What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

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jwinaz
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What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby jwinaz » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:41 am

I'm aware that this question will vary depending upon the actual school/ranking, but just generally, how big or small of an option is a federal clerkship for law school graduates. Feel free to answer based on a more narrow school ranking range.

But, for example, in the T14, would it be over 10% possibly. I've read that these are very difficult positions to obtain, but have always wondered about the exact numbers. My intuitive guess was that it was around 5-8% of students getting them at good schools. And possibly 1% or less getting them outside of the T20 or so.

Am I about right?

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togepi
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby togepi » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:44 am

jwinaz wrote:I'm aware that this question will vary depending upon the actual school/ranking, but just generally, how big or small of an option is a federal clerkship for law school graduates. Feel free to answer based on a more narrow school ranking range.

But, for example, in the T14, would it be over 10% possibly. I've read that these are very difficult positions to obtain, but have always wondered about the exact numbers. My intuitive guess was that it was around 5-8% of students getting them at good schools. And possibly 1% or less getting them outside of the T20 or so.

Am I about right?


http://www.lawschooltransparency.com

Look up the school and look at the ABA and NALP data for the numbers you need.

jwinaz
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby jwinaz » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:00 am

togepi wrote:
jwinaz wrote:I'm aware that this question will vary depending upon the actual school/ranking, but just generally, how big or small of an option is a federal clerkship for law school graduates. Feel free to answer based on a more narrow school ranking range.

But, for example, in the T14, would it be over 10% possibly. I've read that these are very difficult positions to obtain, but have always wondered about the exact numbers. My intuitive guess was that it was around 5-8% of students getting them at good schools. And possibly 1% or less getting them outside of the T20 or so.

Am I about right?


http://www.lawschooltransparency.com

Look up the school and look at the ABA and NALP data for the numbers you need.


Oh. Had forgotten about LST. Thanks for reminding! Here're the T30-ish, since I'm browsing it atm...

Class of 2011: % in Federal Clerkships
Yale - 33.2%
Stanford - 23.4%
Harvard - 16.3%
Columbia - 8.1%
Chicago - 9.4%
NYU - 10.9%
UPenn - 9.1%
Berkeley - 9.7%
University of Virginia - 10.6%
University of Michigan - 10.6%
Duke - 11.1%
Northwestern - 8%
Cornell - 8%
Georgetown - 3.9%
UT-Austin - 7.1%
Vanderbilt - 10.1%
UCLA - 4.4%
USC - 4.3%
Emory - 6.7%
University of Minnesota - 4.2%
George Washington - 4.6%
Notre Dame - 5.3%
University of Washington - 1.6%
WUSTL - 3.8%
Washington & Lee - 7.8%
Arizona State University -
Boston University - 1.8%
Boston College - 3.9%
Indiana University - Bloomington - 4.6%
Fordham - 2.3%
University of Alabama - 8.5%
William & Mary - 7.4%


Does anyone know why the high rates at T30-ish schools like UA and W&M? I'm very interested in W&M and also Washington & Lee, given they are in my home state. But some of these lower T30 schools are closer to the T14 and actually even outperform Georgetown (which has a very low rate for some reason).

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:21 am

Sometimes high rates are a function of things like professors' connections and judges' alma maters - a couple more profs at school x who can pull strings to get students hired as clerks, or a few more judges in the local jurisdiction who went to school x rather than school y, can give school x an edge. Percentages can be misleading, too, when you're talking about smaller classes, where one or two more people make the percentage look very different. (Are these numbers for one year or multiple?)

jwinaz
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby jwinaz » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:51 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Sometimes high rates are a function of things like professors' connections and judges' alma maters - a couple more profs at school x who can pull strings to get students hired as clerks, or a few more judges in the local jurisdiction who went to school x rather than school y, can give school x an edge. Percentages can be misleading, too, when you're talking about smaller classes, where one or two more people make the percentage look very different. (Are these numbers for one year or multiple?)


Single year (2011).

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dingbat
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby dingbat » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:00 am

jwinaz wrote:Does anyone know why the high rates at T30-ish schools like UA and W&M? I'm very interested in W&M and also Washington & Lee, given they are in my home state. But some of these lower T30 schools are closer to the T14 and actually even outperform Georgetown (which has a very low rate for some reason).

Because a judge in Alabama would rather hire a grad from Alabama than some Yankee scum

exitoptions
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby exitoptions » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:03 am

Do these figures include alumni hiring?

drive4showLSAT4dough
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby drive4showLSAT4dough » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:12 am

I'm interested in how the Fed Clerkship % correlates with class rank at various schools. For instance, I doubt very much that Yale's 33% is exclusively its top-third students, but its probably more likely that BC's 4% are all drawn from the top 5% of the class.

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dingbat
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby dingbat » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:16 am

drive4showLSAT4dough wrote:I'm interested in how the Fed Clerkship % correlates with class rank at various schools. For instance, I doubt very much that Yale's 33% is exclusively its top-third students, but its probably more likely that BC's 4% are all drawn from the top 5% of the class.

Probably not. Yes, it's predominantly top students, but do is biglaw and I can imagine plenty of people prefer biglaw over clerkship. Combine those two statistics, then round generously to get rough cutoffs

exitoptions
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby exitoptions » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:30 am

dingbat wrote:
drive4showLSAT4dough wrote:I'm interested in how the Fed Clerkship % correlates with class rank at various schools. For instance, I doubt very much that Yale's 33% is exclusively its top-third students, but its probably more likely that BC's 4% are all drawn from the top 5% of the class.

