2L T20 Top 15 Percent want to clerk/what to this summer?

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2L T20 Top 15 Percent want to clerk/what to this summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:39 pm

I'm a 2L at a Top 20 right outside the top 10percent. I struck out at OCI. I want to clerk after I graduate (would be happy with a state or Federal, prefer Art. III obviously). Interested in going government after clerking (preferably government contracts work). Obviously if clerking doesn't work out I'd be interested in going straight into the government although I realize that will be difficult. My question is what to do this summer. I've already got experience with two state trial level judges (local and state) and next Semester I'll be with a Federal District Court Judge externing. Okay down to the point...

I have a pretty close connection with a Court of Appeals judge on the third circuit which I'm pretty sure I could turn into an internship for the summer. Or, am I better off pursuing something in the government more in line with what I'd like to be doing long term? Thanks for any input.

midwestls
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Re: 2L T20 Top 15 Percent want to clerk/what to this summer?

Postby midwestls » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:50 pm

You have to extern with a court IMO, preferably a federal court or a state supreme court. The in-semester district court internship is obviously a positive, but you want to build as many judicial connections and get writing samples out of both experiences. It's unlikely that your externship would directly lead to a clerkship, but you'll make connections and probably get recommendations out of it.

The other thing you could do is get published. If you're on law review and are already getting published, get a second paper cranked out and get THAT published by a lower tier journal at another school (it's possible, I did it). Judges love seeing that you're published.

zomginternets
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Re: 2L T20 Top 15 Percent want to clerk/what to this summer?

Postby zomginternets » Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:42 pm

midwestls wrote:you want to build as many judicial connections and get writing samples out of both experiences.


Slight side-track: can both memos and opinions written as an extern be used as a writing sample? is the opinion considered the judge's opinion, and thus off limits?

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Re: 2L T20 Top 15 Percent want to clerk/what to this summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:43 pm

OP here, so consensus is even with District Court internship next semester, best thing to do would be to try and get COA appeals internship this summer?

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Re: 2L T20 Top 15 Percent want to clerk/what to this summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:10 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
zomginternets wrote:
midwestls wrote:you want to build as many judicial connections and get writing samples out of both experiences.


Slight side-track: can both memos and opinions written as an extern be used as a writing sample? is the opinion considered the judge's opinion, and thus off limits?

The final is definitely the exclusive property of the judge, and should never be used as a writing sample -- even when the judge made no edits whatsoever. The same holds true for any intermediate in-chambers drafts. But in some circumstances I could see an original (first) draft opinion written by an intern serving as a writing sample. Even then, though, I would use that as a last resort, as some judges may view it negatively. Bench memos would not suffer from this defect.
Respectfully disagree. De rigeur for applicants in my chambers (and others I am familiar with) who have had judicial internships is to send orders or opinions they have worked on with a disclaimer noting the parts they wrote, that the judge and the clerks edited, and that the judge has approved their use of the item as a writing sample. My judge would be taken aback if a bench memo showed up as a writing sample: those are very much "insider information" and show how the judge came to making a decision. I would not want that info public.

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Re: 2L T20 Top 15 Percent want to clerk/what to this summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:45 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here, so consensus is even with District Court internship next semester, best thing to do would be to try and get COA appeals internship this summer?

Or, better still, one of those rare internships (district court or COA) where the judge actually does have a reputation for hiring his/her former interns. There are not many of these, but they do exist.


OP... any advice on how to go about finding these?

03121202698008
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Re: 2L T20 Top 15 Percent want to clerk/what to this summer?

Postby 03121202698008 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:58 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
zomginternets wrote:
midwestls wrote:you want to build as many judicial connections and get writing samples out of both experiences.


Slight side-track: can both memos and opinions written as an extern be used as a writing sample? is the opinion considered the judge's opinion, and thus off limits?

