2012 Clerkship Application Thread

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:53 pm

For ClerkAnon or any other former clerks on this thread -

I just got an interview invitation this morning (district judge, don't want to say what court). I had two interviews Thursday that I am still waiting to hear back from. I really liked both judges I interviewed with Thursday and would be happy to clerk for either of them.

Since the invitation I got is somewhere I would have to travel to, would it be appropriate to call the chambers of the 2 judges I already interviewed with and explain that I got an interview invitation that would require travel, and I wanted to check in and see if the judge was still deciding before booking any tickets?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAnon » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:49 pm

For ClerkAnon or any other former clerks on this thread -

I just got an interview invitation this morning (district judge, don't want to say what court). I had two interviews Thursday that I am still waiting to hear back from. I really liked both judges I interviewed with Thursday and would be happy to clerk for either of them.

Since the invitation I got is somewhere I would have to travel to, would it be appropriate to call the chambers of the 2 judges I already interviewed with and explain that I got an interview invitation that would require travel, and I wanted to check in and see if the judge was still deciding before booking any tickets?


It sounds like you're in a very promising position, with at least two possibilities you'd be happy to take if offered - and a third in the works. Good luck!

In your shoes, I would call the two chambers with whom you've already interviewed. I think most chambers staff are sympathetic to the costs involved in clerkship interviewing and would understand your need to call. When you call, I think it's appropriate to work in a genuine sentence about how you really enjoyed your visit to chambers, would be excited to clerk for the judge, etc. If the new interview invitation is in a district with a competitive reputation, it might strategically be worth mentioning the city, especially if it's very far away from where you live and as long as it won't undercut anything you said in your previous interviews about geographic priorities. Finally, with your preferred judge's chambers, you might even wish to mention that this is your top-choice clerkship, such that if the judge is in a position to make you an offer, you would immediately accept and cancel your other interview. (Obviously, to maintain credibility, you cannot say this simultaneously to two chambers, lest you end up with a very awkward extra offer.)

If anyone disagrees with this advice based on their interview experiences, please speak up and contradict this. It wouldn't surprise me if there was more than one take on this issue.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:03 pm

Just got a call from a judge's clerk. We spoke for about 20 minutes about my ties, interests, and so on; they were normal topics you'd bring up in an OCI screener. He mentioned that he didn't know the timeline, but the judge would contact applicants for in-person interviews at some point in the near future. Has anyone had experience with something like this before? How likely is it that it will lead to an actual interview?

I was disappointed about the lack of recent activity on the clerkship front, but this has given me new life (even if it's only a small chance at this point).

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:12 pm

ClerkAnon wrote:
For ClerkAnon or any other former clerks on this thread -

I just got an interview invitation this morning (district judge, don't want to say what court). I had two interviews Thursday that I am still waiting to hear back from. I really liked both judges I interviewed with Thursday and would be happy to clerk for either of them.

Since the invitation I got is somewhere I would have to travel to, would it be appropriate to call the chambers of the 2 judges I already interviewed with and explain that I got an interview invitation that would require travel, and I wanted to check in and see if the judge was still deciding before booking any tickets?


It sounds like you're in a very promising position, with at least two possibilities you'd be happy to take if offered - and a third in the works. Good luck!

In your shoes, I would call the two chambers with whom you've already interviewed. I think most chambers staff are sympathetic to the costs involved in clerkship interviewing and would understand your need to call. When you call, I think it's appropriate to work in a genuine sentence about how you really enjoyed your visit to chambers, would be excited to clerk for the judge, etc. If the new interview invitation is in a district with a competitive reputation, it might strategically be worth mentioning the city, especially if it's very far away from where you live and as long as it won't undercut anything you said in your previous interviews about geographic priorities. Finally, with your preferred judge's chambers, you might even wish to mention that this is your top-choice clerkship, such that if the judge is in a position to make you an offer, you would immediately accept and cancel your other interview. (Obviously, to maintain credibility, you cannot say this simultaneously to two chambers, lest you end up with a very awkward extra offer.)

If anyone disagrees with this advice based on their interview experiences, please speak up and contradict this. It wouldn't surprise me if there was more than one take on this issue.

Make the call(s).

I made these kinds of calls with the judge who wound up hiring me and another judge who, obviously, did not. Everybody in this game understands what we're all going through right now. A little call to let 'em know that you're still thinking about them--and that you're a wanted commodity--will almost certainly be kindly received, even if it doesn't get the job done.

