Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:31 pm

wwwcol wrote:
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.


7:59 anon here. Based on my experience, I think that number could absolutely be true at Y. It's definitely not true at H, and I'm guessing it's not true at S. For better or for worse, Y seems to select for a certain type of student that's more likely to do something that has a clerkship as an effective prerequisite (academia, impact lit, appellate, etc). H doesn't, even though it has plenty of those people (I'm one).

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:55 pm

nothingtosee wrote:
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.


Wow. The first bold+underlined claim in your post is so strikingly false that I don't know whether it's because you're projecting your own insecurities, for whatever reason, or because you have been given systemically false information. Plenty -- plenty -- of top and/or magna HLS students come in and come out of HLS with no intention whatever of clerking. Going straight to big law or big law+exit into finance/business is much more common at HLS than Y/S; clerking is not the ultimate be-all end-all dream of every HLS student, esp. those who come in with a clearer sense of the real world beyond the ivory towers and mahogany panels of preening judges navel-gazing about justiciability or class action certifications.

The second bold+underlined claim is less clearly false, but it's probably close to downright false too. If you're minimally competent in terms of networking, playing to your strengths, leveraging, and picking/choosing 2L/3L classes, snagging a clerkship -- even an A3 clerkship in a non-feeder, non-DC/2/9 chambers -- is very doable coming out of HLS.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:10 am

Do people know where something like 6H/4P or 7H/3P would put you from HLS? Is it worth applying to some of the desirable circuits this summer (2/9/DC)?

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:Do people know where something like 6H/4P or 7H/3P would put you from HLS? Is it worth applying to some of the desirable circuits this summer (2/9/DC)?


Those put you above median (the 7H/3P comfortably so) and it's definitely worth applying to those circuits. Feeder judges are almost certainly beyond reach unless there's some special connection, but non-feeders in DC/2/9 are within reach, esp. if you can line up additional factors such as Law Review, professor calls, etc.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby rpupkin » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do people know where something like 6H/4P or 7H/3P would put you from HLS? Is it worth applying to some of the desirable circuits this summer (2/9/DC)?


Those put you above median (the 7H/3P comfortably so) and it's definitely worth applying to those circuits. Feeder judges are almost certainly beyond reach unless there's some special connection, but non-feeders in DC/2/9 are within reach, esp. if you can line up additional factors such as Law Review, professor calls, etc.

This is correct. Also, don't get hung up on 2/9/DC. It's less of a thing than students think it is. For COA, the judge's reputation matters more than the circuit's reputation.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:06 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do people know where something like 6H/4P or 7H/3P would put you from HLS? Is it worth applying to some of the desirable circuits this summer (2/9/DC)?


Those put you above median (the 7H/3P comfortably so) and it's definitely worth applying to those circuits. Feeder judges are almost certainly beyond reach unless there's some special connection, but non-feeders in DC/2/9 are within reach, esp. if you can line up additional factors such as Law Review, professor calls, etc.


This is correct. Also, don't get hung up on 2/9/DC. It's less of a thing than students think it is. For COA, the judge's reputation matters more than the circuit's reputation.



Maybe. But the nature of a convention is such that if enough people think it's a thing, then it's a thing. And (many of) today's students think this is a thing based on cues, explicit or implicit, from yesterday's; so, too, will (many of) tomorrow's. Good or bad, right or wrong, deserved or not.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby rpupkin » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do people know where something like 6H/4P or 7H/3P would put you from HLS? Is it worth applying to some of the desirable circuits this summer (2/9/DC)?


Those put you above median (the 7H/3P comfortably so) and it's definitely worth applying to those circuits. Feeder judges are almost certainly beyond reach unless there's some special connection, but non-feeders in DC/2/9 are within reach, esp. if you can line up additional factors such as Law Review, professor calls, etc.


This is correct. Also, don't get hung up on 2/9/DC. It's less of a thing than students think it is. For COA, the judge's reputation matters more than the circuit's reputation.

Maybe. But the nature of a convention is such that if enough people think it's a thing, then it's a thing. And (many of) today's students think this is a thing based on cues, explicit or implicit, from yesterday's; so, too, will (many of) tomorrow's. Good or bad, right or wrong, deserved or not.

