Mentioning a connection to a judge

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Anonymous User
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Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:13 am

I'm currently writing a cover letter to apply for a judicial internship for next summer. I was invited to apply to the position by someone with a lot of authority in the Judge's chambers, and I am wondering if anyone has any quick tips on how to tactfully dispense with that in the cover letter.

I've tried to write it dozens of times, it doesn't look ... natural. I obviously want to mention the connection, but not in a way that sounds presumptuous.

LurkerNoMore
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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby LurkerNoMore » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:27 pm

Don't feel like word-smithing, but something along these lines.

Dear Judge Smith,

I am currently a first year law student at name of law school interested in obtaining a judicial internship for this coming summer. Person's name in chambers suggested that I submit my resume for your consideration. (Then tailor the rest of the brief cover letter to explain why you want to work for that judge.)

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megaTTTron
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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby megaTTTron » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:31 pm

LurkerNoMore wrote:Don't feel like word-smithing, but something along these lines.

Dear Judge Smith,

I am currently a first year law student at name of law school interested in obtaining a judicial internship for this coming summer. Person's name in chambers suggested that I submit my resume for your consideration. (Then tailor the rest of the brief cover letter to explain why you want to work for that judge.)



Mention the connection in the first line. Then proceed as lurker says.

Dear Judge XXX,

So and so recommended that I submit my resume blah blah. I am a blah blah blah.

Maybe you talked to so and so about what the work was like. If that's the case you talk about that as well.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:33 pm

Dear Dad:

Mom told me to apply for a clerkship with you.
Can we negotiate salary now--or should I wait until you get home.

Huggies,
Your Cuddly Bear


On a more serious note: Apply without mentioning the connection-recommender. Just tell your insider that you applied. Otherwise the judge will worry about your level of discretion.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:09 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Dear Dad:

Mom told me to apply for a clerkship with you.
Can we negotiate salary now--or should I wait until you get home.

Huggies,
Your Cuddly Bear


On a more serious note: Apply without mentioning the connection-recommender. Just tell your insider that you applied. Otherwise the judge will worry about your level of discretion.



That is stupid. When you get a reccommender that actually matters, you put it in the very first line. Megatttron is right on with his advice.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:11 pm

Well, it's certainly a different approach. Glad you, as an OL, know the correct answer. If the person actually has that much influence with the judge, then I disagree with your approach, but recognize that there is more than one way to address this concern. In this case, because the recommender is in the judge's chambers & not simply an outside law professor or attorney, it may appear inappropriate to mention that person's name as a recommender in the cover letter.

Another thought: Why ask inexperienced college students on an anonymous internet website for advice when an influential member in the judge's chambers is available to the OP ? Judges' practices & preferences regarding hiring matters is often tailored to personal preferences, so best to ask a current or former law clerk or other source with knowledge of this judge's preferences.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:40 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Well, it's certainly a different approach. Glad you, as an OL, know the correct answer. If the person actually has that much influence with the judge, then I disagree with your approach, but recognize that there is more than one way to address this concern. In this case, because the recommender is in the judge's chambers & not simply an outside law professor or attorney, it may appear inappropriate to mention that person's name as a recommender in the cover letter.

Another thought: Why ask inexperienced college students on an anonymous internet website for advice when an influential member in the judge's chambers is available to the OP ? Judges' practices & preferences regarding hiring matters is often tailored to personal preferences, so best to ask a current or former law clerk or other source with knowledge of this judge's preferences.



The second paragraph is correct. I stopped reading the first paragraph when you assumed, with no factual basis, that I am a 0L.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:45 pm

Guess your name-calling gave that impression.
Thank you for correcting my opinion.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby megaTTTron » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:45 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Well, it's certainly a different approach. Glad you, as an OL, know the correct answer. If the person actually has that much influence with the judge, then I disagree with your approach, but recognize that there is more than one way to address this concern. In this case, because the recommender is in the judge's chambers & not simply an outside law professor or attorney, it may appear inappropriate to mention that person's name as a recommender in the cover letter.

Another thought: Why ask inexperienced college students on an anonymous internet website for advice when an influential member in the judge's chambers is available to the OP ? Judges' practices & preferences regarding hiring matters is often tailored to personal preferences, so best to ask a current or former law clerk or other source with knowledge of this judge's preferences.


OP I worked for a federal judge last summer. I had recommenders for several judges. All were outside of the judges chambers. I mentioned the recommenders in the first line. The Judge/ clerks liked the connection and chose me over other applicants because of my connection/ interest in working for that particular judge. We spent much of the interview discussing the recommenders as well. Ignore Canadian Wolf.

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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:46 pm

But you just wrote that all recommenders were outside of the judge's chambers, but the OP's situation is different since the OP "...was invited to apply by someone with a lot of authority in the judge's chambers."

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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby megaTTTron » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:49 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:But you just wrote that all recommenders were outside of the judge's chambers, but the OP's situation is different .


Which exemplifies how an insider would be an ever stronger reason to mention it in the first line. Your argument is that it shows poor discretion? Come on man, really? Getting a legal job from mass mailings is all about connections and getting your resume to the top of the pile/ setting yourself apart is the name of the game. When someone tells you to apply MENTION THEM. It's in every freaking legal job book ever written.

