Visit to Court of Criminal Appeals...Advice Please

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Caddo16lake

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Visit to Court of Criminal Appeals...Advice Please

Postby Caddo16lake » Mon May 15, 2017 5:59 pm

I am preparing to visit the Court of Criminal Appeals, I am a law student, and I will be watching the oral arguments and then meeting with one of the justices afterward. I am looking for some tips on etiquette and also in speaking with the judge. Also, very important,... should I plan on taking a packet with my personal statement/resume and LOR's or just take a few business cards and a notepad to jot down any important information?
Really wanting to make a good impression because I hope to secure an internship next summer.

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mjb447

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Re: Visit to Court of Criminal Appeals...Advice Please

Postby mjb447 » Mon May 15, 2017 9:31 pm

Is "next summer" 2017 or 2018? If summer 2018, I probably wouldn't give him a resume unless he basically asks for it or gives you a very obvious segue like "so where are you working next summer?" and talks up working at the court. Giving him your resume unexpectedly during the meeting could make it look like you went just to get an internship and possibly like you don't otherwise value the time the judge is spending with you during your visit. If you make a good connection after oral argument and the judge seems interested in your development, you may have better results keeping in touch in the future about how law school is progressing. If/when your summer plans come up, you can raise the issue then based on the relationship you've built rather than a ten-minute conversation after oral argument.

If summer 2017, you don't really have any time to develop a relationship. In fact, judges in a lot of markets are already full and have been for some time. I'd be more likely to give him my resume during the meeting under these circumstances, particularly if this is likely your only shot to be a judicial intern/clerk/whatever. As with most matters judicial, though, YMMV.

Either way, I'd probably only offer a resume (with some kind of contact info on it) at most; if he wants or needs the rest of your stuff he'll let you know, and having a personal statement and LORs ready to dump on him is even more likely to make you look like you were just after a summer job the whole time.

(You should probably also get a padfolio with a pocket on one side and notepad on the other - you can keep a few business cards and a current copy of your resume with you whenever you go to something like this. That way, you don't have to show anyone your resume unless the opportunity presents itself.)

Re: talking to the judge, ask insightful questions (like why certain questions got asked or which lawyers/what kinds of arguments the judge finds particularly effective) and be prepared to give your impressions on those issues if you came away with any. Seeming genuine and interested is at least half the battle - you're a law student so he probably won't expect you to have any substantive knowledge.

Caddo16lake

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Re: Visit to Court of Criminal Appeals...Advice Please

Postby Caddo16lake » Tue May 16, 2017 1:58 am

Thank you for your reply. I was in fact meaning summer of 2018. I appreciate your insights and thorough answer, it's extremely helpful and I definately want to make the most of my visit and a good impression. Also, I truly am excited about the visit.



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