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Author Topic: Choosing a school for an edge in judicial clerkships? U Iowa or T3?  (Read 589 times)

vap

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I understand what will increase the chances of landing a federal clerkship: high GPA and journal experience.  But, how much does a school's ranking play into it?  Does anyone know of a registry that tracks the schools attended by clerks working with certain judges?

I'm currently trying to decide between Iowa (out of state, no scholarship) and a T3 with a full scholarship. The median and 75% starting salaries at the schools are about equal.

I would like to do a district and/or circuit court clerkship. I'm leaning towards the T3 because, the way I see it, if I end up not having good enough grades at either school to get a clerkship, then I am better off being in debt only $40,000 (living expenses at T3) rather than $125,000 at Iowa. UNLESS, Iowa's higher ranking would provide an edge when applying for clerkships. 

Other than cost and ranking, the schools tie on the other important factors to me.

Any ideas?  Thanks!

Denny Crane

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Re: Choosing a school for an edge in judicial clerkships?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2007, 01:34:04 AM »
Where do you want to have your clerkship?  Neither Iowa nor a T3 will give you too many options nationally for federal clerkships, though if I had to choose I would say Iowa would be better of the two.  Iowa probably places well with federal judges in Iowa and *maybe* the surrounding midwestern region, but outside of that you're probably going to have a tough time. 

The debt load at Iowa would be higher, clearly, but that debt might be made up for in better post-grad prospects for clerkships and/or other opportunities.  Just something to keep in mind.  Also, with a more modest GPA it may still be possible to get a clerkship from Iowa.  With the T3, I'm much more skeptical.
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Re: Choosing a school for an edge in judicial clerkships?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2007, 01:59:16 AM »
I understand what will increase the chances of landing a federal clerkship: high GPA and journal experience.  But, how much does a school's ranking play into it?  Does anyone know of a registry that tracks the schools attended by clerks working with certain judges?

I'm currently trying to decide between Iowa (out of state, no scholarship) and a T3 with a full scholarship. The median and 75% starting salaries at the schools are about equal.

I would like to do a district and/or circuit court clerkship. I'm leaning towards the T3 because, the way I see it, if I end up not having good enough grades at either school to get a clerkship, then I am better off being in debt only $40,000 (living expenses at T3) rather than $125,000 at Iowa. UNLESS, Iowa's higher ranking would provide an edge when applying for clerkships. 

Other than cost and ranking, the schools tie on the other important factors to me.

Any ideas?  Thanks!

does this t3 have a gpa cutoff that you have to maintain in order to keep the scholarship?  you have to consider that, along wit the schools curve, b4 you make that leap thinking that the money will always be there.
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vap

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Re: Choosing a school for an edge in judicial clerkships?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2007, 12:30:39 PM »
Thanks for the advice!  The GPA cutoff for the scholarship is class rank of 50%.

While I wouldn't mind living in Iowa for 3-5 years, I doubt I would want to practice there after a clerkship.  The T3 (Texas Tech) has a slightly higher regional appeal to me. (I'd prefer to end  up in Dallas/Ft.Worth, Austin, San Antonio, San Francisco, Minneapolis/St.Paul, Chicago, or DC).

I guess I should have also asked... is Iowa a significantly less regional school than Texas Tech?

Do judges typically hire students from their own schools, and I imagine Iowa has more judges as alumni than Tech?  I assume judges are a lot less picky than BIGLAW when it comes to ranking. True?  I'm also under the impression that geography / location of the law school matters less for clerkships than it does for firm jobs.  True? 

As far as a clerkship goes, I'm very open geographically.  I wouldn't mind living outside one of my desired practice areas.  I assume clerking anywhere will open up more doors anyway.  True?

Thanks!

ptown

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Re: Choosing a school for an edge in judicial clerkships? U Iowa or T3?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2007, 01:25:35 PM »
I know someone that works in the 7th cir, the clerks there have come from all up and down the ranking, although they seem to be mostly local.  SIU, NIU, UIUS, WUSTL I have heard of them having recently.  I dont get the impression that rankings play a huge part in it.  It is probably different in large cities though.
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bamf

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Re: Choosing a school for an edge in judicial clerkships?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2007, 01:26:46 PM »
Where do you want to have your clerkship?  Neither Iowa nor a T3 will give you too many options nationally for federal clerkships, though if I had to choose I would say Iowa would be better of the two.  Iowa probably places well with federal judges in Iowa and *maybe* the surrounding midwestern region, but outside of that you're probably going to have a tough time. 


http://lawclerkaddict.blogspot.com/

this site is very incomplete but even with this limited info you can see that the 2nd, 8th and 9th Federal CofAs have Iowa clerks.  Iowa is very well respected in the midwest and can give you a great shot at a decent clerkship.
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bamf

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Re: Choosing a school for an edge in judicial clerkships? U Iowa or T3?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2007, 01:28:55 PM »
also, about your debt load, what is Iowa's policy on getting in-state tuition after 1L?  This could reduce your debt...
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vap

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Re: Choosing a school for an edge in judicial clerkships? U Iowa or T3?
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2007, 02:13:12 PM »
also, about your debt load, what is Iowa's policy on getting in-state tuition after 1L?  This could reduce your debt...

In-state tuition exceptions are made for research assistants while they are working. It's not easy to qualify for in-state tuition otherwise.

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Re: Choosing a school for an edge in judicial clerkships? U Iowa or T3?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2007, 03:28:17 PM »
I think RA position with Iowa is like 'ask and you shall receive'.  It is not hard at all to get that.