2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:43 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:30 pm
For those feeling dejected due to the process so far, I can tell you this from having reviewed applications on both the D. Ct. and COA levels: It's hard to stand out.
That certainly doesn't make me feel any better, but I do appreciate the insight.
I think it shows that unless you have a connection or stellar stats, you don't have high odds of being pulled from any particular judge, but idiosyncrasies matter a lot, which is slightly comforting given that we've got 100 shots for ours to line up with the judge's. And what I'm guessing is the most common idiosyncrasy that matters (regional ties) actually probably works in applicants' favor by making them more likely to get jobs in places that work well for them.
Not to be negative, but considering that even in the less competitive districts there are hundreds and hundreds of applications for three spots, the chances of your idiosyncrasies lining up with any judge enough to get you an interview are really slim. I think if there's one thing any future applicant should take away from this thread is that unless you are an absolute superstar grades-wise, you absolutely need a professor to make a call for you.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:19 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:10 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:05 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:52 am
Ellison (S.D. Tex) is full--says he got more than 450 applicants.
Ellison sent the nicest rejection email ever. I'm not even mad.
As someone who didn't apply to Ellison, could anyone else put his rejection email here? I feel like we're all in need of it these days
I am writing to let you know that I have concluded clerkship hiring for the 2021 – 22 term. Each year at this time, I keenly regret the process that we have. Our chambers had more than 450 applications reach us, and I found it impossible fairly to consider the merits of each of them. In normal years, I get to meet only a few of the applicants, and this year – because of the pandemic – I met none.

I do remain available to speak with any of you about clerkship opportunities. And, if any of you find yourselves in downtown Houston with time to spare, I hope you will stop by to see us on the third floor of the federal courthouse. No appointment is necessary and we always have refreshments on hand.

For now, I extend best wishes for careers of satisfaction and justice.
Last cycle he said we could come to his chambers for refreshments.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:43 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:30 pm
For those feeling dejected due to the process so far, I can tell you this from having reviewed applications on both the D. Ct. and COA levels: It's hard to stand out.
That certainly doesn't make me feel any better, but I do appreciate the insight.
I think it shows that unless you have a connection or stellar stats, you don't have high odds of being pulled from any particular judge, but idiosyncrasies matter a lot, which is slightly comforting given that we've got 100 shots for ours to line up with the judge's. And what I'm guessing is the most common idiosyncrasy that matters (regional ties) actually probably works in applicants' favor by making them more likely to get jobs in places that work well for them.
Not to be negative, but considering that even in the less competitive districts there are hundreds and hundreds of applications for three spots, the chances of your idiosyncrasies lining up with any judge enough to get you an interview are really slim. I think if there's one thing any future applicant should take away from this thread is that unless you are an absolute superstar grades-wise, you absolutely need a professor to make a call for you.
Sure, but you only need one, and if you're what would be generally considered a competitive applicant your odds are pretty good. The grades/resume bar for "competitive applicant" is high, especially once you get too far past HYSC, though.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:00 pm

I appreciate the clerks giving perspective on the process. I wish I'd known more before spending two weeks of my life on applications that will never get out of the pile because I don't have these connections.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:03 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:43 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:30 pm
For those feeling dejected due to the process so far, I can tell you this from having reviewed applications on both the D. Ct. and COA levels: It's hard to stand out.
That certainly doesn't make me feel any better, but I do appreciate the insight.
I think it shows that unless you have a connection or stellar stats, you don't have high odds of being pulled from any particular judge, but idiosyncrasies matter a lot, which is slightly comforting given that we've got 100 shots for ours to line up with the judge's. And what I'm guessing is the most common idiosyncrasy that matters (regional ties) actually probably works in applicants' favor by making them more likely to get jobs in places that work well for them.
Not to be negative, but considering that even in the less competitive districts there are hundreds and hundreds of applications for three spots, the chances of your idiosyncrasies lining up with any judge enough to get you an interview are really slim. I think if there's one thing any future applicant should take away from this thread is that unless you are an absolute superstar grades-wise, you absolutely need a professor to make a call for you.
Sure, but you only need one, and if you're what would be generally considered a competitive applicant your odds are pretty good. The grades/resume bar for "competitive applicant" is high, especially once you get too far past HYSC, though.
Can you please give more details on what GPA per school is competitive for various positions? Could be useful information for future applicants.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:00 pm
I appreciate the clerks giving perspective on the process. I wish I'd known more before spending two weeks of my life on applications that will never get out of the pile because I don't have these connections.
Don't be discouraged. Some judges will still consider you. Just try your best to leverage connections. It doesn't have to be a professor. It can be a former clerk you know or something.

