Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

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guy
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by guy » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:50 pm

I basically hate conlaw. Anything I should avoid?

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ymmv
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by ymmv » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:01 pm

guy wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:50 pm
I basically hate conlaw. Anything I should avoid?
1st Amendment (obviously)
Fed Courts probably
Legislation
Admin (partly)

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UVA2B
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by UVA2B » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:02 pm

guy wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:50 pm
I basically hate conlaw. Anything I should avoid?
Any kind of advanced con law, but admin will also drag you through due process and separation of powers more than likely. It could be just a happy dissection of the APA, but alas, nope.

edit: scooped and also one-upped

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Nony
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by Nony » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:12 pm

ymmv wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:40 pm
UVA2B wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:39 pm
Nony wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:38 pm
Yeah, I think I lucked out, the prof I took it from had more practice experience/interest than average. (I also like con law.)
Who hurt you?
I found con law more enjoyable than most other core 1L courses ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I mean, I did a PhD in history, so my idea of enjoyable is a little off. But also con law is all the stuff that liberal nerds think is cool about law (civil rights, abortion, same-sex marriage, free speech, executive power, etc.). (Keep in mind that I could not care lesssssssssss about, say, contracts or corporate law or secured transactions or any of the stuff involving money.) And I had probably one of the top 2 profs at my school for the class.

But yes, guy, you should probably avoid Admin.

lawman84
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by lawman84 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:37 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:39 pm
Nony wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:38 pm
Yeah, I think I lucked out, the prof I took it from had more practice experience/interest than average. (I also like con law.)
Who hurt you?
I hated Con Law as a 1L. I didn't like the abstractness of it all. Now, I really like it. I guess I appreciate the ability to be creative and innovative.

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Littlewing67
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by Littlewing67 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:36 am

I have heard that law review is basically a requirement for fed clerkships. Is this true? Are there other extra curricular activities that strengthen your application? (mock trial, etc)

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ymmv
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by ymmv » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:40 am

Littlewing67 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:36 am
I have heard that law review is basically a requirement for fed clerkships. Is this true? Are there other extra curricular activities that strengthen your application? (mock trial, etc)
I know plenty of people who got fed clerkships without law review, though most of them were on at least some other journal. Can't speak to how much of a difference it makes.

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Nony
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by Nony » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:46 am

There are judges who will screen for law review, but not all do. If you make law review and want to clerk I would definitely do law review, but if you don’t get it, you’re not doomed. Although at a lot of schools LR is all about grades, for judges it’s isually a proxy for writing ability (they’ll see your grades directly). So the goal would be to demonstrate your writing ability in some other way. Moot court is better than mock trial because it requires writing and research, although it’s not going to make a huge difference. A good option if you don’t make law review is to try to get a note published (whether by doing a secondary journal or, probably better, getting some journal unrelated to your school to publish something). Or wining a brief award in a moot court competition (of course you can’t guarantee that). Also RAing for a prof could help if you end up with the prof praising your writing.

Beyond that I don’t think there are any clear cut extracurriculars you should do - some judges may find one thing interesting, some will find another, so it’s hard to predict what will appeal to the generic random judge out there. I would say do stuff, generally, to make yourself interesting and have stuff to talk about, though I think internships/real work outside your school, next maybe clinics are going to be more interesting that school govt/student groups and the like.

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whiskeyandcupcakes
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by whiskeyandcupcakes » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:26 pm

At my school, where grades count very little for LR membership, I have seen several people get (very competitive!-- circuit courts, DC, etc.) clerkships from secondary journals or no journal at all. Most of them had strong grades. I am sure there are some judges who prefer LR, but I have found that having good grades/ an interesting resume/ good recommendations can be much more compelling than just being on LR.

And many people on LR have struggled in the clerkship application process, especially if their grades are not as strong. (Of course, nobody would snuff at LR, especially if you have an impressive editor position. It's just not necessary at all).

wubwubwub
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by wubwubwub » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:28 pm

Littlewing67 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:36 am
I have heard that law review is basically a requirement for fed clerkships. Is this true? Are there other extra curricular activities that strengthen your application? (mock trial, etc)
I get the sense that there's an inverse relationship between school rank and degree to which LR matters.

