Is evidence or fed courts more important?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
Post Reply
Libya

New
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:01 pm

Is evidence or fed courts more important?

Post by Libya » Tue Apr 21, 2020 5:10 pm

I want to do a couple (D.Ct. and COA) AIII clerkships and eventually be an AUSA. Due to schedule conflicts I can only take one of fed courts and evidence. Which is more important? Fed courts seems to take me out of the running for some judges, but would learning evidence for the bar and then relearning in biglaw be a serious hurdle, and possibly even pock me out of AUSA positions?

Anon-non-anon

Bronze
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:40 pm

Re: Is evidence or fed courts more important?

Post by Anon-non-anon » Tue Apr 21, 2020 5:17 pm

I would take evidence. Most of fed courts you have some idea about due to civ pro, and other stuff should be briefed as a clerk. Some judges won't look at you, but I think most won't care too much. Missing evidence altogether might be rough as an AUSA. You'll learn it for the bar a bit, but a few rounds through the rules have definitely been helpful for me. I took both, and evidence comes up more, though evidence is pretty simple once you know to look at a rule. It's more about knowing it's something a rule or exception would apply to.

Libya

New
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:01 pm

Re: Is evidence or fed courts more important?

Post by Libya » Tue Apr 21, 2020 5:38 pm

Anon-non-anon wrote:I would take evidence. Most of fed courts you have some idea about due to civ pro, and other stuff should be briefed as a clerk. Some judges won't look at you, but I think most won't care too much. Missing evidence altogether might be rough as an AUSA. You'll learn it for the bar a bit, but a few rounds through the rules have definitely been helpful for me. I took both, and evidence comes up more, though evidence is pretty simple once you know to look at a rule. It's more about knowing it's something a rule or exception would apply to.
FWIW the evidence professor is regarded as pretty bad; I get the feeling I'd be teaching myself most of the material anyways. Do you have any thoughts on whether it'd be a categorical bar to getting an AUSA (or DOJ) position in some offices in the first place?

nixy

Gold
Posts: 2689
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Is evidence or fed courts more important?

Post by nixy » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:13 pm

I would take evidence. Even if the prof is bad, the course will still give you an overview and a structure for learning the subject that would be helpful. And I think it's much more helpful for clerking and other litigation jobs than fed courts.

That said, I also don't think USAOs are going to care if you took evidence in law school, because hiring will focus more on what you've done since you graduated.

User avatar
Wild Card

Silver
Posts: 840
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:48 pm

Re: Is evidence or fed courts more important?

Post by Wild Card » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:18 pm

You'll learn Evidence for the bar exam, whereas the bar exam covers only standing in Federal Courts. However, Federal Courts also covers, among other things: congressional control of federal and state jurisdiction, direct review of state court decisions, federal question jurisdiction, federal common law, and suits challenging official action.

Ultimately, I think it would make most sense to take the course in which you'll get the higher grade.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


User avatar
Pneumonia

Gold
Posts: 1975
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Is evidence or fed courts more important?

Post by Pneumonia » Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:34 pm

These are two pretty core courses for someone who wants to clerk and be an AUSA. How is it that you can't take both?

Libya

New
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:01 pm

Re: Is evidence or fed courts more important?

Post by Libya » Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:06 pm

Didn't get into the more popular fed courts; only got into evidence that conflicts with the less popular fed courts. Made the mistake of waiting til 3L to take both. Leaning towards evidence and just dealing with a smaller pool of judges I'd be able to snag.

User avatar
Pneumonia

Gold
Posts: 1975
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Is evidence or fed courts more important?

Post by Pneumonia » Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:26 pm

Libya wrote:Didn't get into the more popular fed courts; only got into evidence that conflicts with the less popular fed courts. Made the mistake of waiting til 3L to take both. Leaning towards evidence and just dealing with a smaller pool of judges I'd be able to snag.
This is a reasonable explanation. Many judges won't care, but for those that do you can essentially blame it on your school (with a dose of blaming yourself for bad bidding on classes). If there is no waitlist movement that allows you to do both, even if not with the ideal professor, then I agree that evidence is probably the best option.

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3563
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Is evidence or fed courts more important?

Post by UVA2B » Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:29 pm

Maybe I'm missing something here, but this is registering for classes in the fall, right? Can you not take one in the fall and the other in the spring?

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


Libya

New
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:01 pm

Re: Is evidence or fed courts more important?

Post by Libya » Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:50 pm

UVA2B wrote:Maybe I'm missing something here, but this is registering for classes in the fall, right? Can you not take one in the fall and the other in the spring?
at my school, unfortunately you register for all large courses with multiple offerings (corps, evidence, fed courts, etc.) at once. I wish it was by semester. You would think it'd be otherwise. Also the waitlists are ridiculous for all other evidence courses.

Anon-non-anon

Bronze
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:40 pm

Re: Is evidence or fed courts more important?

Post by Anon-non-anon » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:20 am

Libya wrote:
Anon-non-anon wrote:I would take evidence. Most of fed courts you have some idea about due to civ pro, and other stuff should be briefed as a clerk. Some judges won't look at you, but I think most won't care too much. Missing evidence altogether might be rough as an AUSA. You'll learn it for the bar a bit, but a few rounds through the rules have definitely been helpful for me. I took both, and evidence comes up more, though evidence is pretty simple once you know to look at a rule. It's more about knowing it's something a rule or exception would apply to.
FWIW the evidence professor is regarded as pretty bad; I get the feeling I'd be teaching myself most of the material anyways. Do you have any thoughts on whether it'd be a categorical bar to getting an AUSA (or DOJ) position in some offices in the first place?
I thought I had a bad evidence prof too. Everyone continues to think he's bad. But when I sat down and taught myself the rules at the end his dumb stories would pop into my head and actually helped me remember. And since I had to go through the rules myself once, I got a pretty nuanced review. Then bar review helped solidify again. I think it's one class where the prof won't matter as much (other than for grade) but forcing yourself to learn it now and review for bar would be helpful in your future.

I don't think either will get you categorically barred, but ppl may ask about it. I think "they couldn't fit in my schedule" is a fine enough answer. And Fed Courts issues don't come up that much if you want to prosecute criminal cases. Evidence does all the time.

Disclaimer I'm not an AUSA. This is from watching during clerkship. And yes, some judges will throw out your app w/o federal courts, but that seems like a minority.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


Post Reply

Return to “Law School FAQ”