Federal clerkship chances after attending tier 2 school.

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Sweatshorts

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Federal clerkship chances after attending tier 2 school.

Postby Sweatshorts » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:46 pm

What's up guys. So I wanted to get some feed back on my chances of landing a federal clerkship at the district level (non-MJ) anywhere in the country. I went to tier 2 school (90-100 range), graduated top 13% (honors), Law Review, and I'm currently working in big law. I know that my school cuts against my chances, but considering that I'll have a couple of years of big law experience under my belt, and that I graduated with honors and was on LR, what do you think? Thanks!

FascinatedWanderer

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Re: Federal clerkship chances after attending tier 2 school.

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:45 pm

You may have some luck if you apply to the district in which your school was located, if there are alumni who can help. Perhaps you could also get lucky if any judges happen to be alumni of your school.

In general though, I'd expect you to need to be valedictorian from a school of that range to land an AIII clerkship.

Sweatshorts

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Re: Federal clerkship chances after attending tier 2 school.

Postby Sweatshorts » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:54 pm

FascinatedWanderer wrote:You may have some luck if you apply to the district in which your school was located, if there are alumni who can help. Perhaps you could also get lucky if any judges happen to be alumni of your school.

In general though, I'd expect you to need to be valedictorian from a school of that range to land an AIII clerkship.


That's what I was afraid of, but thanks for the insight anyway.

BlackAndOrange84

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Re: Federal clerkship chances after attending tier 2 school.

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:01 am

FascinatedWanderer wrote:You may have some luck if you apply to the district in which your school was located, if there are alumni who can help. Perhaps you could also get lucky if any judges happen to be alumni of your school.

In general though, I'd expect you to need to be valedictorian from a school of that range to land an AIII clerkship.


I think the last sentence is off the mark. I agree you'll have a better chance with judges local to your school or less competitive districts to which you have geographic ties, but alumni hiring is just a very different game. Two years of biglaw work experience can be a big boost. I'd think you have a very decent shot if you apply broadly and play the numbers game.

ETA: You have a very decent shot assuming you've got good recs from your work.

timmyd

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Re: Federal clerkship chances after attending tier 2 school.

Postby timmyd » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:50 am

Last sentence very off the mark. I mean, itcwould better to have been top 10% just because a lot of judges use it as a cut off, but I think if you apply broadly after two years of good lit experience, you have a decent chance.

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Re: Federal clerkship chances after attending tier 2 school.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:57 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Federal clerkship chances after attending tier 2 school.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:18 pm

I went to a T2 school. My study partner was top 25%, Law Review, and got a clerkship for a federal district court judge in the district where the school is located (big city district). Alumni connections made the difference.

During her 3L year, she externed for a (different) judge and made friends with the clerks, especially alum who were currently clerking for other judges in the same district, and got an interview with one judge and almost got the clerkship (the clerk friend told her that it was between two people and the other person got it). A couple of months later the clerk reached out to to let her know that a current 2-year clerk for another judge got their term shortened to 1-year and the judge was going to be hiring soon and doing so on short notice. The judge decided, instead of posting the position on OSCAR and going through a full hiring cycle, to reach out to the other judges' chambers in that district for recommendations of candidates that were worth hiring but barely missed the cut. Her clerk friend recommended her and told her to send in an updated application packet ASAP, which she put together the next day. Got an interview 2 days later and an offer the day after that. She literally went from planning to work for the firm where she summered at, with no clerkship applications pending, to putting together a packet and getting a clerkship offer in 5 days. I'm trying to remember when exactly this happened, and I think it happened while we were in bar prep.

Alumni clerk making sure she was in the right place at the right time + fellow judge that she externed for liked her and gave a positive review.

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Re: Federal clerkship chances after attending tier 2 school.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:03 am

I finished In the top 7% of my TTTT. Hustled, landed a Big Law SA in another state. Returned to the firm after graduating, worked in the litigation group for 3 years. Started selectively applying to D. Ct. Judges in my city during my second year. Probably submitted ~ 5 applications; received 2 interviews; and got 1 offer. Kicker was a “very strong” recommendation from my firm’s practice group head. Like the others said, it’s just a numbers game.

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Re: Federal clerkship chances after attending tier 2 school.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:52 am

I attend a school in the same range as OP. I accepted an offer for a district court clerkship for 2020. I'll go back to my SA biglaw firm for two years then clerk. The clerkship was in geographical proximity to my school. I am top 5%, LR, and moot court.

There are generally 1-2 students per year who clerk from my school, so its possible but not easy. I sent around 75 applications - and only got 2 interviews (both with judges I had connections with through my school/location). If I hadn't gotten the one I did get, I would have re-applied once I started working.



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