2012 Clerkship Application Thread

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Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:58 pm

Current clerk in a non-A3 "specialty court."

Here were my stats when I applied:

Year: 3L
School/Tier: T30-40
Grades: ~40%
LR?: Secondary
Published?: Yes
SA position?: No
Anything else we should know: "Best LORs [the judge] has ever seen," one from a COA judge, 2 from profs.
Clerkship apps: ~75
Number of Specialty Court Applications: 1
Total interviews: 1 specialty court
Offer(s): Specialty court.

Can't say it was anywhere near my top choice, but getting a job offer in October made 3L and life in general way less stressful.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:33 pm

Year: 3L
School/Tier: HYS
Grades: Top 1/3
LR?: No
Published?: Yes
SA position?: Yes
Anything else we should know: No
Number of Magistrate Applications: 0
Number of D. Ct. Applications: 10
Number of Circuit Applications: 30
Number of Specialty Court Applications:
Total interviews: 1 SSC, 1 D.Ct.
Offer(s): Bupkis.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Strongly agree. I applied "as an alum" during my 3L year (clerkship to start the fall one year after graduation). My credentials were good, but not good enough to land a major city district court clerkship on-plan (though apparently good enough to get 3 interviews and strike out of all of them). During my second try, though, I landed SDNY/EDNY/DDC, even though my cover letter merely stated that I WOULD have a year's worth of experience by the time I started the clerkship.



So just change the cover letter to talk about anticipated work for the following year and start re-applying?

Should we start applying now? There are several judges that have 2014 positions already posted. Even if we are applying during 3L, we are officially "off plan" right?


off-plan only means not before Sept. 4th of your 3L year. It's past then so you can apply as early as you want; I've heard that only super-stars get hired that early though.


This should be clarified a bit:

- Very, very few judges will hire between late fall and early spring. Judges are not thinking about hiring, especially since many of them just went through hiring. Some judges will start thinking about hiring in the late winter/early spring, usually once people have fall 2L grades or fall 3L grades -- judges like to see as many sets of grades as possible.

- "Superstars" who get hired early generally: (i) get hired in the early to late spring by judges who typically hire then and (ii) get hired at that time because it is when those judges hire, not because they send in their applications early. I can tell you from experience that your application, even if you are, say, #3 in your class at a T14, will not convince a judge to interview you if they aren't in the hiring frame of mind. You might very well end up on the top of their pile to interview, once they start thinking about it, but that, in itself, won't move anyone. Now, what will move a judge is if other judges are interviewing a candidate. This can pressure a judge into interviewing a candidate earlier than they otherwise would, because then there is competition.

- OSCAR postings are virtually useless. Many judges will post 2014 or 2015 positions as soon as they are done with their current cycle hiring because they don't want to have to think about/remember to do it later on. If there is a particular judge that interests you, talk to their former clerks and get a sense of when the judge will be looking to hire.

- If you are a current 3L, and have a district court clerkship, I would start sending out application packets in late february to middle march (especially for the 11th circuit and the 5th circuit conservatives). I just don't think its worth the effort to send anything out now, because it's probably not going anywhere.

- If you do send stuff out early and you don't hear anything, send out stuff again in the spring, even to the same judge. It's better for a chambers to have to through away the prior packet and to get a reminder of who you are than your early stuff getting tossed in a corner and forgotten about.

- Unless a chambers only accepts applications by OSCAR (and you are very, very sure of this - and I don't mean just that it has the OSCAR icon, I mean someone has told you that they will throw away paper applications), I would send a paper application. I think virtually every interview I received was from a paper application. It's too easy to simply never get noticed on OSCAR.

-FInal point, if you are going to be interviewing anywhere remotely close to another judge's chambers off-plan, call and let the other judges know. It's pretty easy to get additional interviews this way, even off plan.

-DoubleClerk

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:31 pm

Related to your last pt, I have a parlay question. When I was interviewing, I tried to parlay one of my distant interviews. I emailed instead of calling, however, bc I thought that would be more convenient so they could look up my file and stuff before deciding whether they wanted to extend an interview. I feel like most people have had a lot of luck doing this, but I did not. Was it bc I emailed or am I just reading too much into it? Did I break protocol by emailing the judges directly?

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Related to your last pt, I have a parlay question. When I was interviewing, I tried to parlay one of my distant interviews. I emailed instead of calling, however, bc I thought that would be more convenient so they could look up my file and stuff before deciding whether they wanted to extend an interview. I feel like most people have had a lot of luck doing this, but I did not. Was it bc I emailed or am I just reading too much into it? Did I break protocol by emailing the judges directly?


I doubt if it was the email. But, the judge may never had received the email - some judges barely use email or some judges have their JA's handle their email. And I would recommend against this in the future. It's best to call chambers and speak with someone. They can then: (a) pull your file and give it to the judge or (b) ask you to email your materials to them. Unless the judge has emailed you, it's generally not appropriate to email a judge directly. Indeed, you never (before your clerkship) contact a judge directly unless the judge or clerk has told you to (this is why, e.g., judge's actual office numbers are not listed).

