Advice on chances/timeline for applying to CoA clerkships?

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Advice on chances/timeline for applying to CoA clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:32 pm

Hey folks, would greatly appreciate any feedback as to (1) whether I have a shot at CoA clerkships (I'm happy to go literally anywhere in flyover country or otherwise), and (2) whether I should go ahead and apply now to off-plan judges or wait for another semester or two of grades and then apply on-plan over summer 2019.

Here's a bit about me:
- 2L (Class of 2020)
- Top 5-10% at a T1
- Law Review
- 1L SA at V10 (NY), 2L SA set for A&P/Wilmer/Covington (DC)
- Technical background (computational genomics)
- Two years of work experience pre-JD (1yr doing cancer research, 1 yr working as a paralegal at a small firm)
- Diverse (Asian), if that matters

I'll add a disclaimer that while I have a technical background, I'm not looking to go into patent law and am therefore not interested in applying to the Federal Circuit. Thanks in advance!

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Re: Advice on chances/timeline for applying to CoA clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:59 pm

You'd have a good chance with my COA judge, assuming your writing is good. I don't see any harm in applying now.

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Re: Advice on chances/timeline for applying to CoA clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:20 pm

I think this depends a little on where you are in the T1. I attended a lower T1 and the people who got COAs right out of law school were invariably in the top 5 people in the class, not the top 5-10%. Now, clerkship hiring is idiosyncratic enough, you may well find a judge who will hire you (that's not meant to sound disparaging - your qualifications are really good overall), but it's hard to predict.

If you're willing to do a DCt clerkship first, I know a lot of people for whom this was a good way to become more competitive for COAs.

Otherwise, the usual advice: focus on judges who are alumni of your school/have hired from your school before, see if you can get any profs to make calls for you.

lavarman84

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Re: Advice on chances/timeline for applying to CoA clerkships?

Postby lavarman84 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think this depends a little on where you are in the T1. I attended a lower T1 and the people who got COAs right out of law school were invariably in the top 5 people in the class, not the top 5-10%. Now, clerkship hiring is idiosyncratic enough, you may well find a judge who will hire you (that's not meant to sound disparaging - your qualifications are really good overall), but it's hard to predict.

If you're willing to do a DCt clerkship first, I know a lot of people for whom this was a good way to become more competitive for COAs.

Otherwise, the usual advice: focus on judges who are alumni of your school/have hired from your school before, see if you can get any profs to make calls for you.


Gonna second this advice. I was top 5 in my class at a lower T1, and it took me over a year of applying to land a COA clerkship. I was applying with a D. Ct. clerkship on my resume and later had a strong LOR from my D. Ct. judge (got my clerkship maybe 6 months after getting the letter; I landed almost all my interviews after getting that LOR). I did get some interviews, but it certainly wasn't easy.

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Re: Advice on chances/timeline for applying to CoA clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:46 am

OP here. Thanks for the feedback y'all! I'll go ahead and send off the first wave of CoA apps and start looking into district court clerkships as well in the meantime.



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