2012 Clerkship Application Thread

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:35 pm

SDNY Koeltl, Rakoff, Katzmann, Oetken full.

ClerkAnon
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAnon » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:47 pm

SMU2013 wrote:Got Fed. Dist. interview. How should I approach this interview as opposed to how I approached OCI interviews for BigLaw? The same? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Happy to Just Get an Interview


Congrats on the interview! Many clerkship interviews are more personal than BigLaw interviews; the judge is often trying to get a feel for your personality, background, and how you will fit into a very small working environment. Emphasize any ties you have to the region, and don't be startled if you get questions about your family or childhood in the district where you grew up.

To prepare:

1. Read the judge's AFJ entry. This will point you to some his or her key cases through time. Also, run some Lexis/Westlaw searches (incl Lexis News searches) to be aware of the judge's recent noteworthy cases.

2. Your "Why do you want to clerk?" answer should address three things, even if you aren't separately asked about each of the three. What excites you about the experience of a district court clerkship, and how will the experience you get during this clerkship bolster your future career? (Answer the latter without mentioning prestige. One of my judges specifically listens for any hint of candidates being motivated by prestige rather than a genuine desire to have the experience of clerking.) Why this district? And why this judge? Some judges will explicitly ask you what appeals to you about their chambers specifically; speaking from experience, it's *extremely* awkward if you don't have a judge-tailored answer ready.

3. Be ready on the "How did you like law school?" question, just in case. It doesn't hurt to mention that you have particularly enjoyed specific classes that are relevant to the work of a federal clerkship or have learned that you are drawn to trial litigation, if true. Favorite SCOTUS justice and favorite/least favorite SCOTUS opinion can come up.

4. Be ready to discuss every entry on your resume.

5. Be ready to discuss your writing sample, but be aware that it might not come up often. I have done > 10 clerkship interviews, and only one judge wanted to discuss my writing sample. With that said, he wanted to discuss it for 45 minutes - and liked the discussion enough to make an exploding offer immediately after.

6. Know what you like to do for fun, what you like to read, etc. (It sometimes doesn't hurt to know what the judge likes to do for fun, read, etc. - if this info is publicly available. It often is, in the media's judicial profiles. Obviously tell the truth, but if the judge and you are both avid rec volleyball players, it certainly won't hurt you if this comes up! In one of my successful interviews, I was explicitly asked whether I was still interested in an activity on my resume that I'd done during college - which just happened to be one of the judge's hobbies.)

7. Make your question list. Sample questions for a federal district clerkship:

- Who divides cases between the law clerks, and how? Are law clerks permitted to express an interest in particular types of cases? (be slightly careful with tone on the latter question, and if you mention that you are really hoping to gain, say, securities lit experience - make sure you've done your homework and already know that the judge has plenty of securities cases)
- Do the term clerks have any responsibilities on criminal cases, or is the focus of the clerkship civil motion practice?
- Roughly how often is the judge in trial? What duties do clerks have re: assisting the judge during trial (e.g., helping with research to decide motions in limine)?
- How many externs does the judge have each term, and what supervisory responsibilities do the law clerks have? (If the judge is very extern-oriented, you will of course want to express suitable enthusiasm for working with and mentoring law students.)
- When do the clerks meet to discuss cases with the judge? In what format? E.g., during my district court clerkship, substantive motions were always heard on a particular day of the week. We would have a group meeting in the middle of the previous week in which the clerks discussed their assigned motions with the judge and made recommendations, accompanied by drafts for the judge's review over the weekend.
- IF you know from Lexis/Westlaw that the judge likes to sit by designation on the circuit (i.e., search the judge in the federal circuit database, too, not just the district court one) and IF this is something you are interested in, it's generally fine to ask for more information on this. Avoid giving the impression that you are much more excited about appellate work than trial work, though.
- If the judge is a senior or chief judge, it is fine to ask how - if at all - this affects the workload of clerks.

ETA Know where you stand on the prospect of an exploding offer from that particular judge before walking into your interview. If you would say anything other than "I accept!", have a very well-thought-out response prepared.
Last edited by ClerkAnon on Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

D.C. Anon
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby D.C. Anon » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:48 pm

Any word on whether Cole (CA6), Murguia (CA9), or Barkett (CA11) has extended invitations to interview or made offers?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any other offers to report?

