Chance at District Court Clerkship - T14 - Median

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Chance at District Court Clerkship - T14 - Median

Postby AspiringClerk » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:53 pm


I’d like to get your input on my chances of landing a Federal District Court clerkship.

I’m a 2L at a mid-T14 with median grades. I am on Law Review, and will be a SA at a V20 in NYC come May. I interned for a Federal District Court judge in my home town last summer and worked diligently for him. He told me that he was impressed and that I would be highly preferred for his clerkship. However, his application doesn’t open until next fall.

I’m also first generation and have a unique resume, but I’m not sure if judges care much about that.

I’d really like to clerk—I think it’d be the best way to start my career in litigation and would allow me to continue developing crucial legal skills. While it’d be ideal to clerk for the judge in my home town, there’s of course no guarantee that I’ll be selected. I understand that I have rather low grades for these prestigious positions.

Over the past month, I have applied to 50 judges across the country, not including NY or CA. I am prepared to go virtually anywhere. I generally interview well, but I need to get my foot in the door.

Thank you for reading, and I greatly appreciate any advice you have for me.



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Re: Chance at District Court Clerkship - T14 - Median

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:28 pm

There are generally two ways people get interviews for federal clerkships:

1. Their resume jumps off the pile. They have top grades from a top school and law review or whatever else impresses the Judge, or something unusually impressive in their pre-law school background and they get picked out of a stack of a hundred or more applications because they are just that good on paper.

2. Someone the Judge knows recommends them and they are sufficiently qualified that the Judge decides to interview them.

With your stats, unless something in your background really jumps out at the judge, you are not going to jump off the pile in the most competitive districts. But in less competitive districts you might. And there are some judges, even in highly competitive districts, who will take a T-14 grad without top of the class grades if someone they trust recommends them and all of the materials are solid.

I would do two things in your position: a. work every connection you have and b. apply broadly. You also may have better luck once you have work experience.

And I would be patient for the possible clerkship with a Judge who knows you and indicated they are interested in hiring you. That is a great opening and may be your best shot.

Good luck!

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