Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:At my HYS I know of Fed Soc 2Ls who have Grant, Wilkinson, and Pryor clerkships. I’d imagine some of them would be amenable to applications (although they may require 1.5 semesters of grades, not sure)
Yeah; the judges sometimes have conflicting (or no) information on OSCAR. "I follow the plan. Also, only 1 year of grades required." Okay.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:11 pm

decimalsanddollars wrote:
stupididiot wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The judges who hire 1Ls are primarily feeders (who you would know if you had a chance for)...
Kind of related question from a lost 1L-- how important is FedSoc (or whatever the liberal counterpart is) if your grades are good? I assume my 1L grades are good enough for feeders (think half DS, other half H), but I have been essentially told to wait until 2L before applying to any clerkships (granted, I know this year is different because of the P/F fall).

Dont really care about feeders but would be nice to lock down a good clerkship 1L. I am not politically involved at all- does this preclude me? In other words, if grades are good enough do i STILL need to be involved in the stupid political clubs?
Smith and Costa don't really care about fed soc, but the trend is that most judges hiring way far out are fed soc-focused judges. A lot of great judges don't care about political clubs, but most of them are on the Plan.
Costa's a straight-up liberal so if anything it might be a detriment.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know any other specific judges? The only ones I could find for sure from OSCAR are Smith, Ho, and Elrod. Not sure whether only requiring 1 year of grades = 1Ls are welcome to apply, especially given P/F this semester.
At my HYS I know of Fed Soc 2Ls who have Grant, Wilkinson, and Pryor clerkships. I’d imagine some of them would be amenable to applications (although they may require 1.5 semesters of grades, not sure)
Virtually all FedSoc members at Chicago get federal appellate clerkships after 1L. A whole ton of FedSoc judges hire early (like maybe 50), not just feeders. Think every Trump appellate judge. Plus some whole circuits like the 8th. Choose your favorite and they're probably off-plan. Get your FedSoc chapter to hook you up, though it might be different this year.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:55 pm

Just to echo the above comments for emphasis, at my HYS being in fed soc makes the process infinitely smoother. It’s a different world, with different rules. For the rest of us, the clerkship process is often a black box filled with judges who don’t post their hiring information and little information about judges’ idiosyncratic hiring preferences. Not so for conservatives on the fed soc email list. One fed soc person in my class got a clerkship 1L spring, and I can think of one or two others who got theirs during 2L. (We’re 3Ls now, so the first class of people living under the plan.) I’m sure those judges still care about grades, but information alone is powerful.

Don’t read resentment into this comment; they’ve really built an incredible machine. It’s a great time to be a conservative law student at an elite school.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:30 pm

I hope I can anonymously provide some useful data regarding how clerkships are run in my FedSoc chapter at YLS. At Yale, many conservative 1Ls will apply to judges without any grades (due to our credit/ no credit first semester). While it's not clear what criteria judges use, my sense is that the FedSoc executive board relays information regarding applicants directly to chambers. Judges who have recently hired my fellow 1Ls without grades include Thapar (CA6), Grant (CA11), Pryor (CA11), Katsas (CADC). These judges move early to hire conservative YLS students and there are basically zero fedsoc members who do not have clerkships by the time they start their 2L Fall semester (assuming they want to clerk). Let me be clear, this is not a meritocracy. Also of note, many conservative judges who sit in Circuits that are notionally "on the plan" will hire 1Ls (e.g. Judges Park & Menashi in CA2).

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:53 pm

Note that there are a significant number of Fed Soc judges who'll hire liberals, even Thapar even though he's at the upper right corner of a chart of ideology and selectivity, so applying early can also make sense if you're a liberal willing to work for a conservative.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:40 am

T14 FedSoc member here. Where are these lists of judges hiring early/how to apply for my chapter because we sure don't have them

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:T14 FedSoc member here. Where are these lists of judges hiring early/how to apply for my chapter because we sure don't have them
Not in Fed Soc so maybe the Yalie will give better advice but I’d say to talk to the Fed Soc president at your school or any 2L or 3L in Fed Soc you’re friendly with, plus your clerkship office (assuming they’re cooperative unlike eg Harvard), they should be happy to help. Unless you’re in 2/7/9/DC most GOP-appointed judges probably will consider 1Ls, and even in those circuits some will.

(I’m actually really surprised feeders on the scale of Katsas, Thapar, and Pryor take Y students without grades, it seems like that’s a big risk if they end up being not SCOTUS-level and that makes it a wasted spot for a top 10% kid from another school).