Probably not. Yes, it's predominantly top students, but do is biglaw and I can imagine plenty of people prefer biglaw over clerkship. Combine those two statistics, then round generously to get rough cutoffs


This is right. For instance corporate/transactional people (including htose at the top of the class) usually have no interest in clerkships. Even for those people with an interest in clerking, there are so many variables that go into placement that some end up not doing it. A lot of the clerkships are in cities/towns that are not appealing to top students who would rather stay in the major markets. Also, some judges are hiring graduates with lower numbers but are otherwise appealing because of their experience/personality.

drive4showLSAT4dough
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby drive4showLSAT4dough » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:39 am

exitoptions wrote:
dingbat wrote:
drive4showLSAT4dough wrote:I'm interested in how the Fed Clerkship % correlates with class rank at various schools. For instance, I doubt very much that Yale's 33% is exclusively its top-third students, but its probably more likely that BC's 4% are all drawn from the top 5% of the class.

Probably not. Yes, it's predominantly top students, but do is biglaw and I can imagine plenty of people prefer biglaw over clerkship. Combine those two statistics, then round generously to get rough cutoffs


This is right. For instance corporate/transactional people (including htose at the top of the class) usually have no interest in clerkships. Even for those people with an interest in clerking, there are so many variables that go into placement that some end up not doing it. A lot of the clerkships are in cities/towns that are not appealing to top students who would rather stay in the major markets. Also, some judges are hiring graduates with lower numbers but are otherwise appealing because of their experience/personality.


I should have said "I assume its more likely that BC's Fed Clerks are drawn from the top of the class." But I hadn't considered the other factors in place, and am glad that my assumption may well be wrong. I want very much to clerk, but won't be attending a T3 school.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:44 am

exitoptions wrote:Do these figures include alumni hiring?

I don't think they do, because no one has to report numbers on alumni hiring to anyone (that I'm aware of).

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ndirish2010
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:14 am

That 5.3% number isn't gonna last long here. Only 5 people in my class (2013) got Article III (3 Circuit and 2 District) for 2013 (one got one for 2014). Five of six of these people are on law review. There was also one bankruptcy and one Article I court (do these count?). These were also LR people.

Post recession clerkship numbers have really taken a hit. There was one year not long ago that we had 26 Article III clerkships.

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dingbat
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby dingbat » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:20 am

ndirish2010 wrote:That 5.3% number isn't gonna last long here. Only 5 people in my class (2013) got Article III (3 Circuit and 2 District) for 2013 (one got one for 2014). Five of six of these people are on law review. There was also one bankruptcy and one Article I court (do these count?). These were also LR people.

Post recession clerkship numbers have really taken a hit. There was one year not long ago that we had 26 Article III clerkships.

More competition from better schools - trickle-down economics at work

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observationalist
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Re: What % of Class Gets Federal Clerkship?

Postby observationalist » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:38 am

Clerkship percentages, in general, are a horrible way to judge (pun intended) the comparative value of one law school over another. As A Nony Mouse and dingbat both said, clerkship hiring can have a lot more to do with connections than the merits of a student and/or law school reputation. But students still need to outperform their classmates to become eligible in most cases. As to the anomalies of why some schools seem to break away from their USNews rank, it's probably due to faculty connections, alumni assistance, or personal connections the students have built on their own (usually through nepotism). Some faculty place such a high level of importance on having students clerk that they routinely go to extra lengths to groom and then assist students in placing into Art III positions. Alumni judges and/or former clerks might also prefer to recruit from within the alumni network. At Vanderbilt for example, students who have the grades and disposition to potentially land an Art III gig (as determined by the faculty, most of whom did Art III clerkships themselves) end up being approached by multiple faculty over the benefits of doing so. Some of those faculty have maintained strong Art III ties and end up pushing really hard for certain individuals, which has definitely opened doors that would otherwise be closed to a Vandy grad. But using that added bump as a reliable metric on which to base your decision to choose Vanderbilt over say, Georgetown, however, is I think risky. I've always been proud of how Vandy manages to snag Art III gigs for students, but on other hand I really wish the faculty had a broader range of professional experiences and ties so that they could do the same for students who either don't have the credentials or the interest in pursuing Art III gigs. The top 10% of the class does not need nearly as much attention or assistance as everyone else. I would prefer to see an engaged faculty with a broad range professional experience who are willing to really help people. What you don't want is a faculty that only ends up helping out the top 5-10% of students they like the most, since those students are the ones that are most similar to the faculty.

Using other benchmarks, like the % of grads in full-time, long-term positions requiring bar passage, is a much better way of sorting programs and figuring out which ones are perhaps returning some value to a larger portion of their graduates. I say 'perhaps' and 'some' because determining value is really tricky and we don't know how many FT/LT jobs also had a salary, or if they had a salary how strong of a salary it was, and if so whether that salary allows those graduates to enter a normal repayment schedule to pay off the loans they took out to get that law degree, or if those jobs are in the market they had targeted or required relocation, etc etc.

A tricky business, and unfortunately we still don't have enough data (particularly longitudinal and aspirational data) to give better answers. G'luck to those trying to figure it out and please let us know if you see things on LST that you think could be improved.




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