FWIW, I sent nearly 100 apps and got four interviews. Three because I knew people who sent the apps to the judges personally as friends. One out of luck.

I also had plenty of apps forwarded to judges by people who knew the judges well. Sometimes these judges even asked the person to solicit apps. Many, many, many of these resulted in radio silence.

The connections help but they are not determinative.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:02 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:03 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:43 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:30 pm
For those feeling dejected due to the process so far, I can tell you this from having reviewed applications on both the D. Ct. and COA levels: It's hard to stand out.
That certainly doesn't make me feel any better, but I do appreciate the insight.
I think it shows that unless you have a connection or stellar stats, you don't have high odds of being pulled from any particular judge, but idiosyncrasies matter a lot, which is slightly comforting given that we've got 100 shots for ours to line up with the judge's. And what I'm guessing is the most common idiosyncrasy that matters (regional ties) actually probably works in applicants' favor by making them more likely to get jobs in places that work well for them.
Not to be negative, but considering that even in the less competitive districts there are hundreds and hundreds of applications for three spots, the chances of your idiosyncrasies lining up with any judge enough to get you an interview are really slim. I think if there's one thing any future applicant should take away from this thread is that unless you are an absolute superstar grades-wise, you absolutely need a professor to make a call for you.
Sure, but you only need one, and if you're what would be generally considered a competitive applicant your odds are pretty good. The grades/resume bar for "competitive applicant" is high, especially once you get too far past HYSC, though.
Can you please give more details on what GPA per school is competitive for various positions? Could be useful information for future applicants.
There's a guide on the other site that has this (with the obvious caveat that hiring is extremely idiosyncratic and these are broad generalizations):

SCOTUS/Feeder
YHS – Top 5%
T14 – Top 1-5 people
T25 - #1 person

COA
YHS – Top 10-20%
CCN – Top 10-15%
T14 – Top 10%
T25 – Top 5%
All other schools – Top %1

District Court
YHS – Top 30-40%
CCN – Top 25-30%
T14 – Top 15-25%
T25 – Top 10%
All other schools – Top 5%

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:39 pm
Not to be negative, but considering that even in the less competitive districts there are hundreds and hundreds of applications for three spots, the chances of your idiosyncrasies lining up with any judge enough to get you an interview are really slim. I think if there's one thing any future applicant should take away from this thread is that unless you are an absolute superstar grades-wise, you absolutely need a professor to make a call for you.
Original COA/D. Ct. Anon. FWIW, while I was a "superstar" to some extent in terms of grades, it was at a law school rated near the bottom of T1, which means I wasn't really a "superstar" in the clerkship game. My application still got out of the pile and got me multiple interviews at both the D. Ct. and COA levels with judges to whom I had no connection whatsoever. I would put that 100% on my idiosyncracies lining up with those judges'. And the D. Ct. clerkship I landed was from one of the judges to whom I had no connection.

My post wasn't intended to make people feel like they had no chance. Instead, it was intended to make it clear to people that you need some luck, so the broader you apply, the more likely it is that you get lucky.