Unfortunately, my judge didn't offer me the job until after I'd paid for airfare for 3 different, far-flung cities. That truly sucked. But you've gotta keep at it, hard, until you don't gotta anymore.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:16 pm

.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAnon » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just got a call from a judge's clerk. We spoke for about 20 minutes about my ties, interests, and so on; they were normal topics you'd bring up in an OCI screener. He mentioned that he didn't know the timeline, but the judge would contact applicants for in-person interviews at some point in the near future. Has anyone had experience with something like this before? How likely is it that it will lead to an actual interview?

I was disappointed about the lack of recent activity on the clerkship front, but this has given me new life (even if it's only a small chance at this point).


My district judge had one of his clerks call me for a 20 minute "screener" exactly like you are describing, so yes, it can turn into an interview invitation and actual offer. Good luck!

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby MarkRenton » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:17 pm

I've heard some judges wait till the spring, any idea whether this is more than a handful?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just got a call from a judge's clerk. We spoke for about 20 minutes about my ties, interests, and so on; they were normal topics you'd bring up in an OCI screener. He mentioned that he didn't know the timeline, but the judge would contact applicants for in-person interviews at some point in the near future. Has anyone had experience with something like this before? How likely is it that it will lead to an actual interview?

I was disappointed about the lack of recent activity on the clerkship front, but this has given me new life (even if it's only a small chance at this point).


I received the same phone call and had a similar experience. My phone call was about a 6 minute interview. I imagine it must be a good sign. They wouldn't take the time to call an applicant to make a recommendation to the judge if they weren't seriously considering us.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ndirish2010 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:22 pm

We need a replacement for clerkship scramble and lawclerkaddict. I'd be interested in trying to create something similar to it with some help. PM me if interested.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ClerkAnon wrote:
For ClerkAnon or any other former clerks on this thread -

I just got an interview invitation this morning (district judge, don't want to say what court). I had two interviews Thursday that I am still waiting to hear back from. I really liked both judges I interviewed with Thursday and would be happy to clerk for either of them.

Since the invitation I got is somewhere I would have to travel to, would it be appropriate to call the chambers of the 2 judges I already interviewed with and explain that I got an interview invitation that would require travel, and I wanted to check in and see if the judge was still deciding before booking any tickets?


It sounds like you're in a very promising position, with at least two possibilities you'd be happy to take if offered - and a third in the works. Good luck!

In your shoes, I would call the two chambers with whom you've already interviewed. I think most chambers staff are sympathetic to the costs involved in clerkship interviewing and would understand your need to call. When you call, I think it's appropriate to work in a genuine sentence about how you really enjoyed your visit to chambers, would be excited to clerk for the judge, etc. If the new interview invitation is in a district with a competitive reputation, it might strategically be worth mentioning the city, especially if it's very far away from where you live and as long as it won't undercut anything you said in your previous interviews about geographic priorities. Finally, with your preferred judge's chambers, you might even wish to mention that this is your top-choice clerkship, such that if the judge is in a position to make you an offer, you would immediately accept and cancel your other interview. (Obviously, to maintain credibility, you cannot say this simultaneously to two chambers, lest you end up with a very awkward extra offer.)

If anyone disagrees with this advice based on their interview experiences, please speak up and contradict this. It wouldn't surprise me if there was more than one take on this issue.

Make the call(s).

I made these kinds of calls with the judge who wound up hiring me and another judge who, obviously, did not. Everybody in this game understands what we're all going through right now. A little call to let 'em know that you're still thinking about them--and that you're a wanted commodity--will almost certainly be kindly received, even if it doesn't get the job done.

Unfortunately, my judge didn't offer me the job until after I'd paid for airfare for 3 different, far-flung cities. That truly sucked. But you've gotta keep at it, hard, until you don't gotta anymore.