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:16 am

There may be a difference between HYS + C versus others to be fair. As the earlier poster mentioned, people at Y are locking down feeders without grades. I'd imagine FedSoc at Y has the highest SCOTUS clerk + feeder/famous judge ratio of clerks to organization members compared to any organization at any law school; with maybe S or C coming in at second

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:53 pm

YLS 1L here again. I received all information regarding who to apply to from YLS FedSoc's president--she's been very helpful. If you are at a T14 whose FedSoc chapter is not advising you about which judges to apply to now, it may simply be that these judges are not hiring 1Ls from your school. Or alternatively, your FedSoc chapter isn't including you in the clerkship process. I'm not trying to defend these practices--being a conservative at YLS made the clerkship process insanely (and honestly unfairly) easy. But at least from my perspective, the entire clerkship game is not based on merit, but connections.

I can't reiterate this enough: obtaining a feeder clerkship (at least through YLS FedSoc) is not at all based on merit. It's largely based on who the FedSoc chapter recommends. My experience has been that as long as you arrive at YLS willing to fully buy-in to the FedSoc perspective on law, obtaining a feeder clerkship such as Thapar, Pryor, Katsas, etc. is relatively straightforward.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:YLS 1L here again. I received all information regarding who to apply to from YLS FedSoc's president--she's been very helpful. If you are at a T14 whose FedSoc chapter is not advising you about which judges to apply to now, it may simply be that these judges are not hiring 1Ls from your school. Or alternatively, your FedSoc chapter isn't including you in the clerkship process. I'm not trying to defend these practices--being a conservative at YLS made the clerkship process insanely (and honestly unfairly) easy. But at least from my perspective, the entire clerkship game is not based on merit, but connections.

I can't reiterate this enough: obtaining a feeder clerkship (at least through YLS FedSoc) is not at all based on merit. It's largely based on who the FedSoc chapter recommends. My experience has been that as long as you arrive at YLS willing to fully buy-in to the FedSoc perspective on law, obtaining a feeder clerkship such as Thapar, Pryor, Katsas, etc. is relatively straightforward.

Person complaining from before. I have a 4.0 at a T14 and our chapter president and officers do have ins with some judges, but they are the judges everybody already knows about on the entire 5th and 8th circuit. That is not nothing, but it also is not the same as getting clerkships with feeders, especially feeders that purport they are on the Plan/only hire people with other clerkships, without any grades. I believe I will get a clerkship at some point just by mass mailing across the country - but this entire process is very frustrating.

These special connections really seem like a HYSC FedSoc specific factor, my friends at NYU, Columbia, Berkeley, and Penn also have no idea when anyone is hiring.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:YLS 1L here again. I received all information regarding who to apply to from YLS FedSoc's president--she's been very helpful. If you are at a T14 whose FedSoc chapter is not advising you about which judges to apply to now, it may simply be that these judges are not hiring 1Ls from your school. Or alternatively, your FedSoc chapter isn't including you in the clerkship process. I'm not trying to defend these practices--being a conservative at YLS made the clerkship process insanely (and honestly unfairly) easy. But at least from my perspective, the entire clerkship game is not based on merit, but connections.

I can't reiterate this enough: obtaining a feeder clerkship (at least through YLS FedSoc) is not at all based on merit. It's largely based on who the FedSoc chapter recommends. My experience has been that as long as you arrive at YLS willing to fully buy-in to the FedSoc perspective on law, obtaining a feeder clerkship such as Thapar, Pryor, Katsas, etc. is relatively straightforward.

Person complaining from before. I have a 4.0 at a T14 and our chapter president and officers do have ins with some judges, but they are the judges everybody already knows about on the entire 5th and 8th circuit. That is not nothing, but it also is not the same as getting clerkships with feeders, especially feeders that purport they are on the Plan/only hire people with other clerkships, without any grades. I believe I will get a clerkship at some point just by mass mailing across the country - but this entire process is very frustrating.

These special connections really seem like a HYSC FedSoc specific factor, my friends at NYU, Columbia, Berkeley, and Penn also have no idea when anyone is hiring.
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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Goldie » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:YLS 1L here again. I received all information regarding who to apply to from YLS FedSoc's president--she's been very helpful. If you are at a T14 whose FedSoc chapter is not advising you about which judges to apply to now, it may simply be that these judges are not hiring 1Ls from your school. Or alternatively, your FedSoc chapter isn't including you in the clerkship process. I'm not trying to defend these practices--being a conservative at YLS made the clerkship process insanely (and honestly unfairly) easy. But at least from my perspective, the entire clerkship game is not based on merit, but connections.