Oh, I agree that students think it's a thing. When I write that "it's less of a thing than students think," I mean it's less of a thing in the legal-hiring market than students think. In other words, folks who make hiring decisions at firms and government agencies care less about 2/9/DC than most students assume they do.

If you clerk for a feeder (in any circuit), that can be a real boost even if you don't make it to SCOTUS. And there are generally more feeders in 2/9/DC (especially in CADC) than in the other circuits. Outside of feeder judges, though, the benefits of clerking in 2/9/DC are often marginal. Sure, if you want to work in a federal agency in DC after your clerkship, then CADC is a boost. And there are some regional benefits to clerking in CA2 or CA9 if you want to work in NY or Cali. Overall, though, clerking in 2/9/DC is not like going to HYS for law school: you're basically in the same position as someone who clerked for a judge in one of the other circuits.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:55 am

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do people know where something like 6H/4P or 7H/3P would put you from HLS? Is it worth applying to some of the desirable circuits this summer (2/9/DC)?


Those put you above median (the 7H/3P comfortably so) and it's definitely worth applying to those circuits. Feeder judges are almost certainly beyond reach unless there's some special connection, but non-feeders in DC/2/9 are within reach, esp. if you can line up additional factors such as Law Review, professor calls, etc.


This is correct. Also, don't get hung up on 2/9/DC. It's less of a thing than students think it is. For COA, the judge's reputation matters more than the circuit's reputation.

Maybe. But the nature of a convention is such that if enough people think it's a thing, then it's a thing. And (many of) today's students think this is a thing based on cues, explicit or implicit, from yesterday's; so, too, will (many of) tomorrow's. Good or bad, right or wrong, deserved or not.

Oh, I agree that students think it's a thing. When I write that "it's less of a thing than students think," I mean it's less of a thing in the legal-hiring market than students think. In other words, folks who make hiring decisions at firms and government agencies care less about 2/9/DC than most students assume they do.

If you clerk for a feeder (in any circuit), that can be a real boost even if you don't make it to SCOTUS. And there are generally more feeders in 2/9/DC (especially in CADC) than in the other circuits. Outside of feeder judges, though, the benefits of clerking in 2/9/DC are often marginal. Sure, if you want to work in a federal agency in DC after your clerkship, then CADC is a boost. And there are some regional benefits to clerking in CA2 or CA9 if you want to work in NY or Cali. Overall, though, clerking in 2/9/DC is not like going to HYS for law school: you're basically in the same position as someone who clerked for a judge in one of the other circuits.


My point was to raise the possibility that it's not just today's students who "think it's a thing." It's been a thing for years now, and some of yesterday's students are today's employers, or will be soon, or will be involved in those decisions soon. Obviously this is ultimately a matter of empirics: how many legal employers think it's a thing won't be determined by anecdotes or the friends one has in the legal hiring market or even small sample sizes. But I think it's a genuine possibility that the DC/2/9 prestige does filter into hiring decisions, if only (but not only) b/c it's been around for many years now, and the attractives (and therefore competitiveness) of some of those geographic regions intuitively lends credit to the notion, however implicit, in the minds of those doing hiring.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby nothingtosee » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do people know where something like 6H/4P or 7H/3P would put you from HLS? Is it worth applying to some of the desirable circuits this summer (2/9/DC)?


Those put you above median (the 7H/3P comfortably so) and it's definitely worth applying to those circuits. Feeder judges are almost certainly beyond reach unless there's some special connection, but non-feeders in DC/2/9 are within reach, esp. if you can line up additional factors such as Law Review, professor calls, etc.


This is correct. Also, don't get hung up on 2/9/DC. It's less of a thing than students think it is. For COA, the judge's reputation matters more than the circuit's reputation.

Maybe. But the nature of a convention is such that if enough people think it's a thing, then it's a thing. And (many of) today's students think this is a thing based on cues, explicit or implicit, from yesterday's; so, too, will (many of) tomorrow's. Good or bad, right or wrong, deserved or not.

Oh, I agree that students think it's a thing. When I write that "it's less of a thing than students think," I mean it's less of a thing in the legal-hiring market than students think. In other words, folks who make hiring decisions at firms and government agencies care less about 2/9/DC than most students assume they do.

