What does it take to get a fed d.ct clerkship

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What does it take to get a fed d.ct clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:41 pm

potentially would like to consider it down the line but I have zero idea if I even have a chance. Two years out, clerked in state appellate and now at a top PD office. My law school grades were not great. 3.5 and a journal. Just wanted some very basic advice to see if this would be something even worth considering if I decide to tap out PD work

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Re: What does it take to get a fed d.ct clerkship

Postby QContinuum » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:potentially would like to consider it down the line but I have zero idea if I even have a chance. Two years out, clerked in state appellate and now at a top PD office. My law school grades were not great. 3.5 and a journal. Just wanted some very basic advice to see if this would be something even worth considering if I decide to tap out PD work


3.5 isn't bad at all - at my T13, that would be more than enough for honors. I think you have a chance, esp. with your prior clerkship and current WE, which should give you an additional boost. Apply broadly, and avoid the most competitive districts (SDNY/EDNY/NDCA/etc.). Do you think you can get faculty - or better yet, your state appellate judge - to make calls on your behalf? I think that'll be the key factor.

I think you're at/around the sweet spot for clerking. If you want to clerk, I'd go for it sooner rather than later, esp. if you'd like to use a law school prof as a recommender.

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Re: What does it take to get a fed d.ct clerkship

Postby objctnyrhnr » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:51 am

My inference from your post is that you are concerned your stats/grades might be disqualifying. They won’t be. I wouldn’t worry about that. I clerked with similar/slightly lower.

That said, to the extent something from your res might be disqualifying, it’s your job. Judges who take people after a couple years of WE typically grab from biglaw. Insofar as they go from something that’s not biglaw, it’s gonna be something that’s very writing intensive (say, for example, an appellate prosecution position). As a PD, you are probably spending a ton of time making the same relatively simple arguments in court over and over again, counseling clients about the crimes they committed, etc.

Even if I’m wrong about exactly what you do, I can tell you as somebody who has been involved with hiring at a variety of entities, it’ll be what people assume you do unless there’s something major about your position that you left out for the sake of brevity.

So if clerking is a really serious goal of yours, you are gonna wanna consider switching to a more writing-heavy position...and when I say writing-heavy, I mean grappling with relatively complex and involved questions of law/fact on the papers with great frequency (as opposed to, say, trying to convince the judge that the automobile exception doesn’t apply or other similar basic crim pro issues).

Good luck!

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VirginiaFan

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Re: What does it take to get a fed d.ct clerkship

Postby VirginiaFan » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:25 pm

Maybe I'm misreading OP, but do they ever indicate the school they went to? Because a 3.5 from Thomas Jefferson isn't going to cut it.
Last edited by QContinuum on Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

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Re: What does it take to get a fed d.ct clerkship

Postby TFALAWL » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:59 pm

There's no hard and fast rule, but the "average" district clerk is probably a 3.6 from a lower-t14, sliding scale down the line (people outside t-14 tend to have much higher grades). But there's a million idiosyncrasies so TCR is apply broadly and hope for the best. Good luck!

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Re: What does it take to get a fed d.ct clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:25 pm

TFALAWL wrote:There's no hard and fast rule, but the "average" district clerk is probably a 3.6 from a lower-t14, sliding scale down the line (people outside t-14 tend to have much higher grades). But there's a million idiosyncrasies so TCR is apply broadly and hope for the best. Good luck!


What GPA do you think from a T6 (specifically 4-6?). Is top 35%-40%ish good enough?

Anon because my identity is fairly easy to guess.

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Re: What does it take to get a fed d.ct clerkship

Postby QContinuum » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
TFALAWL wrote:There's no hard and fast rule, but the "average" district clerk is probably a 3.6 from a lower-t14, sliding scale down the line (people outside t-14 tend to have much higher grades). But there's a million idiosyncrasies so TCR is apply broadly and hope for the best. Good luck!


What GPA do you think from a T6 (specifically 4-6?). Is top 35%-40%ish good enough?

Anon because my identity is fairly easy to guess.


Note to other posters to prevent confusion: The above anon is not OP.

For CCN, ideally you'd want to have, at minimum, honors and a secondary journal, or no honors but LR. At NYU, for example, it looks like you'd need to be top 25% to have honors (McKay). At Chicago, honors requires a 179, which is roughly top ~third. At Columbia, honors (Stone) requires a 3.41, which is likely somewhere between top ~30-40%.

Now, if you have no honors and no LR, is it still worth applying? I think at top 35-40%, still worth a try, assuming you can get profs to call on your behalf. You probably won't get SDNY/EDNY/etc., but apply broadly and there's a good chance you'll get something.

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TFALAWL

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Re: What does it take to get a fed d.ct clerkship

Postby TFALAWL » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:
TFALAWL wrote:There's no hard and fast rule, but the "average" district clerk is probably a 3.6 from a lower-t14, sliding scale down the line (people outside t-14 tend to have much higher grades). But there's a million idiosyncrasies so TCR is apply broadly and hope for the best. Good luck!


What GPA do you think from a T6 (specifically 4-6?). Is top 35%-40%ish good enough?

Anon because my identity is fairly easy to guess.


That's certainly good enough, probably around average for a district court clerk.



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