I can't reiterate this enough: obtaining a feeder clerkship (at least through YLS FedSoc) is not at all based on merit. It's largely based on who the FedSoc chapter recommends. My experience has been that as long as you arrive at YLS willing to fully buy-in to the FedSoc perspective on law, obtaining a feeder clerkship such as Thapar, Pryor, Katsas, etc. is relatively straightforward.

Person complaining from before. I have a 4.0 at a T14 and our chapter president and officers do have ins with some judges, but they are the judges everybody already knows about on the entire 5th and 8th circuit. That is not nothing, but it also is not the same as getting clerkships with feeders, especially feeders that purport they are on the Plan/only hire people with other clerkships, without any grades. I believe I will get a clerkship at some point just by mass mailing across the country - but this entire process is very frustrating.

These special connections really seem like a HYSC FedSoc specific factor, my friends at NYU, Columbia, Berkeley, and Penn also have no idea when anyone is hiring.
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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:YLS 1L here again. I received all information regarding who to apply to from YLS FedSoc's president--she's been very helpful. If you are at a T14 whose FedSoc chapter is not advising you about which judges to apply to now, it may simply be that these judges are not hiring 1Ls from your school. Or alternatively, your FedSoc chapter isn't including you in the clerkship process. I'm not trying to defend these practices--being a conservative at YLS made the clerkship process insanely (and honestly unfairly) easy. But at least from my perspective, the entire clerkship game is not based on merit, but connections.

I can't reiterate this enough: obtaining a feeder clerkship (at least through YLS FedSoc) is not at all based on merit. It's largely based on who the FedSoc chapter recommends. My experience has been that as long as you arrive at YLS willing to fully buy-in to the FedSoc perspective on law, obtaining a feeder clerkship such as Thapar, Pryor, Katsas, etc. is relatively straightforward.
Who the feeders are is also based on pretty random connections because the current Court, minus Thomas, all come from a very insular DC/NY crowd. I’m actually curious how Thapar managed to become so prominent with a very good but not phenomenal resume, no SCOTUS clerkship, no HYSC, and a base in Cincinnati. I’ve seen him speak and I can imagine him being a great networker though.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:18 pm

My CCN FedSoc chapter seems to be unaware that Katsas, for example, is hiring -- does he have an HYS requirement for 1L apps? There seem to be internal uncertainty about which judges notionally on the plan are in fact on the plan for 2nd/DC.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:49 pm

YLS 1L here. As far as Thapar, I'm not sure why he's become a feeder. But he recruits at YLS extraordinarily early and tries to snag the "top" conservative students very early on (of course, how we determine who is at the top without grades is another issue...). In the year above me, I believe 3 rising 3Ls are clerking for Thapar and all were hired around February/March of their 1L year. I imagine that part of his goal in moving so early is to hire some of the most promising YLS conservatives to improve his ability to feed to SCOTUS.

As far as Katsas (and any other judges), we weren't told anything about whether or not they are only hiring HYS students. I'd imagine you could call chambers and ask if he is still open for 2022?

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:YLS 1L here. As far as Thapar, I'm not sure why he's become a feeder. But he recruits at YLS extraordinarily early and tries to snag the "top" conservative students very early on (of course, how we determine who is at the top without grades is another issue...). In the year above me, I believe 3 rising 3Ls are clerking for Thapar and all were hired around February/March of their 1L year. I imagine that part of his goal in moving so early is to hire some of the most promising YLS conservatives to improve his ability to feed to SCOTUS.

As far as Katsas (and any other judges), we weren't told anything about whether or not they are only hiring HYS students. I'd imagine you could call chambers and ask if he is still open for 2022?
Thapar is just an aggressive self-promoter, and one way you become a prominent judge is to be a feeder judge. Early on as a district judge, he was pairing up with feeder judges like Sutton, Kethledge, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh. He always hired extraordinarily early, so some of his most recent clerks signed up to clerk with him on the district court and thus ended up with two circuit clerkships (sometimes two Sixth Circuit clerkships; Thapar + Sutton or Thapar + Kethledge). So he became a feeder early on, at least, because his clerks also clerked for an established feeder. He may now be established enough that he feeds on his own, but also may not be.