If you clerk for a feeder (in any circuit), that can be a real boost even if you don't make it to SCOTUS. And there are generally more feeders in 2/9/DC (especially in CADC) than in the other circuits. Outside of feeder judges, though, the benefits of clerking in 2/9/DC are often marginal. Sure, if you want to work in a federal agency in DC after your clerkship, then CADC is a boost. And there are some regional benefits to clerking in CA2 or CA9 if you want to work in NY or Cali. Overall, though, clerking in 2/9/DC is not like going to HYS for law school: you're basically in the same position as someone who clerked for a judge in one of the other circuits.


My point was to raise the possibility that it's not just today's students who "think it's a thing." It's been a thing for years now, and some of yesterday's students are today's employers, or will be soon, or will be involved in those decisions soon. Obviously this is ultimately a matter of empirics: how many legal employers think it's a thing won't be determined by anecdotes or the friends one has in the legal hiring market or even small sample sizes. But I think it's a genuine possibility that the DC/2/9 prestige does filter into hiring decisions, if only (but not only) b/c it's been around for many years now, and the attractives (and therefore competitiveness) of some of those geographic regions intuitively lends credit to the notion, however implicit, in the minds of those doing hiring.



Ah yes, the coveted clerkship years in Rutland, Syracuse, Billings, and Pocatello

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:15 pm

:lol: yeah, I think the 2/9 prestige is overrated too. Some judges are prestigious, and some places are probably sort of prestigious (LA > Pocatello). I think the students who think it's a thing when applying give up on that after going through the process/experience.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby lolwat » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:25 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote::lol: yeah, I think the 2/9 prestige is overrated too. Some judges are prestigious, and some places are probably sort of prestigious (LA > Pocatello). I think the students who think it's a thing when applying give up on that after going through the process/experience.


What that poster might be getting at is a lot of people are only semi-sophisticated. Not quite sophisticated enough as some on TLS (of which I am not one) who know who the "good judges" outside 2/9/DC are. If I didn't follow ATL and this forum on an on-and-off/semi-regular basis, I'd probably have wondered who the hell Neil Gorsuch is. Those semi-sophisticated people here in my Cali market will probably see "Oh you clerked on the Ninth Circuit!" and immediately give that more weight than if you clerked for, say, Judge Gorsuch pre-SCOTUS, even though Gorsuch would have been a "better clerkship" than Judge N.R. Smith in Pocatello.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:28 pm

Don't you think they would do that with cities and other general prestige markers, though? (Clerking in LA > clerking in Pocatello even though both are 9th Cir?)

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby lolwat » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:33 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Don't you think they would do that with cities and other general prestige markers, though? (Clerking in LA > clerking in Pocatello even though both are 9th Cir?)


Within the Ninth Circuit, certainly I think people would give more weight to clerkships in San Francisco and Pasadena (and probably San Diego) rather than Pocatello or Billings, etc., but that's usually the second step. The first step is that they see "UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT" and give that greater weight than "UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE [ANY OTHER] CIRCUIT" (besides Federal Circuit for IP lit).

Certainly not true across the board, as some people do keep up with the bigger names, but many here do identify clerkships by circuits rather than judges.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby nothingtosee » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:57 pm

Also, isn't this mostly regional?

If you're working in Chicago, better to clerk on the 7th Circuit in South Bend than the 9th Circuit in Portland. And if you're working in Dallas, better to be in Mississippi than Connecticut.

Not sure where raw prestige matters (maybe DC? idk)

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:05 pm

lolwat wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Don't you think they would do that with cities and other general prestige markers, though? (Clerking in LA > clerking in Pocatello even though both are 9th Cir?)


Within the Ninth Circuit, certainly I think people would give more weight to clerkships in San Francisco and Pasadena (and probably San Diego) rather than Pocatello or Billings, etc., but that's usually the second step. The first step is that they see "UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT" and give that greater weight than "UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE [ANY OTHER] CIRCUIT" (besides Federal Circuit for IP lit).

Certainly not true across the board, as some people do keep up with the bigger names, but many here do identify clerkships by circuits rather than judges.


Correct.

