Clerkships - Mailing Judges with Old Oscar Postings

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arodtoo
Posts: 28
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Clerkships - Mailing Judges with Old Oscar Postings

Postby arodtoo » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:52 am

I am wondering whether I should mail applications to judges who do not have current openings listed on oscar but may have old listings on oscar (i.e. a 2012 listing) stating they only want online applications. I'm concerned that some of the judges are shifting on and off plan but I have no way to know unless they have an active oscar posting. If I submit a paper application now, and the judge subsequently opens up their oscar posting later, is the judge likely to consider my paper application as well or will paper applications merely be thrown away? If they open up a subsequent posting should I re-apply online?

JusticeJackson
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Re: Clerkships - Mailing Judges with Old Oscar Postings

Postby JusticeJackson » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:59 am

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Emma.
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Re: Clerkships - Mailing Judges with Old Oscar Postings

Postby Emma. » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:09 am

Won't almost any judge who is "on plan" have an app active on OSCAR by now? I mean, our school compiles our apps for us, and we've already had to provide a final list for them of the judges we're applying to. I can't imagine there are many judges who are just total stealth mode at this point. If they have used OSCAR in previous years I'd imagine they'd have an active post if they were accepting apps for the 2013 term?

I think any on plan judge will completely ignore any applications received prior to the start of the plan, and you'd still need to apply via the judge's preferred method on OSCAR.. It also seems like most off plan judges are already done with hiring, so at this point you might end up getting stuck having a shot only with the judges that are still abiding by the plan?

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerkships - Mailing Judges with Old Oscar Postings

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:28 am

arodtoo wrote:I am wondering whether I should mail applications to judges who do not have current openings listed on oscar but may have old listings on oscar (i.e. a 2012 listing) stating they only want online applications. I'm concerned that some of the judges are shifting on and off plan but I have no way to know unless they have an active oscar posting. If I submit a paper application now, and the judge subsequently opens up their oscar posting later, is the judge likely to consider my paper application as well or will paper applications merely be thrown away? If they open up a subsequent posting should I re-apply online?


I would just send them your materials now. When it gets closer to plan time, arrange for you school to send another official packet. And, if the judge opens up on OSCAR, then submit an OSCAR application. Worse case scenario, they'll just throw away one of the applications. There is minimal cost to you.

While I used to think it was worth calling chambers to find out, it's just not worth the time or effort. A truly effective application strategy has two prongs: (1) targeting judges that either your recommenders have relationships with* and judges that tend to hire from your school and (2) applying to other judges in locations that you'd be willing to live in for a year. With regards to (1), your connections to the judge should be able to tell you when to send an application - it's far more effective to have a 10 minute conversation with a former clerk (and happen to find out when to apply) than it is to call up random chambers to ask when to apply. With regards to (2), the cost of sending applications is fairly low and the likelihood of any given application panning out** is low enough that it's not worth wasting the time to call up chambers to try to time it perfectly.

*- It's important to actually ask your recommenders which judges they know. Students often have very little clue who professors have good relationships with. It's quite possible that a professor knows a judge very well, perhaps due to prior recommendations, etc., without it being obvious to the outside observer. This also goes to why it's better to have recommenders with whom you have a good relationship than those who the student perceives to be more prestigious (i.e., a former SCOTUS clerk/quasi-famous prof who doesn't know your or the judge very well doesn't get your anywhere near as far as a junior professor who's sent that judge 3 great clerks in the past 3 years).

**-It's worth noting that applications, even without professor phone calls, may pan out. This will often be dependent on the quality of applicant - a random mailed application from someone who's #4 in their T10 class will have a far higher chance of success on its own that a top 15% application.

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kalvano
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Re: Clerkships - Mailing Judges with Old Oscar Postings

Postby kalvano » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:00 am

JusticeJackson wrote:
arodtoo wrote:I am wondering whether I should mail applications to judges who do not have current openings listed on oscar but may have old listings on oscar (i.e. a 2012 listing) stating they only want online applications. I'm concerned that some of the judges are shifting on and off plan but I have no way to know unless they have an active oscar posting. If I submit a paper application now, and the judge subsequently opens up their oscar posting later, is the judge likely to consider my paper application as well or will paper applications merely be thrown away? If they open up a subsequent posting should I re-apply online?


I would just call the chambers. When I was a clerk, we received at least 10 of these calls a day about this time of year. A lot of people called from blocked numbers and said "I'm an upcoming 3L and i wanted to know if Judge X is accepting applications at this time" without disclosing anything about themselves (not that we would have given a damn either way). So if you're concerned about a judge's secretary or clerks getting mad, you could always do that.



So what happens if you don't call, you just apply? If the judge will be, but isn't yet, accepting applications, I assume it gets filed away for when it's time?

madame defarge
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Re: Clerkships - Mailing Judges with Old Oscar Postings

Postby madame defarge » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So what happens if you don't call, you just apply? If the judge will be, but isn't yet, accepting applications, I assume it gets filed away for when it's time?


In our chambers, we held those applications for later review. We never threw anything away without looking at it. Every paper application got an acknowledgment letter, but we couldn't keep up with the OSCAR apps.




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