Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

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ilovesf
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Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby ilovesf » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:51 pm

Around this time of year, everyone starts asking questions about 1L summer judicial externships. Quickly skimming the front page of this forum, I've already seen at least 3 posts about it. I (and I assume anyone else who did one) will answer your questions here, so that there are not hundreds of threads on them. I like answering these questions because I really enjoyed mine, but I don't often check the forum for them.

Most of your questions will be things like: What materials do I send?

There are different schools of thought on this. I personally sent a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and list of references. A lot of people do not send a writing sample or references, but it's up to personal feelings about it. I think most judges will later request writing samples, and I wanted to streamline the process and provide one right away in the hopes that I would be considered first.


And to answer the inevitable question about the differences between judges and employment prospects - what you do during your 1L summer does not really impact your 2L summer employment. If you want to work for a judge, you should really, really like writing, because the chances are you will be doing that all summer long.

Anonymous User
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:01 pm

Maybe you can't answer this, but if it's a blanket application (my state's appellate court has one general application to all judges), who would you address it to? I want to say Honorable but obviously there's no name to put there..

Also how in depth would you go on the writing sample cover letter? I don't want to inundate with an overexplanation, but I'm not sure what's really required.

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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:01 am

Do you, or anyone, know what a good writing sample cover page looks like? Literally no one at my school has told us.

Similarly, what goes on a reference page? Literally just a header and 2 lines with name and phone number? Or prose too? Any sample would get you eternal thank yous...

Also, if I am going to use an 8 page memo, should I cut off the bullshit sections? i.e. facts section? Brief answer & conclusion? Or is the whole thing un-edited OK since its only 8 pages?

UnderrateOverachieve
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:Do you, or anyone, know what a good writing sample cover page looks like? Literally no one at my school has told us.

Similarly, what goes on a reference page? Literally just a header and 2 lines with name and phone number? Or prose too? Any sample would get you eternal thank yous...

Also, if I am going to use an 8 page memo, should I cut off the bullshit sections? i.e. facts section? Brief answer & conclusion? Or is the whole thing un-edited OK since its only 8 pages?


"This writing sample is an office memorandum from Legal Writing I. It is completely my own work and I received a 95/100, one of the highest grades in the class. The memo examines whether employment contract was supported by sufficient consideration under Oregon State Law"

^---- my cover for an old writing sample. If the whole thing is eight pages you can probably just leave it all together.

References -- use same heading as everything else. Put their name, credentials, how they can be reached, and maybe why you picked them/why they are a good reference for you.

Mike Jones (who?)
Professor of law
dsfjds@law.com
I took two classes with Professor Jones and received an A in both.
Last edited by UnderrateOverachieve on Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ilovesf
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby ilovesf » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:Maybe you can't answer this, but if it's a blanket application (my state's appellate court has one general application to all judges), who would you address it to? I want to say Honorable but obviously there's no name to put there..

Also how in depth would you go on the writing sample cover letter? I don't want to inundate with an overexplanation, but I'm not sure what's really required.

Sorry, I did not do a blanket application so I did not have to worry about that issue. You could maybe do "Dear Your Honor", but I will leave that for someone who dealt with that.

My writing sample cover letter said the class for which I wrote it, the extent to which someone else edited it, and a one sentence summation of the topic. In contrast to the other poster, I did not include my grade. In total, it was probably 3-4 sentences.

UnderrateOverachieve
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:29 am

ilovesf wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Maybe you can't answer this, but if it's a blanket application (my state's appellate court has one general application to all judges), who would you address it to? I want to say Honorable but obviously there's no name to put there..

Also how in depth would you go on the writing sample cover letter? I don't want to inundate with an overexplanation, but I'm not sure what's really required.

Sorry, I did not do a blanket application so I did not have to worry about that issue. You could maybe do "Dear Your Honor", but I will leave that for someone who dealt with that.

My writing sample cover letter said the class for which I wrote it, the extent to which someone else edited it, and a one sentence summation of the topic. In contrast to the other poster, I did not include my grade. In total, it was probably 3-4 sentences.


I included my grade because I did not have a grade yet in writing. After I got a writing grade on my transcript, I took it off. While the judge will be able to tell how good your writing is, I am under the belief that you should always give easy indicators that your work is superior to other candidates.

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ilovesf
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby ilovesf » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:Do you, or anyone, know what a good writing sample cover page looks like? Literally no one at my school has told us.

Similarly, what goes on a reference page? Literally just a header and 2 lines with name and phone number? Or prose too? Any sample would get you eternal thank yous...

