Do I have a shot at a COA clerkship (especially 2nd or 3rd Circuit)

(Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
Anonymous User
Posts: 351149
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Do I have a shot at a COA clerkship (especially 2nd or 3rd Circuit)

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:52 pm

Rising 3L at a lower T50-ish school in the South (e.g. Baylor, Florida State, Tulane, SMU). Currently in the top 3%, hoping to stay top 5% through graduation; on law review, published, a couple CALI awards. District court clerkship lined up with a long-serving judge in a medium city in my school's region (e.g. SDTX, MDFL, EDLA).

Interested in an appellate clerkship for genuine intellectual interest and to ride out the potentially hostile hiring market for another year. I'm tired of this area and planning to work in NYC after clerking. It would be ideal to be near there for my potential next clerkship, which is why I'd prefer 2nd or 3rd Circuit. However, I'm open to courts of appeal anywhere. Do I have a good chance?

(Anon because I haven't mentioned applying for a second clerkship to the firm that is theoretically holding my offer for after my first one, which already seems tenuous.)

Anonymous User
Posts: 351149
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Do I have a shot at a COA clerkship (especially 2nd or 3rd Circuit)

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:39 pm

I would look to see if your school has alumni who have clerked on those courts and talk to them. Their judge/s would likely be the best in for you, whether they expressly recommend you or not. And also any professor connections. Definitely going to be an uphill battle, and it's certainly not as if you're unqualified. Just the reality of the system. But if you target the right judges, that'll give you your best shot.

decimalsanddollars

Bronze
Posts: 415
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:26 pm

Re: Do I have a shot at a COA clerkship (especially 2nd or 3rd Circuit)

Post by decimalsanddollars » Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:58 pm

I'll answer the simple question of "Do I have a good chance [at COA2/3]?" in the negative. I think you'll have to leverage connections and apply very carefully and well to get a 2nd or 3rd Cir clerkship. I think if you apply super broadly, you'll eventually get bites for COA, especially in your home circuit.

The Lsat Airbender

Silver
Posts: 1076
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:34 pm

Re: Do I have a shot at a COA clerkship (especially 2nd or 3rd Circuit)

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:04 pm

decimalsanddollars wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:58 pm
I'll answer the simple question of "Do I have a good chance [at COA2/3]?" in the negative. I think you'll have to leverage connections and apply very carefully and well to get a 2nd or 3rd Cir clerkship. I think if you apply super broadly, you'll eventually get bites for COA, especially in your home circuit.
Agree with this. You'll still be an attractive candidate for NYC/DC biglaw with a 4/5/11th Circuit clerkship.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351149
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Do I have a shot at a COA clerkship (especially 2nd or 3rd Circuit)

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:27 pm

decimalsanddollars wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:58 pm
I'll answer the simple question of "Do I have a good chance [at COA2/3]?" in the negative. I think you'll have to leverage connections and apply very carefully and well to get a 2nd or 3rd Cir clerkship. I think if you apply super broadly, you'll eventually get bites for COA, especially in your home circuit.
OP here. I agree that my prospects for a 2nd or 3rd circuit clerkship are low (and as of now, I'm just not interested in staying in my home circuit for another year).

What about another district clerkship but this time up North (like SDNY, EDNY, EDPA, or DNJ)? Would judges consider me? Would it make sense on my resume with the justification that I wanted to clerk in a new circuit/region?

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Internationalist

New
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:46 pm

Re: Do I have a shot at a COA clerkship (especially 2nd or 3rd Circuit)

Post by Internationalist » Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:52 pm

Fuentes, on the 3rd with chambers in Newark, has an affinity for top students from lower-ranked schools (he has a similar background). He might be your best shot at the 2nd or 3rd.

lavarman84

Platinum
Posts: 8091
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 5:01 pm

Re: Do I have a shot at a COA clerkship (especially 2nd or 3rd Circuit)

Post by lavarman84 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:54 pm

You'll need to work connections to have any shot. Those two circuits tend to be very selective, and unfortunately for you, a lot of judges won't give you the time of day because of your law school.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351149
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Do I have a shot at a COA clerkship (especially 2nd or 3rd Circuit)