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quiver
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by quiver » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:36 pm

I agree with what others have said re LR. Judges primarily use LR as a proxy for two things: (1) good grades, and (2) writing/editing ability. So if you have the requisite grades, you don't need LR to get a federal clerkship. But IMO, if you don't get LR and you want to clerk, you should absolutely join a secondary journal; this will cover proxy #2 (writing/editing ability). The other activities Nony mentioned are also good supplements.

Clerkships are, in many ways, a box-checking exercise. You check as many boxes as you can--law school, grades, journal, good work experience--and hope to get pulled from the pile. There are way more clerkship applicants than spots, so you never want to give judges (or, many times, clerks) a reason to reject your application outright by not checking a particular box.

mostpalone

Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by mostpalone » Fri May 11, 2018 11:18 am

Anyone have any information regarding whether to take a gap year or not before starting a clerkship? I'm pretty tied to a specific state/region (mainly the state). But the area I'd really like to clerk for some reason is way earlier than normal, and I totally missed out. I'll be doing a Big Law stint for my 2L summer, and there are some clerkships for 2019 still out there on the fringes of the region I want to clerk, live, and work (it's where I grew up as well). Is it okay to try and work for a year and apply for clerkships starting 2020 instead of 2019? Like I said, I'm a little behind the ball on the ones that I'd prefer, and based on some things I've read, it seems that many people work a year or two and apply for clerkships, and that many judges prefer legal experience before clerking. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!

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quiver
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by quiver » Sat May 12, 2018 12:58 pm

mostpalone wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:18 am
Is it okay to try and work for a year and apply for clerkships starting 2020 instead of 2019? Like I said, I'm a little behind the ball on the ones that I'd prefer, and based on some things I've read, it seems that many people work a year or two and apply for clerkships, and that many judges prefer legal experience before clerking. Any help is appreciated.
That's all true and totally fine. This is pretty common now, especially if you're tied to a specific region.

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rockathon
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by rockathon » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:08 am

Would it be OK if I accepted a callback from a 2L SA but then asked the law firm to defer my offer one year in order for me to do a clerkship? Or should I, assuming that I get a clerkship, wait until I complete my clerkship before applying to a firm?

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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by notlegaladvice » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:35 am

rockathon wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:08 am
Would it be OK if I accepted a callback from a 2L SA but then asked the law firm to defer my offer one year in order for me to do a clerkship? Or should I, assuming that I get a clerkship, wait until I complete my clerkship before applying to a firm?
Not sure why in a callback you would ask a firm to defer a full-time offer so you can clerk when you (1) haven't gotten an SA offer yet; (2) haven't gotten a full-time offer yet; (3) haven't gotten a clerkship yet.

You can mention in a firm interview that you're thinking of clerking, but you don't need to start talking about offers and whatever until you actually get one. If you go on the firm's careers webpage, you're likely to find something about judicial clerks that will answer your question.

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Nony
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by Nony » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:17 am

Yeah, the timeline is likely to look like this:

1) do OCI as a rising 2L, get a SA offer for 2L summer
2) apply for clerkship 2L year (and presumably accept if you get one or the concern is moot)
3) do SA 2L summer
4) get permanent offer at the end of 2L summer
5) tell firm you have a clerkship when you get offer

It's possible that you might apply for/get a clerkship 1L year, in which case 1 & 2 would be flipped (not sure what clerk application timelines are going to look like now that there's a Plan in place again). It's also possible you'd get a clerkship after you've accepted the permanent offer, in which case you'd tell the firm at some later point.

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rockathon
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by rockathon » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:22 pm

Ahh thanks you two!

nygrrrl
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Re: Quiver's Guide to (Federal) Clerkships

Post by nygrrrl » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:32 pm

Nony wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:17 am
Yeah, the timeline is likely to look like this:

1) do OCI as a rising 2L, get a SA offer for 2L summer
2) apply for clerkship 2L year (and presumably accept if you get one or the concern is moot)
3) do SA 2L summer
4) get permanent offer at the end of 2L summer
5) tell firm you have a clerkship when you get offer

It's possible that you might apply for/get a clerkship 1L year, in which case 1 & 2 would be flipped (not sure what clerk application timelines are going to look like now that there's a Plan in place again). It's also possible you'd get a clerkship after you've accepted the permanent offer, in which case you'd tell the firm at some later point.
hey Nony! (And Quiver) - Thanks Quiver for starting this thread!

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