Why Me? ( as a Clerkship Cover Letter Requirement)

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Why Me? ( as a Clerkship Cover Letter Requirement)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:14 am

I know I'm not the only TLSer sitting up trying to figure out what to tell a certain judge in repsonse to his/her demand that we explain why him or her, specifically, in our cover letter. It's not that I don't like this judge; I do. But I don't think I can say, "well, because you're a bastion of sanity on a wackadoodle circuit." Or even, "because I think you've written a lot of great civil rights opinions." And there's nothing caseload-specific that distinguishes him/her, e.g. "ah, because you do so much cool trial work." It's just tough; for the most part, appellate judges don't specialize, they decide what's before them. What distinguishes them is their views, but one can't say in a cover letter, "nice ideology you've got there." (Nor can I claim that I'm into public interest and they've written a number of fairly landmark public interest opinions; I respect this judge's jurisprudence, but that just isn't what I'm going into for a career.)

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PS Artist

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Re: Why Me? ( as a Clerkship Cover Letter Requirement)

Postby PS Artist » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:11 pm

Ha, yes I'd stay away from the word wackadoodle, but are there instances in which this judge has found himself on opposites sides of decisions where some could be seen as conservative and others liberal?

If not, what about personal characteristics -- involvement in the community, legal or not, for example? The appellate judge I clerked for was a strong leader in the Italian-American community both locally and nationally (and extremely proud of his heritage); had I been asked "Why me?" while applying/interviewing, that certainly would have been a soft spot for him, as I later found out. It doesn't have to be ethnic, of course, but do try to pinpoint something about the judge's character/background that you honestly admire :)

Best of luck!

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