I have no trouble believing *some* people involved in legal hiring (and keep in mind that legal hiring need not occur only by lawyers in law firms) engage in the fine-grained analysis of an applicant's clerkship (city, chambers, judge's status, etc.) that some people here at TLS do. But I also believe -- again, we'd need real data to move the needle on this conversation -- that *many* employers are fine-grained only to the point of being generally aware that, for example, CA2 = New York; New York = selective; selective = prestigious, whatever the merits of that set of inferences.

*Of course* CA2 also embraces Syracuse. But how many CA2 judges sit in Syracuse, and how many CA2 judges sit in Manhattan? All things being equal, less hirers than more will recognize names like Pryor or Reinhardt; more rather than less will be able to see on an applicant's resume that CA9 and CA2, esp if the sub-line on the resume says LA or NY, are more selective/prestigious than places like Pryor's seat in Alabama. And there is no doubt at all that nearly all of CA2 is more selective than nearly all of the chambers in nearly all of the other circuits, excepting DC/9 (for a reason!).

There's a natural backlash to the extreme prestige-obsession that manifests at TLS (and elsewhere); the backlash risks sinking to its own extremes. The original comment stands as to both its general tenor and truth.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby lolwat » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:12 pm

nothingtosee wrote:Also, isn't this mostly regional?

If you're working in Chicago, better to clerk on the 7th Circuit in South Bend than the 9th Circuit in Portland. And if you're working in Dallas, better to be in Mississippi than Connecticut.

Not sure where raw prestige matters (maybe DC? idk)


I'm based in CA so that's where my experience mostly is, but I would imagine this is somewhat true to an extent. I think people in Chicago will give weight to the 7th Circuit because they know part of that includes Chicago, but they will still equate 2/9/DC with New York, California, and D.C., and therefore those circuits will still have a good prestige pull to them regardless of where in the 2/9 you actually clerked.

My only other point of reference is that I went to a non-CA T20 school and the profs/deans/etc. there would almost universally talk about districts or circuits when it comes to clerkships. Specific judges are mentioned when the judge has a connection to the school or professor or whatever. So it's often the same thinking at the circuit level, and at the district level, almost universally accepted there that it's better to clerk for Judge Real or Judge Anderson on C.D.Cal., because it's C.D.Cal., over Judge Thapar on E.D.Ky. or (insert some other good district judge not in a "competitive district").

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:12 pm

Really? You think it's better to clerk for CDCal judges who should be impeached over clerking for Thapar? Surely in the case of Real/Anderson their personal reputations are so poor that outweighs the fact that they're CDCA judges.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby lolwat » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:38 pm

FascinatedWanderer wrote:Really? You think it's better to clerk for CDCal judges who should be impeached over clerking for Thapar? Surely in the case of Real/Anderson their personal reputations are so poor that outweighs the fact that they're CDCA judges.


My example came from the general perception of people at my law school. And what I have been saying over the last few posts is that the average lawyer (read: not TLS people who know more than the average lawyer) likely does not either know/pay too much attention to the reputations of specific judges (except perhaps in courts they regularly practice before), and therefore are generally inclined to give more "prestige" weight to any clerkship at the Central District of California as compared to a clerkship at the Eastern District of Kentucky, even if it was for Judge Thapar, simply because of the court/location.

That does not mean that it is objectively true that it is better to clerk for Judges Real/Anderson/whomever else has a bad reputation in a competitive district. That is just how it is very often viewed.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:03 pm

lolwat wrote:
FascinatedWanderer wrote:Really? You think it's better to clerk for CDCal judges who should be impeached over clerking for Thapar? Surely in the case of Real/Anderson their personal reputations are so poor that outweighs the fact that they're CDCA judges.


My example came from the general perception of people at my law school. And what I have been saying over the last few posts is that the average lawyer (read: not TLS people who know more than the average lawyer) likely does not either know/pay too much attention to the reputations of specific judges (except perhaps in courts they regularly practice before), and therefore are generally inclined to give more "prestige" weight to any clerkship at the Central District of California as compared to a clerkship at the Eastern District of Kentucky, even if it was for Judge Thapar, simply because of the court/location.

That does not mean that it is objectively true that it is better to clerk for Judges Real/Anderson/whomever else has a bad reputation in a competitive district. That is just how it is very often viewed.


