Appellate Law/Clerkships

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yomisterd
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Appellate Law/Clerkships

Postby yomisterd » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:24 pm

Does anyone know which schools have the best success preparing students and getting them into judicial clerkships? I know that Yale, Harvard, and Chicago have a large percentage of their graduating class go into clerkships, but I was curious if there are any programs in particular that specialize in appellate/Supreme Court law.

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ph14
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Re: Appellate Law/Clerkships

Postby ph14 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:29 pm

yomisterd wrote:Does anyone know which schools have the best success preparing students and getting them into judicial clerkships? I know that Yale, Harvard, and Chicago have a large percentage of their graduating class go into clerkships, but I was curious if there are any programs in particular that specialize in appellate/Supreme Court law.


1. Go to the best school you get into.
2. The best schools are the best at getting them into judicial clerkships. Although it's probably not the biggest deal. If you are good enough to get a clerkship from Chicago, you will be good enough to get a clerkship from NYU and Columbia.
3. Some schools have Supreme Court litigation clinics, I know that Harvard and Stanford do.
4. How do you even know you want to do appellate/Supreme Court law? Perhaps you should get through a few years of law school and then figure out what you want to do.
5. Supreme Court litigation, and to a lesser extent federal appellate litigation in general, is dominated by Supreme Court and Court of Appeals clerks. School is less important than the clerkship for that practice area.
6. There's no need to pick a school that has a program that "specialize[s] in appellate/Supreme Court law." They're all very similar in terms of instruction and preparation for appellate litigation.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Appellate Law/Clerkships

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:33 pm

Pretty much everything you read in law school is appellate/Supreme Court law...

I don't mean that to sound snarky, but your question seems to conflate 2 things: clerkship placement and academic programs. Nothing about what you take in law school really affects your chances at appellate clerkships. (For one thing, if you're talking about SCOTUS clerkships, that's a huge black box requiring tip-top qualifications and convincing the right people to go to bat for you; it's also such a tiny tiny percentage of law school grads that it would be unproductive for any school to try to offer any kind of "specialization" in it. Even COA clerkships go to a pretty small percentage of law students.) Schools with good clerkship placement are valuable places to be because it probably means they have more professors who have helpful connections, and who are willing to work those connections, than schools with lower placement rates. But there's nothing about the classes they take or the academic programs they offer that gives clerkship applicants an advantage.

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ph14
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Re: Appellate Law/Clerkships

Postby ph14 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:36 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Pretty much everything you read in law school is appellate/Supreme Court law...

I don't mean that to sound snarky, but your question seems to conflate 2 things: clerkship placement and academic programs. Nothing about what you take in law school really affects your chances at appellate clerkships. (For one thing, if you're talking about SCOTUS clerkships, that's a huge black box requiring tip-top qualifications and convincing the right people to go to bat for you; it's also such a tiny tiny percentage of law school grads that it would be unproductive for any school to try to offer any kind of "specialization" in it. Even COA clerkships go to a pretty small percentage of law students.) Schools with good clerkship placement are valuable places to be because it probably means they have more professors who have helpful connections, and who are willing to work those connections, than schools with lower placement rates. But there's nothing about the classes they take or the academic programs they offer that gives clerkship applicants an advantage.


This might be a chicken and egg type deal.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Appellate Law/Clerkships

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:38 pm

Yeah, that's true - couldn't think how to word that best.

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ph14
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Re: Appellate Law/Clerkships

Postby ph14 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:40 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Yeah, that's true - couldn't think how to word that best.


I completely agree with your post though.

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yomisterd
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Re: Appellate Law/Clerkships

Postby yomisterd » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:33 pm

Thank you both for the advice. I kind of figured that it doesn't quite matter what particular classes I take, outside of participating in Supreme Court Clinics. But I wanted to see if anyone had insight I don't have access to as a non-law schooler.

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kalvano
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Re: Appellate Law/Clerkships

Postby kalvano » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:10 pm

I hope this isn't the reason you're going to law school, because getting a clerkship at all, let alone COA or SCOTUS is insanely competitive.

So is any type of job that gives you a shot at arguing in front of the Supreme Court.

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yomisterd
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Re: Appellate Law/Clerkships

Postby yomisterd » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:24 pm

kalvano wrote:I hope this isn't the reason you're going to law school, because getting a clerkship at all, let alone COA or SCOTUS is insanely competitive.

So is any type of job that gives you a shot at arguing in front of the Supreme Court.


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