Besides "extremely," how hard is to land a federal district court clerkship? I am around top 10% (my school doesn't tell you exactly where you stand) and on law review at one of the 3 schools in the Philadelphia area which are ranked between 65-75 in USNews. What kind of chance would I have at landing one of these gigs (for either D.N.J or E.D.PA) with these credentials?
Also, what else should I be doing/joining to improve my chances? I guess the number one thing would be to try to get my LR article published? Should I try to get a research position with a professor or would that be considered only marginally if at all? Teaching assistant?
Any help or inside knowledge greatly appreciated.
Your odds are slim. Get your LR article published. Make sure you have three solid recs. Beyond that, good luck.
Most federal judges will receive upwards of 500-1000 apps. Some (S.D.N.Y., 2nd/9th/D.C. Circuits) receive several thousands. Being in the top 10% at a TTT isn't going to help much when you're compared against the the 65 schools better than yours. If you apply all around the country, you may have a chance of landing something, but your odds for just E.D.Pa. and D.N.J. aren't good. Talk to your career services; they may have a better idea.