COA clerk taking questions

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Myself
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Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:36 pm

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Postby Myself » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:31 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

LawClerk1234
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:27 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:33 pm

i bet that a good number of judges rely primarily on professor recommendations. I've spoken about clerk hiring with law clerks for other judges on my circuit, and very few of them actually look at all of the applications that come through OSCAR.


ajax adonis wrote:Thanks for answering questions, but don't you think that your own experience was a little atypical and rare? Not too many of us have professors that are going to hook us up with a clerkship.

Myself
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:36 pm

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Postby Myself » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:57 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

LawClerk1234
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:27 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:06 pm

It really varies. Most judges don't keep tabs on the fluctuations in the US News rankings, but they generally know the top 3, top 6, and top 14. My judge only considers applicants who are in the top 5 percent from the T14.

ajax adonis wrote:
LawClerk1234 wrote:i bet that a good number of judges rely primarily on professor recommendations. I've spoken about clerk hiring with law clerks for other judges on my circuit, and very few of them actually look at all of the applications that come through OSCAR.


ajax adonis wrote:Thanks for answering questions, but don't you think that your own experience was a little atypical and rare? Not too many of us have professors that are going to hook us up with a clerkship.


Ah ic. How do judges decide which applications to look at? GPA? School? What are the auto-filters?

Anonymous User
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm not sure how much info you have, but any ballpark idea what kinds of grades are necessary from HLS/SLS for the most selective CoA judges?


My judge (considered one of the most selective judges on 2/9/DC) generally did not like to see more than 3-4 Ps on a transcript, but this was not a hard and fast rule. Recommendations from trusted faculty could wash away a multitude of Ps.

Anonymous User
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:37 am

when asked for an official transcript, its okay to send a photocopied version of an official transcript?

LawClerk1234
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:27 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:47 am

yeah, that's fine

Anonymous User wrote:when asked for an official transcript, its okay to send a photocopied version of an official transcript?

Anonymous User
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:23 am

For purposes of applying for a second clerkship, do you have a sense of whether a call to chambers from a district or COA judge is given more, less, or equal weight than a call from a professor?

madame defarge
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby madame defarge » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For purposes of applying for a second clerkship, do you have a sense of whether a call to chambers from a district or COA judge is given more, less, or equal weight than a call from a professor?


If you have actually clerked for the judge (as opposed to being a prospective clerk), his or her recommendation will carry great weight with your target judge. Only a call from a professor the judge knows personally and trusts (a "feeder professor") would carry more weight.

Why not have both call?

LawClerk1234
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:27 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:34 pm

At least for my judge, a call from another judge is always better. This is why summer externships with judges are very helpful. Judges are often hesitant to make calls to other judges on behalf of their externs, but most will do so if you really kicked butt.

Anonymous User wrote:For purposes of applying for a second clerkship, do you have a sense of whether a call to chambers from a district or COA judge is given more, less, or equal weight than a call from a professor?

Anonymous User
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:10 pm

How much weight, if any, is given to a "prestigious" law firm?

LawClerk1234
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:27 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:13 pm

None. My judge usually hires right out of law school, though sometimes he takes clerks who have practiced for a few years. Either way, he doesn't really care about the prestige of your 2L summer firm. Most people we interview summered at very good firms, but that's because of my judge's grade/school requirements.

Anonymous User wrote:How much weight, if any, is given to a "prestigious" law firm?

LawClerk1234
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:27 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:15 pm

back online and taking questions for a bit

Anonymous User
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:20 am

Do you recommend any particular pre-clerkship reading? I've heard Judge Aldisert's Opinion Writing can be useful, but the process seems so judge-specific that I wonder whether it would be worth the time.

LawClerk1234
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:31 am

I skimmed though Aldisert's book because my judge has a copy in his chambers. But I agree that the process is so judge-specific that the book is not useful. Aldisert has a very particular way of writing opinions, and my judge does not follow it. The best preparation that you can do is to read all of your judge's recent opinions.

Anonymous User wrote:Do you recommend any particular pre-clerkship reading? I've heard Judge Aldisert's Opinion Writing can be useful, but the process seems so judge-specific that I wonder whether it would be worth the time.

madame defarge
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Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:51 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby madame defarge » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you recommend any particular pre-clerkship reading? I've heard Judge Aldisert's Opinion Writing can be useful, but the process seems so judge-specific that I wonder whether it would be worth the time.


It's a dry read, but you may want to skim over the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and your own circuit's rules/general orders.

Anonymous User
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:21 pm

madame defarge wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do you recommend any particular pre-clerkship reading? I've heard Judge Aldisert's Opinion Writing can be useful, but the process seems so judge-specific that I wonder whether it would be worth the time.


It's a dry read, but you may want to skim over the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and your own circuit's rules/general orders.


For a writing sample, is there anything about the mini-note format (from journal competition) that would be less desirable as a writing sample than a memo or a brief? It's 13 or 14 pages long. Thanks a lot!

sfxx
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby sfxx » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:08 pm

Can you give us an example of what a typical day is for you? In other words, a detailed description of what you do from the second you get to the chambers to the minute before you leave.

