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UC Irvine Places 1/5 of Graduates into Clerkships, Tops Harvard

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on December 16, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Did you know UC Irvine has a law school? Federal judges certainly do. UC Irvine's 2012 clerkship rate exceeds even prestigious rivals like Harvard Law. This coming from a school that just opened its doors in 2009 and isn't even fully accredited by the American Bar Association.

Surely someone over at Harvard is getting a tongue lashing right about now.

UC Irvine placed about 1/5 of its graduates into federal clerkships. This number has only been surpassed by a few schools, including Yale and Stanford which placed 27 and 24% of their graduates respectively.

Only 18% of Harvard grads managed to get a coveted clerkship spot.

How exactly did UC Irvine manage to pull off this feat? Perhaps it's the caliber of students that are currently enrolled. When UC Irvine announced full scholarships for their first class in 2009, thousands flocked to try to get a free ride. The school managed to have an admissions rate of 4%. That's right, 4%. That's lower than Yale's acceptance rate of 7%.

Plus, UC Irvine law students have an additional advantage. Their dean is none other than legal scholar and preeminent Barbri lecturer Erwin Chemerinsky, whose treatise on con law is much beloved by all law students battling with the commerce clause.

See, Dean Chemerinsky is very invested in the success of the school. He's so invested that he told Reuters in a recent interview that he tried to get in touch with judges across the country to help his students land clerkships.

Don't you wish you had Erwin Chemerinsky calling on your behalf when you were looking for a clerkship? Ugh, those lucky UC Irvine kids.

Whether or not UC Irvine's clerkship rates will continue to be so high remains to be seen. The class of 2012 may have received full scholarships, but the class of 2013 only received 50% scholarships. The class of 2014 received 33% scholarships. And, UC Irvine's 2012 class only had 60 students, meaning their 20% clerkship rate translates to about 12 students.

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