COA clerk taking questions

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:58 pm

Don't want to give out too much information, but I'll say that there have been plenty of opportunities to get to know many of them.

Most are really smart and fun. But a few of them embody every awful stereotype of a law clerk - constantly talking about law review, prestige, etc. I just try to avoid them.

Anonymous User wrote:
LawClerk1234 wrote:I've gotten to know most of them. Most are great. A few are terrible.


How so? In terms of personality, as clerks, or both?

Also, if you can say so without outing yourself or your location, how have you been able to get to know them? Are there organized events/happy hours for clerks?

Anonymous User
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:19 pm

What are the normal hours you work per week? Is this the same for most CoA clerks? How about District Court Clerks?

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:23 pm

I work maybe 45 hours per week. A lot of other clerks on my court work much longer hours, but they also goof off a lot during the day. If you sit down and work for the entire day, you'll get the job done without having to work nights and weekends. Fortunately, there is no billable pressure. My friends on district courts work longer hours because they have a lot more coming in every day that is time-sensitive, but I imagine this varies by judge.

Anonymous User wrote:What are the normal hours you work per week? Is this the same for most CoA clerks? How about District Court Clerks?

Tyrion Lannister
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:11 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Tyrion Lannister » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:50 pm

Any sense of how hard it would be to go from a COA clerkship with a well-regarded judge to AUSA in the appellate division? If it makes a difference, assume pre-clerkship firm experience.

Thanks!

Anonymous User
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:36 pm

i have professors that have volunteered to make phone calls, but when is the appropriate time to do so? i assume that for judges not on the Hiring Plan, the professors should call as soon as my application arrives with the judge. is that right? and for judges on the Plan, between the date the application arrives and the judges can contact us? thanks for the advice!

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:26 pm

It's possible, particularly if your judge is willing to make calls for you. I've seen it happen, though not with an appellate position. Those are generally much harder to land. Pre-clerkship firm experience could make all the difference.

Tyrion Lannister wrote:Any sense of how hard it would be to go from a COA clerkship with a well-regarded judge to AUSA in the appellate division? If it makes a difference, assume pre-clerkship firm experience.

Thanks!

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:27 pm

They should be calling now, if you're applying for 2013-14 clerkships. Very few judges care about the hiring plan anymore. The worst that can happen is their JA tells your prof to wait until september to call.

Anonymous User wrote:i have professors that have volunteered to make phone calls, but when is the appropriate time to do so? i assume that for judges not on the Hiring Plan, the professors should call as soon as my application arrives with the judge. is that right? and for judges on the Plan, between the date the application arrives and the judges can contact us? thanks for the advice!

CreativityKing
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:43 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby CreativityKing » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:09 pm

LawClerk1234 wrote:Correct. 1L classes are fairly standard across schools. 2L grades are random because some students avoid curved classes and take things like "Philosophy of Law."

ajax adonis wrote:
LawClerk1234 wrote:This won't be a problem. Especially with all the HYS students applying without any real grades, judges can't care much about this. Besides, your 1L grades matter a lot more than 2L and 3L (as long as you don't have a C or lower).

TLSNYC wrote:I'm more interested in a district court clerkship, although I imagine the answer to my question won't differ depending upon the type of clerkship: I'm wondering how much of a hit it will be to take only 6 graded classes 2L year? I'll be taking a 1 pass/fail + extracirs which give credits each semester as well. Would it look like I went for too light a year when applying?

The classes are by no means fluffy, i.e. taking fed courts. I'm aiming for 3 graded each semester to do my best to get a solid GPA and to cultivate relationships with professors. Thanks for taking questions!


Does that mean judges value 1L grades more than that of 2L?


One more follow-up to the above. How bad does it look if you take classes like "Philosophy of Law" over more substantive and curved classes as a 2L?

Any classes that absolutely must be on a transcript (I've heard Fed Courts is one...)?

lawstudent1986
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby lawstudent1986 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:25 pm

If your note is getting published, is it worth it to send the whole thing as a writing sample? Or should you still excerpt it and keep it to approx. 15 pages?

