Anonymous User wrote:What grades does one need from YS for CDCal/NDCal?
May not be helpful and discount as appropriate: I’m a YLS grad who clerked (recently) on CA9; did interviews with NDCA and CDCA judges before accepting 9th Cir clerkship. Have also had many conversations with clerks involved in hiring for a few of these judges. Please don’t quote the below.
Anecdotally, grade competitiveness will depend a lot on the judge. For the more “prestigious” judges—Chhabria and Koh in particular, and maybe to a lesser extent Fitzgerald and Kronstadt in CDCA—you basically need the same grades as you would for a desirable 9th Cir judge. (Indeed, my sense is that most of those judges’ clerks also clerk for desirable 9th Cir judges.) This is all a bit mixed up now that hiring is happening so early. If you’re applying from YLS after 1L spring, my sense is that 0-1 Ps would make you competitive for all of these prestigious judges. If applying later, I would want to have roughly 2/3 or better Hs.
For the slightly less “prestigious” but still plenty desirable judges (think Seeborg, Tiger, Orrick, Birotte, etc.), my sense is that as long as you’re very roughly in the range of 50% Hs, you’re competitive if not a lock.
For other judges, things will look like they do for less prestigious Circuit/District clerkships generally from YLS: lots of luck, professor/geographic ties matter, work experience might help, but as long as you are making a halfway reasonable effort grades-wise (say, 1/3 Hs or better) you’re a live candidate.
All the “prestige” distinctions above reflect a rough approximation of YLS herd wisdom and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. There are judges listed above I wouldn’t want to clerk for and plenty of judges not listed who would be awesome people to clerk for, great mentors, etc. And generally, take this with a big grain of salt; this reflects my anecdotal experience and conversations with clerks.