2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

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beepboopbeep

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by beepboopbeep » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:36 pm

Wild Card wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:09 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:16 pm
It’s literally part of their job to make calls like this. It’s honestly not a begging thing, you just ask your professor if they’d be willing to make some calls or emails and they’ll say yes or no. In my experience, they are glad to because they want to help you succeed. You refusing to do something that pretty much every clerkship applicant does is just making it harder for yourself for no reason.
The issue is that your professor may have been reluctant to recommend you in the first place.

For instance, say you're merely above median at CCN (low Stone/no cum laude) and weren't on law review, but you have some softs that would make you stand out--professional or life experience. Your profs. may have been willing to humor you by writing you a letter. But then, when you reach out to them and actually ask them to call or email, they'll think you're delusional and wasting their time, because they're under the impression that only magna+coif+LR or high-Stone/Kent+LR people can land clerkships.

So it can be tough and awkward for those who aren't at the very top, even at T6/T14 schools.
How is this at all responsive to what the person you're responding to was saying, which is that the only thing you have to lose by asking is getting a "no"? Maybe your worries are justified, and they just don't like you enough or are correct about your low odds even with a call. But you don't know before you ask, and you lose nothing by trying. Having a complex about it is shooting yourself in the foot.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:05 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:45 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:37 pm
Somewhat disappointing is that a lack of a call is a significant detriment to chances. It makes sense I guess, but it also seems like a race to the bottom. Maybe that is what it takes to get ahead, but I refuse to ask or beg my school or professors to make calls on my behalf. If they want to call on their own, that’s great. I do keep them informed because they are my recommenders. I do not have any connections or family or friends in law. I sent apps out and hoped for the best. Nothing too special, ~33% CCN, some pre-law school work experience, and have gotten a few interviews (COA and Dct). Regional ties help
If you’re at Chicago, they probably made calls whether you asked them to or not. You probably need to have a conversation with Strahilevitz, etc. if you’re gunning for SCOTUS and want Dean Miles to go to bat for you with Srinivasan, etc. but I didn’t even know my writers and the clerkship committee had been calling (or that calls were much of a thing) until judges told me. They have it down to a science. It also makes it pretty artificial in that I believe that they game out pretty heavily which students get pushed to which judges (and control it completely for some judges like Easterbrook).
Interesting. how true was that apart from the top students? I imagine closer to median that well-connected professors and the dean do not want to expend political capital, but maybe they would for less competitive judges?
I am 90% sure somebody reached out for you if you are a conservative at Chicago, whether a top student or not. Not sure the liberals have quite the same system down.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:46 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:05 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:45 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:37 pm
Somewhat disappointing is that a lack of a call is a significant detriment to chances. It makes sense I guess, but it also seems like a race to the bottom. Maybe that is what it takes to get ahead, but I refuse to ask or beg my school or professors to make calls on my behalf. If they want to call on their own, that’s great. I do keep them informed because they are my recommenders. I do not have any connections or family or friends in law. I sent apps out and hoped for the best. Nothing too special, ~33% CCN, some pre-law school work experience, and have gotten a few interviews (COA and Dct). Regional ties help
If you’re at Chicago, they probably made calls whether you asked them to or not. You probably need to have a conversation with Strahilevitz, etc. if you’re gunning for SCOTUS and want Dean Miles to go to bat for you with Srinivasan, etc. but I didn’t even know my writers and the clerkship committee had been calling (or that calls were much of a thing) until judges told me. They have it down to a science. It also makes it pretty artificial in that I believe that they game out pretty heavily which students get pushed to which judges (and control it completely for some judges like Easterbrook).
Interesting. how true was that apart from the top students? I imagine closer to median that well-connected professors and the dean do not want to expend political capital, but maybe they would for less competitive judges?
I am 90% sure somebody reached out for you if you are a conservative at Chicago, whether a top student or not. Not sure the liberals have quite the same system down.
“Someone” is often Adam Mortara and I’m not sure to what extent he coordinates with the main clerkship committee. But he basically helps get every conservative (and every liberal he‘s friendly with) a good COA.