LawClerk1234
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:30 pm

It's fine to take one seminar per semester, but if the majority of your 2L and 3L classes are "Law and...", then your application might not get serious consideration.

My judge doesn't require Fed Courts, but it might look a little odd not to have it. Definitely take Evidence if your school doesn't require it. Other than that, there aren't any necessary classes.

[quote="CreativityKing"][quote="LawClerk1234"]Correct. 1L classes are fairly standard across schools. 2L grades are random because some students avoid curved classes and take things like "Philosophy of Law."

[quote="ajax adonis"][quote="LawClerk1234"]This won't be a problem. Especially with all the HYS students applying without any real grades, judges can't care much about this. Besides, your 1L grades matter a lot more than 2L and 3L (as long as you don't have a C or lower).

[quote="TLSNYC"]I'm more interested in a district court clerkship, although I imagine the answer to my question won't differ depending upon the type of clerkship: I'm wondering how much of a hit it will be to take only 6 graded classes 2L year? I'll be taking a 1 pass/fail + extracirs which give credits each semester as well. Would it look like I went for too light a year when applying?

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:31 pm

Send the entire note as a writing sample. And reread it before the interview. The judge/clerks may ask you substantive questions about the note during the interview.

lawstudent1986 wrote:If your note is getting published, is it worth it to send the whole thing as a writing sample? Or should you still excerpt it and keep it to approx. 15 pages?

Anonymous User
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:51 pm

How is a memo from a summer internship viewed by COA clerks/judges? Is an academic writing sample always better when applying to COA?

Side question: is it necessary for a memo (used as a writing sample) to have a conclusion?

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:25 am

Academic writing sample is best for COA, but if you don't have one, then I guess you'll have to use your internship memo.

Conclusion is a matter of preference. Many judges prefer them, although some think they are unnecessary.

Anonymous User wrote:How is a memo from a summer internship viewed by COA clerks/judges? Is an academic writing sample always better when applying to COA?

Side question: is it necessary for a memo (used as a writing sample) to have a conclusion?

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:54 am

LawClerk1234 wrote:Academic writing sample is best for COA, but if you don't have one, then I guess you'll have to use your internship memo.

Conclusion is a matter of preference. Many judges prefer them, although some think they are unnecessary.

Anonymous User wrote:How is a memo from a summer internship viewed by COA clerks/judges? Is an academic writing sample always better when applying to COA?

Side question: is it necessary for a memo (used as a writing sample) to have a conclusion?


I externed for a Fed. Mag. and wrote an R&R which was filed substantially as I wrote it, and was then subsequently adopted and published as filed by the DJ. Would this be considered a strong writing sample, or are academic samples still considered better for District and COA clerkship apps?

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby anon168 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
LawClerk1234 wrote:Academic writing sample is best for COA, but if you don't have one, then I guess you'll have to use your internship memo.

Conclusion is a matter of preference. Many judges prefer them, although some think they are unnecessary.

Anonymous User wrote:How is a memo from a summer internship viewed by COA clerks/judges? Is an academic writing sample always better when applying to COA?

Side question: is it necessary for a memo (used as a writing sample) to have a conclusion?


I externed for a Fed. Mag. and wrote an R&R which was filed substantially as I wrote it, and was then subsequently adopted and published as filed by the DJ. Would this be considered a strong writing sample, or are academic samples still considered better for District and COA clerkship apps?


You are seriously overthinking this.

Both of the judges I clerked for used the writing sample as more of a topic of conversation than anything else. As long as the writing sample demonstrated a competency in writing, research and analysis, you were ok. They weren't looking for the next Pulitzer prize winner, just a competent legal researcher. If you were a great writer, all the better. Just don't be a bad writer.

But most importantly, make sure you can talk and discuss and DEFEND the analysis in your writing sample.

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:15 pm

Question on writing sample.