As for Katsas, I believe he's hired at least one 2023 clerk, so he's probably not still hiring for 2022.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:YLS 1L here again. I received all information regarding who to apply to from YLS FedSoc's president--she's been very helpful. If you are at a T14 whose FedSoc chapter is not advising you about which judges to apply to now, it may simply be that these judges are not hiring 1Ls from your school. Or alternatively, your FedSoc chapter isn't including you in the clerkship process. I'm not trying to defend these practices--being a conservative at YLS made the clerkship process insanely (and honestly unfairly) easy. But at least from my perspective, the entire clerkship game is not based on merit, but connections.

I can't reiterate this enough: obtaining a feeder clerkship (at least through YLS FedSoc) is not at all based on merit. It's largely based on who the FedSoc chapter recommends. My experience has been that as long as you arrive at YLS willing to fully buy-in to the FedSoc perspective on law, obtaining a feeder clerkship such as Thapar, Pryor, Katsas, etc. is relatively straightforward.

Person complaining from before. I have a 4.0 at a T14 and our chapter president and officers do have ins with some judges, but they are the judges everybody already knows about on the entire 5th and 8th circuit. That is not nothing, but it also is not the same as getting clerkships with feeders, especially feeders that purport they are on the Plan/only hire people with other clerkships, without any grades. I believe I will get a clerkship at some point just by mass mailing across the country - but this entire process is very frustrating.

These special connections really seem like a HYSC FedSoc specific factor, my friends at NYU, Columbia, Berkeley, and Penn also have no idea when anyone is hiring.
I'm not sure if you mean your Fed Soc friends at those schools, or your non-Fed Soc friends at those schools. I can tell you that in my experience at S, the school never communicates information to the general student body about who is hiring, aside from non-Art. III jobs and temporary clerk positions. If you're one of the Anointed Ones with incredible grades, or maybe if you're really cozy with the right professors and proactive about reaching out to them with targeted inquiries, you can get that information yourself. The key is understanding how the process works and playing the game from early on. Otherwise, my sense is we're shooting in the dark to a significant extent. Or at least I have been.

/rant, sorry.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2020 12:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:11 am
Anonymous User wrote:T14 FedSoc member here. Where are these lists of judges hiring early/how to apply for my chapter because we sure don't have them
Not in Fed Soc so maybe the Yalie will give better advice but I’d say to talk to the Fed Soc president at your school or any 2L or 3L in Fed Soc you’re friendly with, plus your clerkship office (assuming they’re cooperative unlike eg Harvard), they should be happy to help. Unless you’re in 2/7/9/DC most GOP-appointed judges probably will consider 1Ls, and even in those circuits some will.

(I’m actually really surprised feeders on the scale of Katsas, Thapar, and Pryor take Y students without grades, it seems like that’s a big risk if they end up being not SCOTUS-level and that makes it a wasted spot for a top 10% kid from another school).
With some knowledge on this from my chambers, I can say that the competitive judges readily can find out your 1st semester Y "grades"; YLS professors shadow grade like crazy.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2020 1:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:28 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:YLS 1L here again. I received all information regarding who to apply to from YLS FedSoc's president--she's been very helpful. If you are at a T14 whose FedSoc chapter is not advising you about which judges to apply to now, it may simply be that these judges are not hiring 1Ls from your school. Or alternatively, your FedSoc chapter isn't including you in the clerkship process. I'm not trying to defend these practices--being a conservative at YLS made the clerkship process insanely (and honestly unfairly) easy. But at least from my perspective, the entire clerkship game is not based on merit, but connections.

I can't reiterate this enough: obtaining a feeder clerkship (at least through YLS FedSoc) is not at all based on merit. It's largely based on who the FedSoc chapter recommends. My experience has been that as long as you arrive at YLS willing to fully buy-in to the FedSoc perspective on law, obtaining a feeder clerkship such as Thapar, Pryor, Katsas, etc. is relatively straightforward.

Person complaining from before. I have a 4.0 at a T14 and our chapter president and officers do have ins with some judges, but they are the judges everybody already knows about on the entire 5th and 8th circuit. That is not nothing, but it also is not the same as getting clerkships with feeders, especially feeders that purport they are on the Plan/only hire people with other clerkships, without any grades. I believe I will get a clerkship at some point just by mass mailing across the country - but this entire process is very frustrating.

