Anonymous User wrote:Top third at MVP, with two years NYC big law experience and a district court clerkship. Do I have a shot at any judges in the Second Circuit? More specifically, any judges that consistently hire outside of the T6 or look for those with work experience?
I guess a more important question is, do I have a shot with any circuit court judges? Have been applying for several months now, and I thought the district court clerkship would help a lot, but radio silence. I prefer 1st, 2nd, or 3rd because I am from the Northeast and prefer to be within a short flight from my wife who will remain in NYC doing big law, but I would go anywhere to clerk. I wouldn’t clerk for any judge, but I would go anywhere. I’ve talked to my wife about it and we’re ok with long distance for a year.
One big question is where your district court clerkship is. If it's SDNY/EDNY, it might help a fair bit for 2nd Cir.; if it's D. Mass, same for 1st; etc. If it's a random district that's (a) not in the circuit, or (b) not "prestigious," it may not be a big boon.
Also, be aware that you'll be a relatively untraditional candidate. Most COA judges hire students straight from law school or with maybe a year or two of experience. It is more common for a district court judge to hire a clerk with law firm work experience, since it's more helpful for the job. There are a number of judges who only hire straight from law school; and probably more judges that are generally disinclined from hiring clerks with too much experience.
I think the best bet would be to work connections -- with your district court judge, with your law firm mentors, with alumni -- and see if you can get someone who the judge trusts to put your application in front of them. You can of course also just apply broadly and see if you get any bites (if you're geographically limited, why not just apply to every judge you'd work for in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd circuits?), but if someone in chambers is quickly going through hundreds of applications, you might stand out only in a negative way.