But yes, having somebody who can make a call or send the judge an email definitely helps, especially if the judge knows and respects that person.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:14 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:02 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:03 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:43 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:30 pm
For those feeling dejected due to the process so far, I can tell you this from having reviewed applications on both the D. Ct. and COA levels: It's hard to stand out.
That certainly doesn't make me feel any better, but I do appreciate the insight.
I think it shows that unless you have a connection or stellar stats, you don't have high odds of being pulled from any particular judge, but idiosyncrasies matter a lot, which is slightly comforting given that we've got 100 shots for ours to line up with the judge's. And what I'm guessing is the most common idiosyncrasy that matters (regional ties) actually probably works in applicants' favor by making them more likely to get jobs in places that work well for them.
Not to be negative, but considering that even in the less competitive districts there are hundreds and hundreds of applications for three spots, the chances of your idiosyncrasies lining up with any judge enough to get you an interview are really slim. I think if there's one thing any future applicant should take away from this thread is that unless you are an absolute superstar grades-wise, you absolutely need a professor to make a call for you.
Sure, but you only need one, and if you're what would be generally considered a competitive applicant your odds are pretty good. The grades/resume bar for "competitive applicant" is high, especially once you get too far past HYSC, though.
Can you please give more details on what GPA per school is competitive for various positions? Could be useful information for future applicants.
There's a guide on the other site that has this (with the obvious caveat that hiring is extremely idiosyncratic and these are broad generalizations):

SCOTUS/Feeder
YHS – Top 5%
T14 – Top 1-5 people
T25 - #1 person

COA
YHS – Top 10-20%
CCN – Top 10-15%
T14 – Top 10%
T25 – Top 5%
All other schools – Top %1

District Court
YHS – Top 30-40%
CCN – Top 25-30%
T14 – Top 15-25%
T25 – Top 10%
All other schools – Top 5%
For what it's worth, those district court and CoA ranges might be more accurate for H than Y/S, in my experience. At my Y/S, plenty of students obtain district court and CoA clerkships with grades outside of those ranges.

Not bashing OP, of course, just adding an additional clarifying data point.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:37 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:14 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:02 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:03 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:43 pm


That certainly doesn't make me feel any better, but I do appreciate the insight.
I think it shows that unless you have a connection or stellar stats, you don't have high odds of being pulled from any particular judge, but idiosyncrasies matter a lot, which is slightly comforting given that we've got 100 shots for ours to line up with the judge's. And what I'm guessing is the most common idiosyncrasy that matters (regional ties) actually probably works in applicants' favor by making them more likely to get jobs in places that work well for them.
Not to be negative, but considering that even in the less competitive districts there are hundreds and hundreds of applications for three spots, the chances of your idiosyncrasies lining up with any judge enough to get you an interview are really slim. I think if there's one thing any future applicant should take away from this thread is that unless you are an absolute superstar grades-wise, you absolutely need a professor to make a call for you.
Sure, but you only need one, and if you're what would be generally considered a competitive applicant your odds are pretty good. The grades/resume bar for "competitive applicant" is high, especially once you get too far past HYSC, though.
Can you please give more details on what GPA per school is competitive for various positions? Could be useful information for future applicants.
There's a guide on the other site that has this (with the obvious caveat that hiring is extremely idiosyncratic and these are broad generalizations):

SCOTUS/Feeder
YHS – Top 5%
T14 – Top 1-5 people
T25 - #1 person

COA
YHS – Top 10-20%
CCN – Top 10-15%
T14 – Top 10%
T25 – Top 5%
All other schools – Top %1

District Court
YHS – Top 30-40%
CCN – Top 25-30%
T14 – Top 15-25%
T25 – Top 10%
All other schools – Top 5%
For what it's worth, those district court and CoA ranges might be more accurate for H than Y/S, in my experience. At my Y/S, plenty of students obtain district court and CoA clerkships with grades outside of those ranges.

