Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on September 03, 2008, 02:51:47 AM

Title: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on September 03, 2008, 02:51:47 AM
Nothing to do now but worry until the 8th...  :-[
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: MrMark on September 07, 2008, 11:02:24 AM
What's the cause of worrying until the 8th? 
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: Team Pam on September 07, 2008, 12:51:34 PM
Nothing to do now but worry until the 8th...  :-[

You're going to do awesome!  Go, Legapp!!  :)
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: archival on September 07, 2008, 04:17:30 PM
Is ATL down or something?

Basically, you'll be invited to apply to non-plan judges if you fit their criteria.  Otherwise, you just apply on the plan with the rest of the unanointed. 
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on September 07, 2008, 04:51:08 PM
So some judges are "on the system" and some aren't?  Do 3Ls just apply to the non-system judges early and hope for the best?  I've never really understood this...

It takes some research to determine what judges are "off plan"--some judges will just post in OSCAR (the central database for federal clerkships) and tell students that they will accept 3L applications at any time.  Other judges are less open about it.  If you go to a school with strong clerkship placement (ie, HY), it seems like the clerkship offices give you more info about who these judges are.  The rest of the schools follow the plan, which, of course, hurts all of their students in relation to the schools that help with off-plan applications.  Most schools will not release your recommendations until it is official application time, for instance, and they tell professors that they should refuse to send LORs separately for us.  It sucks.

The clerkship rat race is particularly awful because of the tight deadlines and judges' preference for on-the-spot hiring.  Plenty of highly successful law students fail to secure a clerkship every year because the following scenario occurs:  Applicant, who attends Stanford, receives an offer to interview with a Second Circuit judge in Manhattan.  She agrees to fly out to be there Thursday afternoon.  The judge has two spots; she is his fourth interview of the day.  Applicant has a fantastic grade-resume combination, so she receives, say, three more interview offers back on the west coast.  Due to travel time, she cannot be in town for these until Friday and Monday.  Applicant arrives for her interview to find that the judge has already hired the first two interviewees.  Then the calls from other chambers begin to trickle in, informing Applicant that they, too, hired the first candidates to arrive.  Applicant never had a chance.
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: archival on September 07, 2008, 05:39:17 PM
  Applicant never had a chance.

That sounds so dramatic.

Lots of judges hire alums, so if applicant really wants to clerk she can still do so after a year or two of experience.  http://lawclerkaddict2009.blogspot.com/
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on September 07, 2008, 09:54:14 PM
Yes, you can go through this process again as a graduate applicant, but think about what that means.  Right now, I can consider clerkships across the nation, because I haven't settled down in any particular region; after a year working you'll have just gotten used to your job, home, and salary--only to leave all three. 
Plus, it would be awful to go through the experience of being denied a clerkship only through chance.

Judge Ambro of the 3rd Circuit has discussed moving to a matching system, much like med school programs use.  Applicants interview with the judges that like them, then both the applicants and judges rank their preferences.  Judges get clerks who really want to be with THEM, and applicants at least have some agency in the post-interview decision-making process (right now, you basically have to accept the first offer you receive, even if you didn't like the judge and have interviews coming up with judges you prefer).
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: jacy85 on September 08, 2008, 06:01:35 AM
Yes, you can go through this process again as a graduate applicant, but think about what that means.  Right now, I can consider clerkships across the nation, because I haven't settled down in any particular region; after a year working you'll have just gotten used to your job, home, and salary--only to leave all three. 
Plus, it would be awful to go through the experience of being denied a clerkship only through chance.

Judge Ambro of the 3rd Circuit has discussed moving to a matching system, much like med school programs use.  Applicants interview with the judges that like them, then both the applicants and judges rank their preferences.  Judges get clerks who really want to be with THEM, and applicants at least have some agency in the post-interview decision-making process (right now, you basically have to accept the first offer you receive, even if you didn't like the judge and have interviews coming up with judges you prefer).

A couple of thoughts...

First, with applying for a clerkship after you graduate.  This is a tough situation.  On one hand, more and more judges are PREFERRING experienced clerks and will perhaps give some preference to people who have worked for a few years.  On the other hand, the federal government (last I heard) has begun to limit hiring of these types of applicants.  The reason is the pay scale.  You're only allowed to take so big of a pay cut to work for the fed gov't before there enters in the appearance of impropriety (you gave up SO much to work here that you must expect favors or something - seems stupid to me, but that's the way it is).  So if a judge wants to hire 2 experienced clerks instead of 2 new law grads, you're looking at 2 employees at a much higher pay scale than the entry level grads. This is so regardless of whether the miserable former firm attorney would gladly clerk for entry level.  Last I heard, there was talk of limiting a judge to 1 experienced clerk.  So bottom line - even though experience may be preferred, there's probably many fewer spots available.

Second, I think a matching system like med school is an interesting thought.  The clerkship process is a disaster, IMO.  Some judges aren't on the fed system, some are, some say they are but they're really not, some say they are yet will make exceptions, etc.  It's a mess.  Add to this the fact that applicants are expected to accept the first offer given to them means someone could miss an opportunity to clerk for someone stellar in a ridiculously prestigious circuit because their interview with a lesser known judge happened to get scheduled a day earlier.
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: Thistle on September 08, 2008, 10:15:04 AM
dammit, its been an hour since opening bell and i havent gotten any calls yet!

whats WRONG with those people?   ;)
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: YeShallBeGods on September 08, 2008, 10:28:58 AM
dammit, its been an hour since opening bell and i havent gotten any calls yet!

whats WRONG with those people?   ;)

People seem to be having mixed experience. I have a friend who still hasn't heard anything as well... whereas I've gotten four COA calls so far (way more than I expected).