Re: whether it happens for non-top students I know non-honors/LR people who were pushed hard to judges (though of course those judges aren’t like Katzmann).

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:35 pm
If you’re K&E at Chicago, this does not line up with what I’ve heard from the couple of others I talked to, who got slammed with interviews without feeder firms or fancy connections. Maybe apply more broadly (politically or geographically)? 42 isn’t that many especially if you’re doing both COAs and DCs.
Geography may be the kicker. About 3/4 of my apps were to 2/9/DC, SDNY, and DDC.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:45 pm
If you’re at Chicago, they probably made calls whether you asked them to or not. You probably need to have a conversation with Strahilevitz, etc. if you’re gunning for SCOTUS and want Dean Miles to go to bat for you with Srinivasan, etc. but I didn’t even know my writers and the clerkship committee had been calling (or that calls were much of a thing) until judges told me. They have it down to a science. It also makes it pretty artificial in that I believe that they game out pretty heavily which students get pushed to which judges (and control it completely for some judges like Easterbrook).
Can confirm that the clerkship committee has its own plan for everyone. Got an email the weekend before the plan started asking me if I wanted them to call judge so-and-so, who was on my list but I hadn't expressed an extremely strong interest in.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:14 pm

Cum laude at HYS + LR, thanks to the last few pages I finally know why I haven't gotten any COA interviews. The only calls I had were from a government employer, the 2/9/DC clerks probably chuckled and threw my app in the trash.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by nixy » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:14 pm
Cum laude at HYS + LR, thanks to the last few pages I finally know why I haven't gotten any COA interviews. The only calls I had were from a government employer, the 2/9/DC clerks probably chuckled and threw my app in the trash.
I don't think a call from a government employer is automatically less useful than a call from a prof. The point is to have someone call to vouch for you, who knows you in a context relevant to clerking. Some judges will only care about calls from people they know whose judgment they can trust, but that's not about the caller's job, just the judge's relationship with them. Now, it's possible an employer won't have as good a perspective on your work as a prof, but it could also be the other way around - just depends on the employer and the prof in question.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Wild Card » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:30 pm

beepboopbeep wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:36 pm
How is this at all responsive to what the person you're responding to was saying, which is that the only thing you have to lose by asking is getting a "no"? Maybe your worries are justified, and they just don't like you enough or are correct about your low odds even with a call. But you don't know before you ask, and you lose nothing by trying. Having a complex about it is shooting yourself in the foot.
You are confused. The anonymous post I was responding to expressed surprise that many people are reluctant to ask their professors to call. I was offering my own experiences and my own reasons for hesitating to ask, which may resonate with others who have similarly hesitated.

I agree that you have nothing to lose by asking and that you have to be bold about it.

At the same time, you may have something to lose: your credibility. In other words, you will have to be judicious about which judges you want your professor to call. It would be unwise of you to submit a list of all 200 judges you've applied to. Even a dozen may be too many. If you don't exercise careful judgment, you could sharply diminish your credibility in the eyes of your recommender. That's all.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:40 pm

A professional reference with personal ties to a judge directly submitted an application on my behalf (applications are not accepted on OSCAR). Is it common to have a school reference call too? Or is that overkill?

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:55 pm

jealous to hear about clerkship offices/schools that are actually helpful.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by nixy » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:25 pm

Wild Card wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:30 pm
beepboopbeep wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:36 pm
How is this at all responsive to what the person you're responding to was saying, which is that the only thing you have to lose by asking is getting a "no"? Maybe your worries are justified, and they just don't like you enough or are correct about your low odds even with a call. But you don't know before you ask, and you lose nothing by trying. Having a complex about it is shooting yourself in the foot.
You are confused. The anonymous post I was responding to expressed surprise that many people are reluctant to ask their professors to call. I was offering my own experiences and my own reasons for hesitating to ask, which may resonate with others who have similarly hesitated.

