Geortumpen wrote:I'm not sure if this has already been answered elsewhere, and I apologize if it has. Here goes:
1. I'm going straight in to HLS school from undergrad. I'm worried though that all the people that have taken time off before law school will have all those extra years of accomplishments to brag about when they apply for clerkships, law firm jobs, and SCOTUS clerkships. Is this a serious disadvantage to me? Generally speaking, if you want a SCOTUS clerkship, feeder clerkship, or really top-tier firm is it a good idea to take gap years before law school, and what sort of things should you seek to do in those gap years?
2. A lot has been made of having professors/deans/judges "go to bat for you" to get clerkship recs. Obviously this entails getting said professors/deans/judges to like you, and this entails interacting with them and creating relationships. Some of this I'm sure will happen naturally (i.e. you have a class with said professor and thus naturally form a relationship). But other times it will likely have to be purposeful on one's part. Here's my question-- do Professors/Deans/Judges ever make a concerted effort to block people from getting COA or SCOTUS clerkships? Because if they rarely will do anything BAD to keep you from getting a clerkship, then the risk of approaching/networking with a professor is essentially 0. But if they do often block people then this makes the manner in which you approach and network much more important.
Yea, you need to stop mentioning SCOTUS in everything you type here. It's so adorable - I love 0L naivety.
Re 1: Going straight through will not hurt you for clerkships, and its effect is small in EIP. Having interesting work experience can be a plus, but not having any going into EIP isn't actively a minus for a student. If you have the grades and can interview well, then it won't be a problem.
Re 2: Yes, I have heard of professors actively blocking students from clerkships. It is rare though and the student had to actively fuck up the relationship. Don't do shitty RA work for a professor and then turn around and ask them to recommend you for a COA judge. He/she is going to be honest and/or damn you with faint praise.