I had 3 interviews yesterday and was feeling pretty good but so far crickets. One judge said he would not make any offers until he was done interviewing on Monday, but I am still getting nervous.


Crickets here, too. Staring at my phone every few minutes just to make sure I didn't miss a call.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Citizen Genet » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:55 pm

Haynes drops the guillotine via email.

Anyone here who interviewed with Haynes (or is clerking for her) I would love a PM.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:23 pm

Email ding from Haynes (5th Cir)

Meant 5th, lol...

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:52 pm

From my school's symplicity, it looks like these judges have given offers to our 3L's so far:

Rakoff (SDNY)
Katzmann (2nd Cir.) - hired 2 people for 2014
Yohn (EDPA)
Hamilton (7th Cir.) - appears to have interviewed off-plan
Ross (SDNY), for 2014

It looks like some other judges hired alumni for 2013 or 2014, but I don't have time to post all of those.

Remember, this doesn't mean these positions are full. It just means that someone from my school reported an offer.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:52 pm

D.C. Anon wrote:Any word on whether Cole (CA6), Murguia (CA9), or Barkett (CA11) has extended invitations to interview or made offers?


Barkett has made at least 1 offer.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:20 pm

Any word from the S. D. Cal?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:56 pm

Interview last week and one yesterday. Last week's judge said applicants would know by "the end of [this] week" and yesterday's judge said we would know by the end of yesterday or today. Safe to assume I didn't get either?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:01 pm

Anyone get a callback from J. Covello?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:21 pm

Got mailing from Judge Miller (SDCA) that he was considering my application but has only one spot open. I take this to mean that he hasn't made calls.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:53 pm

Just got a District Court offer, I am done!

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just got a District Court offer, I am done!


Congratulations! Willing to say what court?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:23 pm

Any offers from DNJ?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any offers from DNJ?


May I ask with which judge this anon interviewed?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:20 pm

Any sense on how competitive this year has been generally?

I'm going to clerk on the 8th Circuit, and the judge I'm working for normally gets >700 applications but it was down about 10% this time.

On the other hand, people at my school (T25) haven't been doing as well as they have in the past, so I can't tell if this time it is just more competitive or if maybe my classmates are just unlucky / missing the mark.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any offers from DNJ?


May I ask with which judge this anon interviewed?


Judges Kugler and Simandle. I know Judge Simandle said he would not be making offers until he finished interviewing on Monday. I am not sure about Judge Kugler's timeframe.

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GeePee
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby GeePee » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:48 pm

Hard to say. Everyone at Harvard that I've spoken to (sample size 18? 20?) that applied has an interview or two, but it's probably an unrepresentative sample. On the other hand, I'm in the neighborhood of top 15% and got stone nothing.

It's a competitive process; congrats on your offer. I'm not sure it's worth it to split hairs over year-to-year differences in exactly how competitive.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:47 pm

Got a CoA offer in a non-DC/2/9/7 circuit and I'm sorta feeling down. How much of a prestige drop is there?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:52 pm

A few minutes into an interview, the judge asked if I had any questions. I posed what seemed to be plenty. After noting the effort might not be reciprocated, I stated that I had more questions but wondered if the judge had anymore questions for me before I proceeded. This was well short of the thirty minute mark. Why not reject me outright? It's not like the "pleasure" of receiving what seemed to be disinterested responses for 15 minutes will make my credit card balance decrease.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:01 pm

To the last poster, my friend had very similar interview today. What district?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:07 pm

Judge Schneider (E.D. Tex.) is filled--at least one of the two spots posted.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:School: H
GPA/Rank: 3.63 (1 DS, 9 H, 7 P)
Journal: Board of secondary
Applying To: 9th Cir., every District Court in a major metro area in the 9th Cir, some other District Courts. Total of 150ish judges.


Final tally: 3 interviews, offer from District Court judge.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To the last poster, my friend had very similar interview today. What district?


5th Cir. Same with your friend?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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