These special connections really seem like a HYSC FedSoc specific factor, my friends at NYU, Columbia, Berkeley, and Penn also have no idea when anyone is hiring.
I'm not sure if you mean your Fed Soc friends at those schools, or your non-Fed Soc friends at those schools. I can tell you that in my experience at S, the school never communicates information to the general student body about who is hiring, aside from non-Art. III jobs and temporary clerk positions. If you're one of the Anointed Ones with incredible grades, or maybe if you're really cozy with the right professors and proactive about reaching out to them with targeted inquiries, you can get that information yourself. The key is understanding how the process works and playing the game from early on. Otherwise, my sense is we're shooting in the dark to a significant extent. Or at least I have been.

/rant, sorry.
Chicago doesn't send any clerkship info to the general student body but the clerkship office has a list of off-plan judges hiring now that they are happy to provide. Fed Soc probably has a word of mouth one as well (email the president).

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:48 am

I know conservative judges have already hired rising 2Ls, but is this the case for all (non-conservative) feeders too? Was hiring done purely through connections or through OSCAR? I doubt I have the stats or connections for a shot with feeders, but I was hoping to shoot my shot anyways. I'm wondering if I missed the boat and should instead wait until next summer to apply for other judges. I am a rising 2L at HYS w/ top 10% first semester grades. Career services seemed to imply I was in the running for all non-feeders.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:48 am
I know conservative judges have already hired rising 2Ls, but is this the case for all (non-conservative) feeders too? Was hiring done purely through connections or through OSCAR? I doubt I have the stats or connections for a shot with feeders, but I was hoping to shoot my shot anyways. I'm wondering if I missed the boat and should instead wait until next summer to apply for other judges. I am a rising 2L at HYS w/ top 10% first semester grades. Career services seemed to imply I was in the running for all non-feeders.
Most (I think maybe actually all) non-conservative feeders are on the Plan and do not consider 1Ls. Many conservative judges are currently interviewing 1Ls though. It’s hard to know how competitive you’ll be a year from now but waiting for the Plan (or whatever replaces it) is certainly a viable option.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:33 am

I am at T14 at median. What can I do to at least try to get a clerkship? I was told by career services in April that it's too early (clearly I'm not anywhere near top of the class), and professors have said that conservative judges are hiring now. Just wondering if it's worth it to try to apply with the grades I have, since fall semester will undoubtedly be worse for me gradeswise.

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:33 am
I am at T14 at median. What can I do to at least try to get a clerkship? I was told by career services in April that it's too early (clearly I'm not anywhere near top of the class), and professors have said that conservative judges are hiring now. Just wondering if it's worth it to try to apply with the grades I have, since fall semester will undoubtedly be worse for me gradeswise.
Two barriers for you:

1) Information
2) Judges that will refuse to hire you

Neither will be solved by talking to career services. Why? They have a motivation to keep you on the plan. However, if you do that, you join the rest of us 2Ls on-plan surfing a tsunami of applications. Statistically, your chances trend closer to 0 on-plan than 100% (I may be jaded here and am willing to be checked on this statistically, but I feel like I'm not wrong).

Here's what I'd recommend.

First, get a rising 3L to let you peruse through OSCAR with their account. The key is finding judges who are (1) hiring for 2022, and (2) do not explicitly say that they only hire rising 3Ls, or are on the plan, or anything like that (usually the verbiage is "Judge X is complying with the Pilot Hiring Plan" or something like that). Those are now your application targets.

Second, confirm that an application would not be inapposite by calling chambers and asking if an application from a rising 2L would be appropriate. If yes, ask how to send the application (recall that you will not be able to submit via OSCAR until you're a rising 3L, so you're looking for either "paper via mail" or "via email."

Third, identify professors who would be willing to recommend you and not comply with the plan. This is a harder lift, and involves you finding professors who are willing to flout the rules set by the career services office. The main issue here is that either they have to give you their recommendations for you to send, or otherwise send it off to judges on their own. Therein lies another limitation - you can't do the "here are applications to 80 judges" approach that you can on Plan, because you're either physically stuffing manilla envelopes yourself, or asking your prof to email each chambers.

Anyways good luck. It's an uphill climb either way. Hope you did better in class Fall of 1L because apparently that makes all the difference :roll:

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Re: Applying to a clerkship as a 1L

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:18 am

Word of mouth through your chapter if you are in fedsoc, and honestly a lot of these off-plan judges have their application info posted on OSCAR with some indication they hire off plan (alternative contact info, no grade requirement, etc) so you can access it with someone else's account or a burner account.

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