I practice in CDCal. Everyone knows who Real is (and what his reputation is), and I don't know of anyone who would think of clerking for him as much of a positive, though I'm sure it would make for an interesting conversation piece. (Real's rep is not just limited to those who clerked on the Ninth or in CDCal; it is pretty universal. Anderson is less well known but similarly poorly regarded.)

It is true that for most CA firms, clerking on the Ninth generally will be a big boost. Clerking for a feeder or well-known judge will help at the margins with at least some very elite lit boutiques, but we're really talking at the margins, and you'll be a strong candidate at all of those firms with HYS+Ninth Circuit non-feeder under your belt.

Outside of that, judge rep matters more than location. Hurwitz in Phoenix or Thomas in Billings will be regarded more highly than a less well-known judge in SF or Pasadena. SF and Pasadena/LA judges are probably on average "better," and they're certainly more likely to have former clerks at firms in these cities, but I don't know of anyone doing hiring around here who thinks location alone is significant. And again, we're really talking about the margins here.

To the original post: bottom half of HLS is competitive for many districts (including some CDCal, I think) and some less competitive COA judges in the Ninth (though that's more of a stretch and will depend a lot on recommender connections). Bottom half of YLS and (to a slightly lesser extent) SLS is competitive everywhere except for feeder clerkships, but it sounds like you're at HLS.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lolwat wrote:
FascinatedWanderer wrote:Really? You think it's better to clerk for CDCal judges who should be impeached over clerking for Thapar? Surely in the case of Real/Anderson their personal reputations are so poor that outweighs the fact that they're CDCA judges.


My example came from the general perception of people at my law school. And what I have been saying over the last few posts is that the average lawyer (read: not TLS people who know more than the average lawyer) likely does not either know/pay too much attention to the reputations of specific judges (except perhaps in courts they regularly practice before), and therefore are generally inclined to give more "prestige" weight to any clerkship at the Central District of California as compared to a clerkship at the Eastern District of Kentucky, even if it was for Judge Thapar, simply because of the court/location.

That does not mean that it is objectively true that it is better to clerk for Judges Real/Anderson/whomever else has a bad reputation in a competitive district. That is just how it is very often viewed.


I practice in CDCal. Everyone knows who Real is (and what his reputation is), and I don't know of anyone who would think of clerking for him as much of a positive, though I'm sure it would make for an interesting conversation piece. (Real's rep is not just limited to those who clerked on the Ninth or in CDCal; it is pretty universal. Anderson is less well known but similarly poorly regarded.)

It is true that for most CA firms, clerking on the Ninth generally will be a big boost. Clerking for a feeder or well-known judge will help at the margins with at least some very elite lit boutiques, but we're really talking at the margins, and you'll be a strong candidate at all of those firms with HYS+Ninth Circuit non-feeder under your belt.

Outside of that, judge rep matters more than location. Hurwitz in Phoenix or Thomas in Billings will be regarded more highly than a less well-known judge in SF or Pasadena. SF and Pasadena/LA judges are probably on average "better," and they're certainly more likely to have former clerks at firms in these cities, but I don't know if anyone doing hiring around here who thinks location alone is significant. And again, we're really talking about the margins here.

To the original post: bottom of HLS is competitive for many districts (including some CDCal, I think) and some less competitive COA judges in the Ninth (though that's more of a stretch and will depend a lot on recommender connections). Bottom half of YLS and (to a slightly lesser extent) SLS is competitive everywhere except for feeder clerkships, but it sounds like you're at HLS.


While clerking for Real may not be viewed as much of a positive, it is still a district court clerkship in Los Angeles. I know people who have clerked for him, and they all had great things to say (mainly, that in chambers he doesn't act like he does on the bench). If you're applying to Real, just know that you'll have to carpool with him to the courthouse everyday...

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:02 pm

That's the least of the things you need to be aware of if you apply to Real.

Not to get sidetracked here, but he's a truly awful judge and you shouldn't go to him if you have other options.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby rpupkin » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: And (many of) today's students think this is a thing based on cues, explicit or implicit, from yesterday's; so, too, will (many of) tomorrow's. Good or bad, right or wrong, deserved or not.

Oh, I agree that students think it's a thing. When I write that "it's less of a thing than students think," I mean it's less of a thing in the legal-hiring market than students think. In other words, folks who make hiring decisions at firms and government agencies care less about 2/9/DC than most students assume they do.