Not bashing OP, of course, just adding an additional clarifying data point.
Another caveat: some district courts are in general way more competitive than garden variety circuit clerkships. I think the most general rule of thumb is that if the clerkship is in a city where a bunch of lawyers want to live, it's going to be very hard to get that clerkship. And those places tend to be cities with robust legal markets.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:43 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:30 pm
For those feeling dejected due to the process so far, I can tell you this from having reviewed applications on both the D. Ct. and COA levels: It's hard to stand out.
That certainly doesn't make me feel any better, but I do appreciate the insight.
I think it shows that unless you have a connection or stellar stats, you don't have high odds of being pulled from any particular judge, but idiosyncrasies matter a lot, which is slightly comforting given that we've got 100 shots for ours to line up with the judge's. And what I'm guessing is the most common idiosyncrasy that matters (regional ties) actually probably works in applicants' favor by making them more likely to get jobs in places that work well for them.
I am proof positive of this. I have stats that make me competitive for COAs, sent 50 applications out across the country, and got no interview offers. Also applied to only 5 district courts in the (pretty competitive) city near where I'm from and where I ultimately want to work, got two interview offers, and I'll be clerking for one next year. Think about that - 0/50 vs. 2/5.

And ironically enough, the combination of my really positive outcome and the shocking competition and odds out there for COAs is making me question wanting to do one anyway.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:01 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:37 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:14 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:02 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:03 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:11 pm


I think it shows that unless you have a connection or stellar stats, you don't have high odds of being pulled from any particular judge, but idiosyncrasies matter a lot, which is slightly comforting given that we've got 100 shots for ours to line up with the judge's. And what I'm guessing is the most common idiosyncrasy that matters (regional ties) actually probably works in applicants' favor by making them more likely to get jobs in places that work well for them.
Not to be negative, but considering that even in the less competitive districts there are hundreds and hundreds of applications for three spots, the chances of your idiosyncrasies lining up with any judge enough to get you an interview are really slim. I think if there's one thing any future applicant should take away from this thread is that unless you are an absolute superstar grades-wise, you absolutely need a professor to make a call for you.
Sure, but you only need one, and if you're what would be generally considered a competitive applicant your odds are pretty good. The grades/resume bar for "competitive applicant" is high, especially once you get too far past HYSC, though.
Can you please give more details on what GPA per school is competitive for various positions? Could be useful information for future applicants.
There's a guide on the other site that has this (with the obvious caveat that hiring is extremely idiosyncratic and these are broad generalizations):

SCOTUS/Feeder
YHS – Top 5%
T14 – Top 1-5 people
T25 - #1 person

COA
YHS – Top 10-20%
CCN – Top 10-15%
T14 – Top 10%
T25 – Top 5%
All other schools – Top %1

District Court
YHS – Top 30-40%
CCN – Top 25-30%
T14 – Top 15-25%
T25 – Top 10%
All other schools – Top 5%
For what it's worth, those district court and CoA ranges might be more accurate for H than Y/S, in my experience. At my Y/S, plenty of students obtain district court and CoA clerkships with grades outside of those ranges.

Not bashing OP, of course, just adding an additional clarifying data point.
Another caveat: some district courts are in general way more competitive than garden variety circuit clerkships. I think the most general rule of thumb is that if the clerkship is in a city where a bunch of lawyers want to live, it's going to be very hard to get that clerkship. And those places tend to be cities with robust legal markets.
These numbers seem to assume clerkship power correlates with rank which isn't exactly true (maybe except for SCOTUS, for which it pretty much does, though with a heavy tilt for Y/H over C/S). The rough tiers right now are something like:

Yale, Stanford, Chicago (~25%)
Harvard (17%)
Columbia, NYU, Virginia (whatever the C/N apologists think the real rate for them is, 15%)
Berkeley, Michigan, Penn, Texas, Notre Dame, Wash U (~10%)
Northwestern, Cornell, Georgetown, UCLA, Minnesota... (~5%)

Clearly a lot of this reflects institutional commitment to clerkships, strength of network, number of students interested in clerking, political leanings of the student body, region, and probably more things beyond just rank.

