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Advice on chances/timeline for applying to CoA clerkships?

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:32 pm
by Anonymous User
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!

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

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:59 pm
by Anonymous User
You'd have a good chance with my COA judge, assuming your writing is good. I don't see any harm in applying now.

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

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:20 pm
by Anonymous User
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.

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

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:22 pm
by lavarman84
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.

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

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:46 am
by Anonymous User
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.