Clerkship Interview Etiquette

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Anonymous User
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Clerkship Interview Etiquette

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:40 pm

I have read that if you attend a judicial clerkship interview and are given an offer, then etiquette dictates that you accept.

Is there a similar rule that you should only apply to clerkships that you would strongly consider, or can you apply widely and be more discriminating in accepting interview invitations?

To make this more concrete, I highly doubt I would want to do a 2-year clerkship, but at the same time I figure I might as well apply and then consider my options later if/when I get interview invitations. After all, if the 2-year clerkship is the only thing that pans out, it might be worth it.

Thoughts?

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kalvano
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Re: Clerkship Interview Etiquette

Postby kalvano » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:57 pm

You don't have to accept a clerkship offer on the spot. It's not a 6-week internship, it's a year-long commitment and it's fine to need some time to think about it.

At the same time, "some time to think" means like a day or two, not enough time to look for other offers.

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Re: Clerkship Interview Etiquette

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:03 pm

From an interview with a District Court judge earlier this week:

To paraphrase: "The common etiquette is to accept an offer as soon as the judge offers it to you so if you feel like this won't be a good fit, please let my secretary know after the interview. Most judges who offer during the interview will usually give you some time to talk to family, but just a warning that some don't and you should be ready to accept for any interview you go into."

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Re: Clerkship Interview Etiquette

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:From an interview with a District Court judge earlier this week:

To paraphrase: "The common etiquette is to accept an offer as soon as the judge offers it to you so if you feel like this won't be a good fit, please let my secretary know after the interview. Most judges who offer during the interview will usually give you some time to talk to family, but just a warning that some don't and you should be ready to accept for any interview you go into."


what about the etiquette before you even get to the point of the interview? will the judge get mad if you decline an invitation to interview?

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Re: Clerkship Interview Etiquette

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:From an interview with a District Court judge earlier this week:

To paraphrase: "The common etiquette is to accept an offer as soon as the judge offers it to you so if you feel like this won't be a good fit, please let my secretary know after the interview. Most judges who offer during the interview will usually give you some time to talk to family, but just a warning that some don't and you should be ready to accept for any interview you go into."


what about the etiquette before you even get to the point of the interview? will the judge get mad if you decline an invitation to interview?


I think it depends on the circumstances. If you're applying off-plan, you should only apply to judges where you're pretty sure you'd accept their offer. If you're applying on-plan, I think you can move that threshold a little lower since judges know how hectic plan day can be, and realize you may, say, have an interview in another state, which prevents you from interviewing in their state so shortly after.

Similarly, it's worth noting that it could be wise to do some staggering with off-plan judges (although, it's kind of late at this point), where you apply to judges you're most interested in clerking for first, and if you don't hear for a couple weeks, apply to the next batch of judges. Of course, you need to know about their hiring schedules: the next batch could "fill up" by the time you apply to them.

Hope this helps.

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sundevil77
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Re: Clerkship Interview Etiquette

Postby sundevil77 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:From an interview with a District Court judge earlier this week:

To paraphrase: "The common etiquette is to accept an offer as soon as the judge offers it to you so if you feel like this won't be a good fit, please let my secretary know after the interview. Most judges who offer during the interview will usually give you some time to talk to family, but just a warning that some don't and you should be ready to accept for any interview you go into."



"Don't talk to family. Don't talk to friends. Don't even think. Accept or decline right NOW."

Yup, that seems to fit the general douchebaggery of the judge-God complex.

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Re: Clerkship Interview Etiquette

Postby anon168 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:From an interview with a District Court judge earlier this week:

To paraphrase: "The common etiquette is to accept an offer as soon as the judge offers it to you so if you feel like this won't be a good fit, please let my secretary know after the interview. Most judges who offer during the interview will usually give you some time to talk to family, but just a warning that some don't and you should be ready to accept for any interview you go into."


what about the etiquette before you even get to the point of the interview? will the judge get mad if you decline an invitation to interview?


Declining an interview is perfectly fine. Even scheduling one and then decline is ok but ONLY IF you let them know when you are scheduling it that you have other interviews lined up before them.

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ggocat
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Re: Clerkship Interview Etiquette

Postby ggocat » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:08 pm

sundevil77 wrote:"Don't talk to family. Don't talk to friends. Don't even think. Accept or decline right NOW."

Yup, that seems to fit the general douchebaggery of the judge-God complex.

Although I do think common courtesy is to give an applicant a day, keep in mind that the law clerk hiring plan penalizes a judge who holds an offer open only to be rejected -- other applicants will have accepted elsewhere while the judge is waiting to hear back. It's not the typical job where you have multiple applicants applying for similar jobs to 100 different employers at the same time, all of whom interview on the same schedule and extend offers on the same schedule. Because most applicants are prepared to accept a job immediately, it can throw a wrench in the gears if someone wants to hold an offer open for a few days.

Also, I think it's expected that the applicant talked with the necessary people before getting the offer. I never applied for a clerkship without first talking to my wife about living in that location.

To answer OP's question, I think it's more acceptable to decline an interview. The time investment in selecting the top applicants is minimal compared to interviewing and calling references.

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zozin
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Re: Clerkship Interview Etiquette

Postby zozin » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:18 pm

Judge at my school said requesting time to decide, end of the week or the weekend, is fine. But that's just one opinion.

london24
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Re: Clerkship Interview Etiquette

Postby london24 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:21 pm

New to the whole clerkship hiring process. Do state trial and appellate courts expect the same quick responses. I have some interviews in my home state next week but because of judges' schedules, my preferred locations/courts are later in the week. Are exploding offers a possibility and do the same etiquette rules of you must accept apply for less prestigious clerkships? Or is that more of a federal Plan thing?

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Re: Clerkship Interview Etiquette

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:04 pm

london24 wrote:New to the whole clerkship hiring process. Do state trial and appellate courts expect the same quick responses. I have some interviews in my home state next week but because of judges' schedules, my preferred locations/courts are later in the week. Are exploding offers a possibility and do the same etiquette rules of you must accept apply for less prestigious clerkships? Or is that more of a federal Plan thing?

You should talk to people who clerked for state court judges in your home state. I doubt there's a general rule about offer etiquette for state court judges. It's probably going to vary depending on the state and the judge. Unless you want to disclose the judges (or at least the city/state), TLS is not going to be much help to you. Find a former clerk and make a phone call.

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Re: Clerkship Interview Etiquette

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:25 pm

My judge (USDC, only hires alums) gives local applicants until the end of the day. Out-of-towners get until the end of the next day so they can talk it over with spouses overnight. He's not trying to be an a**hole, it's just that he frequently offers the runners-up later terms if they're interested, and whether you accept or not will dictate whether his next call gets offered 2013 or 2014 (or whatever).




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