Judicial Internship (1Ls)

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huckabees
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Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby huckabees » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:58 am

Is it too late to apply to one of these for 1L summer if I'm looking to find something at the federal district court level? Are the only remaining judges the ones who are waiting for first semester grades? I've heard conflicting things on this front. FWIW, I'm looking in a rather competitive geographic area, and am not expecting anything out of the ordinary grade-wise. Thanks.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:06 am

I just got an email on positions open at the Circuit level. Application deadlines are mid-Feb for that. It's actually for an unpaid externship though, so I'm not sure if were talking about the same thing. But it's with a Fed Cir Court of Appeals so it sounds like a prestigious opportunity to me. I know there are some Federal deadlines that have expired for 2011 summer positions more generally, but there are also a lot of Federal internships (such as with CDC etc) that are still open. In your case if you reveal more about specific region you may get feedback better able to address your concern. But then IDK- there may be standardized deadlines for the positions you're asking about that I'm not aware of. I'd be very surprised if you missed them though because I don't think most 1Ls have even gotten grades back yet, which is a big part of what judges typically choose people based on.

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dood
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Re: Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby dood » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:24 am

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

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megaTTTron
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Re: Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby megaTTTron » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:35 am

I did a 1L federal district court judicial internship last year. Applied in January. Many Judges responded saying that they were done hiring. Still, I interviewed with several in February. Offer in February. It's not too late, but it's getting there. Make haste.

huckabees
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Re: Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby huckabees » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:51 am

Haha, thanks for the speedy responses guys.

I'm interested in EDNY/SDNY (I attend a T6 in NY), and I know they are very competitive to obtain. I was thinking of doing a mass mail merge for all the federal judges in both districts (100-200 total), but if they're either taken or waiting for stellar grades (which I'm pretty sure I won't have), my time may be better spent looking elsewhere (i.e., possibly outside the realm of judicial internships).

"deadline jan 15th, or else im fucked"

It's not too late, but it's getting there. Make haste.

Yes, I need to think this :)

Thanks again, and happy holidays to anyone browsing TLS at this hour!

imchuckbass58
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Re: Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby imchuckbass58 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:09 am

huckabees wrote:Haha, thanks for the speedy responses guys.

I'm interested in EDNY/SDNY (I attend a T6 in NY), and I know they are very competitive to obtain. I was thinking of doing a mass mail merge for all the federal judges in both districts (100-200 total), but if they're either taken or waiting for stellar grades (which I'm pretty sure I won't have), my time may be better spent looking elsewhere (i.e., possibly outside the realm of judicial internships).

Thanks again, and happy holidays to anyone browsing TLS at this hour!


I think you're overestimating the competitiveness/selection criteria of these internships. They're competitive in the sense that there are relatively few spots, but each judge uses his or her own criteria for selecting interns, and it's not only stellar grades. I was hired at the circuit level without anyone ever asking for my grades, and I had two other interviews where I wasn't asked. If you are at a T6 and moderately personably, you can probably land a district court internship if you apply widely.

That said, apply now, as other people have said. Interviews continue into february, but at this time last year I had already interviewed for the job I got.

huckabees
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Re: Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby huckabees » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:14 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:I think you're overestimating the competitiveness/selection criteria of these internships. They're competitive in the sense that there are relatively few spots, but each judge uses his or her own criteria for selecting interns, and it's not only stellar grades. I was hired at the circuit level without anyone ever asking for my grades, and I had two other interviews where I wasn't asked. If you are at a T6 and moderately personably, you can probably land a district court internship if you apply widely.

That said, apply now, as other people have said. Interviews continue into february, but at this time last year I had already interviewed for the job I got.


Thanks for the advice. I'm aiming to send these out by Jan 2, though I'm considering calling first to make sure they still have spots left.

I've heard that district court internships are a mix of timing, luck, and what the particular judge is looking for, but it's pretty amazing that you managed to land something at the circuit level. I guess I'll consider including circuit level judges in my mass mailing, but I recently spoke to someone, asking them (perhaps naively) whether the internship experience would differ between district to circuit court, and their response was "if you want to intern with the second circuit, GOOD LUCK," haha...

If you don't mind my asking - what in your application do you think made you a more attractive candidate? Trying to decide what to highlight in my cover letter, if anything...

Thanks.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby imchuckbass58 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:44 pm

huckabees wrote:Thanks for the advice. I'm aiming to send these out by Jan 2, though I'm considering calling first to make sure they still have spots left.

I've heard that district court internships are a mix of timing, luck, and what the particular judge is looking for, but it's pretty amazing that you managed to land something at the circuit level. I guess I'll consider including circuit level judges in my mass mailing, but I recently spoke to someone, asking them (perhaps naively) whether the internship experience would differ between district to circuit court, and their response was "if you want to intern with the second circuit, GOOD LUCK," haha...

If you don't mind my asking - what in your application do you think made you a more attractive candidate? Trying to decide what to highlight in my cover letter, if anything...

Thanks.


I think it very much think it is luck of the draw, but I don't think that COA judges are "harder" than district judges. There are just fewer of them so they hire fewer interns. A lot of people assume they can't get COA judges, but that's really not the case. Include them in your mass mailing and maybe you'll get lucky.

You should also consider whether you want to intern for a COA or district judge. I had a great experience and loved the work I did, but it's definitely different from a district court internship. COA internships are very academic - almost entirely legal research and writing. You rarely are in court, and many of the questions are rather theoretical points of law. With a district court judge, by contrast, you are in court constantly, and are dealing with bread-and-butter discovery motions or summary judgement memos. District court will probably be better if you want to see the meat and potatoes of litigation, COA is better if you are more academically/theoretically inclined. From a prestige standpoint, it matter minimally if at all at the internship level if you intern for a district or COA judge (though not so for actual clerkships).

