CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

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CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:19 pm

Currently clerking in one of these districts and I'm procrastinating so if anyone has any questions I'll answer them for the rest of today and maybe some of tomorrow.

sanzgo
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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby sanzgo » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:28 pm

what do you look for when evaluating clerkship applicants to your chambers?

how's the post-clerkship hiring market there?

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:35 pm

1) The Judge makes the first cut without consulting clerks, so we only come in at the interview stage, at which point we look only for fit. From what I understand, the initial cut is what you'd expect- grades + school. Generally north of top 10% within the T14, and a bit higher from schools ranked 15-17. There are also one or two schools in the T14 the judge refuses to hire from because of past bad experiences.

2) I don't personally know as I'm not looking for a position. My predecessor clerks (both immediate predecessors and more distant ones) ended up at very well regarded firms both in Cali and elsewhere including Munger, Keker, Williams & Connolly, WilmerHale, Latham etc.

candidlatke
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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby candidlatke » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:51 pm

how important are ties to the specific area and to what extent will they mitigate grades?

talking about for the more podunk areas like riverside/santa ana/fresno

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:09 pm

I think Fresno is California Eastern. Dunno how exactly the judges there work, but it is certainly a much less competitive district than Cal Northern and Central.

For my judge, ties are not important at all, and I had none.

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:47 am

What weight does your judge (or others in the district) give to calls from recommenders? If LoR already good, does call add significant value?

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:22 am

My judge does not value calls much at all, though (s)he does place a great deal of weight on the actual LoRs. I received an interview and an offer without any of my recommenders making calls. In fact, a previous clerk who I talked to warned against having professors make unsolicited calls to the judge at the interview stage and that (s)he might not appreciate it.

(S)He does, however, value references from references who are not recommenders (preferably people from a professional setting). (S)He will ask for these at the interview and will contact them and very much does want to speak with them on the phone

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:42 pm

How does your judge treat mailed paper applications before actually posting on OSCAR?

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:50 pm

We'd take a look at them, but probably they'd be left in a pile until we got around to hiring, which is when OSCAR is updated. We'd also just prefer that apps come in through OSCAR.

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:31 pm

More about that point above^

A lot (maybe most) people send paper apps when judges accept paper and online because they're afraid of getting filtered out on OSCAR. You don't have to say what your judge does, but wondering if there's sort of an assumption when you get a paper app that the person isn't a strong candidate?

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:46 pm

OP here- sending a paper app won't help you get around the grade cutoffs we have. Even though there's no automatic filter for paper apps, we'll go through the grades with a fine toothed comb and do research if necessary to see where those grades put you class standing-wise.

Though, frankly, if it's a school the judge hasn't ever hired from before it's extremely unlikely the app will go anywhere. Off the top of my head I can't think of any clerks who went to a school outside the top 20.

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:08 am

What's your take on receiving an application with a recommendation coming...much later? I'm talking about a month or so. There was a brief discussion in the 2019-20 thread about judges just giving a nudge to the applicant if they're considering them highly about getting the rec in or simply just offering an interview anyway in the interim.

Basically my 3rd LOR is taking awhile because its non-faculty and my school won't help merging and packaging non-faculty letters (and it's my current supervisor too so the more I nudge them I feel like it's negatively impacting my job lol so I'm trying not to be too pushy especially when I literally have 90 applications to send). I honestly just feel like sending the rest of my app and having them slowly send letters to chambers upon request.

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mjb447
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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby mjb447 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:More about that point above^

A lot (maybe most) people send paper apps when judges accept paper and online because they're afraid of getting filtered out on OSCAR. You don't have to say what your judge does, but wondering if there's sort of an assumption when you get a paper app that the person isn't a strong candidate?

Not OP or C.D./N.D. Cal. specific, but IME paper apps run the gamut - for candidates who won't get caught in a grade or school filter, I assume the thinking is that a paper app is still more likely to receive individual attention (someone will open it and look at the resume and transcript) than an OSCAR app. Also, when you turn your attention to a paper app in chambers, you're seconds away from actually knowing whether the application is strong - there really isn't much time or a good reason to form an opinion about it just because it arrived in hard copy.