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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:51 pm

The OP's recommender did not say to mention them when applying according to the OP's post (this area was not mentioned). If that were the case, then the OP would not need to post to seek advice.
Regardless, we have differing opinions. Still curious as to why the OP doesn't ask the recommender for advice as judge's preferences are important.

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megaTTTron
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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby megaTTTron » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:01 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:The OP's recommender did not say to mention them when applying according to the OP's post (this area was not mentioned). If that were the case, then the OP would not need to post to seek advice.


:roll: dear god.

What's going to happen CW?

Judge: Clerk X, did you tell someone to apply AGAIN?
Clerk X: OMG, I'm so sorry! I'll never recommend someone apply again!
Judge: It's okay, it just shows horrible judgment on the part of OP.
Clerk X: I know! I can't believe she didn't have the DISCRETION to not mention my name. All I did was suggest that she apply to be an intern. I really only felt sorry for her, I didn't actually think she'd make a good intern!
Judge: I understand, one must always keep invitations to apply secret. Networking shows bad discretion!


No. This is what happens:

Judge: Clerk X, do you know OP? She mentioned you in her cover letter?
Clerk X: Yes, I know her through XYZ, I recommended that she apply.
Judge: Alright. [. . . conversation about OP].

CanadianWolf
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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:07 pm

Opinions can differ. Interesting to read that you think that there is one right answer. I disagree, but respect your experienced opinion, when the recommender "...is someone with a lot of authority in the judge's chambers."

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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:36 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Opinions can differ. Interesting to read that you think that there is one right answer. I disagree, but respect your experienced opinion, when the recommender "...is someone with a lot of authority in the judge's chambers."


I think you're reading way too much into op's original statement (authority in the judges chambers doesn't necessarily mean the person works in the chambers). Regardless, I don't see how this shows a lack of discretion. Like Mega said, it's all about getting your application to the top of the pile. That is what cover letters are for, and that is why you list your connection in the very first line.

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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby dood » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:42 pm

...
Last edited by dood on Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:46 pm

I think mentioning it in the first or second sentence is a good idea. I'm a law clerk, and if I told somebody to apply, I'd recommend they put my name in the cover letter. In many (perhaps almost all) chambers, the judge will never see the letter unless the secretary and/or law clerk pull it out of the stack of hundreds or thousands of applications. A letter that references a person the judge knows (even better someone in the chambers) is likely to get pulled from the stack by the person performing the initial review, even if the applicant's credentials are lower than others.

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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:38 pm

OP: Does the "person with a lot of authority in the judge's chambers" work in the judge's chambers ?

P.S. Having reread the OP's post, I wonder why it is so difficult to write that "Blank suggested that I apply for this internship."

Also, to the poster wondering why a judge might question an applicant's discretion for including an influential person's name on a cover letter as a recommender without asking for permission or guidance of the influential member of the judge's chambers, I suspect that our experiences are quite different.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:42 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:
Also, to the poster wondering why a judge might question an applicant's discretion for including an influential person's name on a cover letter as a recommender without asking for permission or guidance of the influential member of the judge's chambers, I suspect that our experiences are quite different.



LOL the person told him to apply. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that he or she has the permission and guidance of the person.

Also:

P.S. Having reread the OP's post, I wonder why it is so difficult to write that "Blank suggested that I apply for this internship."


Isn't this what everyone here has been suggesting, and what you have been saying might show a lack of discretion?


Are you drunk or something?

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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:18 am

OP here:

Yes, the person works in the judge's chambers.

I think I'll mention in it in first or second line and be done with it. I think one line is appropriate, but no more.

On the other hand, this person offered to take the application and send it along, so their connection to the application is already established there. But after that, I'm thinking it might be helpful to at least have the name on paper.

Thanks for all the replies. Enjoy the holidays.

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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby megaTTTron » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here:

Yes, the person works in the judge's chambers.

I think I'll mention in it in first or second line and be done with it. I think one line is appropriate, but no more.

On the other hand, this person offered to take the application and send it along, so their connection to the application is already established there. But after that, I'm thinking it might be helpful to at least have the name on paper.

Thanks for all the replies. Enjoy the holidays.


Money. Good luck, let us know how it works out.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:53 am

Then let that person take the application & personally send it along if that was the offer.
My suggestion is to never use a recommender's name without asking permission first.

@Aqua: The permission & guidance to apply, but not necessarily to use that person's name. Yes, others have been suggesting what I suggested may show a lack of discretion. I posed this question because the original post indicates that that was what the OP had tried to do--but was uncomfortable with the written product. If that's what the OP wanted, then it seems quite easy to do whether lacking discretion or not.

OP: Did the recommender ever specifically state that you were welcome to use his or her name in your application ? If not, then ask for permission if you intend to use his or her name.

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Re: Mentioning a connection to a judge

Postby LjakW » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here:

Yes, the person works in the judge's chambers.

I think I'll mention in it in first or second line and be done with it. I think one line is appropriate, but no more.

On the other hand, this person offered to take the application and send it along, so their connection to the application is already established there. But after that, I'm thinking it might be helpful to at least have the name on paper.

Thanks for all the replies. Enjoy the holidays.

If the connect is taking the application, then you probably should not mention it in your cover letter.




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