And the most important modification to the picture is that it's way, way easier if you're in Fed Soc.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:59 pm

Those numbers are how many actually clerk (and that's only 10 months in), which is not at all the same as being competitive with certain grades. We can all speculate based on the required employment disclosure forms but that doesn't provide a new data point.

Would greatly appreciate if someone who actually has been on the other side can answer this: for Northwestern, what GPA would you filter out? We don't rank.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:59 pm
Those numbers are how many actually clerk (and that's only 10 months in), which is not at all the same as being competitive with certain grades. We can all speculate based on the required employment disclosure forms but that doesn't provide a new data point.

Would greatly appreciate if someone who actually has been on the other side can answer this: for Northwestern, what GPA would you filter out? We don't rank.
https://www.law.northwestern.edu/regist ... ingpolicy/

Cum laude (3.650 CGPA), or close to it plus law review. As an East Coaster, I don't see many of you, and you already have a stranglehold on the Midwest, so I'm holding you to a high standard.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:40 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:37 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:31 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:28 pm
Any rising 3Ls with a 2021-2023 D. Ct. clerkship starting to look into 2023-2024 COA clerkship? If I am interested in 2023-2024 when should I ideally be applying?
Also curious about this
I have a D. Ct. for 2022 and have started looking. The COA judge I interviewed with brought up 2023 and some other more competitive judges seem to be looking, but not like aggressively. Seems like most will hire in two waves: one next summer (lots of on plan judges were looking mainly for 22 this year) and some will wait until summer of 2022.
Related to this, if I'm looking at COA for 22 (have district in 21) should I be applying really broadly right now? or is it safe to apply pretty selectively on the assumption that the majority of '22 COA judges will still have slots next year?

Basically I'm asking whether I should send 40-50 applications like I did for 21 now, or whether I should wait until next year for the big push.
My understanding is that the "term" judges are hiring for is fungible. I know multiple people last year who applied for 21 on Oscar and got 22 or 23. So I thought that even if you have a district clerkship for 21 or 22, you should still apply to a judge who is officially soliciting for those terms (because they might also just consider you for subsequent terms).

I could be completely wrong and would love to be corrected on this (e.g. from current clerks?).

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:59 pm
Those numbers are how many actually clerk (and that's only 10 months in), which is not at all the same as being competitive with certain grades. We can all speculate based on the required employment disclosure forms but that doesn't provide a new data point.

Would greatly appreciate if someone who actually has been on the other side can answer this: for Northwestern, what GPA would you filter out? We don't rank.
you'd "pass" the GPA cutoff in my former 2/7/9 chambers at like
25% HYSCC
10-15% remainder of the T14 including GULC
top 5% at places like UCLA, UT, etc
#1 or maybe 2-3 everywhere else

that gave us about 60-70 candidates iirc, out of 600+ applications.

goes without saying that the higher you are, the better of a shot you're getting a serious look. in reality i think you needed to be closer to top 5% from lower T14 for my judge to be interested, and top 10% from CC if not also HYS, but you'd get past the clerks with the above grades. it is worth noting that we were often very bad at figuring out class ranks for schools where none of us went. everyone has a different curve and tries to make their applicants look better in different ways.

i'd also slightly push back against the "you have to have connections" narrative above. my year, my judge hired one person who had a prof my judge trusted call on their behalf. the other three were among the group of people the clerks pulled out, and got good references, but didn't come through some kind of buddy network. i think it just feels like connections must play a huge role because something like the top 10 applications, total, got interview invites, and a lot of those people are getting interest from several chambers. so being "competitive" is not the same as actually having a good shot. i agree with the other person who stressed random idiosyncracies; my judge had a bunch, though i don't want to say specifically what they were because i think some of them are particular to his/her chambers. ultimately all of the people we interviewed but didn't offer or who withdrew before an offer landed in other good clerkships. i had no idea how i got hired after looking at the quality of applications we got.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:06 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:59 pm
Those numbers are how many actually clerk (and that's only 10 months in), which is not at all the same as being competitive with certain grades. We can all speculate based on the required employment disclosure forms but that doesn't provide a new data point.