If you clerk for a feeder (in any circuit), that can be a real boost even if you don't make it to SCOTUS. And there are generally more feeders in 2/9/DC (especially in CADC) than in the other circuits. Outside of feeder judges, though, the benefits of clerking in 2/9/DC are often marginal. Sure, if you want to work in a federal agency in DC after your clerkship, then CADC is a boost. And there are some regional benefits to clerking in CA2 or CA9 if you want to work in NY or Cali. Overall, though, clerking in 2/9/DC is not like going to HYS for law school: you're basically in the same position as someone who clerked for a judge in one of the other circuits.


My point was to raise the possibility that it's not just today's students who "think it's a thing." It's been a thing for years now, and some of yesterday's students are today's employers, or will be soon, or will be involved in those decisions soon. Obviously this is ultimately a matter of empirics: how many legal employers think it's a thing won't be determined by anecdotes or the friends one has in the legal hiring market or even small sample sizes. But I think it's a genuine possibility that the DC/2/9 prestige does filter into hiring decisions, if only (but not only) b/c it's been around for many years now, and the attractives (and therefore competitiveness) of some of those geographic regions intuitively lends credit to the notion, however implicit, in the minds of those doing hiring.

I understood your point the first time. My response was (and is) that your speculation doesn't play out in real life.

I'll give you this much: because students think that a DC/2/9 clerkship is more desirable (and also because some of the more desirable cities are in those circuits), students with better grades and credentials tend to get those clerkships. And to the extent that grades matter in post-clerkship hiring (and they often matter quite a bit), you'll see a correlation between the population of DC/2/9 clerks and the population who lands the more competitive jobs.

But the effect some are talking about ITT--that folks who make hiring decisions see DC/2/9, think "presitge!," and then give an applicant a bump--doesn't really exist.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby rpupkin » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:18 pm

FascinatedWanderer wrote:That's the least of the things you need to be aware of if you apply to Real.

Not to get sidetracked here, but he's a truly awful judge and you shouldn't go to him if you have other options.

Don't clerk for Real. I can't believe this is even a question.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:14 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: And (many of) today's students think this is a thing based on cues, explicit or implicit, from yesterday's; so, too, will (many of) tomorrow's. Good or bad, right or wrong, deserved or not.

Oh, I agree that students think it's a thing. When I write that "it's less of a thing than students think," I mean it's less of a thing in the legal-hiring market than students think. In other words, folks who make hiring decisions at firms and government agencies care less about 2/9/DC than most students assume they do.

If you clerk for a feeder (in any circuit), that can be a real boost even if you don't make it to SCOTUS. And there are generally more feeders in 2/9/DC (especially in CADC) than in the other circuits. Outside of feeder judges, though, the benefits of clerking in 2/9/DC are often marginal. Sure, if you want to work in a federal agency in DC after your clerkship, then CADC is a boost. And there are some regional benefits to clerking in CA2 or CA9 if you want to work in NY or Cali. Overall, though, clerking in 2/9/DC is not like going to HYS for law school: you're basically in the same position as someone who clerked for a judge in one of the other circuits.


My point was to raise the possibility that it's not just today's students who "think it's a thing." It's been a thing for years now, and some of yesterday's students are today's employers, or will be soon, or will be involved in those decisions soon. Obviously this is ultimately a matter of empirics: how many legal employers think it's a thing won't be determined by anecdotes or the friends one has in the legal hiring market or even small sample sizes. But I think it's a genuine possibility that the DC/2/9 prestige does filter into hiring decisions, if only (but not only) b/c it's been around for many years now, and the attractives (and therefore competitiveness) of some of those geographic regions intuitively lends credit to the notion, however implicit, in the minds of those doing hiring.

I understood your point the first time. My response was (and is) that your speculation doesn't play out in real life.

I'll give you this much: because students think that a DC/2/9 clerkship is more desirable (and also because some of the more desirable cities are in those circuits), students with better grades and credentials tend to get those clerkships. And to the extent that grades matter in post-clerkship hiring (and they often matter quite a bit), you'll see a correlation between the population of DC/2/9 clerks and the population who lands the more competitive jobs.