What I did in this situation last year was to call my top choice judge (who had told me that he was going to decide and make calls the week of my subsequently-scheduled interviews) to tell chambers that I was going to be out Tuesday and Friday for more interviews, so please call me on my cell if he needed to reach me that week. Which he did. On Monday afternoon. Literally on the way to the airport. He said that he had no problem with me going on the Tuesday interview (though he wanted a decision before the Friday one). I pulled over to the nearest gas station, called my spouse and got the OK, then called back and accepted the job and drove back home. I even managed to use the air fare credit on a future ticket without change fees! (Protip: Book Southwest if you can.) I'm currently clerking for him. Lots of fun.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:20 am

Hey Clerkship experts, help me out. I got an offer for a 2014 District clerkship that I am very excited about, naturally I accepted. Before I did, though, I had an interview w/ a Magistrate judge in a competitive district that I really liked, and I may get an offer for that today for 2013. I think that would be an amazing opportunity as well, but I have reservations about doing both (and who knows, maybe a circuit clerkship in 2015?). Is doing a magistrate and district clerkship too repetitive? Is two years doing this kind of work more than ideal? Am I better off looking for a one-year job for 2013 (not a firm person here) and just doing the district?

Appreciate any advice ya got!

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:40 am

I'd think that a mag clerkship would be as good as any year-long job,. You'll get exposure to a lot of the discovery stuff that you'll miss out on during your district clerkship. What magistrates do is fairly different from what AIII judges do -- there is some overlap, of course, but not a ton. The only downside is that discovery and social security appeals are kind of crappy to be doing all day.

(You'd also potentially set yourself up to come in as a JSP-14 if you did do a third clerkship in 2015-16. That pays a lot, though it would depend on whether your hypothetical COA judge had a career clerk or not.)

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'd think that a mag clerkship would be as good as any year-long job,. You'll get exposure to a lot of the discovery stuff that you'll miss out on during your district clerkship. What magistrates do is fairly different from what AIII judges do -- there is some overlap, of course, but not a ton. The only downside is that discovery and social security appeals are kind of crappy to be doing all day.

(You'd also potentially set yourself up to come in as a JSP-14 if you did do a third clerkship in 2015-16. That pays a lot, though it would depend on whether your hypothetical COA judge had a career clerk or not.)


Got offered magistrate position in flyover area where I have some family and wouldn't mind being long term. I've had a few state court (supreme and appeals) interviews in more desirable areas but won't know until late October from them.

I would guess conventional wisdom says take position in hand. How do mag clerks do finding longer term employment? Sure I won't get the clerkship bonus but Im not completely sold on big firm work, though it would be nice. Is it a boost for Fed work?

My thought is every place I've worked throughout school is filled with boomers who will be retiring in 3-5 years and if I can just get some good experience, I'll be able to land a job I'll be happy with in this economy. If it helps, Im at a top 30 school and in the top 15% of my class. I also wouldn't be opposed to trying to grab a subsequent state supreme or district clerkship. When would I apply for 2014 clerkships?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:02 am

Interview with a d. ct. last Thursday and still haven't heard. Is it ok to email chambers asking for status update or estimated date of decision or do I just have to bear the wait and pray that all hope isn't lost yet?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:04 am

Had one interview Thursday. Was told I would hear early this week either way. I'm an anxious mess waiting by my phone. Anyone else in this boat? Good luck!

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:Had one interview Thursday. Was told I would hear early this week either way. I'm an anxious mess waiting by my phone. Anyone else in this boat? Good luck!


+1.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:18 am

Same. Good luck to all!

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:Interview with a d. ct. last Thursday and still haven't heard. Is it ok to email chambers asking for status update or estimated date of decision or do I just have to bear the wait and pray that all hope isn't lost yet?


Unless something has changed (you have another offer, etc.) I would avoid this. The waiting sucks, but I don't think it would be worth it to risk calling and upsetting them. Also, it has only been like 3 days.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:09 pm

Agree w above.

I was supposed to hear on Friday and didn't and spent all day Friday and all wknd antsy as eff. But it turned out that I didn't hear bc the decision had been a lot more difficult than the judge had anticipated bc the kids interviewed had uniformly been very impressive. The judge had actually spent the wknd contacting additional references and trying to get more info before making the decision.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby romothesavior » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:28 pm

I wouldn't say its over yet, but I feel like I'm down two scores in the fourth quarter.

Anybody got any movement in the flyover districts in the past few days?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:25 pm

3 interviews, no luck. Struck out like Adam Dunn swinging at a high fastball.

I don't want this to come off like sour grapes, but is it possible that having a market-paying job actually hurt my chances? I say this as someone who interviewed in a second-tier legal market. The judges I interviewed with all have relatively strong ties to the local community. Of the few people from my school that landed clerkships, none of them has an offer in hand from a firm. They are all very qualified, so I have no hesitation saying they absolutely deserve the clerkships on the merits (and I am very happy for them).