Would greatly appreciate if someone who actually has been on the other side can answer this: for Northwestern, what GPA would you filter out? We don't rank.
you'd "pass" the GPA cutoff in my former 2/7/9 chambers at like
25% HYSCC
10-15% remainder of the T14 including GULC
top 5% at places like UCLA, UT, etc
#1 or maybe 2-3 everywhere else

that gave us about 60-70 candidates iirc, out of 600+ applications.

goes without saying that the higher you are, the better of a shot you're getting a serious look. in reality i think you needed to be closer to top 5% from lower T14 for my judge to be interested, and top 10% from CC if not also HYS, but you'd get past the clerks with the above grades. it is worth noting that we were often very bad at figuring out class ranks for schools where none of us went. everyone has a different curve and tries to make their applicants look better in different ways.

i'd also slightly push back against the "you have to have connections" narrative above. my year, my judge hired one person who had a prof my judge trusted call on their behalf. the other three were among the group of people the clerks pulled out, and got good references, but didn't come through some kind of buddy network. i think it just feels like connections must play a huge role because something like the top 10 applications, total, got interview invites, and a lot of those people are getting interest from several chambers. so being "competitive" is not the same as actually having a good shot. i agree with the other person who stressed random idiosyncracies; my judge had a bunch, though i don't want to say specifically what they were because i think some of them are particular to his/her chambers. ultimately all of the people we interviewed but didn't offer or who withdrew before an offer landed in other good clerkships. i had no idea how i got hired after looking at the quality of applications we got.
What is top 25% at HYS anyway? Basically all Hs or any Ps offset by DS/Book prizes? i suppose I'm having a hard time seeing how crunching gpa numbers through weighing credit hours etc. is a good use of clerks' time.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:45 pm

Yale, Stanford, Chicago (~25%)
Harvard (17%)
Columbia, NYU, Virginia (whatever the C/N apologists think the real rate for them is, 15%)
Berkeley, Michigan, Penn, Texas, Notre Dame, Wash U (~10%)
Northwestern, Cornell, Georgetown, UCLA, Minnesota... (~5%)

Clearly a lot of this reflects institutional commitment to clerkships, strength of network, number of students interested in clerking, political leanings of the student body, region, and probably more things beyond just rank.

And the most important modification to the picture is that it's way, way easier if you're in Fed Soc.
No Dook? ouch.

And strong caveat that regions matter too. If you're UT applying for Fifth Circuit your going to punch higher.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:20 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:06 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:59 pm
Those numbers are how many actually clerk (and that's only 10 months in), which is not at all the same as being competitive with certain grades. We can all speculate based on the required employment disclosure forms but that doesn't provide a new data point.

Would greatly appreciate if someone who actually has been on the other side can answer this: for Northwestern, what GPA would you filter out? We don't rank.
you'd "pass" the GPA cutoff in my former 2/7/9 chambers at like
25% HYSCC
10-15% remainder of the T14 including GULC
top 5% at places like UCLA, UT, etc
#1 or maybe 2-3 everywhere else

that gave us about 60-70 candidates iirc, out of 600+ applications.

goes without saying that the higher you are, the better of a shot you're getting a serious look. in reality i think you needed to be closer to top 5% from lower T14 for my judge to be interested, and top 10% from CC if not also HYS, but you'd get past the clerks with the above grades. it is worth noting that we were often very bad at figuring out class ranks for schools where none of us went. everyone has a different curve and tries to make their applicants look better in different ways.

