SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

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rpupkin

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby rpupkin » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:18 pm

Bumi wrote:How frequently do you see SCOTUS clerks who also clerked for an Article I or state judge prior to a COA clerkship?

You can see for yourself here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_la ... ted_States

The answer to your question is: almost never.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:14 pm

To be fair, think a few Justice Liu (CA) clerks are headed to SCOTUS. Also hasn't Eid (CO) sent a few? Granted, those clerks had top federal COA clerkships, too.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:17 pm

What kind of vetting do you do on a candidate? I assume you internet search them to some degree?

Have you read any of the SCOTUS books, e.g., The Nine, The Brethren, etc.? If so, how accurately do you think they reflect SCOTUS behind the scenes?

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:23 pm

This question raised some divisive comments a while back on TLS: what are the merits, if any, of two COA clerkships? Imagine, for instance, that the first is a semi-feeder or non-feeder, and the second would be a prominent feeder. Assume also that the individual was SCOTUS-competitive to begin with (otherwise this question is not worth posing) but for whatever reason had no idea what he was doing the first time he applied for COA clerkships. Would the second clerkship make a difference?

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:34 pm

Would you be willing to share quick thoughts on specific judges, to the extent that you have any? I have a shortlist of COA judges for whom I'd most like to clerk and would be curious as to your thoughts - not necessarily for SCOTUS purposes (several are not feeders at all) but rather to get a better feel for my application strategy.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Would you be willing to share quick thoughts on specific judges, to the extent that you have any? I have a shortlist of COA judges for whom I'd most like to clerk and would be curious as to your thoughts - not necessarily for SCOTUS purposes (several are not feeders at all) but rather to get a better feel for my application strategy.


Not OP but the OP said he isn't going to give up anonymity, so if you want advice, post the judges in the thread.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Would you be willing to share quick thoughts on specific judges, to the extent that you have any? I have a shortlist of COA judges for whom I'd most like to clerk and would be curious as to your thoughts - not necessarily for SCOTUS purposes (several are not feeders at all) but rather to get a better feel for my application strategy.


Not OP but the OP said he isn't going to give up anonymity, so if you want advice, post the judges in the thread.


That was the idea. I wanted to ask whether he'd be willing to answer before potentially giving up some of my own anonymity.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can you discuss the interview process? Any advice on how to prepare and what to expect?

Also: how does to process work for, say, the HLR president? Is it essentially a done deal for him/her?


This is OP. It is never a done deal for anyone. Even the #1 at Yale has under a 50% chance, though much closer to that than anyone else. No one is a "lock." (Unless born to legal royalty, I guess. If you're Paul Clement's or David Boies's child, good luck with your SCOTUS clerkship.)

But the process there works behind-the-scenes kind of the same way as it does for anyone. Just that person has so much institutional support it is baffling.


Does the #1 at Yale really only have an under 50% chance? That seems much lower than I would have thought.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Elston Gunn » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can you discuss the interview process? Any advice on how to prepare and what to expect?

Also: how does to process work for, say, the HLR president? Is it essentially a done deal for him/her?


This is OP. It is never a done deal for anyone. Even the #1 at Yale has under a 50% chance, though much closer to that than anyone else. No one is a "lock." (Unless born to legal royalty, I guess. If you're Paul Clement's or David Boies's child, good luck with your SCOTUS clerkship.)

But the process there works behind-the-scenes kind of the same way as it does for anyone. Just that person has so much institutional support it is baffling.


Does the #1 at Yale really only have an under 50% chance? That seems much lower than I would have thought.

There's no such thing as #1 at Yale, though.
EDIT: I did assume that the EIC had a significantly better than 50/50 shot though, especially considering 6-8 people from any given class make it. The current and previous are both doing feeders, but I haven't paid attention otherwise.
Last edited by Elston Gunn on Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:23 pm

Three disjointed questions from COA clerk/soon to be d. ct. clerk who may apply next year:

1. How much does Justice Alito care about an applicant's ideology?

2. How helpful are calls from judges or profs. who don't know the justice personally?

3. Why do you think LR matter so much? For what it signals about an applicant or because it is genuinely a meaningful experience to the justices?

