Is this unusual?

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Anonymous User
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Is this unusual?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:19 pm

I was hired by a COA judge (5th) without an interview. They also did not ask for a writing sample and my grades have not been released yet. Resume, cover letter, and the dates I could work, was all they needed. I do have some nice experience, but from what I can gather this seems a bit unusual. Thoughts?

BlueDiamond
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby BlueDiamond » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:21 pm

well arent you a special snowflake

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Mce252
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby Mce252 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:22 pm

It would worry me. If the judge or clerk doesn't want to examine your writing, that's not a good thing for you.

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DrGuano
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby DrGuano » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:24 pm

I was hired under very similar circumstances - 5 minute phone interview with a clerk for an SDNY judge.

My judge had very little interaction with his interns aside from answering our questions as to why he ruled a certain way in motion practice or gave a certain sentence. The only substantive work we did was a habeas petition opinion draft each, as well as some bench memos (I wrote 3). His goal was for us to be in court watching him as much as possible, so an interview was not as important.

Remember - you're being hired for an unpaid position to work for a judge who's paid by the federal government. Judges don't want to waste their time or clerks' time poring over internship apps and conducting tons of interviews.

I was told that each clerk pulled a few resumes from the school he/she attended, read through them quickly, made a few phone calls, and essentially hired the 5 people who didn't sound like social lepers over the phone. Good school/good cover letter (& grades if required) are really all you need. Plus luck that you'll be picked out of the hundreds of letters they get.

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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby BlueDiamond » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:27 pm

DrGuano wrote:I was hired under very similar circumstances - 5 minute phone interview with a clerk for an SDNY judge.

My judge had very little interaction with his interns aside from answering our questions as to why he ruled a certain way in motion practice or gave a certain sentence. The only substantive work we did was a habeas petition opinion draft each, as well as some bench memos (I wrote 3). His goal was for us to be in court watching him as much as possible, so an interview was not as important.

Remember - you're being hired for an unpaid position to work for a judge who's paid by the federal government. Judges don't want to waste their time or clerks' time poring over internship apps and conducting tons of interviews.

I was told that each clerk pulled a few resumes from the school he/she attended, read through them quickly, made a few phone calls, and essentially hired the 5 people who didn't sound like social lepers over the phone. Good school/good cover letter (& grades if required) are really all you need. Plus luck that you'll be picked out of the hundreds of letters they get.


this sounds like an unbelievably relaxed summer

cantabaout
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby cantabaout » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:30 pm

I was offered to work with a magistrate judge in albany as a 1L without an interview. The law clerks read everything. I googled the judge and he seems like a decent person.

It would have been a nice resume line.

1Ls do not do that much substantive work anyway.

I ended up interning with a CA2 judge.

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Mce252
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby Mce252 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:31 pm

DrGuano wrote:I was hired under very similar circumstances - 5 minute phone interview with a clerk for an SDNY judge.

My judge had very little interaction with his interns aside from answering our questions as to why he ruled a certain way in motion practice or gave a certain sentence. The only substantive work we did was a habeas petition opinion draft each, as well as some bench memos (I wrote 3). His goal was for us to be in court watching him as much as possible, so an interview was not as important.

Remember - you're being hired for an unpaid position to work for a judge who's paid by the federal government. Judges don't want to waste their time or clerks' time poring over internship apps and conducting tons of interviews.

I was told that each clerk pulled a few resumes from the school he/she attended, read through them quickly, made a few phone calls, and essentially hired the 5 people who didn't sound like social lepers over the phone. Good school/good cover letter (& grades if required) are really all you need. Plus luck that you'll be picked out of the hundreds of letters they get.


This is not true for many judges. If a judge relies on their interns to actually assist the clerks in writing and researching -- which many do -- they will not hire you without at least reviewing a writing sample.

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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:36 pm

Hmmmm, now I am kind of worried. When they called yesterday morning to offer me the position, I obviously accepted b/c you can't turn down a judge and it was a fed (though I was shocked because I hadn't interview and they didn't want any more information from me). But now thinking about it for awhile has me kind of confused and worried that I won;t do much this summer. It especially stinks because I did have two interviews lined up (later that afternoon) with a fed bankruptcy and a dist. where I would have probably done real shit. Damn.

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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:37 pm

And I know I shouldn't complain b/c I already have a summer job lined up, but this whole not being able to say no to a judge thing is kinda ridic to me. Oh well. 1L summers are BS anyways.

cantabaout
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby cantabaout » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:40 pm

you can split your summer. a great way to know more people and have more fun!

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Cupidity
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby Cupidity » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:43 pm

cantabaout wrote:1Ls do not do that much substantive work anyway.



Maybe with your Judge, but that doesn't seem like the general experience. I spent every day of my job down in the 11th writing opinions, most of which were published after only a round or two of editing by the judge and with virtually no substantive changes. My other friend who worked in the 1st had the same experience, we were both treated as full law clerks and probably had the most substantive experience of any 1L's, thats why you should work for judges in the first place.

