Second clerkship cover letter advice

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273317
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Second clerkship cover letter advice

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:05 pm

Any advice on how to write this thing?

Here is what I have but I don't know if I really like it.

I will be clerking for Judge Doe this year and am looking forward to learning everything he has to teach me. I would very much like to continue my experience by clerking for Your Honor.

User avatar
Cavalier
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Second clerkship cover letter advice

Postby Cavalier » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:07 pm

I will be clerking for Judge Doe this year, but only the court of appeals can offer the prestige that I demand, which is why I am applying for a clerkship in your chambers.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273317
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Second clerkship cover letter advice

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:15 pm

Cavalier wrote:I will be clerking for Judge Doe this year, but only the court of appeals can offer the prestige that I demand, which is why I am applying for a clerkship in your chambers.


tyft

User avatar
jonas
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 6:25 pm

Re: Second clerkship cover letter advice

Postby jonas » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:42 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Having read scores of applications from people seeking second clerkships, I suggest writing something along the lines of:

Dear Judge XXXX,

I am a recent graudate of [name of law school] and would like to be considered for a 2012-13 clerkship in your chambers. I will begin a one-year clerkship for Judge [name] on the [court name] beginning in [month], and would like to follow that experience up with a clerkship on [name of court you are applying to]. In particular, I am interested in . . . [give reason you want to clerk for that court, such as its docket or location; or for that judge, based on a former clerk's or professor's recommendation].

A few examples of how the last sentence might read:
- I am particularly interested in clerking on the Federal Circuit, given my background in electrical engineering and my desire to practice patent law in the Washington, D.C. area.

- As a native New Yorker, I am particularly interested in securing a clerkship on the Second Circuit.

- I am particularly interested in securing a clerkship in the San Diego area, where my husband recently secured a medical residency.

- [Former clerk's name] had wonderful things to say about his experience in your chambers, and recommended that I apply.

For most people, the cover letter should contain little else. We get these long, over-wrougt letters about how people honed their skills on the law review and learned all these super-unique writing techniques while externing for some state court judge. I skip that stuff, and I think most other people reading clerkship apps do as well.

To me, the best cover letters contain the paragraph described above and a short second paragraph indicating (1) what is included in the application; (2) who their recommenders are and, if no references sheet is included, how they can be reached; (3) whether any addenda or updates will be forthcoming; and (4) a short closing statement along the lines of "Thank you for your time and consideration." The letter should have your name, address, telephone no., and e-mail address located PROMINENTLY on the top of the page so we can find your app easily while shuffling through a gigantic pile.

Bingo. G. T. L. Rev. nailed it.

Also, don't be afraid to use the word "you." Phrases like "clerking for Your Honor" are awkward.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273317
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Second clerkship cover letter advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:06 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
jonas wrote:Also, don't be afraid to use the word "you." Phrases like "clerking for Your Honor" are awkward.

+Bajillion. The letters which use "your honor" come off as wooden and awkward.

Also, and somewhat off-topic, can people please stop omitting their GPA from their resumes? I know some CSOs tell you to do that. Ignore them. The CSO is not going to see your app. If I can't figure out your GPA and where you roughly stand in the class quickly, I am more likely than not just going to move on to one of the other apps in the pile, of which there are many. Most top schools do not rank, which I understand. In those cases, recommenders often help by offering an approximate or exact ranking. But at the very least you should not force us to do math for you re: your GPA.


Ah, interesting to hear. My clerkship adviser at a T10 school explicitly told me to take my GPA off my resume (and not because it would hurt me) when applying to (COA) judges because leaving it on there would be crass. Although maybe he was speaking with knowledge of one or two judges in particular...

Anonymous User
Posts: 273317
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Second clerkship cover letter advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:00 pm

If you graduated with honors, do you list it in your cover letter?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273317
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Second clerkship cover letter advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:08 pm

TY for the responses. I have a second question - If judges take OSCAR, do they get annoyed/mad if you apply paper. I don't want the judge to be able to auto ding me without looking at my app.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273317
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Second clerkship cover letter advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:23 pm

I'm a bit older than most of you all.

Two kids I debated with in high school are judges: one on a state supreme court another 9th circuit. Is there an appropriate way to say hey remember me?

User avatar
Cavalier
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Second clerkship cover letter advice

Postby Cavalier » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a bit older than most of you all.

Two kids I debated with in high school are judges: one on a state supreme court another 9th circuit. Is there an appropriate way to say hey remember me?

9th Circuit? The youngest judge there is 51, and the others are all at least 55.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273317
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Second clerkship cover letter advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:36 pm

like I said I'm a bit older than most of you.

Military re-tread.

arodtoo
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Second clerkship cover letter advice

Postby arodtoo » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:18 am

Going deep into the depths for a bump on this thread. I too am currently looking for advice on a cover letter for a second clerkship. I'm hoping for some general advice about how to fashion my application.

Additionally, I'd like some more specific advice as well because I am currently clerking in a somewhat unique place (location wise, not court wise).

(1) I'm wondering if it makes sense to lead the first sentence of the letter with where I am currently clerking. Basically, could my first sentence say: I'm currently clerking in X and am applying for a position in your chambers for [year]. I'm hoping that the unique locale might get people more interested in the application.

(2) My idea of an order is: (1) currently clerking + applying for your chambers; (2) summary of law school [grades + law review]; (3) unique aspect about my current job; (4) Why I want to follow up my current job with a clerkship in their chambers; (5) what is included in my app + thanks.

Sorry, I just realized this was in the legal employment section; it must have been posted before the clerkship section was created.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.