Anonymous User wrote:this whole parlay call business sounds incredibly awkward. people are just calling chambers and saying, "hey, i'm gonna be in the neighborhood, will you interview me too"? is that right?
seriously, though, can someone give me a better sense of what they're saying when they make these calls? thanks!
Former clerk twice over. I'm an HYS grad (roughly top 15 percent). I have clerked for a California federal district court and for the Ninth Circuit. I'm a couple of years removed from clerking, and I'm not going to say anything to which either of my judges would object, so I will provide probably a bit more detail than other people are posting in this thread. I will not, however, provide the names of the specific judges about whom I am talking. If I post more than once, I will sign my posts as "ClerkAnon" for people's reference.
My first time around, I had success parlaying interviews in a California district court and EDVA, but not in receiving offers based on my parlayed interviews. In EDVA, once I received one on-plan interview call, I called the remainder of the judges in the same city, and I received one additional interview. I received an exploding offer from the judge who had initially called me to interview in EDVA, but I did not receive an offer from the "parlayed" interview. In California, once I received an interview call from one judge, I immediately called all other judges in the district (regardless of the specific city.) I received one other parlayed interview. I did not receive an offer from either interview, but later received and accepted another offer from a different judge in the same district. (I'd actually called this chambers as part of my parlaying process, and while friendly, they told me that they were not able to review any applications or do any advance interviews because the judge was in trial. So they were simply thrown off-plan by their workload.) There were no parlay issues involved in my second clerkship application process as an alum, because my first interview turned into an immediate offer/acceptance.
Back to my experience with parlaying: I think it works to obtain interviews, but I would be somewhat cautious with giving your name off-the-top. I found that some chambers were very open to parlaying, and others were irritated by the disruption. I preferred not to give my name until I'd established that I was talking to a friendly clerk, CRD, or JA who was open to the possibility of parlaying. So I'd lead with a script like, "I've applied for a clerkship with [your judge], and I will be traveling from [faraway city X, where I attend law school Y] to interview with [one of his or her colleagues] on [date]. I'm very interested in clerking for [your judge], and I wanted to ask if [he/she] would be willing to schedule an interview when I'm in town." If I got a response like, "That might be a possibility - what did you say your name was again?" - I would take the risk of giving my name and letting them pull my file. But at other times, I got a frosty response like, "If we want to interview you, we will certainly inform you of that" - at which point I was very glad that I had not given my name and possibly jeopardized my chances with that chambers.
ETA I have seen people try to pull the ridiculous move of "parlaying" interviews in their own region. This does not go over well. E.g., if you are a Stanford or Berkeley student, "Judge X called me, so I am going to be in San Francisco for the day" is not going to get you very far. I wouldn't have thought this needed to be clarified had I not seen more than one person try it.