As for what made me attractive, I'm not really sure. I imagine my undergrad helped (HYP), as well as the fact that I worked in business for a couple of years (SDNY/EDNY/2d Cir. gets a lot of commercial litigation). I also had a writing-intensive major (history) and wrote a thesis, so maybe they thought I could write. Other than that, I really think it was the fact that I clicked personally with the clerks.

huckabees
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Re: Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby huckabees » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:31 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:I think it very much think it is luck of the draw, but I don't think that COA judges are "harder" than district judges. There are just fewer of them so they hire fewer interns. A lot of people assume they can't get COA judges, but that's really not the case. Include them in your mass mailing and maybe you'll get lucky.

You should also consider whether you want to intern for a COA or district judge. I had a great experience and loved the work I did, but it's definitely different from a district court internship. COA internships are very academic - almost entirely legal research and writing. You rarely are in court, and many of the questions are rather theoretical points of law. With a district court judge, by contrast, you are in court constantly, and are dealing with bread-and-butter discovery motions or summary judgement memos. District court will probably be better if you want to see the meat and potatoes of litigation, COA is better if you are more academically/theoretically inclined. From a prestige standpoint, it matter minimally if at all at the internship level if you intern for a district or COA judge (though not so for actual clerkships).

As for what made me attractive, I'm not really sure. I imagine my undergrad helped (HYP), as well as the fact that I worked in business for a couple of years (SDNY/EDNY/2d Cir. gets a lot of commercial litigation). I also had a writing-intensive major (history) and wrote a thesis, so maybe they thought I could write. Other than that, I really think it was the fact that I clicked personally with the clerks.


Thanks, that was very helpful. I ended up doing a limited mass mailing of judges, and some have called to request grades/interviews.

Does anyone know what kinds of questions judges ask during interviews, and how best to prepare? I've heard that many just ask softball questions to assess personality, fit, and interest in the law, but any more specific advice on this (e.g., specific questions they might ask) would be helpful.

To anyone who is wondering re: the time line - I called several chambers individually and most said they were still hiring, though many wanted grades at this point.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:33 pm

huckabees wrote:Does anyone know what kinds of questions judges ask during interviews, and how best to prepare? I've heard that many just ask softball questions to assess personality, fit, and interest in the law, but any more specific advice on this (e.g., specific questions they might ask) would be helpful.


In addition to just discussing my resume, I got asked (or have heard of people being asked):

-Why this court?
-Why a trial/appeals court and not some other court
-What's your favorite supreme court decision and why?
-What's the most interesting legal principle/theory you learned in law school and why?
-What was your favorite class first semester and why?

huckabees
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Re: Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby huckabees » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:29 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
huckabees wrote:Does anyone know what kinds of questions judges ask during interviews, and how best to prepare? I've heard that many just ask softball questions to assess personality, fit, and interest in the law, but any more specific advice on this (e.g., specific questions they might ask) would be helpful.


In addition to just discussing my resume, I got asked (or have heard of people being asked):

-Why this court?
-Why a trial/appeals court and not some other court
-What's your favorite supreme court decision and why?
-What's the most interesting legal principle/theory you learned in law school and why?
-What was your favorite class first semester and why?


Great, thanks for this list - I'll be sure to prep for these.

missinglink
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Re: Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby missinglink » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:21 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
huckabees wrote:Does anyone know what kinds of questions judges ask during interviews, and how best to prepare? I've heard that many just ask softball questions to assess personality, fit, and interest in the law, but any more specific advice on this (e.g., specific questions they might ask) would be helpful.


In addition to just discussing my resume, I got asked (or have heard of people being asked):

-Why this court?
-Why a trial/appeals court and not some other court
-What's your favorite supreme court decision and why?
-What's the most interesting legal principle/theory you learned in law school and why?
-What was your favorite class first semester and why?


Weird. My interview consisted of talking about random things and him telling me about the position.

I had prepped to answer a wide range of questions like that. And in the end, nothing.

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king3780
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Re: Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby king3780 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:25 pm

missinglink wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
huckabees wrote:Does anyone know what kinds of questions judges ask during interviews, and how best to prepare? I've heard that many just ask softball questions to assess personality, fit, and interest in the law, but any more specific advice on this (e.g., specific questions they might ask) would be helpful.


In addition to just discussing my resume, I got asked (or have heard of people being asked):

-Why this court?
-Why a trial/appeals court and not some other court
-What's your favorite supreme court decision and why?
-What's the most interesting legal principle/theory you learned in law school and why?
-What was your favorite class first semester and why?


Weird. My interview consisted of talking about random things and him telling me about the position.

I had prepped to answer a wide range of questions like that. And in the end, nothing.


I was also prepared to answer a variety of questions and the interview was basically 1) what dates do you want to work between? and 2) what do you want to get out of this internship?

imchuckbass58
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Re: Judicial Internship (1Ls)

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:48 pm

king3780 wrote:
missinglink wrote:Weird. My interview consisted of talking about random things and him telling me about the position.

I had prepped to answer a wide range of questions like that. And in the end, nothing.


I was also prepared to answer a variety of questions and the interview was basically 1) what dates do you want to work between? and 2) what do you want to get out of this internship?


Yeah. I had three interviews with clerks before I accepted a gig, and only in one was I asked real questions outside of my resume, so I think it's quite likely you won't need any of this. But, it takes only an hour or so to think up some answers, so it's not a bad idea to be prepared just in case.




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