Question about 1L judicial internship interview

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lawschool7777
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Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby lawschool7777 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:16 pm

I was wondering if someone could tell me what kind of questions to expect and how long the interview lasts? My career services office provides a lot of information about interviews with firms, but not much on interviews with judges, thank you

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thesealocust
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:16 pm

Expect stuff like:

Tell me about ________ on your resume? (This was the most common, in my experience)
Why law (school)? Why not whatever you were doing before law school?
Why that particular law (school)?
What classes did you like / was your favorite?
Do you have any questions? (try to have questions!)

Also expect to hear a fair amount about chambers, and the kinds of work they're currently doing.

Word on the street (I don't have a ton of experience) is that you are very unlikely to get substantive law questions, and that in many instances you'll only interview with the clerk as opposed to the judge. They tend to be pretty informal, and involve a lot of personality matching more than rigorous screening.

lawschool7777
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby lawschool7777 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:22 pm

Thanks! Also, does anyone know how long they usually last? And if you get the job, is it usually offered on the spot? Is it appropriate to ask for 24hours to think it over?

IStillPlayVideoGames
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby IStillPlayVideoGames » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:41 am

When I was going for my 1L judicial internship, I had two interviews. One with the clerk that lasted about 30 minutes and then one with the judge that lasted about the same. The clerk was very informal. We talked about law school and the city that chambers was in (of which we were both native) but it was clearly a personality fit. The one with the judge seemed much more focus on what I've done and what I wanted to do with my life. Both were really easy going. Typically, if you've received the interview then they are fairly confident you can do the work, so they just need to make sure they can stand working in a tiny office with you all summer.

I didn't get the job offer on the spot. I got it a few days later via an email giving me a heads up that I would get a call formally offering me the internship (that's weird, isn't it?). The judge offered to give me a few days but I accepted on the spot. I was really, really excited about it.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby Big Shrimpin » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:12 pm

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Last edited by Big Shrimpin on Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:27 pm

My experience is also that it has a lot more to do with personality fit than anything else. However, in all the interviews I've had, they've asked at least one "substantive" question - not necessarily about law (though it often is), but rather just to see that you can talk about an academic/ theoretical topic cogently. For instance in one interview I got asked to explain my undergrad thesis, and they asked a couple of follow up questions just to make sure I knew what I was talking about. I also got asked which opinion that we read first semster was my favorite and why.

Other than that, be prepared to:
-Discuss anything on your resume in depth, particularly past jobs and theses
-Answer "why law school?"
-Have several reasons for why you want to do a judicial internship, why you want to do it in that particular court, and why you want to intern with that particular judge
-Talk about a substantive area of law

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DerrickRose
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby DerrickRose » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:22 pm

What do you wear?

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wiseowl
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby wiseowl » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:33 pm

DerrickRose wrote:What do you wear?


can't go wrong with business. at the interview i had the clerks and the judges were all wearing suits.

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DerrickRose
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby DerrickRose » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:35 pm

wiseowl wrote:
DerrickRose wrote:What do you wear?


can't go wrong with business. at the interview i had the clerks and the judges were all wearing suits.


I was afraid you'd say that. Looks like I'm going to Mens Warehouse today.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby imchuckbass58 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:43 pm

Judges are notoriously conservative (not politically, in terms of lifestyle). Wear a suit.

In one of my interviews they were all wearing suits. In the other they were less dressed (slacks and sweaters), but I would still dress up.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby Aeroplane » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:50 pm

Dress like the boss in a black robe. Suits are TTT.

Edit: seriously though, I agree w/the advice to wear a suit. In fact I think "suit" is the answer for any law-related interview you could possibly have (including law school admissions) unless you are sent explicit instructions to the contrary by the prospective employer.

postitnotes
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby postitnotes » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:56 pm

My interview with a fed judge wasn\'t nearly as hardcore as the one mentioned above, but keep in mind that he was already inclined to accept me because of my school. He told me that his \"best law clerk ever\" went to my school and that he had a great impression of the students. He basically asked me why this job, why this location, described the position, and asked me if I had any questions. It lasted about 30 minutes though and afterwards I met up with his office staff. I was offered a position on the spot.

Anonymous User
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:42 pm

help:

I have an interview with a judge for fall externship next week. I figure this line of interview questions might not be the same as OCI... and I need to come up with different set of questions to ask the specific judge. The slotted time lasts for thirty minutes as well.


Thanks for any insights!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:30 pm

Don't bring up the pending appeal. He can't talk about that and it would look very bad to ask.

Don't bring up not wanting to clerk after graduation. It's not relevant and could come across as insulting. Many judges won't hire former interns as clerks - and frankly many people who intern for judges aren't competitive to get a clerkship with them later - so it's not like interning for this judge is going to commit you to anything.

I doubt you are going to get asked about how you research. They are going to assume you know how to do it (or will have to learn); it's not like there are a lot of methods where discussion of them in an interview is useful.

To the extent you get any substantive legal questions, you might get asked your favorite or least favorite supreme court case, something like that. I'd be surprised if you got anything really substantive, though. Otherwise it would likely be more like what's your favorite law school class, what did you do in your summer gig, that kind of thing. He won't ask about arguments being made in your summer gig - or specific cases - because of confidentiality rules.

Ask about what kind of work the externs in his chambers do, what does a typical day in chambers look like, how often do trials occur, maybe something like what kind of qualities distinguish a good extern in his opinion. People also like to talk about themselves, so you could ask about how he decided to become a judge, what he likes most about it, what he finds hardest about it, that kind of thing.

mall_cop
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby mall_cop » Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:03 pm

Before I interviewing with the judge I interned for this summer, I read a few of her recent opinions with an eye towards building a question or two around them. I don't remember how, but it came up organically over the course of the conversation that I had read them without my having to ask a question. I think showing that you've put in even an hour or so of research (if you can spare it) goes a long way--my judge's clerk mentioned over the summer that my interview stood out with them for that reason.

Anonymous User
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Re: Question about 1L judicial internship interview

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:25 pm

^^^ ABOVE ANON here:

I have a follow-up question for you. Did you look for more famous cases that, say, make the headlines? or just used the courthouse database and look for something he just issued recently?
Mine , i think is about to retire based on the information I heard, is it kosher to ask some questions like: what do you consider as you biggest legacy you leave behind the court....




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