i'd also slightly push back against the "you have to have connections" narrative above. my year, my judge hired one person who had a prof my judge trusted call on their behalf. the other three were among the group of people the clerks pulled out, and got good references, but didn't come through some kind of buddy network. i think it just feels like connections must play a huge role because something like the top 10 applications, total, got interview invites, and a lot of those people are getting interest from several chambers. so being "competitive" is not the same as actually having a good shot. i agree with the other person who stressed random idiosyncracies; my judge had a bunch, though i don't want to say specifically what they were because i think some of them are particular to his/her chambers. ultimately all of the people we interviewed but didn't offer or who withdrew before an offer landed in other good clerkships. i had no idea how i got hired after looking at the quality of applications we got.
What is top 25% at HYS anyway? Basically all Hs or any Ps offset by DS/Book prizes? i suppose I'm having a hard time seeing how crunching gpa numbers through weighing credit hours etc. is a good use of clerks' time.
we had some rough historical data in chambers giving us guidelines for HYS based on H/DS and their Y/S equivalents, and they purported to represent top 25% or so, but i have no idea how accurate they were. the gpa crunching outside of HYS (and Berkeley) was definitely time-consuming, though you could weed some people out just by looking, especially at your own school. don't need a calculator to know that a transcript with straight Bs isn't making the cutoff.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:03 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:43 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:30 pm
For those feeling dejected due to the process so far, I can tell you this from having reviewed applications on both the D. Ct. and COA levels: It's hard to stand out.
That certainly doesn't make me feel any better, but I do appreciate the insight.
I think it shows that unless you have a connection or stellar stats, you don't have high odds of being pulled from any particular judge, but idiosyncrasies matter a lot, which is slightly comforting given that we've got 100 shots for ours to line up with the judge's. And what I'm guessing is the most common idiosyncrasy that matters (regional ties) actually probably works in applicants' favor by making them more likely to get jobs in places that work well for them.
Not to be negative, but considering that even in the less competitive districts there are hundreds and hundreds of applications for three spots, the chances of your idiosyncrasies lining up with any judge enough to get you an interview are really slim. I think if there's one thing any future applicant should take away from this thread is that unless you are an absolute superstar grades-wise, you absolutely need a professor to make a call for you.
Sure, but you only need one, and if you're what would be generally considered a competitive applicant your odds are pretty good. The grades/resume bar for "competitive applicant" is high, especially once you get too far past HYSC, though.
Does having a recommender flagging your application with a judge basically guarantee an interview? (Assuming the prof knows the judge and is decently renowned). I ask because I know of friends who have had recommenders call judges, and they instantly get an interview (sometimes on the same day they apply). But, I also know friends (high grades, LR, etc.) who have recommenders call judges, and nothing happens. I imagine for competitive postings, there are so many recommenders calling that the judge can't possibly interview all of those candidates.

Would love to hear some intel on this from clerks who are on the other side.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:26 am

FWIW, at Chicago, for probably 1/3 of the COA clerkships it really only matters what your 1L grades are because some judges hire so early. And for those judges, it's half grades and half connections to the judge who actively and regularly recruit a 1L Chicago student (either through the clerkship committee or through a particular professor).

This is probably the same at many other top schools too.

A fair amount of students with COAs don't graduate with honors because they fall out of the top 20% of the class later on.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:50 am

any word on if Gregory (4th Cir.) has made offers?

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:50 am
any word on if Gregory (4th Cir.) has made offers?
Yes, he definitely has made offers. "Let's talk 4th Circuit" thread also has more info on that, FYI.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:39 am

Any updates on Livingston? I know someone accepted for 21 this week, but am wondering whether hires have been made for 22 or 23.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:39 am
Any updates on Livingston? I know someone accepted for 21 this week, but am wondering whether hires have been made for 22 or 23.
One of the anons from earlier - still haven’t heard (either about my app or about the slots being filled)

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