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:27 pm

does sharing the same tailor helps?

edit. is a 300k bonus waiting for you once you're out?

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:is a 300k bonus waiting for you once you're out?


Asking about the $300k bonus probably won't make OP happy, since that is another (unintentionally executed, I'm sure) way of asking if he or she is yet to join a law firm (and therefore likely currently clerking) or not.

Question OP: is being gay damaging to an application to some of the conservative justices? I'm guessing Kennedy wouldn't care, and I know Thomas has hired openly gay people, but I don't know about Alito, Roberts, or Scalia. Any info that you might be willing to share on gay hires in those chambers would be appreciated.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:does sharing the same tailor helps?

edit. is a 300k bonus waiting for you once you're out?


Is the 300k bonus on top of the normal 50k 1 year federal clerkship bonus? Does anyone have any idea of whether firms are willing to pay bonuses for Bristow Fellows? And if OP has any insight on the hiring process for the Bristow as well, any information on that would be awesome.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:47 am

This is OP. I will attempt to come back tomorrow and answer all accumulated questions then. I don't have time tonight. But please feel free to keep asking.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:14 am

Thanks so much for taking the time, OP.

I'm wondering what you recommend for someone in my position looking to clerk for the Supreme Court. I just finished my first year at a T15-T17 in the top 7-8 percent. Do I have a shot or is it pretty much out of the picture? How will I fare with COA judges were I to apply in the Fall-- doesn't necessarily have to be a feeder.

I'm currently interning for a federal judge. Is there anything I can do (other than give my best work product) to increase my chances at landing a clerkship? Like most interns, I get little face time with the judge, unfortunately.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby FSK » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:40 am

Given you so-far experience, would you do it all again OP? Seems like a too-good opportunity to pass up, but I've found sometimes expectations and reality don't match.
Last edited by FSK on Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks so much for taking the time, OP.

I'm wondering what you recommend for someone in my position looking to clerk for the Supreme Court. I just finished my first year at a T15-T17 in the top 7-8 percent. Do I have a shot or is it pretty much out of the picture? How will I fare with COA judges were I to apply in the Fall-- doesn't necessarily have to be a feeder.

I'm currently interning for a federal judge. Is there anything I can do (other than give my best work product) to increase my chances at landing a clerkship? Like most interns, I get little face time with the judge, unfortunately.


This is what he said earlier in the thread about being a strong candidate for SCOTUS:
Anonymous User wrote:This is OP. I think I should clarify what a strong application is.

A minimally qualifying application is t25 school in top #1-3 people, top 14 at top ~5-10 people, top 6 at top 5-10%.

A realistic application is #1 in t25, #1-3 in t14, top 3 in top 5%, all with LR.

A strong application is "best in the last decade" at t25, #1 at t14 usually with high-end LR spot, top 3 in top 2-4% with attractive awards & brand-name recs, LR, and probably a feeder judge (from any of these school bands).

A "strong application" to SCOTUS is so glitteringly elite that it is hard to even postulate. Someone who has an application like that has probably done everything he or she was supposed to since approximately age 10, and that's not an exaggeration. A couple renegades a year that are just legitimate geniuses or lucky as sin get in too. But for the most part you're talking about (1) dedicated lifetime conformists that are (2) very, very bright. Or (3) outlandishly lucky people that are bright as a supernova.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:54 am

What do you call the justices in chambers or even interviews? Justice X? Judge?

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby foundingfather » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:22 am

As someone who has a seemingly 0% chance of ever being a SCOTUS clerk this thread is still very very interesting. Thank you for these insights OP

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:What kind of vetting do you do on a candidate? I assume you internet search them to some degree?

Have you read any of the SCOTUS books, e.g., The Nine, The Brethren, etc.? If so, how accurately do you think they reflect SCOTUS behind the scenes?


This is OP. Going to attempt to slog through unanswered q's. If I miss yours, please repost or call it to my attention somehow.

