Chance me

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Chance me

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 26, 2020 4:12 pm

Sorry if this thread is basically duplicative of others. Lower T14, top third, secondary journal, 9 years WE (nothing prestigious or anything), I think my letters of rec will be good but I don't expect anyone will be making calls for me or leveraging connections, prestigious legal internships during LS, lots of LS extracurriculars (if that matters).

Would like to be a litigator in gov't or biglaw. Very flexible geographically. Figured I'd focus on district judges, but I'd apply widely including to circuit courts.

decimalsanddollars

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Re: Chance me

Post by decimalsanddollars » Tue May 26, 2020 4:35 pm

Need a little more info. Are you a 2L/rising 3L applying for the cycle immediately after graduation? Assuming you're willing to apply for a cycle a year or more after you graduate, do you have biglaw/anything lined up for post-grad? If you've graduated already, what are you currently doing? If you're a 1L, are you in Fed Soc? Do you have professors or recommenders with ties to specific judges? Where, if anywhere, do you have ties? Do you have any specific substantive legal interests that may match up with a specialty judge, e.g. Ct of Int'l Trade, Fed Cir, CFC, bankruptcy? You say you want "govt or biglaw"---do you want to do *both* in a revolving-door-type line of work, e.g. antitrust or white collar?

Assuming you're Class of 2021 applying for a clerkship straight out, you should absolutely apply broadly, giving special attention to geographical areas where you have ties, judges who went to your law school or hire from your school often, and any judges with whom your recommenders have connections (even if the recs won't make special calls for you). Beyond that, you should avoid wasting apps on judges who only hire clerks with post-law-school experience or who hire more than a year out. You should probably not apply to judges who specifically require or prefer grades much better than yours, main law review, or moot court (if you haven't done MC). If you apply broadly and include flyovers and seniors, you have great chances at Dist Ct clerkship somewhere, although not awesome chance at COA or well-known DJs in major cities.

cheaptilts

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Re: Chance me

Post by cheaptilts » Tue May 26, 2020 4:41 pm

I would not exclude judges who state preferences for main journal, moot court, top 10% grades etc. from the universe of judges to whom you apply. Many of those judges do not have strong preferences. Even if they do, the burden of shooting your shot is minimal.

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Re: Chance me

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 26, 2020 5:25 pm

decimalsanddollars wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 4:35 pm
Need a little more info. Are you a 2L/rising 3L applying for the cycle immediately after graduation? Assuming you're willing to apply for a cycle a year or more after you graduate, do you have biglaw/anything lined up for post-grad? If you've graduated already, what are you currently doing? If you're a 1L, are you in Fed Soc? Do you have professors or recommenders with ties to specific judges? Where, if anywhere, do you have ties? Do you have any specific substantive legal interests that may match up with a specialty judge, e.g. Ct of Int'l Trade, Fed Cir, CFC, bankruptcy? You say you want "govt or biglaw"---do you want to do *both* in a revolving-door-type line of work, e.g. antitrust or white collar?

Assuming you're Class of 2021 applying for a clerkship straight out, you should absolutely apply broadly, giving special attention to geographical areas where you have ties, judges who went to your law school or hire from your school often, and any judges with whom your recommenders have connections (even if the recs won't make special calls for you). Beyond that, you should avoid wasting apps on judges who only hire clerks with post-law-school experience or who hire more than a year out. You should probably not apply to judges who specifically require or prefer grades much better than yours, main law review, or moot court (if you haven't done MC). If you apply broadly and include flyovers and seniors, you have great chances at Dist Ct clerkship somewhere, although not awesome chance at COA or well-known DJs in major cities.
Thanks all. I am a rising 3L without anything lined up for post-grad yet. If it would boost my chances, I would certainly be willing to wait a year or two to apply for clerkships, as hopefully by then I would have some publications and post-LS experience. Have ties in PA, MD, DC/DMV. As for gov't vs biglaw, I do not really have a specific plan of revolving door or a particular practice area, I just want to go to the place that will hire me lol. At this point, especially since I did not do a SA position, my resume speaks fairly well to an interest in gov't work.

EDIT: I'm not in Fed Soc but I do have some other conservative touch points on the resume.

Chokenhauer

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Re: Chance me

Post by Chokenhauer » Tue May 26, 2020 8:36 pm

Hijacking with my own anxiety.

Top 1%, TTT/TTTT, EIC. Return offer from regional SA, but they've indicated that they would be willing to hold my slot if I clerk, especially if it's in my region.

I have a few interviews lined up with a D.Ct and 2 MJs in my region. Frankly, I don't think I'm going to get any looks from D.Cts outside my region. It's been radio silence, outside of a few snail mail rejections outside of my area. Considering my truly abysmal school ranking, should I jump at an MJ offer? I would be very fortunate to get anything, imo and don't want to get greedy. And I don't want to give a terrible impression if I'm offered on the spot and don't immediately say, "Yes."

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Iowahawk

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Re: Chance me

Post by Iowahawk » Tue May 26, 2020 9:03 pm

Chokenhauer wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 8:36 pm
Hijacking with my own anxiety.

Top 1%, TTT/TTTT, EIC. Return offer from regional SA, but they've indicated that they would be willing to hold my slot if I clerk, especially if it's in my region.