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:59 pm

Internationalist wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:52 pm
Fuentes, on the 3rd with chambers in Newark, has an affinity for top students from lower-ranked schools (he has a similar background). He might be your best shot at the 2nd or 3rd.
So does Restrepo on the 3d. You should also target senior judges (indeed, Fuentes is senior). And you need to leverage the connections of your recommenders (and maybe your DJ, if he'd feel comfortable pushing your application to others). If you are lucky, they will know judges on these circuits. But echoing everyone that your best shot would be in your home circuit. This is especially because you are clerking on a D Ct in the home circuit — that DJ judge will know 5th/11th Cir judges, and vice versa. Indeed, I think in some COA chambers on your home circuit you'd get a good look based on stats and the D Ct gig. Also, if you snag the COA, you won't have a tough time getting interest with NY firms. A good number of firms will give anyone with a COA clerkship a serious look (at least when the economy was good, and hopefully it will be okay by the time you're applying)

I clerked on both D Ct and COA in one of 2d/3d Cir, and sorry to say that neither judge would consider your application, purely based on school/stats.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351149
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Do I have a shot at a COA clerkship (especially 2nd or 3rd Circuit)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:59 pm
Internationalist wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:52 pm
Fuentes, on the 3rd with chambers in Newark, has an affinity for top students from lower-ranked schools (he has a similar background). He might be your best shot at the 2nd or 3rd.
So does Restrepo on the 3d. You should also target senior judges (indeed, Fuentes is senior). And you need to leverage the connections of your recommenders (and maybe your DJ, if he'd feel comfortable pushing your application to others). If you are lucky, they will know judges on these circuits. But echoing everyone that your best shot would be in your home circuit. This is especially because you are clerking on a D Ct in the home circuit — that DJ judge will know 5th/11th Cir judges, and vice versa. Indeed, I think in some COA chambers on your home circuit you'd get a good look based on stats and the D Ct gig. Also, if you snag the COA, you won't have a tough time getting interest with NY firms. A good number of firms will give anyone with a COA clerkship a serious look (at least when the economy was good, and hopefully it will be okay by the time you're applying)

I clerked on both D Ct and COA in 2d/3d Cirs, and sorry to say that neither judge would consider your application, purely based on school/stats.
Current CA3 clerk. I could certainly be wrong and do not clerk in either of these chambers, but my impression is that while Fuentes and Restrepo may be a little less school-prestige oriented than other Newark and Philadelphia-based judges in the circuit, in the former case, it is for applicants with strong ties to the tristate area, and in the latter case, it is for public interest oriented applicants.

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


Anonymous User
Posts: 351149
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Do I have a shot at a COA clerkship (especially 2nd or 3rd Circuit)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:29 pm

I'm an incoming associate at a top DC/NYC firm, and a decent number of associates and partners I worked with as a SA had 5/6/8/10/11 COA clerkships. Everyone knows that getting a COA clerkship is difficult even for less "prestigious" circuits. I would leverage all the connections you have and apply broadly. Several 5/11 judges in particular like hiring from district courts in the circuit, so definitely don't discout the leg up that you have with your d.ct clerkship.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351149
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Do I have a shot at a COA clerkship (especially 2nd or 3rd Circuit)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:29 pm
Several 5/11 judges in particular like hiring from district courts in the circuit, so definitely don't discout the leg up that you have with your d.ct clerkship.
If you (or anyone else) don't mind, do you have any insight on what judges specifically (particularly in the Fifth) meet this description?

Anonymous User
Posts: 351149
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Do I have a shot at a COA clerkship (especially 2nd or 3rd Circuit)

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:06 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:29 pm
Several 5/11 judges in particular like hiring from district courts in the circuit, so definitely don't discout the leg up that you have with your d.ct clerkship.
If you (or anyone else) don't mind, do you have any insight on what judges specifically (particularly in the Fifth) meet this description?
Same question but for the 11th Cir.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Judicial Clerkships”