However, is it possible that judges (especially those with strong ties to the local community) view it as their responsibility to make offers to students without firm offers, assuming everything else between the candidates is equal? All of the judges asked me about how I liked the firm I work at, which I assume is completely normal. They were all interested in whether I had an offer to work at the firm after graduation, which, again, I assume is also normal. But I also had a chance to sit down and talk with their current clerks, the majority of which do not have firm jobs lined up. I could see someone in the judge's position looking at two relatively equal applications and reasoning that the person without a job could benefit more from the clerkship. Who knows, I would probably come to the same conclusion if I were in their shoes.

Do any of you think this a possibility, given the legal economy and the judges' ties to the community? Or am I just trying to rationalize my own failures?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:3 interviews, no luck. Struck out like Adam Dunn swinging at a high fastball.

I don't want this to come off like sour grapes, but is it possible that having a market-paying job actually hurt my chances? I say this as someone who interviewed in a second-tier legal market. The judges I interviewed with all have relatively strong ties to the local community. Of the few people from my school that landed clerkships, none of them has an offer in hand from a firm. They are all very qualified, so I have no hesitation saying they absolutely deserve the clerkships on the merits (and I am very happy for them).

However, is it possible that judges (especially those with strong ties to the local community) view it as their responsibility to make offers to students without firm offers, assuming everything else between the candidates is equal? All of the judges asked me about how I liked the firm I work at, which I assume is completely normal. They were all interested in whether I had an offer to work at the firm after graduation, which, again, I assume is also normal. But I also had a chance to sit down and talk with their current clerks, the majority of which do not have firm jobs lined up. I could see someone in the judge's position looking at two relatively equal applications and reasoning that the person without a job could benefit more from the clerkship. Who knows, I would probably come to the same conclusion if I were in their shoes.

Do any of you think this a possibility, given the legal economy and the judges' ties to the community? Or am I just trying to rationalize my own failures?


As someone that got a D. Ct. clerkship with no firm offer, I think you may be onto something. However, I had heard in the past that some judges think that is a disqualifying factor not to have a biglaw offer. So I think it varies wildly by judge.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:3 interviews, no luck. Struck out like Adam Dunn swinging at a high fastball.

I don't want this to come off like sour grapes, but is it possible that having a market-paying job actually hurt my chances? I say this as someone who interviewed in a second-tier legal market. The judges I interviewed with all have relatively strong ties to the local community. Of the few people from my school that landed clerkships, none of them has an offer in hand from a firm. They are all very qualified, so I have no hesitation saying they absolutely deserve the clerkships on the merits (and I am very happy for them).

However, is it possible that judges (especially those with strong ties to the local community) view it as their responsibility to make offers to students without firm offers, assuming everything else between the candidates is equal? All of the judges asked me about how I liked the firm I work at, which I assume is completely normal. They were all interested in whether I had an offer to work at the firm after graduation, which, again, I assume is also normal. But I also had a chance to sit down and talk with their current clerks, the majority of which do not have firm jobs lined up. I could see someone in the judge's position looking at two relatively equal applications and reasoning that the person without a job could benefit more from the clerkship. Who knows, I would probably come to the same conclusion if I were in their shoes.

Do any of you think this a possibility, given the legal economy and the judges' ties to the community? Or am I just trying to rationalize my own failures?


As someone that got a D. Ct. clerkship with no firm offer, I think you may be onto something. However, I had heard in the past that some judges think that is a disqualifying factor not to have a biglaw offer. So I think it varies wildly by judge.


Perhaps many judges prefer to hire students who are pursuing public interest careers.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:11 pm

I think the thing about people without offers getting clerkships is more of a self selecting thing. The people at my school who have clerkships/at least getting interviews calls are those that applied all over the map bc they didn't have anything else lined up. All of those were people who struck out with the elite biglaw jobs 2L and need something or didn't want to go back to their 2L firm. Same happened last year. Only one person I know currently clerking will be returning to their 2L firm.

I think until you get into the really competitive level--2nd, 9th, DC, etc.-- why would you choose a clerkship over a top firm? Clerking is unquestionably great, but after working in biglaw for a summer I don't completely buy that a not so prestigious clerkship in the middle of nowhere is necessarily better.

With all the emphasis on work experience, I'd rather get a better clerkship after working for [biglaw firm Y] in [biglaw city X] first instead of living in a small town.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:30 pm

Does anyone know how applications submitted now are read?




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