I have a few interviews lined up with a D.Ct and 2 MJs in my region. Frankly, I don't think I'm going to get any looks from D.Cts outside my region. It's been radio silence, outside of a few snail mail rejections outside of my area. Considering my truly abysmal school ranking, should I jump at an MJ offer? I would be very fortunate to get anything, imo and don't want to get greedy. And I don't want to give a terrible impression if I'm offered on the spot and don't immediately say, "Yes."
There is no need to give an immediate yes if they do not give you an exploding offer. Given that (a) this is a magistrate and (b) they likely share a courthouse with the DJ, I highly doubt that they would give you an exploding offer.

If you have ties to a region besides your law school's, it's possibly worth applying there as well. And you might as well interpret your region broadly (e.g. apply to the whole southeast if your school is in GA), apps are free.

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Re: Chance me

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 26, 2020 10:16 pm

Iowahawk wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 9:03 pm
Chokenhauer wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 8:36 pm
Hijacking with my own anxiety.

Top 1%, TTT/TTTT, EIC. Return offer from regional SA, but they've indicated that they would be willing to hold my slot if I clerk, especially if it's in my region.

I have a few interviews lined up with a D.Ct and 2 MJs in my region. Frankly, I don't think I'm going to get any looks from D.Cts outside my region. It's been radio silence, outside of a few snail mail rejections outside of my area. Considering my truly abysmal school ranking, should I jump at an MJ offer? I would be very fortunate to get anything, imo and don't want to get greedy. And I don't want to give a terrible impression if I'm offered on the spot and don't immediately say, "Yes."
There is no need to give an immediate yes if they do not give you an exploding offer. Given that (a) this is a magistrate and (b) they likely share a courthouse with the DJ, I highly doubt that they would give you an exploding offer.

If you have ties to a region besides your law school's, it's possibly worth applying there as well. And you might as well interpret your region broadly (e.g. apply to the whole southeast if your school is in GA), apps are free.
Thanks, that helps. I’ll just go ahead with the interviews and keep that in mind. I have applied broadly, considering my region.

decimalsanddollars

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Re: Chance me

Post by decimalsanddollars » Wed May 27, 2020 9:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:25 pm
I am a rising 3L without anything lined up for post-grad yet. If it would boost my chances, I would certainly be willing to wait a year or two to apply for clerkships, as hopefully by then I would have some publications and post-LS experience. Have ties in PA, MD, DC/DMV. As for gov't vs biglaw, I do not really have a specific plan of revolving door or a particular practice area, I just want to go to the place that will hire me lol. At this point, especially since I did not do a SA position, my resume speaks fairly well to an interest in gov't work.

EDIT: I'm not in Fed Soc but I do have some other conservative touch points on the resume.
Definitely apply very broadly (and I'll go ahead and say that cheaptilts is right that you should shoot your shot with at least some judges whose credential requirements you don't fit). If you're willing to clerk after working for a bit, I would recommend doing a federal Attorney Honors Program in the mean time (particularly DOJ) because of your lack of SA and implied inclination toward govt work. That, or get a state govt job in your desired market.

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Re: Chance me

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:45 pm

OP here...to what extent does the difficulty of your course selection in LS matter? I mean I cant imagine judges are analyzing people's transcripts as they choose who to interview. But beyond that, is it the case that everyone who is qualified for these clerkships has taken a bunch of doctrinals, and so that's not a distinguishing factor?

I mean this is just me ranting but if there are people who took a bunch of easy-curve classes and have tip top grades, in my mind their grades are no more distinguishing than someone with a lesser GPA but a very tough course load.

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decimalsanddollars

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Re: Chance me

Post by decimalsanddollars » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:45 pm
OP here...to what extent does the difficulty of your course selection in LS matter? I mean I cant imagine judges are analyzing people's transcripts as they choose who to interview. But beyond that, is it the case that everyone who is qualified for these clerkships has taken a bunch of doctrinals, and so that's not a distinguishing factor?

I mean this is just me ranting but if there are people who took a bunch of easy-curve classes and have tip top grades, in my mind their grades are no more distinguishing than someone with a lesser GPA but a very tough course load.
Some judges I know will slightly discount your GPA if it's all fluff/classes they don't care about. More frequently, though, judges have classes they think are very important (Fed Courts/Fed Jur, Admin Law, sometimes employment law and criminal procedure) where they'll look to that grade/whether you've taken that class as a significant factor. Many judges also consider legal writing grades or civil procedure grades to be more important than other grades on a transcript. This is assuming, of course, that your application is good enough on its face for the clerk/JA/judge to open in the first place.

nixy

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Re: Chance me

Post by nixy » Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:04 am

Some judges definitely do parse transcripts. Some don’t care. Everyone has the chance to take easy-curve classes if they want (well, not at my school as we had the same curve all 3 years, but assuming top schools where there are easy-curve classes). It’s up to the individual to decide whether they want to try to up their GPA at the risk of turning off judges who don’t like easy classes, or whether they want to take tough courses at the risk of getting a slightly lower GPA. There are pros and cons to both approaches.

Pretty sure there are plenty of top candidates with top grades in tough classes, though. And in any case, there’s no point worrying about what other people do, you can’t control any of that.

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Re: Chance me

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:48 pm

nixy wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:04 am
Pretty sure there are plenty of top candidates with top grades in tough classes, though. And in any case, there’s no point worrying about what other people do, you can’t control any of that.
Yeah, sounds pretty accurate.

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