But the effect some are talking about ITT--that folks who make hiring decisions see DC/2/9, think "presitge!," and then give an applicant a bump--doesn't really exist.



I disagree with your oddly-confident-given-no-real-data global statement that the possibility I've raised simply "doesn't play out in real life." If somehow you have access to the inside decisions of many, many, many employers who hire clerks all across the country, and can therefore discount the possibility by climbing inside their heads to determine the causation v. correlation question, I admire your abilities.

For myself I think the possibility I've raised is more than mere speculation, and the correlation/causation issue isn't anywhere near as cut-and-dried as you seem to suppose. Another reason why I'm not at all persuaded is that characterizing the issue as a "prestige!" fetish -- as though the concept has no weight behind it, kind of like a compulsive-obsessive drawn to something without an independent set of reasons behind it, giving it its pull by sheer brute force -- is just a straw man. Whether the straw man is motivated at least in some part by a desire to push back against the (to my mind quite justified) prestige associated with DC/CA2/CA9, or due to frustration with how people on TLS focus on it, I don't know, and I'm guessing you'll deny.

We'll probably not settle this, and I'll let you have the last word if you like.

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Re: Clerkship chances from bottom half of HYS

Postby rpupkin » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: And (many of) today's students think this is a thing based on cues, explicit or implicit, from yesterday's; so, too, will (many of) tomorrow's. Good or bad, right or wrong, deserved or not.

Oh, I agree that students think it's a thing. When I write that "it's less of a thing than students think," I mean it's less of a thing in the legal-hiring market than students think. In other words, folks who make hiring decisions at firms and government agencies care less about 2/9/DC than most students assume they do.

If you clerk for a feeder (in any circuit), that can be a real boost even if you don't make it to SCOTUS. And there are generally more feeders in 2/9/DC (especially in CADC) than in the other circuits. Outside of feeder judges, though, the benefits of clerking in 2/9/DC are often marginal. Sure, if you want to work in a federal agency in DC after your clerkship, then CADC is a boost. And there are some regional benefits to clerking in CA2 or CA9 if you want to work in NY or Cali. Overall, though, clerking in 2/9/DC is not like going to HYS for law school: you're basically in the same position as someone who clerked for a judge in one of the other circuits.


My point was to raise the possibility that it's not just today's students who "think it's a thing." It's been a thing for years now, and some of yesterday's students are today's employers, or will be soon, or will be involved in those decisions soon. Obviously this is ultimately a matter of empirics: how many legal employers think it's a thing won't be determined by anecdotes or the friends one has in the legal hiring market or even small sample sizes. But I think it's a genuine possibility that the DC/2/9 prestige does filter into hiring decisions, if only (but not only) b/c it's been around for many years now, and the attractives (and therefore competitiveness) of some of those geographic regions intuitively lends credit to the notion, however implicit, in the minds of those doing hiring.

I understood your point the first time. My response was (and is) that your speculation doesn't play out in real life.

I'll give you this much: because students think that a DC/2/9 clerkship is more desirable (and also because some of the more desirable cities are in those circuits), students with better grades and credentials tend to get those clerkships. And to the extent that grades matter in post-clerkship hiring (and they often matter quite a bit), you'll see a correlation between the population of DC/2/9 clerks and the population who lands the more competitive jobs.

But the effect some are talking about ITT--that folks who make hiring decisions see DC/2/9, think "presitge!," and then give an applicant a bump--doesn't really exist.

I disagree with your oddly-confident-given-no-real-data global statement that the possibility I've raised simply "doesn't play out in real life." If somehow you have access to the inside decisions of many, many, many employers who hire clerks all across the country, and can therefore discount the possibility by climbing inside their heads to determine the causation v. correlation question, I admire your abilities.

I actually do have access to the inside decisions of multiple employers who prefer to hire former clerks. No, I of course don't have access to every single employer, and my knowledge is necessarily anecdotal, but I have relevant experience that puts me in a decent position to weigh in on this issue. For what it's worth, I started with your assumptions when I was in law school about 2/9/DC. My views changed after I started working.

As for your statement that "the possibility I've raised is more than mere speculation," I just don't see anything in your post that isn't speculation. I'm sure you sincerely believe what you're writing, but your argument seems to be based on a series of assumptions you're making about how a particular credential might be viewed.



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