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What are my chances?

Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:11 pm
by Anonymous User
I’m currently about to complete my second year of biglaw as a restructuring associate. I’ve always wanted to clerk (had a judicial internship in the past) and I’m thinking about applying. I went to a T10 school, had a managing board position on a secondary journal and graduated with a 3.44 GPA.

What are my chances for a district court clerkship? I’m not thinking about a bankruptcy court clerkship because I’m hoping to transition into a general commercial or white collar lit practice after clerking. Is it a hindrance or a help (or nothing) that I’m currently doing bankruptcy work?

Re: What are my chances?

Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:22 pm
by Anonymous User
Your GPA isn't great, but it might carry less weight now that you're two years out of law school. If you can get stellar LORs and either a former professor or someone at your firm with ties to a judge to put in a call for you, you have a decent shot at getting an interview or two. Aim for judges who put a premium on work experience by requiring 1-2 years of post-law school experience. You'll have a much better shot if you're willing to be geographically flexible, and also if you're willing to do a bankruptcy clerkship before your district court clerkship (but I get that you might not want to do two back-to-back non-COA clerkships).

Re: What are my chances?

Posted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:56 am
by Anonymous User
OP here. Thanks for the reply. I’m geographically flexible (would take a district clerkship on the moon if I was offered one). What about state supreme/federal magistrate judges?

Re: What are my chances?

Posted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:44 am
by Anonymous User
Same anon as above. I think you have a decent shot at most state supreme/federal magistrate clerkships. Again, apply broadly, and see if anyone will make calls for you (especially for state supreme, which can be competitive depending on the state).

Re: What are my chances?

Posted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:42 pm
by Anonymous User
I have similar stats and background, and was able to clerk in district court out of law school. Apply broadly and as long as you're geographically flexible, it'll happen. I had several interviews, mostly in decently-sized cities (think in Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maryland) and one in the middle of nowhere. Especially with experience and a willingness to send out hundreds (no joke) of apps, it'll happen if you want it to.

Your experience in bankruptcy shouldn't hurt your chances. Bankruptcy appeals come through district courts, so your experience is useful (especially seeing how complex it can be).

Re: What are my chances?

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:54 am
by Anonymous User
Current clerk. I would just echo everyone's advice to apply broadly, including outside of the most competitive districts and cities. One thing I noticed when I was in NYC big law is that people had clerked all over the place. I think as long as you get a district court clerkship somewhere, it won't matter as much where if you're just looking to transition to litigation/white collar. Can't really speak to magistrate or state supreme clerkships.

I would try to have an explanation for why you want to clerk (and not on a bankruptcy court) given that you've been doing restructuring. I don't think it necessarily would be held against you since bankruptcy has litigation elements.

Why are you looking to switch out of restructuring into litigation?