So, for future reference, a 'parlay' should go like this:

- You get an interview offer in, say, SDNY

- You then call the chambers of judges who you applied to in SDNY, EDNY, and 2d Circuit and tell them: "Hi, my name is John Smith. I am a graduating 3L at Princeton Law and I applied to Judge Wapner. I am calling today because I have an interview with Judge Judy on December 25 at 9 am, and I wanted to let Judge Wapner know that I would be in the area. In addition to being available on the 25, I will also be available to interview on the 24 and 26. Thank you." The JA or clerk will then: (a) put you on hold while they talk to the judge, (b) tell you no, or (c) tell you they will call you back.

- This can be a very effective strategy and you should call chambers within about a 1-2 hour radius. I had great success getting additional interviews this way and I got one of my clerkships this way.

Finally, the 'parlay' phone call might be awkward at first, but it's really pure upside with no downside.

-DoubleClerk

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:57 pm

I interviewed a few months ago at a district court, but never heard back. Should I just assume that I've been rejected, or should I assume that the judge is still deciding since I haven't heard either way? On OSCAR, the judge still lists the spots as still open... I know that most applicants never hear anything back from judges they apply to, but I figured that once I got an in person interview that'd guarantee me at least a rejection letter.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed a few months ago at a district court, but never heard back. Should I just assume that I've been rejected, or should I assume that the judge is still deciding since I haven't heard either way? On OSCAR, the judge still lists the spots as still open... I know that most applicants never hear anything back from judges they apply to, but I figured that once I got an in person interview that'd guarantee me at least a rejection letter.


Most, but unfortunately not all, judges will send you a rejection letter if you've interviewed with them. Might be worth giving chambers a call, it's unlikely to hurt at this point.

-DoubleClerk

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:24 pm

Year: 3L
School/Tier: CCN
Grades: Top 15%ish
LR?: No - Ed Board of Secondary
Published?: No
SA position?: No
Anything else we should know: No
Number of Magistrate Applications: 0
Number of D. Ct. Applications: ~350
Number of Circuit Applications: ~100
Number of Specialty Court Applications: 0
Total interviews: 1 D.Ct. in flyover district
Offer(s): None (declined the interview)

Very disappointed. I knew it was going to be tough but I thought I applied broadly enough to at least snag a few interviews (and I have ties to two less competitive districts). Will be working for a firm and reapplying as an alum.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:08 pm

Year: 3L
School/Tier: T14
Grades: Top 1%
LR?: Yes
Published?: Yes
SA position?: Yes
Anything else we should know: Some work experience
Number of D. Ct. Applications: 7
Number of Circuit Applications: 13
Total interviews: 3 (1 D.Ct., 2 CoA)
Offer(s): Two

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:42 pm

Any updates on Judges Melinda Harmon, Kenneth Hoyt, or Lynn Hughes in Houston?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Year: 3L
School/Tier: CCN
Grades: Top 15%ish
LR?: No - Ed Board of Secondary
Published?: No
SA position?: No
Anything else we should know: No
Number of Magistrate Applications: 0
Number of D. Ct. Applications: ~350
Number of Circuit Applications: ~100
Number of Specialty Court Applications: 0
Total interviews: 1 D.Ct. in flyover district
Offer(s): None (declined the interview)

Very disappointed. I knew it was going to be tough but I thought I applied broadly enough to at least snag a few interviews (and I have ties to two less competitive districts). Will be working for a firm and reapplying as an alum.


Why did you decline the interview?

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Year: 3L
School/Tier: CCN
Grades: Top 15%ish
LR?: No - Ed Board of Secondary
Published?: No
SA position?: No
Anything else we should know: No
Number of Magistrate Applications: 0
Number of D. Ct. Applications: ~350
Number of Circuit Applications: ~100
Number of Specialty Court Applications: 0
Total interviews: 1 D.Ct. in flyover district
Offer(s): None (declined the interview)

Very disappointed. I knew it was going to be tough but I thought I applied broadly enough to at least snag a few interviews (and I have ties to two less competitive districts). Will be working for a firm and reapplying as an alum.


Why did you decline the interview?
I applied very broadly to clerkships because I did not have a job for after graduation at the time (no SA). By the time I got my clerkship interview I had secured a job offer with a V10 firm so I thought I would be in a good position to reapply (WE + trying to raise my grades + a possible publication + better professor connections).

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:01 am

Year: 3L
School/Tier: T20
Grades: Top 5%
LR?: Yes - Ed. Board
Published?: Yes (student note)
SA position?: No
Anything else we should know: No
Number of Magistrate Applications: 0
Number of D. Ct. Applications: ~50
Number of Circuit Applications: ~20
Number of Specialty Court Applications: ~10
Total interviews: 3 specialty court, 1 D.Ct., 1 COA
Offer(s): D.Ct.