Don't get discouraged, the calls will come!!
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: Thistle on September 08, 2008, 10:35:54 AM
dammit, its been an hour since opening bell and i havent gotten any calls yet!

whats WRONG with those people?   ;)

People seem to be having mixed experience. I have a friend who still hasn't heard anything as well... whereas I've gotten four COA calls so far (way more than I expected).

Don't get discouraged, the calls will come!!


well, thanks (and congratulations) but i'm nothing special and at a little regional t3 to boot....i'm not gonna get any calls, and i really dont expect any.  MAYBE i will get an interview from the local 8th circuit judge, but thats a big maybe
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on September 08, 2008, 07:29:18 PM
Word on the street (well, the Clerkship Notification Blog) is that the 8th circuit judges had some sort of conference... but now they're saying that wasn't true.  Who knows?

I have three great interviews across the country, and have a legitimate shot at two (because the first judge does not make exploding offers, it's not a first come, first serve thing there).  I really love the judge I have Friday morning, but given the nature of the process it is probably not to be... if he's like most judges, he will have snapped up his applicants on Thursday... and I might not be able to delay if another judge gives me an offer.  So be it--I would love to work for any of them!
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on September 17, 2008, 05:11:32 PM
Spent $4,000 on travel and got nothing.   :'(

It's rough.... you feel good to get an interview, but all the judges I met were interviewing like 20 people for 2 spots.  I think I did well in my interviews, but I guess the odds were still stacked against me.  [EDIT:  Actually, I know I did well--two out of the three COA judges I interviewed with expressed how much they liked me at the end of the interview, and said they were interviewing everyone before deciding but were very interested in me... but apparently not interested enough.   :(  One, however, did want to talk about 2010, but it's a location my fiance won't move to so I think I will not want to do it in two years.]

I guess I am luckier than most, though, because tomorrow I'm meeting with the district court judge I worked for after my 1L year.  He hasn't hired yet, and said he will consider me.
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: Resident CLS Troll on September 17, 2008, 05:14:20 PM
Spent $4,000 on travel and got nothing.   :'(

It's rough.... you feel good to get an interview, but all the judge I met were interviewing like 20 people for 2 spots.  I think I did well in my interviews, but I guess the odds were still stacked against me.

I guess I am luckier than most, though, because tomorrow I'm meeting with the district court judge I worked for after my 1L year.  He hasn't hired yet, and said he will consider me.

Awww Legapp, I'm sorry.  :(

I really hope things go better with the DC judge from your 1L year.  I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: archival on September 17, 2008, 06:46:32 PM
I guess I am luckier than most, though, because tomorrow I'm meeting with the district court judge I worked for after my 1L year.  He hasn't hired yet, and said he will consider me.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: Thistle on September 17, 2008, 07:07:10 PM
Spent $4,000 on travel and got nothing.   :'(

It's rough.... you feel good to get an interview, but all the judge I met were interviewing like 20 people for 2 spots.  I think I did well in my interviews, but I guess the odds were still stacked against me.

I guess I am luckier than most, though, because tomorrow I'm meeting with the district court judge I worked for after my 1L year.  He hasn't hired yet, and said he will consider me.


sorry legapp....i had my one interview today, which went really well, but who knows.....and yeah, i spent $800 on my trip too....
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on September 20, 2008, 07:48:46 PM
Yay!  I didn't get my dream COA judge, but at least I have a clerkship... and with a judge I already know that I love to work for.   :)

I will be clerking for the same district court judge I worked for after my 1L summer.  It's two years, but hey, they say clerking is the best job you'll ever have, right?  I still plan to reapply for COA after... I'm a glutton for punishment that way.  But for now, I can finally relax.   ;D
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: Thistle on September 20, 2008, 08:24:54 PM
oooh, congratulations!


i'll probably do the same thing, should i get this district court gig....reapply for circuits next year
Title: Re: Clerkship applications are out...
Post by: jacy85 on September 21, 2008, 05:40:28 AM
Yay!  I didn't get my dream COA judge, but at least I have a clerkship... and with a judge I already know that I love to work for.   :)

I will be clerking for the same district court judge I worked for after my 1L summer.  It's two years, but hey, they say clerking is the best job you'll ever have, right?  I still plan to reapply for COA after... I'm a glutton for punishment that way.  But for now, I can finally relax.   ;D

Talk to your judge and people at your school for when you need to apply for COA for your second year out of school.  Because judges aren't hiring now-3L, they aren't in any way tied to the federal system, and can interview whenever they want.  I know people who interviewed in late fall/winter of their 3L year for their next clerkship (after having already landing a fed clerkship for after graduation).  You may need to start on that process sooner than you think!

And congrats!  I've heard clerking is the best job ever, but it's all the more satisfying when it's for a judge you like, and one who you know is willing to teach and mentor you!