DOJ Honors Post-Clerkship

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DOJ Honors Post-Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:15 pm

I'll be clerking for an A3 USDC judge upon graduation and hope to apply for the DOJ Honors program. Are there any particular factors or things I should do in the interim to put myself in a position to have a realistic shot at this? I go to UT/Vanderbilt/UCLA. Rank is top 10-15%, on LR. Note being published and might get something else published too.

Thanks in advance. I know very little about the mechanics of applying to the program at this point.

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Re: DOJ Honors Post-Clerkship

Postby anon168 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'll be clerking for an A3 USDC judge upon graduation and hope to apply for the DOJ Honors program. Are there any particular factors or things I should do in the interim to put myself in a position to have a realistic shot at this? I go to UT/Vanderbilt/UCLA. Rank is top 10-15%, on LR. Note being published and might get something else published too.

Thanks in advance. I know very little about the mechanics of applying to the program at this point.


Not much you can do at this except not screw up your 3L grades and don't fuck up as a clerk. Not sure publishing is all that relevant.

Half the battle is just getting selected for an interview and half of that is pure random luck based on DOJ geographic diversity goals.

My co-clerk applied to and got into honors and our judge really pulled strings for her when Justice called for a recommendation.

Good luck

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Re: DOJ Honors Post-Clerkship

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:40 am

I also think what helps varies according to the component (division within DOJ). EOIR will want to see that you have experience with/commitment to immigration. ENRD does tend to prefer people with actual backgrounds in environmental law. If you go tax or antitrust you will want some background in those components, etc. I don't know that you can change your experience at this point, but part of the application is writing essays that explain which components you chose to apply to and why (you can pick a max of three components). Grades are important, obviously, but I think the essays are crucial for setting yourself apart. So you may want to start thinking about how to write a narrative that explains why the components you apply to are absolutely completely the only things you've ever wanted to do and how your experience makes you a perfect fit for Crim/Civil Rights/Civil/etc.

(It's slightly schizophrenic that you have to do this for each of your components, of course, but that's the way it goes.)

And if you know anyone who's done the Honors program/works in a component that hires through the Honors program, get in touch with them and ask them for any advice they can give. Find out if any of your judge's previous clerks went that route, for instance. Ask your law school if they have alumni contacts (they usually do). Anything that can set you apart from the vast sea of applicants will help, so you want to get your name in front of people who do the hiring or know those who do.

(None of this is stuff that really relates to you being in a clerkship, except that clerking can expand your network of connections.)

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Re: DOJ Honors Post-Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:26 am

FWIW, I had a very vanilla resume. Then, in my 3L year, I published 2 antitrust articles, and I landed an offer from DOJ Antitrust through the Honors Program during my clerkship. Articles show commitment. If you can do a subject-matter specific externship or take a subject-matter specific class, that couldwork too.

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Re: DOJ Honors Post-Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:FWIW, I had a very vanilla resume. Then, in my 3L year, I published 2 antitrust articles, and I landed an offer from DOJ Antitrust through the Honors Program during my clerkship. Articles show commitment. If you can do a subject-matter specific externship or take a subject-matter specific class, that couldwork too.


Articles or notes?

If articles, what sort of journal placement were you able to get? And how were you able to find the time to write two full-fledged articles as a 3L? That's really impressive (and had to make for a stressful third year, I would imagine).

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Re: DOJ Honors Post-Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:FWIW, I had a very vanilla resume. Then, in my 3L year, I published 2 antitrust articles, and I landed an offer from DOJ Antitrust through the Honors Program during my clerkship. Articles show commitment. If you can do a subject-matter specific externship or take a subject-matter specific class, that couldwork too.


Articles or notes?

If articles, what sort of journal placement were you able to get? And how were you able to find the time to write two full-fledged articles as a 3L? That's really impressive (and had to make for a stressful third year, I would imagine).


I don't remember what they were called. They weren't in my school's journal. The journals weren't anything to call home about. I spammed them, but the places I got published were places where I had some relationship with the editorial staff. E.g., I'd call an old college friend that goes to a law school to see if he can pull a favor and get me published. It's funny because it's so hard to sit down and crank out an article/note, but as a clerk and as a litigation attorney, I sit down and crank out motions all the time. I just looked at the articles like that--this is something I need to do.

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Re: DOJ Honors Post-Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:04 pm

DOJ honors just means such a different thing depending on your component. ENRD, Civil Rights, and Crim don't even interview COA clerks on the reg. There is no way to answer your question generally and without knowing what the program will look like in 2013.

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Re: DOJ Honors Post-Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:DOJ honors just means such a different thing depending on your component. ENRD, Civil Rights, and Crim don't even interview COA clerks on the reg. There is no way to answer your question generally and without knowing what the program will look like in 2013.

I generally agree with this, but am confused by the bolded, because I know a former COA in Crim.

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Re: DOJ Honors Post-Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 01, 2013 8:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:DOJ honors just means such a different thing depending on your component. ENRD, Civil Rights, and Crim don't even interview COA clerks on the reg. There is no way to answer your question generally and without knowing what the program will look like in 2013.

I generally agree with this, but am confused by the bolded, because I know a former COA in Crim.


Obviously they take COA clerks, but it doesn't guarantee an interview.

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Re: DOJ Honors Post-Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 01, 2013 8:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:DOJ honors just means such a different thing depending on your component. ENRD, Civil Rights, and Crim don't even interview COA clerks on the reg. There is no way to answer your question generally and without knowing what the program will look like in 2013.

I generally agree with this, but am confused by the bolded, because I know a former COA in Crim.


Obviously they take COA clerks, but it doesn't guarantee an interview.

Oh, okay. Yeah, basically I don't think anything guarantees an interview.

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Re: DOJ Honors Post-Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 01, 2013 9:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:DOJ honors just means such a different thing depending on your component. ENRD, Civil Rights, and Crim don't even interview COA clerks on the reg. There is no way to answer your question generally and without knowing what the program will look like in 2013.

I generally agree with this, but am confused by the bolded, because I know a former COA in Crim.


Obviously they take COA clerks, but it doesn't guarantee an interview.



OP, here. So the program changes every year? I'd be most interested in NSD and NSRD. I worked for DHS a bit and and have heavy environmental coursework in environmental law and my published work focuses on that field.

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Re: DOJ Honors Post-Clerkship

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed May 01, 2013 9:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP, here. So the program changes every year? I'd be most interested in NSD and NSRD. I worked for DHS a bit and and have heavy environmental coursework in environmental law and my published work focuses on that field.

The program is basically exactly the same each year, but the number of positions and which components participate can change. Last year, NSD hired 4 people, and -- do you mean ENRD? (I'm assuming based on reference to environment) -- ENRD hired 8. (If not ENRD, not sure, sorry.) Also, DHS runs its own Honors program to hire entry-level attorneys (they had 1000+ applications to hire something like 10 people last year? something like that). I think people tend to assume the number of positions available will go down this year given the sequester, but as far as I can tell that's speculation - I don't think there's been any notice of that yet.




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