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Clerkship Chances as EIC?

Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:09 pm
by Anonymous User
I'm looking to apply widely to federal district court clerkships and perhaps a few COA clerkships starting either in 2021 or 2022. Going to a big firm in DC/NY/Chi this fall. T20/30 school, EIC of law review, but my grades are only about top 20-25% which I know on the low end for not being T14. I have decent letters from professors and past employers who are willing to make calls on my behalf, but I don't know if any of that is going to make up for not being at a T14 school or having lower grades. I would appreciate any advice.

Re: Clerkship Chances as EIC?

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:55 pm
by decimalsanddollars
It depends where you went and where you are. If you went to Illinois/NDLS and are doing Chicago biglaw, I think you'll do decently with district judges in Chicago and major cities in the upper Midwest. CA7 will be harder (many judges require certain schools like Easterbrook/UChicago) but you may have luck with recent appointees if you also have Fed Soc/Blackstone connections. If you went to a "T20/30" school somewhere like (for example) Alabama, Arizona, or Georgia, you probably have a better shot at district clerkship in the state or region where you went to school than anywhere else. COA chances depend somewhat on politics, but I do think your app will get read by some flyover COA judges, especially if the judge's circuit includes your school. Also note that NY and DC judges are extremely competitive for their respective levels.

Re: Clerkship Chances as EIC?

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:33 pm
by Anonymous User
decimalsanddollars wrote:It depends where you went and where you are. If you went to Illinois/NDLS and are doing Chicago biglaw, I think you'll do decently with district judges in Chicago and major cities in the upper Midwest. CA7 will be harder (many judges require certain schools like Easterbrook/UChicago) but you may have luck with recent appointees if you also have Fed Soc/Blackstone connections. If you went to a "T20/30" school somewhere like (for example) Alabama, Arizona, or Georgia, you probably have a better shot at district clerkship in the state or region where you went to school than anywhere else. COA chances depend somewhat on politics, but I do think your app will get read by some flyover COA judges, especially if the judge's circuit includes your school. Also note that NY and DC judges are extremely competitive for their respective levels.
Thanks. I'm not applying to any courts in NY or DC, but I'm planning to apply just about anywhere else.

Re: Clerkship Chances as EIC?

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:02 pm
by LBJ's Hair
I think it turns entirely on how the judge views EiC.

Some will think it's a huge deal. Some (like myself, were I a judge) won't really care---in which case you're a T20/T30 applicant with good-but-not-great grades. Not a profile that picks up interviews from COA/competitive districts.

Re: Clerkship Chances as EIC?

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:10 am
by Anonymous User
Bump. Any other advice?

Re: Clerkship Chances as EIC?

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:25 pm
by decimalsanddollars
Anonymous User wrote:Bump. Any other advice?
One quick thing I forgot to mention: check/research judges' requirements for law review/board and post-JD experience. Apply early to judges where you fit their preferences most closely. Many judges prefer or require post-JD practice experience, which you will have. Note that some judges basically only hire straight out of law school or have some otherwise prohibitive requirement (e.g. demonstrated public interest commitment or prior clerkship), so you should avoid applying to those.