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Mce252
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby Mce252 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:48 pm

Cupidity wrote:
cantabaout wrote:1Ls do not do that much substantive work anyway.



Maybe with your Judge, but that doesn't seem like the general experience. I spent every day of my job down in the 11th writing opinions, most of which were published after only a round or two of editing by the judge and with virtually no substantive changes. My other friend who worked in the 1st had the same experience, we were both treated as full law clerks and probably had the most substantive experience of any 1L's, thats why you should work for judges in the first place.



+1 - Biglaw recruiters like judicial experience the most, outside of SA positions with their firm. This wouldn't be true if most judicial positions were focused on observation.

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Cupidity
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby Cupidity » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:52 pm

Mce252 wrote:
Cupidity wrote:
cantabaout wrote:1Ls do not do that much substantive work anyway.



Maybe with your Judge, but that doesn't seem like the general experience. I spent every day of my job down in the 11th writing opinions, most of which were published after only a round or two of editing by the judge and with virtually no substantive changes. My other friend who worked in the 1st had the same experience, we were both treated as full law clerks and probably had the most substantive experience of any 1L's, thats why you should work for judges in the first place.



+1 - Biglaw recruiters like judicial experience the most, outside of SA positions with their firm. This wouldn't be true if most judicial positions were focused on observation.


Yeah, I mean....I watched every single hearing, and sat in on some of the more interesting proceedings that were going on in the courthouse, a few trials, some sentencings, and a couple presentations. That all averaged out to probably two hours a day, which still meant that I was in my office researching or typing for 8 hours a day.

Oh fun fact, the general rule is that you arrive before the judge, and leave after, so even if they told you it is a 9-5, you will probably be working 8:30-6:30. Only a few interns ever left before 6.

cantabaout
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby cantabaout » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:55 pm

I should have made it clear:
I did not find my work that "substantive" or significant - I did draft a memo on a very interesting (and big) case but somehow it struck me that things would have been the same anyway without me. maybe interning with a district court judge would have provided a different experience.

I actually have found work at a law firm more challenging. more actions.... etc.

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YourCaptain
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby YourCaptain » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:20 pm

youre complaining that you got fed coa for 1L summer?

get out of here

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Mce252
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby Mce252 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:22 pm

cantabaout wrote:I did draft a memo on a very interesting (and big) case but somehow it struck me that things would have been the same anyway without me.



That's unusual. Most interns revolutionize the court's understanding of the law and ability to operate effectively for the People. You must not have worked hard enough.

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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:25 pm

YourCaptain wrote:youre complaining that you got fed coa for 1L summer?

get out of here


I know, I know. But if firms don't give a crap (or so I hear) about 1L summer then why are COA gigs so in-demand an sought after if they may not provide the hands-on experience that a state or fed district gig may provide? If a COA boosted my resume and impressed firms (even a little) then I'd be psyched. But apparently they don't, so I'm more concerned with getting experience and not being bored out of mind than with prestige..

cantabaout
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby cantabaout » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
YourCaptain wrote:youre complaining that you got fed coa for 1L summer?

get out of here


I know, I know. But if firms don't give a crap (or so I hear) about 1L summer then why are COA gigs so in-demand an sought after if they may not provide the hands-on experience that a state or fed district gig may provide? If a COA boosted my resume and impressed firms (even a little) then I'd be psyched. But apparently they don't, so I'm more concerned with getting experience and not being bored out of mind than with prestige..



I was really grateful for the opportunity and it will impress people provided that you also have good grades.

It depends on what you like. people at COAs tend to be more intellectually-inclined. I heard that district courts are more action-packed and has a fast-paced environment.

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IAFG
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby IAFG » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:45 pm

Mce252 wrote:

+1 - Biglaw recruiters like judicial experience the most, outside of SA positions with their firm. This wouldn't be true if most judicial positions were focused on observation.

lol wtf are you talking about that's not true at all

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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:45 pm

Do you go to a T10 or T14? You also said you have work experience. The judge may just wanna have their positions settled quickly and they may assume that if you go to an elite school and were a paralegal or whatever that you can capably fill the role. Doesn't seem too crazy to me. Be thankful for the opportunity because a lot of people would kill for the opportunity. And it may not help for firms (though I am of the opinion that it does -- a little bit anyways) but it does help with clerking (assuming you have the grades and whatnot).

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YourCaptain
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby YourCaptain » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
YourCaptain wrote:youre complaining that you got fed coa for 1L summer?

get out of here


I know, I know. But if firms don't give a crap (or so I hear) about 1L summer then why are COA gigs so in-demand an sought after if they may not provide the hands-on experience that a state or fed district gig may provide? If a COA boosted my resume and impressed firms (even a little) then I'd be psyched. But apparently they don't, so I'm more concerned with getting experience and not being bored out of mind than with prestige..


firms definitely care about 1L summer. the tls mantra that they dont is simply untrue. i spoke with many hiring partners throughout the oci process who stated on multiple occasions that 1) they look down on things like RA positions because theyre uninteresting 2) most judicial internships are fungible except when.. 3) positions like 1L SA, USAO, Fed Agency (SEC/DOJ/FCC/EPA), and CoA are definitely preferred because generally higher quality candidates get these positions.