I agree that you have nothing to lose by asking and that you have to be bold about it.

At the same time, you may have something to lose: your credibility. In other words, you will have to be judicious about which judges you want your professor to call. It would be unwise of you to submit a list of all 200 judges you've applied to. Even a dozen may be too many. If you don't exercise careful judgment, you could sharply diminish your credibility in the eyes of your recommender. That's all.
I get this, but I think one way to approach it is ask your professor *if* they're willing to call, then find out if they have any pre-existing connections to any of the judges you've applied to, and go from there, with the prof deciding how to limit the number of calls and which judges they feel most comfortable contacting. I don't think any prof is going to look down on anyone for applying to 200 judges, nor do I really think you'll "lose credibility" with your prof if they think some of the judges are out of your league. I mean, if you're below median with little else to recommend you, and you've applied only to Garland, Katzman, Wilkinson, and O'Scannlain, sure, they're probably not going to think you're being very realistic, and chances are they're not going to call for you. But very few people are going to be in this kind of situation, and even if you were, I don't think this some kind of kiss of death - chances are they'd actually tell you that you need to apply more realistically, not decide you're a loser who should be cut from their acquaintance or something.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:14 pm
Cum laude at HYS + LR, thanks to the last few pages I finally know why I haven't gotten any COA interviews. The only calls I had were from a government employer, the 2/9/DC clerks probably chuckled and threw my app in the trash.
I would assume (without direct knowledge) that a cum laude liberal at Harvard wouldn’t be that competitive for 2/9/DC without something extra special on their resume or someone extra special calling. I mean there are like 150 of you every year right? I think the problem might be aiming too high, not not having the right connections. And I have a good friend who landed one of the better 2/9/DC clerkships in large part due to a call from a government employer who knew the judge.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by GoneSouth » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:37 pm
Somewhat disappointing is that a lack of a call is a significant detriment to chances. It makes sense I guess, but it also seems like a race to the bottom. Maybe that is what it takes to get ahead, but I refuse to ask or beg my school or professors to make calls on my behalf. If they want to call on their own, that’s great. I do keep them informed because they are my recommenders. I do not have any connections or family or friends in law. I sent apps out and hoped for the best. Nothing too special, ~33% CCN, some pre-law school work experience, and have gotten a few interviews (COA and Dct). Regional ties help
I think some judges view a call as an expression of interest specifically in them, on the theory that your professors are not going to willing to call 20 judges for you, so if they're getting a call, it means they are probably one of your top choices.

Also as far as refusing to ask or beg for calls, you be you and I know it can be uncomfortable to ask, but it makes a massive difference to some judges, so you're really only hurting yourself

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:30 pm

In our chambers, if a recommender reached out on your behalf, it at least guaranteed that your application got a close look, even if the judge did not know the recommender.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:27 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:45 pm
If you’re at Chicago, they probably made calls whether you asked them to or not. You probably need to have a conversation with Strahilevitz, etc. if you’re gunning for SCOTUS and want Dean Miles to go to bat for you with Srinivasan, etc. but I didn’t even know my writers and the clerkship committee had been calling (or that calls were much of a thing) until judges told me. They have it down to a science. It also makes it pretty artificial in that I believe that they game out pretty heavily which students get pushed to which judges (and control it completely for some judges like Easterbrook).
Can confirm that the clerkship committee has its own plan for everyone. Got an email the weekend before the plan started asking me if I wanted them to call judge so-and-so, who was on my list but I hadn't expressed an extremely strong interest in.
Would you mind sharing roughly where you are in the class? I know that nobody has made calls on my behalf and was curious as to where one has to be grade-wise for this to happen?

