State Supreme Court v. District Court for Future COA

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State Supreme Court v. District Court for Future COA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:20 pm

Hi All,

Current 2L at a T13. Decent grades but far from great (top third if I had to guess), main journal, and moot court. Very strong 2L SA offer at a DC firm that likely exceeds my grades/credentials.

I'd like to eventually go into appellate practice and am aware that COA clerskhips are seen as a pre-requisite at most of the decent appellate shops in DC. My CSO has informed me that I'm likely not competitive for a COA clerkship straight out of school due to grades and would likely need another clerkship if I wish to be competitive for COA. My ideal path would be clerkship #1, work for two years at my SA firm, then COA clerkship.

My main question is which would be more preferential for COA judges, Maryland Court of Appeals/Virginia Supreme Court or a Federal District Court Clerkship likely in DC, MD, or ED. VA.

Any advice or insight greatly appreciated.

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Re: State Supreme Court v. District Court for Future COA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi All,

Current 2L at a T13. Decent grades but far from great (top third if I had to guess), main journal, and moot court. Very strong 2L SA offer at a DC firm that likely exceeds my grades/credentials.

I'd like to eventually go into appellate practice and am aware that COA clerskhips are seen as a pre-requisite at most of the decent appellate shops in DC. My CSO has informed me that I'm likely not competitive for a COA clerkship straight out of school due to grades and would likely need another clerkship if I wish to be competitive for COA. My ideal path would be clerkship #1, work for two years at my SA firm, then COA clerkship.

My main question is which would be more preferential for COA judges, Maryland Court of Appeals/Virginia Supreme Court or a Federal District Court Clerkship likely in DC, MD, or ED. VA.

Any advice or insight greatly appreciated.

Judges are idiosyncratic but I'd guess that one of those districts would be a better resume line (for COA or anything else) than MD/VA supreme court in almost every case, with maybe the only exception being if you wanted to focus your appellate practice in one of those two states -- because then you'd be likely to go in front of that state's supreme court a lot.

But I have to say: all three of those districts are well above average as far as competitiveness, and I'd go so far as to say that DDC is probably more competitive than some out-of-the-way COAs. So to the extent you don't think you're COA-competitive, you might not want to put all your marbles on getting a spot at one of those..

BlackAndOrange84

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Re: State Supreme Court v. District Court for Future COA

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:48 pm

DDC isn't just more competitive than the least desirable COA clerkships, it's more competitive than many (maybe most) COA clerkships. EDVa is not far off of DDC, and while DMd doesn't really compare with DDC or even EDVa it's definitely more competitive than the average district court. If you're not super competitive for a COA, you're not likely to be very competitive for 2/3 of these, and so you're basically just playing the numbers game with a small number of judges in DMd—which is not a great way to land a clerkship.

If you want appellate practice, apply broadly for a district court than use that to get a COA gig. D.Ct. clerkship means a big bump with lots of COA judges, and a year or two of biglaw experience in the interim will help too. I second the notion that SSC is not going to be particularly helpful to you unless you want a state-based appellate practice (which isn't what you're looking for since you mentioned the appellate shops in DC). And I don't think they'd give you as significant a bump for a COA as a federal D.Ct.



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