Maintaining Sanity

How Can I Maintain My Sanity Throughout the Clerkship Application Process?

This can be difficult, but you should try to remember that the process is not objective and often can be random and chaotic. Judges do not have a common checklist and ranking system for candidates. While one judge may value law school reputation and grades above all else, another judge (even on the same court) may choose a friend of the family, a fellow Cubs fan, or the person with the best demonstrated sense of humor. The second judge even may wind up with a better clerk!

Before you start the process of applying, be willing to accept the possible result that you will not get a clerkship and the reality that such a result is not a reflection on your abilities. However, if you are not successful the first time around, but you continue to be interested in clerking, do not give up! Off-cycle opportunities often arise, and you can certainly apply for clerkships even after you graduate.

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