Asking for one year clerkship?

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Asking for one year clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:56 pm

Title says it all. I really want to clerk, and I was able to get an interview in the region I'll be practicing in. The position is for a two year term, though I know the judge also has one year spots at times. Unfortunately, my firm will only hold the offer for a year. Anybody have experience asking a judge to consider a 1 year clerkship? Advice/tips?

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Re: Asking for one year clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:13 pm

My girlfriend asked a judge for the one year after being offered the two year and it was fine. She waited until after she had gotten the offer though. She and her judge really bonded over women's issues (judge is a relatively young woman), so I am not sure if every judge is this lenient.

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Re: Asking for one year clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My girlfriend asked a judge for the one year after being offered the two year and it was fine. She waited until after she had gotten the offer though. She and her judge really bonded over women's issues (judge is a relatively young woman), so I am not sure if every judge is this lenient.

My only concern would be wasting the judge's time in an interview, but this is good to hear.

I'd gladly take the 2 year, but I love my firm, and I don't want to take a gamble on my job future.

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Re: Asking for one year clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My girlfriend asked a judge for the one year after being offered the two year and it was fine. She waited until after she had gotten the offer though. She and her judge really bonded over women's issues (judge is a relatively young woman), so I am not sure if every judge is this lenient.

My only concern would be wasting the judge's time in an interview, but this is good to hear.

I'd gladly take the 2 year, but I love my firm, and I don't want to take a gamble on my job future.
If you know for a fact that the judge doesn't have a one year slot, then don't waste his/her time. Judges understand job-related concerns in this economy though, so there's no reason s/he can't give you the one year slot if she has one.

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Re: Asking for one year clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My girlfriend asked a judge for the one year after being offered the two year and it was fine. She waited until after she had gotten the offer though. She and her judge really bonded over women's issues (judge is a relatively young woman), so I am not sure if every judge is this lenient.

My only concern would be wasting the judge's time in an interview, but this is good to hear.

I'd gladly take the 2 year, but I love my firm, and I don't want to take a gamble on my job future.
If you know for a fact that the judge doesn't have a one year slot, then don't waste his/her time. Judges understand job-related concerns in this economy though, so there's no reason s/he can't give you the one year slot if she has one.

Yeah, I absolutely don't want to waste a federal judge's time or take away an interview slot. I plan to talk to both the chambers and the firm to see if someone will be flexible, and if not, then I guess I haven't really lost anything. Worst they can say is no, in which case I just go work like I was planning on doing. I didn't even expect this call.

Just wondering if people have had any experience in this realm before. Can't imagine I'm the only one.

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Re: Asking for one year clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My girlfriend asked a judge for the one year after being offered the two year and it was fine. She waited until after she had gotten the offer though. She and her judge really bonded over women's issues (judge is a relatively young woman), so I am not sure if every judge is this lenient.

My only concern would be wasting the judge's time in an interview, but this is good to hear.

I'd gladly take the 2 year, but I love my firm, and I don't want to take a gamble on my job future.
If you know for a fact that the judge doesn't have a one year slot, then don't waste his/her time. Judges understand job-related concerns in this economy though, so there's no reason s/he can't give you the one year slot if she has one.

Yeah, I absolutely don't want to waste a federal judge's time or take away an interview slot. I plan to talk to both the chambers and the firm to see if someone will be flexible, and if not, then I guess I haven't really lost anything. Worst they can say is no, in which case I just go work like I was planning on doing. I didn't even expect this call.

Just wondering if people have had any experience in this realm before. Can't imagine I'm the only one.

I would suggest an open question about how many years the positions still available are. Don't ask if the judge would be willing to let you have a one year slot. Just ask if a one year slot is open. If they tell you a one year position is available in addition to a two year position, then interview and get the offer. After you have the offer, then ask for the one year. A judge will be more amenable to your requests once he has made you an offer than before. Before you have an offer, you're just a random.

By the way, unless the interview is very structured, you should be able to insert your need for a one year clerkship into the interview. For instance, if you are asked how your firm is, express how great it is and how glad you are that they are so supportive of your clerkship aspirations that they are willing to let you clerk for a year. Right there, you've told the judge how long you have.

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Re: Asking for one year clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:28 pm

I agree with the people who told you to interview and get the offer first. Until then, you are just worrying about hypotheticals. I'm marginal on the advice to work in, "My firm is great and will give me a year off to clerk" during your interview, because that may limit your access to an offer if the judge really is focused more on two-year clerks. I would get the offer and then discuss length with the judge. Post-offer (if not before), he or she will certainly explain to you the structure of their chambers, including how many one or two year positions they have available. With this knowledge, you can ask the judge for the one-year spot if it's open; I think most judges with variable length clerkships will be reasonable about pairing candidates who have genuine restrictions on their availability with shorter clerkships. If the judge tells you that he or she really only has a two-year spot open, you can explain that you really want to accept, but ask permission to discuss the issue with your firm (given that to date, they've told you "one year only"). I feel that most reasonable judges will give you at least a portion of a day to have that conversation with your firm. (This may change if you're talking to one of the most competitive/SCOTUS feeder judges in the country, but in that case, you could probably just take the clerkship and feel pretty good about your likely post-clerkship opportunities. And most feeders seem to offer primarily one-year clerkships, anyway.) If the firm likes you, they may be able to consider an exception. If not, the judge may be willing to consider an exception once he or she hears that your firm cannot be flexible. And the absolute worst case scenario here is that you have a good firm position and an offer for a two-year federal clerkship. Particularly ITE, that's a high-end problem. But I honestly think you'll be able to work this out and accept the clerkship if it's offered to you.




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