Vetting is usually light. Mostly on the papers. Remember, people who are in serious contention have pretty much done everything right their whole lives. Prestigious ugrad, prestigious law school, all the right recommenders. Why would we do a background check? I think checking on facebook, google, etc. is pretty much standard. But that never turns up anything scandalous. Everyone who is a serious SCOTUS contender has passed so many filters that it would be close to a "never event" to have one turn up with a truly sordid past.

I express no opinion on either the books or their content for confidentiality reasons.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:Would you be willing to share quick thoughts on specific judges, to the extent that you have any? I have a shortlist of COA judges for whom I'd most like to clerk and would be curious as to your thoughts - not necessarily for SCOTUS purposes (several are not feeders at all) but rather to get a better feel for my application strategy.


This is OP. I am globally willing to answer questions like this. I promise my advice is worth what you paid for it.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:This question raised some divisive comments a while back on TLS: what are the merits, if any, of two COA clerkships? Imagine, for instance, that the first is a semi-feeder or non-feeder, and the second would be a prominent feeder. Assume also that the individual was SCOTUS-competitive to begin with (otherwise this question is not worth posing) but for whatever reason had no idea what he was doing the first time he applied for COA clerkships. Would the second clerkship make a difference?


This is OP.

From a strictly SCOTUS perspective: yes, if the second clerkship is a feeder or CADC. Definitively yes.

Then again, you have to weigh the cost of lost income, a lost year, time away from spouse/family or finding a spouse/family, etc. against moving your chances of SCOTUS from, say, 2% to 10%. I would guess an otherwise SCOTUS-worthy candidate, say top 5% at HLS that is on LR but not LR president that has a COA gig but not CADC or feeder, has maybe a 2-4% shot. Add a feeder and they move to 10%.

Is the year's career diversion worth 6-8, even 12%, of a move? Well, that depends. How much does the income matter to you? I loved clerking. Most clerks love clerking! But most people also find the income loss a hardship, and most people don't like being moved all over the country, year over year.

Short answer. Yes. It undoubtedly helps. But there's more to life than a SCOTUS clerkship. Easy to say as a SCOTUS clerk, right?

For what it's worth, I thought a SCOTUS clerkship was the whole point of life too, like every gunner, before I had one. So I don't mean to belittle the urge. I know it as well as anyone else. But I swear it isn't worth the time most people spend on it.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can you discuss the interview process? Any advice on how to prepare and what to expect?

Also: how does to process work for, say, the HLR president? Is it essentially a done deal for him/her?


This is OP. It is never a done deal for anyone. Even the #1 at Yale has under a 50% chance, though much closer to that than anyone else. No one is a "lock." (Unless born to legal royalty, I guess. If you're Paul Clement's or David Boies's child, good luck with your SCOTUS clerkship.)

But the process there works behind-the-scenes kind of the same way as it does for anyone. Just that person has so much institutional support it is baffling.


Does the #1 at Yale really only have an under 50% chance? That seems much lower than I would have thought.


This is OP.

There is really a such thing as a #1 at Yale. And Harvard. Schools tell you they don't rank, but they call chambers and break ties for the Justices. COA judges too. If you think there's no #1 at Yale, you're kidding yourself. They still give out a Fay Diploma and a Sears Prize, after all.

Yes, the #1 at Yale has maybe a coin toss. Anyone can rub the Justices the wrong way.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:does sharing the same tailor helps?

edit. is a 300k bonus waiting for you once you're out?


This is OP. Thanks to all those that caught that this is the kind of question I won't be answering. Both because it implies I'm a current clerk and that I am going/went into private practice.

However, reconstructing your question as "is the bonus 300k," you'd be better served following Above the Law.

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Re: SCOTUS clerk taking questions about federal clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:does sharing the same tailor helps?

edit. is a 300k bonus waiting for you once you're out?


Is the 300k bonus on top of the normal 50k 1 year federal clerkship bonus? Does anyone have any idea of whether firms are willing to pay bonuses for Bristow Fellows? And if OP has any insight on the hiring process for the Bristow as well, any information on that would be awesome.


For anonymity purposes, I don't feel comfortable discussing my knowledge of Bristows. Suffice to say they are approximately equally competitive and opaque.



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