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UAbear2018

Appellate Clerkship Grades

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Hi all - I am going to be the typical (now former) 1L who posts their grades asking for advice concerning the possibility of obtaining a clerkship with an appellate court. I’m still waiting on my legal research and writing grade, though based on the feedback I’ve received, it should be in line with the rest of what I have so far:

Criminal Law - A+ 

Property Law - A+ 

Constitutional Law - A 

(And this is where it goes down hill)

Tort Law - A-

Contract Law - B+

LRW - TBD

I’m hoping to hear from those who either were or weren’t selected, or those with similar stories, who are able to shed some light on how these grades will affect the possibility of obtaining a clerkship, specifically with the Courts of Appeal in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta. 

Thanks in advance for any guidance that can be offered. 

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Those are great grades. What school is it at?

What research (law and/or non law) experience do you have? 

Based on grades alone you have a shot at an appellate clerkship. But remember you have another full semester ahead of you to either improve, maintain, or drop the ball.

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These are the kinds of grades that get interviews. With some solid work experience and research/writing under your belt, I'd bet on you having a good shot. 

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I’m an RA right now and will be applying for law review. These grades are from UAlberta. Definitely going to be putting all I have into fall to compensate for the pesky B+.

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7 hours ago, UAbear2018 said:

I’m an RA right now and will be applying for law review. These grades are from UAlberta. Definitely going to be putting all I have into fall to compensate for the pesky B+.

Not to be too nitpicky. But that B+ isn't something you need to compensate for. Seriously. There aren't many people who make it through law school without at least a B+ on their transcript. In fact, there are incredibly few who have grades even close to you.

Let me put it this way, one of my best friends, probably the smartest legal mind I've met (in my age group, anyway), has a B+ on their transcript. Their grades are not unlike yours. They had their pick of 2L summer jobs and when it was time, got interviews/offers at all levels of appellate courts.

Worrying about a B+ is a recipe for anxiety and burnout. Continue doing your best, but seriously don't worry yourself sick over the one B+. It's really not a big deal. 

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Thanks for the input, it's definitely helping to alleviate some of my anxiety about being able to obtain interviews. I'm terrible at remembering law school is not the same as undergrad with respect to grades. It helps that my last grade, LRW, came in today at an A+. When I was speaking about clerking opportunities with a representative from ABCA, they stressed that LRW is an important grade they'll look at, so here's hoping that's the case!

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One bit of helpful life advice is to keep your anxiety about your grades vis a vis clerkship positions limited to this forum and your CDO. You run the risk of alienating your law school peers if you show anxiety with those grades.

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52 minutes ago, Rashabon said:

One bit of helpful life advice is to keep your anxiety about your grades vis a vis clerkship positions limited to this forum and your CDO. You run the risk of alienating your law school peers if you show anxiety with those grades.

That's a low blow and uncalled for, and derails the thread. 

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On 5/13/2019 at 9:43 PM, UAbear2018 said:

I’m an RA right now and will be applying for law review. These grades are from UAlberta. Definitely going to be putting all I have into fall to compensate for the pesky B+.

When I was at UofA those grades would have made you the top student in 1L...

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25 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

That's a low blow and uncalled for, and derails the thread. 

Not really. OP has an A-A+ average. It's helpful advice that people give all the time to the folks who lack perspective on their grades, and is a reminder to calm down and not hyperventilate about "going downhill" all the distant way to an A-. There was that one McGill student all over these forums who needed to consistently get that advice because she was having meltdowns about not having a 3.9 or something ridiculous.

It is very much overblown that clerks have straight As, because straight As are exceedingly rare and not everyone with the grades to clerk wants to go clerk anyway. I personally would have had a negative view of any of my student peers that had OP's grades and described getting an A- instead of an A or A+ as "downhill" or having to compensate for a single B+. They get ostracized as the grade-grubby, gunner types that lack perspective. You may not like the advice, but it was fairly given to remind someone to keep things in perspective.

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1 hour ago, Rashabon said:

One bit of helpful life advice is to keep your anxiety about your grades vis a vis clerkship positions limited to this forum and your CDO. You run the risk of alienating your law school peers if you show anxiety with those grades.

 

32 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

That's a low blow and uncalled for, and derails the thread. 

I think @Rashabon's advice was reasonable. My recollection was that it did not elicit sympathy when students with straight As vocalized anxiety (or arrogance!) about their grades. While OP didn't ask for it, I agree this is standard advice given out of caution and in this context. I don't see any low blow here, or derailment (well, now there is).

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 Speaking as a student, I have a friend like @Rashabon described. I wouldn't go as harsh as to describe her the way he did, but it does get a little bit annoying to console her for getting a single B+ in a sea of As (especially when my own grades are a strong B+). I feel bad for her because it is terrible when someone is anxious, but sometimes it can come off as annoying.

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2 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

That's a low blow and uncalled for, and derails the thread. 

I actually think it’s good advice. There’s a reason I’m asking anonymously online and not parading it around in front of my friends. I don’t talk grades unless they’re asked of me, and even then I resist it. 

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I got an interview with a B+ average (1 A- and 1 C). Although it turned out I had a unique connection to the judge that I didn't know about. You have excellent grades so just work on your cover letter and be proud of it because often times the judges look for something more than the grades. 

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OP, my marks were strikingly similar to yours, albeit with a B+ in torts.

as I see it, you're very likely to at least get interviews at the BCCA and ABCA. the ONCA and SCC (not mentioned in your post) are not shoe-ins, but I wouldn't be surprised if they gave you a shot.

 

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