cantabaout
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby cantabaout » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:04 pm

YourCaptain wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
YourCaptain wrote:youre complaining that you got fed coa for 1L summer?

get out of here


I know, I know. But if firms don't give a crap (or so I hear) about 1L summer then why are COA gigs so in-demand an sought after if they may not provide the hands-on experience that a state or fed district gig may provide? If a COA boosted my resume and impressed firms (even a little) then I'd be psyched. But apparently they don't, so I'm more concerned with getting experience and not being bored out of mind than with prestige..


firms definitely care about 1L summer. the tls mantra that they dont is simply untrue. i spoke with many hiring partners throughout the oci process who stated on multiple occasions that 1) they look down on things like RA positions because theyre uninteresting 2) most judicial internships are fungible except when.. 3) positions like 1L SA, USAO, Fed Agency (SEC/DOJ/FCC/EPA), and CoA are definitely preferred because generally higher quality candidates get these positions.


don't know about fed agency - but what you said about 1L SA, USAO and CoA are true.
But these candidates are generally driven and have good grades anyway. so, more of a correlation than causation between great 2L/postgrad jobs and 1L internships.

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ggocat
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby ggocat » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was hired by a COA judge (5th) without an interview.

Happened to me with USCOA, as well, but it was half of 2L summer instead of 1L so I had some grades. Prof also made a phone call (former colleagues in biglaw); I think that's really the only reason I was hired.

Anonymous User wrote:Hmmmm, now I am kind of worried. When they called yesterday morning to offer me the position, I obviously accepted b/c you can't turn down a judge and it was a fed (though I was shocked because I hadn't interview and they didn't want any more information from me). But now thinking about it for awhile has me kind of confused and worried that I won;t do much this summer. It especially stinks because I did have two interviews lined up (later that afternoon) with a fed bankruptcy and a dist. where I would have probably done real shit. Damn.

You will do "stuff" this summer (I assume you mean research and write). There simply isn't enough non-researching/writing stuff for you to do. It's not like the trial courts where there are hearings every week (or sometimes every day in a week). Oral arguments are infrequent, and many appellate courts don't hear argued cases during part of the summer. I never saw one the whole time I was there; just did researching/writing.

Anonymous User wrote:And I know I shouldn't complain b/c I already have a summer job lined up, but this whole not being able to say no to a judge thing is kinda ridic to me. Oh well. 1L summers are BS anyways.

Meh. Don't apply if you're not willing to take the job. Perhaps you should have (and should in the future) stagger your job applications in order of preference. I don't think it's career-crushing to say no to a judicial internship; I did 1L summer. It's NOT OK to accept and then renege when something better/paying comes along. It's much better to say "no" at the onset if you don't think you'll be a good fit or you want to gamble on a 1L SA.

But USCOA is a pretty good gig for 1L summer. My judge had 6 interns, and I think only 2 of them were 1Ls (one of whom ended up #1 in the class after 1L). I'm a law clerk (non-USCOA), and at least 50% of the summer interns at my court are 2Ls.
Last edited by ggocat on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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DrGuano
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby DrGuano » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:35 pm

BlueDiamond wrote:
DrGuano wrote:I was hired under very similar circumstances - 5 minute phone interview with a clerk for an SDNY judge.

My judge had very little interaction with his interns aside from answering our questions as to why he ruled a certain way in motion practice or gave a certain sentence. The only substantive work we did was a habeas petition opinion draft each, as well as some bench memos (I wrote 3). His goal was for us to be in court watching him as much as possible, so an interview was not as important.

Remember - you're being hired for an unpaid position to work for a judge who's paid by the federal government. Judges don't want to waste their time or clerks' time poring over internship apps and conducting tons of interviews.

I was told that each clerk pulled a few resumes from the school he/she attended, read through them quickly, made a few phone calls, and essentially hired the 5 people who didn't sound like social lepers over the phone. Good school/good cover letter (& grades if required) are really all you need. Plus luck that you'll be picked out of the hundreds of letters they get.


this sounds like an unbelievably relaxed summer


it was awesome. in every day at 9:30, out the door at 5. the first day the judge sat us down and told us since we were not getting paid, he did not want us in the building past 5. hard to argue with that.

since i still got to draft an opinion (which was published on westlaw) and wrote 3 bench memos on 3 different litigations (one proximate cause issue, one standing issue, and one 12(b)(6) issue), i felt satisfied as far as substantive work goes. it was great to have a laid back summer and i really enjoyed observing our judge in action. we had a couple of big cases (no trials) with a handful of entertaining and interesting oral arguments on various motions. since our judge was big on observing, he sent us to a few trials with other judges during the summer as well. also got to visit the MCC prison across the way on pearl st. definitely felt it was the most well-rounded experience compared to some colleagues from my school who also interned at the sdny.

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leobowski
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Re: Is this unusual?

Postby leobowski » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:45 pm

Check out this website (LinkRemoved)

It's highly relevant to your situation and should give you some perspective.




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