1L fall and clerkship chances

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harveyrichards

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1L fall and clerkship chances

Post by harveyrichards » Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:04 pm

I am a 1L at HLS and received three H's and two P's (including LRW) during first semester. Based on what I've read, this seems to place me within roughly the top third of students. Does this seem right to you all, and does anyone have a sense of what this means in terms of clerkship opportunities? I haven't really talked about my grades much with classmates and don't have a great sense of what this means. Thanks in advance for your help!

Laserguy213

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Re: 1L fall and clerkship chances

Post by Laserguy213 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:23 pm

bumping because curious also

habeascorpses

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Re: 1L fall and clerkship chances

Post by habeascorpses » Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:13 pm

HLS has a general classification here: https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/ocs/jd-stu ... nav-grades

stupididiot

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Re: 1L fall and clerkship chances

Post by stupididiot » Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:08 pm

harveyrichards wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:04 pm
I am a 1L at HLS and received three H's and two P's (including LRW) during first semester. Based on what I've read, this seems to place me within roughly the top third of students. Does this seem right to you all, and does anyone have a sense of what this means in terms of clerkship opportunities? I haven't really talked about my grades much with classmates and don't have a great sense of what this means. Thanks in advance for your help!
Harvard OCS is a much better source for this question than TLS. Just given random variation, 3H/2P is probably top third but it doesnt mean much after a single semester. Median students (and even below median students) are fairly likely to have one semester where they were in the top 1/3 just based on statistical variations. All this is just to say that you dont need to worry about this now. If you have the same ratio after three+ semesters, then some conclusions about ability can (arguably) be drawn.

allezallez21

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Re: 1L fall and clerkship chances

Post by allezallez21 » Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:30 pm

So you've got a 3.66. After 3 years, top 40% (cum laude) is usually around 3.6-3.65. Assuming (not for sure though) that 1L curve is slightly less, then yes you are probably around the 70th percentile.

I agree with above that it's too early to say, you need more semesters. I disagree with above that the clerkship office is the place to go to get a realistic idea. They are just going to encourage you to apply and say you have better chances than you do (because they have nothing to lose and everything to gain re: clerkship rates for the school). Now, given the low cost of applications for clerkships for you, you should apply broadly and take your chance because you don't really have anything to lose either.

But, if you keep the 3:2 ratio of Hs to Ps moving forward, it will be very very hard to land a CoA, and still very hard to get a district court. Regardless of your grades, the most important thing is to connect with professors who will vouch for you to judges they know. That is your best shot.

Still, keep at it. You are in the running, and no matter what, if clerking is something you want to do, then broad applications, including a willingness to wait for a few years after graduation, will go a long way.

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breathedah

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Re: 1L fall and clerkship chances

Post by breathedah » Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:45 pm

Will stay vague because no anonymous replies in this forum.

First off, I strongly encourage you not to think about clerkships during 1L at all... it's neither helpful nor healthy, IMO. Unless that's literally the only thing that will get you to work hard in your classes and engage with professors, and then that would be its own issue.

But a few things given that OCS is somewhat famously not forthcoming about these questions and people's odds, given their incentives. You've probably seen their "factors to consider" page that has a (very loose, maybe a bit over-optimistic) take on what types of clerkships might be realistic for people in different grade bands. That will give you a general sense. Everything allezallez21 wrote is right on, as well.

To give at least one specific data point, I had same exact 1L fall grades, then my other pre-clerkship-application grades were straight H average (2 DS, 2 P). I ended up with 3 interviews after just under 100 applications: one toppish tier district court (think ND Cal/SDNY/ND Ill), one mid-tier district court (in Bo-Wash corridor but not NYC/Philly/DC area), one state supreme court. Got an offer from, and accepted, the first of those.

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Pneumonia

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Re: 1L fall and clerkship chances

Post by Pneumonia » Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:23 pm

The advice so far is solid IF AND ONLY IF you are ignoring the FedSoc pipeline.

If you are a FedSoc person (or a conservative or moderate willing to reach for that label), then your grades are fine for COA, and you are thinking about clerkships at the right time. You obviously don't have feeder grades, so it is a bit early to start applying. But you should be getting your recommendations in order (or "references," or whatever is possible depending on the profs you took classes from or are otherwise connected to via RA or Reading Groups). You should plan to have your apps ready to send right away once Spring grades come in.

If you are applying on-plan, then yeah, you need to focus on your grades and stop thinking about clerkships altogether until this time next year.

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