What are my chances at a Federal District Court Clerkship

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What are my chances at a Federal District Court Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:12 pm

I have just started applying for the 2018-19 term in places that may not be as competitive, and I want to know my chances.

A little about myself:
-AA
-Strong Public Service Record (USAO, Non profits, etc)
-State Appellate Clerkship
-T-50 school
-Just outside the top 1/3 of my class
-Moot Court, Journal and Published

Thoughts?

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Re: What are my chances at a Federal District Court Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:59 am

If your state appellate clerkship was with the highest court of the state, there's an outside chance that your application may make it onto the judges desk and get some consideration. Otherwise, look for judges who either (1) come from your school, (2) have hired from your school, (3) have some connection to the judge you clerked for. Overall, I'm not sure how your application is going to stand out from all the others, especially when many are in top 10% from higher ranked law schools. The best thing you may have going for you is your publication but hard to say not knowing the type of journal in which it is published.

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Re: What are my chances at a Federal District Court Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:25 pm

Sounds like you'd need a special connection or unusual circumstances to get a DJ clerkship. If you really want to clerk at the federal level, I'd consider an MJ clerkship, they can pretty commonly go on to DJ if they want to, and they are much, much easier to get.

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Re: What are my chances at a Federal District Court Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:43 pm

I clerk in a not as competitive district. I'd recommend you work whatever connections you have (and whatever connections your school/professors have). I don't see anything in the OP that would differentiate you from a bunch of other resumes that wouldn't escape the stack. You'd have to have some very interesting work or volunteer experience on your resume that would catch our eye to have any hope of escaping the pile.

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Re: What are my chances at a Federal District Court Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:34 am

OP-

Many people don't ever update these things, but I have a happy ending. I got a clerkship with an A3 judge. Its in fly over country, but a federal clerkship is worth it. Only had one interview, and got the job! I am super excited. I know for a fact that phone calls helped. I had 2 professors call on my behalf and the judge mentioned it when I was extended the offer.

lavarman84

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Re: What are my chances at a Federal District Court Clerkship

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP-

Many people don't ever update these things, but I have a happy ending. I got a clerkship with an A3 judge. Its in fly over country, but a federal clerkship is worth it. Only had one interview, and got the job! I am super excited. I know for a fact that phone calls helped. I had 2 professors call on my behalf and the judge mentioned it when I was extended the offer.


That's good to hear! Congratulations!

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Re: What are my chances at a Federal District Court Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:59 am

OP-

Thanks. Now that I have a federal district court clerkship, I was wondering would it be worth looking into a circuit court clerkship? I have a few questions

1. Is it too late to look at 2019-20 for a COA clerkship? I don't really want to do the gap year thing.
2. Is it worth clerking for another year, making it three years of clerking?
3. Do I have a shot in hell?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lavarman84

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Re: What are my chances at a Federal District Court Clerkship

Postby lavarman84 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP-

Thanks. Now that I have a federal district court clerkship, I was wondering would it worth looking into a circuit court clerkship? I have a few questions

1. Is it too late to look at 2019-20 for a COA clerkship? I don't really want to do the gap year thing.
2. Is it worth clerking for another year, making it three years of clerking?
3. Do I have a shot in hell?


1. It's not too late, but there aren't many slots left. Judge Rawlinson on the 9th hires late and looks for people with backgrounds that are out of the norm. It would be worth applying with her for sure.

2. If you want the prestige bump or desire to do appellate work, sure. In terms of skills, it's probably not necessary because of your state appellate clerkship. But it won't hurt you. If you can afford to clerk for three years, go for it.

3. It's hard to say. It will depend on what each judge values. It'll be difficult, but it's not out of the realm of possibilities. If you're willing to take a gap year and can get your D. Ct. Judge to back you, you would stand a better chance. Only thing you're wasting by trying is time and a few bucks for postage.

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Re: What are my chances at a Federal District Court Clerkship

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP-

Thanks. Now that I have a federal district court clerkship, I was wondering would it worth looking into a circuit court clerkship? I have a few questions

1. Is it too late to look at 2019-20 for a COA clerkship? I don't really want to do the gap year thing.
2. Is it worth clerking for another year, making it three years of clerking?
3. Do I have a shot in hell?


2. I've always felt there's a bit of a taboo against clerking for more than two years, at least in Biglaw (I think less in gov't and don't know about generic PI. So weight that according to your goals. I will say I think the returns to you in terms of learning and personal development will not be that great b/c of your prior D.Ct. and state appellate clerkships, so the decision to go for a COA should really come down to the pure resume bump and whether you think the prestige will be useful to you in the long run. Of course, if you end up with a boss who gives great feedback, things could be otherwise on the learning front. I'd also add that after two years of clerking you may be ready to get on with your life and career. I was.

3. You do. You're not super competitive, but you're in the running. If it's something you really want, don't get discouraged if it doesn't happen in the first couple waves of applications. I think you should drop an app to Judge Gregory on the 4th.



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