkship data.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby nothingtosee » Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
nothingtosee wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know someone who was 1H/9P and 2H/8P his 1L and 2L years. He had a slight uptick in grades fall semester of 3L, and snagged a COA clerkship the next semester. No ties to the judge, nothing extraordinary on his resume.

I myself was merely around median at HLS. I have about a month left on a district court clerkship and will begin a COA clerkship after that.

So, to all y'all who take S or Y because it will be "easier" to clerk from there, think twice.



Statistics tho


The statistics are what they are, but anecdotally, HLS has a lot of people who self-select out of clerkships. Lots more dual degree people who don't clerk at H than at Y/S, plus a fair number of people who want to go right into biglaw and start making money. Plus a big chunk of the class is international and can't clerk. Obviously, I haven't attended Y or S, but my sense from interacting with Y/S (particularly Y) people is that there's much less self selection out of clerkships than at H. Just one person's opinion though-this has and will be discussed on TLS ad nauseum and can't be meaningfully answered without the internal clerkship data.


1) I think that dual degree folks are underrepresented among the top quarter of students. I could be proved wrong, but that's my guess.
2) I think most of the people who go right into biglaw are people who changed their expectations after an underwhelming 1L grade performance. I think if you would survey incoming students >50% say they'd like to clerk. Then, once a student gets straight P's/1H they say they're not interested.
3) Internationals isn't that big, and isn't significantly bigger than Y or S. And many internationals have dual citizenship and can clerk. And some of those without are rich enough that they clerk a year without getting paid.

What I'm saying is >50% of incoming students want to clerk. ~20% do clerk (compare to 25% at Stanford and 34% at Yale). So what's happening to all of those between entry and graduation? Why is it that the law review and magna crowd clerk in way higher numbers than others? The answer is Harvard is so big that it has to make tiers of students for employers and judges - so grading is a clear demarcation. Half the students are median/below median and no longer think they can get a clerkship. There are some below median who do. But there are also magna students who want to and don't. It is not true that you can just go to HLS and clerk if you want to. It's worth throwing out apps, but most students in that situation at H will not be successful.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby lolwat » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:09 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks! I'm around median (5H/5P) and I was looking at a circuit judge in my flyover home state. I'll focus on district courts first!


While I wouldn't get my hopes up, I think applying to a COA judge in your home state is fine and not a waste of an application at all. Depending on the strength of your recommenders, how well you interview, and how broadly you are willing to apply (among other factors), I think you have a 50/50 shot or better at landing some Article III clerkship.


BTW why not just apply? It's not like you lose anything other than time and maybe a few dollars if you're mailing stuff out yourself.
I mean, I wouldn't waste the money on feeders or SCOTUS justices or anything like that, but any judge you've got a connection with, etc., etc...
It's almost surprising how far just being at HYS can get you regardless of your grades...

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:59 pm

nothingtosee wrote:1) I think that dual degree folks are underrepresented among the top quarter of students. I could be proved wrong, but that's my guess.


I'm skeptical of this. There's no reason why this would be true-most dual degrees start at the law school and do the exact same 1L curriculum as JD-only students. It's not like they're taking extra courses that could bring down their grades or something. Not sure what happens subsequently, or how judges take into account mixed transcripts, but there's no reason to think that dual degrees have systemically lower grades, at least after 1L. If I had to guess, dual degrees are opting out of clerkships because they're looking to go into niche jobs that, unlike biglaw, don't allow clerkship deferrals, not because they have low grades.

nothingtosee wrote:2) I think most of the people who go right into biglaw are people who changed their expectations after an underwhelming 1L grade performance. I think if you would survey incoming students >50% say they'd like to clerk. Then, once a student gets straight P's/1H they say they're not interested.


This was not true, at least in my section. A fairly small percentage of people wanted to clerk (at least based on what people said during orientation), and that percentage remained pretty constant over the course of the year. My close friends are all over the map grade-wise, and my friends who wanted to clerk and got mediocre 1L grades are still trying to clerk, while those who didn't want to clerk and got good 1L grades still aren't interested.

nothingtosee wrote:3) Internationals isn't that big, and isn't significantly bigger than Y or S. And many internationals have dual citizenship and can clerk. And some of those without are rich enough that they clerk a year without getting paid.


Can't find data for Y, but H's class of 2019 is 17% international, whileS's is 1.7% international. That's pretty significant-that gap alone may account for the whole H-S clerkship placement disparity. And just anecdotally, I don't hear of many HLS internationals running off to clerk for free in the US.

Look, of course you're going to have a tough time finding an A3 clerkship if you're in the bottom 25% of the class at H, and of course you're more likely to get a feeder if you're magna/on HLR. The same is true at Y and S. But, at least in my experience, the "H is way worse for clerkship placement than Y or S" TLS meme has no basis in reality. If you're at any of those schools, you're at median or maybe a bit below, you're geographically flexible, and you apply broadly and aggressively, you have a good chance of getting an A3 clerkship if you want one.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby wwwcol » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:46 pm

What I'm saying is >50% of incoming students want to clerk.


Interesting, but where do these numbers come from? 50% wanting to clerk sounds unrealistic -- it's not clear to me that 50% even wants to litigate.

Why is it that the law review and magna crowd clerk in way higher numbers than others?


Again, what's the source for this? Do we have a comparison of the clerkship list (which is admittedly imperfect) with the honors list?

7:59 anon makes good points, and I agree with the conclusion that an H student with decent grades (i.e., top 75%) can probably land an AIII offer with a concerted effort. A lot of people might decide not to put in that effort and consequently might self-select out of the application process, but the H name leaves the door open for most of the class.



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