LawClerk1234
Posts: 51
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:29 pm

I would really avoid a journal competition note. It's best if you can submit a student note or other published article. But if you haven't published, then you should submit a seminar paper. The judge and his current clerks often will want to talk with you about the substance of the note. You can't do that with a write-on entry.

Anonymous User wrote:
madame defarge wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do you recommend any particular pre-clerkship reading? I've heard Judge Aldisert's Opinion Writing can be useful, but the process seems so judge-specific that I wonder whether it would be worth the time.


It's a dry read, but you may want to skim over the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and your own circuit's rules/general orders.


For a writing sample, is there anything about the mini-note format (from journal competition) that would be less desirable as a writing sample than a memo or a brief? It's 13 or 14 pages long. Thanks a lot!

LawClerk1234
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:27 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:31 pm

Frankly, it's pretty boring. The judge meets with all of us each morning, and we talk about any legal questions/issues that we're encountering in our work. That lasts anywhere from 1 minute to 2 hours. Then for the rest of the day, I sit at my computer and write bench memos and opinions. A lot of time reviewing the record. The only break in this routine is when we have oral argument. I'd imagine that a district court clerkship is more exciting.

sfxx wrote:Can you give us an example of what a typical day is for you? In other words, a detailed description of what you do from the second you get to the chambers to the minute before you leave.

redbullvodka
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby redbullvodka » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:38 pm

Any law school success tips? Top 1% is one hell of an accomplishment.

LawClerk1234
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:49 pm

Just focus on the endgame, which is the exam. It sounds simple, but so many law students get caught up in things that don't matter at all, like participating in class. At the beginning of each semester, I looked over the professor's past exams and model answers. That allowed me to see how the professor tests, what topics tend to come up on exams, etc, and I tailor my note-taking/outlining accordingly.

I also relied heavily on hornbooks and treatises. I skimmed the cases, so I didn't look like an idiot when I was called on, but I did not focus on the casebooks. I know that this goes against everything that law professors tell you, but it worked very well for me. Every week, I would update my outline, which was pretty much just a combination of my class notes and the hornbook rules. It's very important to take good notes in class, and to integrate them into your outline, because your professor's view of the law may not be totally accurate or up to date. But your professor writes and grades the test, so you want to use his legal rules and terminology.

Frankly, I found undergraduate classes to be much, much harder than law school. You just need to learn how to play the game.

redbullvodka wrote:Any law school success tips? Top 1% is one hell of an accomplishment.

redbullvodka
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:51 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby redbullvodka » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:52 pm

LawClerk1234 wrote:Just focus on the endgame, which is the exam. It sounds simple, but so many law students get caught up in things that don't matter at all, like participating in class. At the beginning of each semester, I looked over the professor's past exams and model answers. That allowed me to see how the professor tests, what topics tend to come up on exams, etc, and I tailor my note-taking/outlining accordingly.

I also relied heavily on hornbooks and treatises. I skimmed the cases, so I didn't look like an idiot when I was called on, but I did not focus on the casebooks. I know that this goes against everything that law professors tell you, but it worked very well for me. Every week, I would update my outline, which was pretty much just a combination of my class notes and the hornbook rules. It's very important to take good notes in class, and to integrate them into your outline, because your professor's view of the law may not be totally accurate or up to date. But your professor writes and grades the test, so you want to use his legal rules and terminology.

Frankly, I found undergraduate classes to be much, much harder than law school. You just need to learn how to play the game.

redbullvodka wrote:Any law school success tips? Top 1% is one hell of an accomplishment.


Major/Undergrad (range is fine)? Just curious, considering the last comment. Thanks for the answer!!

LawClerk1234
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:27 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:52 pm

Don't want to get too specific, but it was a hard science at a top 10 school.

redbullvodka wrote:
LawClerk1234 wrote:Just focus on the endgame, which is the exam. It sounds simple, but so many law students get caught up in things that don't matter at all, like participating in class. At the beginning of each semester, I looked over the professor's past exams and model answers. That allowed me to see how the professor tests, what topics tend to come up on exams, etc, and I tailor my note-taking/outlining accordingly.

I also relied heavily on hornbooks and treatises. I skimmed the cases, so I didn't look like an idiot when I was called on, but I did not focus on the casebooks. I know that this goes against everything that law professors tell you, but it worked very well for me. Every week, I would update my outline, which was pretty much just a combination of my class notes and the hornbook rules. It's very important to take good notes in class, and to integrate them into your outline, because your professor's view of the law may not be totally accurate or up to date. But your professor writes and grades the test, so you want to use his legal rules and terminology.

Frankly, I found undergraduate classes to be much, much harder than law school. You just need to learn how to play the game.

redbullvodka wrote:Any law school success tips? Top 1% is one hell of an accomplishment.


Major/Undergrad (range is fine)? Just curious, considering the last comment. Thanks for the answer!!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273140
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:52 pm

Any way for top quarter at HYS to stand out and get a second look? Does it take LR e-board, or a solid call, or ties to the area, or what?

Trying to make the best of the hand I've dealt myself. Thanks!




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