federal district clerkship with a family member?

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Anonymous User
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federal district clerkship with a family member?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:02 pm

I'm a HYS student and my mom's cousin is a federal district judge. I don't know him all that well but he and my mom are pretty close. Is it okay to apply for a clerkship with him or is that sketchy/nepotism?

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Bronte
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Re: federal district clerkship with a family member?

Postby Bronte » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:09 pm

I don't think he would be allowed to hire you. See 5 U.S.C. § 3110. That's just from a quick Google search, but it seems like common sense.

tsutsik
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Re: federal district clerkship with a family member?

Postby tsutsik » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:24 pm

Bronte wrote:I don't think he would be allowed to hire you. See 5 U.S.C. § 3110. That's just from a quick Google search, but it seems like common sense.


Not that this is what this thread is about, but it doesn't look like Mom's cousin meets the definition of 'relative' in the statute you cited.

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IAFG
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Re: federal district clerkship with a family member?

Postby IAFG » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:26 pm

Why don't you reach out to him, tell him you are thinking of applying to clerk and ask for general mentoring about the process. If he wants to hire you or put in a good word with someone else, he will.

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Bronte
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Re: federal district clerkship with a family member?

Postby Bronte » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:29 pm

tsutsik wrote:
Bronte wrote:I don't think he would be allowed to hire you. See 5 U.S.C. § 3110. That's just from a quick Google search, but it seems like common sense.


Not that this is what this thread is about, but it doesn't look like Mom's cousin meets the definition of 'relative' in the statute you cited.


Yeah you're right. Didn't read the statute carefully and also thought it was his uncle. Still, I bet the guy won't be willing to do it. But like IAFG said, can't hurt to reach out.

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hdivschool
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Re: federal district clerkship with a family member?

Postby hdivschool » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:07 am

He probably shouldn't hire you. The relevant statute is 28 USC § 458 ("No person shall be appointed to or employed in any office or duty in any court who is related by affinity or consanguinity within the degree of first cousin to any justice or judge of such court."). It sounds like you're a first cousin once removed, which probably falls under the statute; even if it doesn't, there might be an ethical issue. See Code of Conduct for United States Judges, Canon 3(B)(3) ("A judge should exercise the power of appointment fairly and only on the basis of merit, avoiding unnecessary appointments, nepotism, and favoritism.").

But he could still recommend you, so reaching out could be worthwhile.

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jessuf
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Re: federal district clerkship with a family member?

Postby jessuf » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:20 am

First cousin is second degree, first cousin once removed is third degree. Literally taken, the statute doesn't apply to you. However, you should ask the family member/judge. They will more than likely have their clerk or intern do the same exact research, come back with an iffy "ehhh maybe, maybe not" answer, and then the judge won't hire you to avoid issues. BUT the judge probably knows a ton of judges in his same courthouse, so I'm sure he could rep for you. At my courthouse this past summer, a dist. ct. judge had another judge "hire" his grandson as an intern. This kid was a freshman in college and just watched trials all day, but he had something cool to put on a resume. A clerkship would be harder to get through connections, of course, but it never hurts to try to milk connections.

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Borhas
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Re: federal district clerkship with a family member?

Postby Borhas » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a HYS student and my mom's cousin is a federal district judge. I don't know him all that well but he and my mom are pretty close. Is it okay to apply for a clerkship with him or is that sketchy/nepotism?


It's nepotism, but that's how life works




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