Like the OP indicated, if a judge has fairly strict grade cutoffs or only hires from certain schools, sending a paper app isn't going to get you around that; you do it in case the judge uses a filter on OSCAR just to winnow down the pool even though someone a little outside the filter's range might actually have a shot.

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:34 pm

The judge takes the letters of rec very seriously, but I'm not sure how we'd deal with the situation. If the grades and the other 2 letters are very strong, we'd probably take a look. I'm not at all sure if we'd nudge such a candidate though unless they were truly exceptional. There are too many qualified candidates to go chasing after individual ones.

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:37 pm

What are my SCOTUS chances after a CDCAL/NDCAL clerkship? I'm pretty serious about clerking for SCOTUS, and have a state court and federal appellate court clerkship lined up already. Looking to tack on a district court--probably SDNY--but considering CDCAL/NDCAL.

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What are my SCOTUS chances after a CDCAL/NDCAL clerkship? I'm pretty serious about clerking for SCOTUS, and have a state court and federal appellate court clerkship lined up already. Looking to tack on a district court--probably SDNY--but considering CDCAL/NDCAL.


This question makes no sense.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What are my SCOTUS chances after a CDCAL/NDCAL clerkship? I'm pretty serious about clerking for SCOTUS, and have a state court and federal appellate court clerkship lined up already. Looking to tack on a district court--probably SDNY--but considering CDCAL/NDCAL.

I'm not OP, but why do you think doing a district court clerkship on top of your other clerkships is going to make you more competitive for SCOTUS? (meaning no disrespect to CDCAL/NDCAL of course!)

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mjb447
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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby mjb447 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What are my SCOTUS chances after a CDCAL/NDCAL clerkship? I'm pretty serious about clerking for SCOTUS, and have a state court and federal appellate court clerkship lined up already. Looking to tack on a district court--probably SDNY--but considering CDCAL/NDCAL.

Yeah, if your SCOTUS chances aren't already good (i.e. top school, great grades, feeder clerkship), a C.D. Cal. or N.D.Cal. clerkship probably isn't going to do much for them.

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:12 pm

The above is right-- except for Charles Breyer, I don't think this will move the needle. My judge is exceptionally well regarded and long serving, for instance, but (s)he doesn't know any SCOTUS justices personally, and that's really what would make a difference.

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:01 pm

how does your Judge view law review? would top 5% grades at a T14 be severely hurt by lack of LR?

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:42 pm

Do you think you might get hurt in hiring by clerking on a less prestigious district than something like SDNY or DDC or ED Cal? Like if KVN or Kellogg Hansen or W&C has a candidate from SDNY or something, do you think they'll just pick them over you because their district is way more prestigious?

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:how does your Judge view law review? would top 5% grades at a T14 be severely hurt by lack of LR?



You would not be hurt severely, and maybe not be hurt at all. I hesitate to say LR doesn't matter at all to us, but it doesn't matter very much.

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you think you might get hurt in hiring by clerking on a less prestigious district than something like SDNY or DDC or ED Cal? Like if KVN or Kellogg Hansen or W&C has a candidate from SDNY or something, do you think they'll just pick them over you because their district is way more prestigious?



I'm not sure if this is a poor attempt at a troll, but I'm going to answer it as if it's a good faith question.

1) Do you mean NDCal? EDCal is Sacramento.

2) No. As I stated above we have clerk alums at all of those firms and their peers. I personally am also not concerned, because my credentials are as strong or stronger than most clerks on SDNY or DDC.

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rpupkin
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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you think you might get hurt in hiring by clerking on a less prestigious district than something like SDNY or DDC or ED Cal? Like if KVN or Kellogg Hansen or W&C has a candidate from SDNY or something, do you think they'll just pick them over you because their district is way more prestigious?

180 ED-Cal trolling.

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Re: CDCal/NDCal Clerk Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:35 pm

top 5% non LR poster from before, and applying to competitive districts. is there a reason you chose CD/ND Cal over SDNY/DDC (aside from personal reasons (ties, etc.))? You mentioned having better credentials than typical SDNY/DDC clerks. I was advised to blanket SDNY, DDC before applying to other districts.




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