Late to the Clerkship Game

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Late to the Clerkship Game

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:30 pm

Hello,

I know I'm late to this game, but I just found out that I made LR at a lower-end T14 and think I may be competitive for lower-end "feeder" clerkships. I have between a 3.89-3.91 GPA (preserving anonymity here) which puts me in the top 10% of students.

What I want to know, in essence, is what judges are still in play that I could be competitive for? Or, should I just wait until the spring for more to start interviewing? I don't have delusions of grandeur, getting a SCOTUS clerkship or anything, but I would like to have a good clerkship experience.

I appreciate any and all advice. Thanks!

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rpupkin

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Re: Late to the Clerkship Game

Postby rpupkin » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hello,

I know I'm late to this game, but I just found out that I made LR at a lower-end T14 and think I may be competitive for lower-end "feeder" clerkships. I have between a 3.89-3.91 GPA (preserving anonymity here) which puts me in the top 10% of students.

God how times have changed. Back when I was in law school (which wasn't that long ago), it would have been unimaginable for someone to say that they were "late to the clerkship game" as a rising 2L. You wouldn't even be late as a rising 3L.

Anyway, OP, you're competitiveness for "feeder" clerkships depends on how high up you are in your class. If you're at a school like NU that has hyper-grade-inflation, then your 3.9 might be only top 5-10%. But if you're one of the top few students in your class, and if you have a connected professor who will go to bat for you with a feeder, you should go for it.

Chances are, though, that you're not competitive for feeders clerkships. Which is fine. You're plainly competitive for district court and COA clerkships generally, so start cultivating recommenders.

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Re: Late to the Clerkship Game

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:36 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hello,

I know I'm late to this game, but I just found out that I made LR at a lower-end T14 and think I may be competitive for lower-end "feeder" clerkships. I have between a 3.89-3.91 GPA (preserving anonymity here) which puts me in the top 10% of students.

God how times have changed. Back when I was in law school (which wasn't that long ago), it would have been unimaginable for someone to say that they were "late to the clerkship game" as a rising 2L. You wouldn't even be late as a rising 3L.

Anyway, OP, you're competitiveness for "feeder" clerkships depends on how high up you are in your class. If you're at a school like NU that has hyper-grade-inflation, then your 3.9 might be only top 5-10%. But if you're one of the top few students in your class, and if you have a connected professor who will go to bat for you with a feeder, you should go for it.

Chances are, though, that you're not competitive for feeders clerkships. Which is fine. You're plainly competitive for district court and COA clerkships generally, so start cultivating recommenders.


Seconding this just as a bit of advice and warning about getting your hopes up. I have a 3.9 at a 6-10 rank (not inflated, it's been implied to me I'm top 2%), great recommenders who have made calls, and have thus far struck out on feeders, including the lower-end ones, that have filled.

By all means apply (although you're going to need professors to go to bat for you and approaching them something that should have been done a while ago) - it can't hurt you. But we're not at HYS so we can't afford to be picky with applications. Apply everywhere.

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yyyuppp

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Re: Late to the Clerkship Game

Postby yyyuppp » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:48 pm

if you're at NU talk to Janet Brown, the clerkship directer. she's super helpful and she has resources which give you an okay idea of your chances based on your GPA. based on the data i'd say you might be out for super competitive COA judges, but you will competitive everywhere else.

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Re: Late to the Clerkship Game

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:16 am

Seconding this just as a bit of advice and warning about getting your hopes up. I have a 3.9 at a 6-10 rank (not inflated, it's been implied to me I'm top 2%), great recommenders who have made calls, and have thus far struck out on feeders, including the lower-end ones, that have filled.


And another version of this: I'm in what I've been told is almost certainly Top 10% at one of HYS and have struck out so far as well. Which, OP, isn't to say you shouldn't apply, but I wouldn't get your hopes super high (especially if you're more generally Top 10%, and not top few students).

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Re: Late to the Clerkship Game

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:18 pm

Ditto the above. If you're at UVA get on the phone with Toby Heytens and he'll help you build a list of judges and figure out your recommenders. Those were my numbers exactly after 1L year and I was competitive for the "semi-feeders" (judges who have sent a handful of clerks to SCOTUS over the years, but aren't in the Kavanaugh, etc. category) and other well-regarded COA judges. You aren't too late by any stretch for 2019 at this stage, but the sooner you get your applications out the better, since many judges move in July, August, and September.

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Re: Late to the Clerkship Game

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:15 pm

OP here, thanks for all of the advice. I appreciate being brought down to earth a bit - I had some friends telling me I really messed up by not applying for the major feeders, and honestly I don't mind not being competitive, I just don't want to waste opportunities.

Thanks again for your help.

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Lincoln

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Re: Late to the Clerkship Game

Postby Lincoln » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:56 pm

Why do you want to clerk for a "lower end feeder"? If you (1) don't have SCOTUS ambitions, and (2) "would like to have a good clerkship experience" I see no reason to narrow your sights to that narrow category of judges. But perhaps I'm missing something.



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