COA clerk taking questions

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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:11 am

LawClerk1234 wrote:My judge tends to be pretty easygoing during the interview. He mostly wants to get a feel for the applicant's personality. Some of my co-clerks really grill the applicants about their writing samples.


Follow-up: Worst substantive-type question that you know (i.e., not apocryphal) other judges and their clerks ask applicants?

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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:17 am

Dumb LOR Q: My best letter is from an uber-left con law prof I worked for. Will this raise eyebrows of conservative judges?

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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:37 am

One of my friends interviewed with a judge who only asked substantive questions about his own published opinions. My friend had not read any of the judge's opinions, so it didn't go well. Of course, it would have been easy if he had prepared.

Anonymous User wrote:
LawClerk1234 wrote:My judge tends to be pretty easygoing during the interview. He mostly wants to get a feel for the applicant's personality. Some of my co-clerks really grill the applicants about their writing samples.


Follow-up: Worst substantive-type question that you know (i.e., not apocryphal) other judges and their clerks ask applicants?

LawClerk1234
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:38 am

Unlikely. As long as you don't list Federalist Society or ACS on your resume, you probably won't be ruled out (or selected) for political reasons.

Anonymous User wrote:Dumb LOR Q: My best letter is from an uber-left con law prof I worked for. Will this raise eyebrows of conservative judges?

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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:10 am

Similar question to that above. Any chance LGBT activities make a judge wary? My initial thought is that I don't want to work for a judge for who that would matter, but my secondary thought is that I wouldn't want to get screened out for a judge that I might love, and who wouldn't care, but for whom the clerks might care.

I've done a lot of work with our LGBT group in LS. Leave that leadership work off? Or keep it on?

LawClerk1234
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:20 am

I agree with your initial thought: I would never want to work for a judge who would be scared off by that.

Anonymous User wrote:Similar question to that above. Any chance LGBT activities make a judge wary? My initial thought is that I don't want to work for a judge for who that would matter, but my secondary thought is that I wouldn't want to get screened out for a judge that I might love, and who wouldn't care, but for whom the clerks might care.

I've done a lot of work with our LGBT group in LS. Leave that leadership work off? Or keep it on?

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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:31 am

LawClerk1234 wrote:I agree with your initial thought: I would never want to work for a judge who would be scared off by that.

Anonymous User wrote:Similar question to that above. Any chance LGBT activities make a judge wary? My initial thought is that I don't want to work for a judge for who that would matter, but my secondary thought is that I wouldn't want to get screened out for a judge that I might love, and who wouldn't care, but for whom the clerks might care.

I've done a lot of work with our LGBT group in LS. Leave that leadership work off? Or keep it on?


I would just add that, having interviewed with a fair number of 'conservative' judges, most judges simply do not care about someone's sexuality. Most are looking for sharp professionals who they can have a positive, close professional relationship with. They simply do not care what you do in your free time (of course, most take an interest in you and your family). And, if you are gay and the judge would have an issue with it, it would be far, far better for you to get dinged right away than get called in for a wasted interview or for you to have a really bad year. A point worth emphasizing here is that you want to find a judge who is a good boss. You're going to be working closely with them for a year, will be at their beck and call for a year, and the value of the experience will be substantially related to the quality of boss.

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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:05 am

Top 15% at Stanford, rising 2L. I didn't originally plan on clerking so I didn't do LR. While I still don't regret it, I'm wondering if I'm still competitive for COA judges in the major markets (specifically 9th Cir and DC Cir). I'm an editor on a secondary journal, have written papers for professors, and plan to publish a note down the road. Also moot court competition either this year or next.

Anything I can or should do?

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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby anon168 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:Top 15% at Stanford, rising 2L. I didn't originally plan on clerking so I didn't do LR. While I still don't regret it, I'm wondering if I'm still competitive for COA judges in the major markets (specifically 9th Cir and DC Cir). I'm an editor on a secondary journal, have written papers for professors, and plan to publish a note down the road. Also moot court competition either this year or next.

Anything I can or should do?


I think you are fine. May not get a major city in the 9th (e.g. SF/LA), but you should be able to swing a 9th COA clerkship without much problems as long as you can cast a shadow in the middle of the day.

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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:56 am

9th and DC Circuits will be tough for you. Most clerks on those circuits are top 10% and Law Review. There is no shortage of applicants. Your best bet is to find a professor who will call judges for you. I'm not totally ruling out the possibility that you'd get a COA clerkship on 9th or DC, but you definitely should apply to other circuits and to district courts.

Anonymous User wrote:Top 15% at Stanford, rising 2L. I didn't originally plan on clerking so I didn't do LR. While I still don't regret it, I'm wondering if I'm still competitive for COA judges in the major markets (specifically 9th Cir and DC Cir). I'm an editor on a secondary journal, have written papers for professors, and plan to publish a note down the road. Also moot court competition either this year or next.

Anything I can or should do?

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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:34 pm

^^but being t15% @ S has got to count for something? interesting.

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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:39 pm

D.C. Cir. is extremely competitive. I would be very surprised if Top 15% (LR or not) from any school would have a good shot there. From my T10, pretty much everyone to go to D.C. has been ranked in the single digits (top 1-3%).

9th Cir., however, is much much less competitive on the whole.

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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:^^but being t15% @ S has got to count for something? interesting.


Yeah, being top 15% at HYS means you'll definitely get an A3 clerkship. Competition has become insanely competitive for A3 clerkships, especially for COA's. Top 15% at any school is not really enough to be a lock for a COA in an urban area. As far as 9th Circuit goes - you'll have a shot at the non-coastal cities/rural areas. DC "ain't happening". Most judges in DC only take 3 clerks, some only take 2 clerks... if you don't have a single digit rank, it's not going to happen.

If you really want to be in a "major market", then you need to be looking at district court clerkships (SDNY, EDNY, NDCA, CDCA, EDVA). Even that can be difficult as many district court judges are looking for alumni.

Finally, you might want to expand your definition of "major market." 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th all contain "major" legal markets. And there are many judges in those circuits that I would take over a random judge in the 9th.




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