Federal Circuit Clerkship

(Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities)
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Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:51 am

Federal Circuit Clerkship

Postby lawschoolkid0122 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:01 pm

Just wondering about clerk preferences from judges on the Federal Circuit. I know that some only hire from T-14 schools, while others only hire clerks who have clerked for a district court judge. Does anyone have any insight on this?


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Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:34 pm

Re: Federal Circuit Clerkship

Postby dvlthndr » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:23 am

The judges are pretty good about putting information on OSCAR. If they say they only hire people with prior district court experience, I would take them at their word. There might be exceptions here in there, but I suggest reaching out to alumni from your school that clerked on the CAFC and asking.

The "unique" feature of the CAFC is a general preference for clerks that have experience with patent law (since that is half their docket). Some judges are known to have a thing for hiring veterans or people with an interest in international trade... but they are in the minority relative to the patent people. To generalize a bit, the key is showing at least some interest in a field that falls in their subject matter jurisdiction.

As a final thought, keep in mind that this is still a COA. They might bend their standards relative to other appellate courts in order to pick out people with the right kind of background (e.g., they could go a little lower in the rankings or consider somebody on a secondary science journal if the applicant has the right graduate degrees and patent experience), but it is still hyper competitive. At the end of the day, the judges know that they can still afford to be extremely picky.

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