My note is being published in a secondary journal. I think it's quite good, but it's on policy more than law and lacks really sharp legal analysis. Alternatively, I have a 15-20 page petition for certiorari that I wrote for a class taught by a district court judge and which received a great deal of praise. I think that's also a good piece of writing and there is much more legal analysis. I'm currently leaning towards using the later as a writing sample, but I'm concerned judges will wonder why I opted not to use my note (which I mention as being published on my resume).

Thoughts?

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby anon168 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Question on writing sample.

My note is being published in a secondary journal. I think it's quite good, but it's on policy more than law and lacks really sharp legal analysis. Alternatively, I have a 15-20 page petition for certiorari that I wrote for a class taught by a district court judge and which received a great deal of praise. I think that's also a good piece of writing and there is much more legal analysis. I'm currently leaning towards using the later as a writing sample, but I'm concerned judges will wonder why I opted not to use my note (which I mention as being published on my resume).

Thoughts?


I don't think there's anything wrong in not submitting your journal article. If the question comes up at the interview, just say something like the following (without sounding glib): "It's a published note, and I wanted to avoid any redundancy in submitting a writing sample because my note is easily accessible to chambers. I submitted something I did in class which I know will not be readily available for chambers to review."

The import is that if you submit your class work, chambers will have essentially 2 writing samples to review. Win-win!

Anonymous User
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:03 pm

For state clerkships, I need to send packets out with cover letter, writing sample, resume, and transcripts. What order should these documents arrive in? Should I paper clip things together? Staple the writing sample?

Just want to make sure Im going by the book when I apply since I am throwing apps out to many many judges.

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For state clerkships, I need to send packets out with cover letter, writing sample, resume, and transcripts. What order should these documents arrive in? Should I paper clip things together? Staple the writing sample?

Just want to make sure Im going by the book when I apply since I am throwing apps out to many many judges.


Yes, staple the writing sample.

As far as order:

Cover letter goes on top - because it's a cover letter. The job of a cover letter's job is to introduce the application.

Then the resume - it introduces you and provides your background.

Then the transcripts

Then the writing sample.

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:42 pm

I'd avoid anything that is blatantly political, but of course this depends on the judge. Submit the cert petition. The writing sample doesn't really matter all that much. It will almost never cause you to get a clerkship, but it could cost you the clerkship. The most important thing is to avoid any typos. If my judge sees a few typos in your writing sample, you aren't coming in for an interview, even if Larry Tribe, Cass Sunstein, and Richard Posner made calls on your behalf.

Anonymous User wrote:Question on writing sample.

My note is being published in a secondary journal. I think it's quite good, but it's on policy more than law and lacks really sharp legal analysis. Alternatively, I have a 15-20 page petition for certiorari that I wrote for a class taught by a district court judge and which received a great deal of praise. I think that's also a good piece of writing and there is much more legal analysis. I'm currently leaning towards using the later as a writing sample, but I'm concerned judges will wonder why I opted not to use my note (which I mention as being published on my resume).

Thoughts?

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:02 pm

Back online taking questions for a bit.

arodtoo
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Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby arodtoo » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:10 pm

What sort of unique interview questions were you asked, and more importantly, what did you find good questions to ask the judge?

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:01 am

The judge and I spent the entire time talking about a shared hobby. He never asked me a single question about legal philosophy, his cases, my classes, or my writing sample. I was pretty surprised when he offered me the clerkship at the end of the interview.

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:04 am

LawClerk1234 wrote:The judge and I spent the entire time talking about a shared hobby. He never asked me a single question about legal philosophy, his cases, my classes, or my writing sample. I was pretty surprised when he offered me the clerkship at the end of the interview.


In general, what have been the hardest substantive questions you or your judge have asked of applicants since you've been on the other side (i.e., clerking)?

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

Re: COA clerk taking questions

Postby LawClerk1234 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:08 am

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.

Anonymous User wrote:
LawClerk1234 wrote:The judge and I spent the entire time talking about a shared hobby. He never asked me a single question about legal philosophy, his cases, my classes, or my writing sample. I was pretty surprised when he offered me the clerkship at the end of the interview.


In general, what have been the hardest substantive questions you or your judge have asked of applicants since you've been on the other side (i.e., clerking)?




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