Thoughts on some schools for conlaw, appellate, & admin law?

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freddy123
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Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:06 pm

Thoughts on some schools for conlaw, appellate, & admin law?

Postby freddy123 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:07 pm

This post might be a little unfocused, so please bare with me. I wanted to get everyone's thoughts on four schools as they related to perhaps pursuing a career in constitutional law or appellate lit. At this point I am pretty interesting in conlaw, appellate litigation, and administrative/regulatory law. Four of the schools I have been looking at inclulde:

Boston Universtiy, Emory, Washington&Lee, and William&Mary. I am from Florida, but I figured UF Law wouldn't be a good option for any of the above. I would like to clerk after law school, so I figured that could [possibly] offset the non T-14 status of my law school.

Any insight you could provide would be great!

Thanks,

Freddy

wired
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:29 pm

Re: Thoughts on some schools for conlaw, appellate, & admin law?

Postby wired » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:43 pm

The main avenues to doing federal appellate work are through a big firm with an appellate practice or going into government work and hoping you can land in an appellate section eventually. Since appellate work is "sexy law," both of these are INCREDIBLY hard to do. Even if you are hired by a big firm, you won't be able to say, "Hey, I'd like to do appellate work," on your first day expect to get anything.


A clerkship, particularly with a COA judge, is the best avenue you have. It looks like you recognize that.

Boston University has lower clerkship placement than the other three you have listed - 1%. (They placed three in a graduating class of 299.) This is probably for a few reasons, biggest of which is that it doesn't get a regional preference because it is regionally competing against Harvard and Yale.

The other three are kind of a wash. W&M has 4.2% placement, Emory has 5.8%, and W&L has 6.6%. Note that W&L has an incredibly small class size (125), even compared with the already small Emory (220) and W&M (200). This kind of skews their numbers a bit. W&L actually placed the same number of clerks as W&M (9) while Emory placed the most (13).

In that regard, you are kind of looking at a wash in terms of the edge they give you in succeeding to get a clerkship. Emory might give you a small edge in obtaining a clerkship. All of this, of course, is dependent on you getting great grades. None of them will really give you a great chance at COA, but they do you give an okay chance at district clerkships.

Of the schools themselves, I don't see any providing you a real advantage as a path into appellate work. My intuition thinks that Emory might give you a slight advantage since there is probably less competition for appellate work in the Southeast than there is in the D.C. market where W&M and W&L feed. Pedagogically, all of them will do the same thing for you.

Edit: Source: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=75513

freddy123
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:06 pm

Re: Thoughts on some schools for conlaw, appellate, & admin law?

Postby freddy123 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:05 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I would love to hear anyone else's thoughts if people have the time.

ScaredWorkedBored
Posts: 409
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Thoughts on some schools for conlaw, appellate, & admin law?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:21 pm

I'm asuming you mean federal court appellate practice. Anyone can (and does) do state appeals.

Actual appellate group at big firm or apellate boutique = best school available, best grades at that school, clerkship mandatory, federal CoA clerkship preferred. Either that or very long, very successful track record as a litigator.

blsingindisguise
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Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Thoughts on some schools for conlaw, appellate, & admin law?

Postby blsingindisguise » Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:23 am

There's virtually no such thing as a "career in Constitutional Law"




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