EDIT: I've updated this post to show my end results. When I originally posted I had no offers, one judge I hadn't heard from yet post-interview, and another interview lined up at a D.Ct. At the end of my D.Ct. interview I was offered, and accepted, a two-year clerkship.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Year: 3L
School/Tier: T20
Grades: Top 5%
LR?: Yes - Ed. Board
Published?: Yes (student note)
SA position?: No
Anything else we should know: No
Number of Magistrate Applications: 0
Number of D. Ct. Applications: ~50
Number of Circuit Applications: ~20
Number of Specialty Court Applications: ~10
Total interviews: 3 specialty court, 1 D.Ct. (got the invite today, interview Thurs.), 1 COA
Offer(s): None so far (3 rejections - COA, 2 sp. cts.; 1 outstanding post-interview; 1 interview scheduled)


brutal out there. good luck on thurs! you only need one!

ClerkAnon
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAnon » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed a few months ago at a district court, but never heard back. Should I just assume that I've been rejected, or should I assume that the judge is still deciding since I haven't heard either way? On OSCAR, the judge still lists the spots as still open... I know that most applicants never hear anything back from judges they apply to, but I figured that once I got an in person interview that'd guarantee me at least a rejection letter.


Unfortunately, you are not guaranteed a rejection letter. This happened to me after a parlayed DCt interview. The judge allowed me to interview prior to beginning his full review of applications because I'd traveled from out of town. It was nice of him to do so, and I understood that as a result, he could not make an instant decision. I followed up twice - roughly two weeks and six weeks after my interview - and both times, I was told that no decision had been made. It was ultimately a rejection by silence.

I later accepted an offer from one of his colleagues in the same courthouse, so I encountered this judge on and off during my clerkship. Neither of us ever acknowledged the interview.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:14 pm

Just found out I didn't get a clerkship I traveled late notice across the country for via Oscar. That shit is seriously a terrible thing to do. Good thing flights aren't expensive and law students don't live off of crushing loans!

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just found out I didn't get a clerkship I traveled late notice across the country for via Oscar. That shit is seriously a terrible thing to do. Good thing flights aren't expensive and law students don't live off of crushing loans!


I'm sorry that the interview didn't work out for you. Clerkship applications are a very frustrating process and the vast majority of people I know had one or more rejections along the way, often times after cross-country travel. Often time, people only talk about their successes, so it can feel like you're the only person have unsuccessful interviews. But, I can assure you that you are not alone. It just takes some time. Best thing to do is to focus on the positives and, if you still want to clerk, work on putting together applications for the spring.

-DoubleClerk

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:42 am

Year: alum (just graduated)
School/Tier: MVPB
Grades: Top 1/3
LR?: No
Published?: No
SA position?: Yes
Anything else we should know: No
Number of Magistrate Applications: 0
Number of D. Ct. Applications: 0
Number of Circuit Applications: 1
Number of Specialty Court Applications: 0
Total interviews: 1
Offer(s): 1

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:07 am

How long have you all waited for offers? I had three D.Ct. interviews last week (wed, thurs, fri) and still no word from any of them.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Call from NDNY judge just recently
Would you be willing to say which judge? Or at least the city?

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somewhatwayward
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby somewhatwayward » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Year: alum (just graduated)
School/Tier: MVPB
Grades: Top 1/3
LR?: No
Published?: No
SA position?: Yes
Anything else we should know: No
Number of Magistrate Applications: 0
Number of D. Ct. Applications: 0
Number of Circuit Applications: 1
Number of Specialty Court Applications: 0
Total interviews: 1
Offer(s): 1


So you're saying you applied to just one circuit court position? And you had some kind of connection or would only clerk for one particular judge who just happened to give you an interview and an offer? NEED MOAR INFORMATIONZ

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Call from NDNY judge just recently
Would you be willing to say which judge? Or at least the city?

Albany. He's since hired (not me, unfortunately).

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GeePee
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby GeePee » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:13 pm

Year: 3L
School/Tier: H
Grades: Top 15%
LR?: No
Published?: Pending
SA position?: Yes
Anything else we should know: Non-LR org. (BSA/HLAB)
Number of Magistrate Applications: 0
Number of D. Ct. Applications: 125
Number of Circuit Applications: 25
Number of Specialty Court Applications: 0
Total interviews: 2
Offer(s): 0; both from judges that interviewed 10+ candidates; both hired. One said there might be a position that opens up later on, but couldn't promise anything. Bummer.

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ndirish2010
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:32 pm

That's crazy. Sorry about that. With 125 district applications, some of those had to be in less competitive districts? Clerkship market is pretty brutal I guess.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Call from NDNY judge just recently
Would you be willing to say which judge? Or at least the city?

Albany. He's since hired (not me, unfortunately).
Sorry to hear that. Thanks for the info.
GeePee wrote:Year: 3L
School/Tier: H
Grades: Top 15%
LR?: No
Published?: Pending
SA position?: Yes
Anything else we should know: Non-LR org. (BSA/HLAB)
Number of Magistrate Applications: 0
Number of D. Ct. Applications: 125
Number of Circuit Applications: 25
Number of Specialty Court Applications: 0
Total interviews: 2
Offer(s): 0; both from judges that interviewed 10+ candidates; both hired. One said there might be a position that opens up later on, but couldn't promise anything. Bummer.
Sorry GeePee, I can identify. I bet you'll kill it on the alumni market though.




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