Better to apply to essentially cherry-picked feeder judges if you're what we might think of as the upper tier of candidates (top 5 people at a t14, top 5% at HYS). If you're #1 at T14 or top few people at HYS your school will be working on your behalf aggressively.Anonymous User wrote:Echoing all the above, thank you a ton for doing this.
About grades - If you're in, say, top 5% at HYS, how much does it matter whether you are around 5% versus around 2%? Does it mostly come down to other factors at that point?
About applying to the various circuits - I see why it's difficult to target specific judges. But how important is D.C. Circuit versus Second? Second versus Ninth? Ninth versus Seventh? Etc. I know the obvious answer is that it really comes down to the judge in question (e.g., someone like Reinhardt is obviously different from some other Ninth Circuit judge sitting in, say Phoenix). But since it's a lot harder to place your bets on any particular judge than to focus on certain circuits, how important is it to prioritize the circuits? If at all.
Re: blanketing circuits. I know a lot of people like to separate out circuits into tiers. I think this is nonsense for the most part. CADC is the only difference that matters. CA2 is more competitive to get, but that's because of the desirability of NYC biglaw jobs, not because SCOTUS cares about CA2 vs, e.g., CA8, or CA4, or wherever. If you aren't clerking for a feeder, by which I mean a judge that has sent 10 or more clerks in the last 15 years, then it kind of doesn't matter. Tiebreaker goes to chief judges, or recent chief judges. Chiefs have a lot more to do with their circuit justices and SCOTUS in general. Prioritizing feeder judges (and chiefs, or recent chiefs, who have relationships) helps. Otherwise care about DC and don't care otherwise. The idea that CA9 or CA2 are better for you than CA7 or CA5 is silly, except that CA9 and CA2 have a couple more feeders. But to attribute that to California or New York geographically misunderstands the whole process.