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:40 pm
A professional reference with personal ties to a judge directly submitted an application on my behalf (applications are not accepted on OSCAR). Is it common to have a school reference call too? Or is that overkill?
I can’t speak to how common it is, but I did this and ended up with an interview and offer fwiw

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:06 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:40 pm
A professional reference with personal ties to a judge directly submitted an application on my behalf (applications are not accepted on OSCAR). Is it common to have a school reference call too? Or is that overkill?
I can’t speak to how common it is, but I did this and ended up with an interview and offer fwiw
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:30 pm
In our chambers, if a recommender reached out on your behalf, it at least guaranteed that your application got a close look, even if the judge did not know the recommender.
Thanks! This may be worth a hail mary then. There is a slight gap between the initial contact and what would be the second contact. I haven't seen anything reported on this judge's movements....

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:40 pm
A professional reference with personal ties to a judge directly submitted an application on my behalf (applications are not accepted on OSCAR). Is it common to have a school reference call too? Or is that overkill?
I don't think it would be overkill but you probably get diminishing returns. Especially if the person doesn't have as similar ties to the judge as the person who submitted.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:14 pm
Cum laude at HYS + LR, thanks to the last few pages I finally know why I haven't gotten any COA interviews. The only calls I had were from a government employer, the 2/9/DC clerks probably chuckled and threw my app in the trash.
It's no secret that leveraging connections helps to some degree, but you didn't get an interview because it's competitive. I have better basic credentials and only got one interview. I didn't get the job. And I know people with better credentials than me (top 1-2% at a T6) who haven't gotten interviews even with professor calls. There's just not enough spots for everyone (at least for now), even if we're super qualified.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:40 pm

Is Abrams (SDNY) full? Still open on OSCAR

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:01 pm

How much of a difference does your undergrad grade sheet make? If you had a bad UGPA does that make that much of a difference?

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:01 pm
How much of a difference does your undergrad grade sheet make? If you had a bad UGPA does that make that much of a difference?
When I see Cs and Ds, I wonder whether the applicant was suffering from severe depression or drug addiction, especially if the applicant attended a top private university, where the median grade for each course is an A-.

You may benefit from a judge's ignorance: the older ones may think the "Gentleman's C" is still a thing, but we all know that it's become the "Gentleman's B."

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:19 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:01 pm
How much of a difference does your undergrad grade sheet make? If you had a bad UGPA does that make that much of a difference?
When I see Cs and Ds, I wonder whether the applicant was suffering from severe depression or drug addiction, especially if the applicant attended a top private university, where the median grade for each course is an A-.

You may benefit from a judge's ignorance: the older ones may think the "Gentleman's C" is still a thing, but we all know that it's become the "Gentleman's B."
To follow up on this, it will depend on the judge whether they ask you about it or not. From personal experience in interviewing, judges assume the Gentleman’s B is a thing for liberal arts majors, but are inclined to give the benefit of the doubt for hard science/engineering majors. It will help you to have been outstanding in law school, but regardless you need to be able to explain those grades.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:24 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:19 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:01 pm
How much of a difference does your undergrad grade sheet make? If you had a bad UGPA does that make that much of a difference?
When I see Cs and Ds, I wonder whether the applicant was suffering from severe depression or drug addiction, especially if the applicant attended a top private university, where the median grade for each course is an A-.

You may benefit from a judge's ignorance: the older ones may think the "Gentleman's C" is still a thing, but we all know that it's become the "Gentleman's B."
To follow up on this, it will depend on the judge whether they ask you about it or not. From personal experience in interviewing, judges assume the Gentleman’s B is a thing for liberal arts majors, but are inclined to give the benefit of the doubt for hard science/engineering majors. It will help you to have been outstanding in law school, but regardless you need to be able to explain those grades.
My judge only uses undergrad grades and LSAT scores to see who likely had offers from better-ranked law schools but chose not to attend for money or family.

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Re: 2021-2022 Clerkship Application Thread

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:43 pm

For other alums applying right now, how do you get a decent writing sample? I feel like I've been out of law school too long to be using stuff from there, but all the briefs I've written for my firm have been edited a ton by the partners. I don't really feel comfortable submitting those, especially when a lot of judges have postings that say writing samples shouldn't be substantially edited by others. And doesn't submitting real legal work raise a whole lot of confidentiality/work product issues?

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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