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Author Topic: Federal Clerk: how hard to land?  (Read 3022 times)

Budlaw

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Re: Federal Clerk: how hard to land?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2007, 06:33:57 PM »
I've got about the same stats at the OP (about the same class rank, not on Law Review, but an editor on another Journal, and go to a school ranked in the high 50's), and I've got to tell you all that it's difficult just to get an interview. I applied to around 100 judges, and so far all I've received is 4 interviews. Not exactly a good percentage. I might get one or 2 more interviews, but barring a miracle, that will be it.

I agree with the earlier poster who said cast a wide net, but then again, you've got to realize that if you're not at a "national school" i.e. top 15-20, or you don't have a connection to the area that you're applying to, then you may be wasting your time on random clerkships on the opposite coast as you. But you never know. I did get an interview in the mid-west and I have no connection what-so-ever out there. In any event, with OSCAR, it can't hurt to apply to random places, just don't get you're hopes up.

Also, I had a judge comment the other day about how he liked that I was an intern at a state appellate court. So that may be something that you can do to boost your chances. Above all else, actually do some legal work. Don't waste your summers (or your time in school) not working.

Good luck to everyone else.

plaw

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Re: Federal Clerk: how hard to land?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2007, 05:53:00 PM »
I applied to around 100 judges, and so far all I've received is 4 interviews. Not exactly a good percentage. I might get one or 2 more interviews, but barring a miracle, that will be it.

I'd think that 4 interviews is pretty good.  I ended up landing a clerkship this year, and had 3 other interview offers.  I am a practicing lawyer (1 year out) so it's slightly different.  I didn't end up doing any of the other interviews because I had already accepted the first offer.

For what it's worth, top 14 school somewhere around top 30% (but just barely), officer of non-LR journal.  Also, none of the judges that gave me interview offers were alumni of my LS and they were for 4 completely different districts.

Contract2008

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Re: Federal Clerk: how hard to land?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2007, 10:13:57 PM »
I've got about the same stats at the OP (about the same class rank, not on Law Review, but an editor on another Journal, and go to a school ranked in the high 50's), and I've got to tell you all that it's difficult just to get an interview. I applied to around 100 judges, and so far all I've received is 4 interviews. Not exactly a good percentage. I might get one or 2 more interviews, but barring a miracle, that will be it.

I agree with the earlier poster who said cast a wide net, but then again, you've got to realize that if you're not at a "national school" i.e. top 15-20, or you don't have a connection to the area that you're applying to, then you may be wasting your time on random clerkships on the opposite coast as you. But you never know. I did get an interview in the mid-west and I have no connection what-so-ever out there. In any event, with OSCAR, it can't hurt to apply to random places, just don't get you're hopes up.

Also, I had a judge comment the other day about how he liked that I was an intern at a state appellate court. So that may be something that you can do to boost your chances. Above all else, actually do some legal work. Don't waste your summers (or your time in school) not working.

Good luck to everyone else.

I thought you went to UGA...no?  And, didn't you accepted a position with a law firm already?

Budlaw

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Re: Federal Clerk: how hard to land?
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2007, 07:21:34 PM »
UGA undergrad. Law firm offer, haven't accepted yet.

I've got about the same stats at the OP (about the same class rank, not on Law Review, but an editor on another Journal, and go to a school ranked in the high 50's), and I've got to tell you all that it's difficult just to get an interview. I applied to around 100 judges, and so far all I've received is 4 interviews. Not exactly a good percentage. I might get one or 2 more interviews, but barring a miracle, that will be it.

I agree with the earlier poster who said cast a wide net, but then again, you've got to realize that if you're not at a "national school" i.e. top 15-20, or you don't have a connection to the area that you're applying to, then you may be wasting your time on random clerkships on the opposite coast as you. But you never know. I did get an interview in the mid-west and I have no connection what-so-ever out there. In any event, with OSCAR, it can't hurt to apply to random places, just don't get you're hopes up.

Also, I had a judge comment the other day about how he liked that I was an intern at a state appellate court. So that may be something that you can do to boost your chances. Above all else, actually do some legal work. Don't waste your summers (or your time in school) not working.

Good luck to everyone else.

I thought you went to UGA...no?  And, didn't you accepted a position with a law firm already?

Contract2008

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Re: Federal Clerk: how hard to land?
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2007, 10:08:23 PM »
UGA undergrad. Law firm offer, haven't accepted yet.

Why not?  Six figure? 

blaze.1

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Re: Federal Clerk: how hard to land?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2007, 01:50:28 AM »
I'm a 3L at Temple Law and just accepted a federal clerkship. My two cents is that you should not get discouraged by all the negatives people throw at you. The bottom line is that if you don't apply, then you have no chance at all. So just go ahead and put together the best clerkship application possible and apply because you never know what can happen. Check out state clerkships too.
Attending: Temple

JG

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Re: Federal Clerk: how hard to land?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2007, 06:43:52 PM »
I doubt it's anywhere near $70--my best guess would be it's around $56,000.  This year, federal circuit clerks fresh out of law school in localities without an upward cost-of-living adjustment make just under $53,000; I think district clerks make the same.  ED PA probably has a small locality increase.

Blunderbuss

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Re: Federal Clerk: how hard to land?
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2007, 02:04:57 AM »
What is clerkship prospect for someone from T5 school, editor of non-LR journal and top 30% grade? CoA clerkship probably unlikely, but what about district?

Lenny

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Re: Federal Clerk: how hard to land?
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2007, 08:17:27 AM »
As far as odds go, just to give everyone a view from the other side - the judge I clerked (federal district in one of the "hotter" districts) for received over 300 applications for two positions, and this is after we stated that we were not accepting applications.  Moreover, a vast majority of the applicants were insanely qualified if you are just going off the papers.  So, needless to say, its a turkey shoot.

Now, I agree with those that say that if it is something you want, by all means apply, if for no other reason than to tell yourself you gave it a shot.  But, aside from being summa at Yale, the only way to increase your odds is through connections.  This is where choice firm(s) for your 2L summer becomes important.  If a federal clerkship is a priority for you, make your choice of firm based on which firm has the most ex-clerks in the associate ranks.  Many judges, mine included, interview and hire almost 100% off of recommendations from colleagues and former clerks.  If you can get in good, both socially and with good work product, with a few of the associates in the office that have clerked recently, they may be willing to give the judge a call on your behalf.  So, instead of just bumbling around - fat, dumb, and overpaid - during the summer, take the initiative and develop these contacts and then play the card. 

Good luck.  The only downside of clerking is that it is the best job you will ever have, and it comes at the beginning of your career.

JG

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Re: Federal Clerk: how hard to land?
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2007, 10:22:00 AM »
Blunderbuss, I think you have a decent shot, but no guarantee.  Lenny's networking advice is good.

My advice:
-If you're a 2L, get to know the 3Ls at you're school who've accepted clerkships.  When you apply next fall, they are going to be the people screening through hundreds of applications.  If they know you and like you, they might move your application to the top of the pile.

-Apply to out-of-the-way places.  The work is basically the same in Paducah, Kentucky as it is in New York City, and Paducah judges get far fewer applications.  Most people can live anywhere for a year.

-Apply to judges who have hired from your school before.

-Whenever you can do so without sounding phony, express enthusiasm about the geographic area where you're applying.  Judges (especially in out-of-the-way places) would rather interview people who actually want to come and work for them, not people who are going to turn them down if they get an offer in a "better" location.