The final is definitely the exclusive property of the judge, and should never be used as a writing sample -- even when the judge made no edits whatsoever. The same holds true for any intermediate in-chambers drafts. But in some circumstances I could see an original (first) draft opinion written by an intern serving as a writing sample. Even then, though, I would use that as a last resort, as some judges may view it negatively. Bench memos would not suffer from this defect.


Eh, I'm not sure it's this stringent. My judge gave me permission to use a final opinion I wrote as a writing sample and employers seemed to like it. For lots of friends in district courts, it seems to be the norm. I could see for CoA as there is a lot more wheeling and dealing involved in the language though.

midwestls
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Re: 2L T20 Top 15 Percent want to clerk/what to this summer?

Postby midwestls » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:59 am

blowhard wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
zomginternets wrote:
midwestls wrote:you want to build as many judicial connections and get writing samples out of both experiences.


Slight side-track: can both memos and opinions written as an extern be used as a writing sample? is the opinion considered the judge's opinion, and thus off limits?

The final is definitely the exclusive property of the judge, and should never be used as a writing sample -- even when the judge made no edits whatsoever. The same holds true for any intermediate in-chambers drafts. But in some circumstances I could see an original (first) draft opinion written by an intern serving as a writing sample. Even then, though, I would use that as a last resort, as some judges may view it negatively. Bench memos would not suffer from this defect.


Eh, I'm not sure it's this stringent. My judge gave me permission to use a final opinion I wrote as a writing sample and employers seemed to like it. For lots of friends in district courts, it seems to be the norm. I could see for CoA as there is a lot more wheeling and dealing involved in the language though.


Same here for me.

Renzo
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Re: 2L T20 Top 15 Percent want to clerk/what to this summer?

Postby Renzo » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:37 am

blowhard wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
zomginternets wrote:
midwestls wrote:you want to build as many judicial connections and get writing samples out of both experiences.


Slight side-track: can both memos and opinions written as an extern be used as a writing sample? is the opinion considered the judge's opinion, and thus off limits?

The final is definitely the exclusive property of the judge, and should never be used as a writing sample -- even when the judge made no edits whatsoever. The same holds true for any intermediate in-chambers drafts. But in some circumstances I could see an original (first) draft opinion written by an intern serving as a writing sample. Even then, though, I would use that as a last resort, as some judges may view it negatively. Bench memos would not suffer from this defect.


Eh, I'm not sure it's this stringent. My judge gave me permission to use a final opinion I wrote as a writing sample and employers seemed to like it. For lots of friends in district courts, it seems to be the norm. I could see for CoA as there is a lot more wheeling and dealing involved in the language though.


I don't doubt anything you say, but I would side with GTLR. Many lawyers, and many more judges would find it very unseemly for someone to use a final opinion as a writing sample, even with permission. Lots of judges take seriously the illusion that they are all collectively doing all their own work, and would view quite negatively such a public assertion/admission that they don't.

03121202698008
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Re: 2L T20 Top 15 Percent want to clerk/what to this summer?

Postby 03121202698008 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:57 am

Renzo wrote:I don't doubt anything you say, but I would side with GTLR. Many lawyers, and many more judges would find it very unseemly for someone to use a final opinion as a writing sample, even with permission. Lots of judges take seriously the illusion that they are all collectively doing all their own work, and would view quite negatively such a public assertion/admission that they don't.


I don't think this is true. Not one of the 50-60 lawyers that saw my writing sample reacted negatively. And, I know of literally 100+ people who used similar writing samples. Hell, I didn't even ask my judge. Mid-summer they started finding good projects for all of us that would turn into writing samples. When mine was done, one of the clerks hand-walked it into him and he signed it ahead of the stack so it'd be in Westlaw/Lexis by OCI.

No one is under any illusions that a district court judge writes all of his own opinions. Nor do I see something wrong with explaining it as: I worked collaboratively with the judge. He would tell me his opinion, then I'd research and provide the information back to him. He would decide how he wanted to rule. I'd then write the complete draft and he'd provide input for changes he wanted made.

Like I said, I can see where it'd be different for CoA judges as the particular language takes on way more effect there.




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