Also, if I am going to use an 8 page memo, should I cut off the bullshit sections? i.e. facts section? Brief answer & conclusion? Or is the whole thing un-edited OK since its only 8 pages?

In terms of how it looks, I used the same header on all of my materials - so I put what was at the top of my resume (with name, e-mail, etc) at the top. I also did this for my references and cover letter.

Underneath my header had References in bold. Under that I listed the references with their contact information: name, title, address, e-mail, and phone number. Underneath that I wrote one sentence of how I know that person.

I think 8 pages total is fine. If it is that short leaving the facts section is totally acceptable. Sometimes the facts are nice to have as they draw the reader in and make it more interesting. I would probably not include the brief answer & questions asked, but that is just me.

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kalvano
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby kalvano » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:01 am

For blanket applications, just use "Dear Judge" as a salutation. They know it's a blanket application.

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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:42 pm

Had a COA interview last week. Was wondering how long judges usually wait after an interview to make an offer. I loved my interview and would love to work there this summer. Should I call the chambers as a follow up?

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ilovesf
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby ilovesf » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Had a COA interview last week. Was wondering how long judges usually wait after an interview to make an offer. I loved my interview and would love to work there this summer. Should I call the chambers as a follow up?

I am not sure - it probably varies a lot chamber to chamber. I was offered at the end of my interview, so I don't have advice about following up. I would personally wait longer than a week before following up, but there I don't think there is anything wrong with expressing continued interest, especially if you have another offer for next summer.

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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:Do you, or anyone, know what a good writing sample cover page looks like? Literally no one at my school has told us.


The responses you've gotten to this have been solid, but since I'm going through these internship applications now on the hiring side, I'd recommend the following:

1) Tell me if it was for class or an internship/job

2) Tell me if anyone else has edited it/critiqued it/etc.

3) Tell me what kind of writing it is - predictive memo, appellate brief, memo in support of a motion, etc. (I can usually tell by reading, but sometimes I can't, which is a little concerning.)

4) Tell me the issue you're writing about

and 5) Tell me, upfront in your cover page, whether any sections are omitted.

SAMPLE:

The following is from a memorandum in support of a motion to dismiss that I drafted for my legal writing class. All work is my own. The primary issue is what the proper standard for pleading gross negligence is in order to survive a 12(b)(6) motion. The Question Presented, Short Answer, and Conclusion have been omitted in order to reduce length. I am happy to provide a full version upon request.

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Lwoods
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby Lwoods » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:28 am

ilovesf wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Had a COA interview last week. Was wondering how long judges usually wait after an interview to make an offer. I loved my interview and would love to work there this summer. Should I call the chambers as a follow up?

I am not sure - it probably varies a lot chamber to chamber. I was offered at the end of my interview, so I don't have advice about following up. I would personally wait longer than a week before following up, but there I don't think there is anything wrong with expressing continued interest, especially if you have another offer for next summer.


It could also vary within chambers. I applied on the early side and received an offer mid-way through the interview whereas the judge took a little longer with the others (a couple days for one; a couple weeks for another), probably because he was trying to determine how many he would take.

Some may like to get a feel for the overall applicant pool before making a decision. I would say that it won't hurt to follow up so long as you're polite and not pushy. I'd probably do so Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, though, or wait until after Christmas.

Real Madrid
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby Real Madrid » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:47 pm

Has anyone gotten theirs lined up yet? And what are the various timelines? Specifically interested in CDCA and NDCA.

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ilovesf
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby ilovesf » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:53 pm

Real Madrid wrote:Has anyone gotten theirs lined up yet? And what are the various timelines? Specifically interested in CDCA and NDCA.

I did mine in the NDCA. Their time line for hiring differs depending on where you go to school. They will not OFFICIALLY call applicants from bay area schools until February 1st, so their time line is sometimes off. I still recommend applying early though. I received offers from judges there well before February 1.

Real Madrid
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby Real Madrid » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:54 pm

Thanks! Any knowledge about CDCA (LA in particular)?

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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do you, or anyone, know what a good writing sample cover page looks like? Literally no one at my school has told us.


The responses you've gotten to this have been solid, but since I'm going through these internship applications now on the hiring side, I'd recommend the following:

1) Tell me if it was for class or an internship/job

2) Tell me if anyone else has edited it/critiqued it/etc.

3) Tell me what kind of writing it is - predictive memo, appellate brief, memo in support of a motion, etc. (I can usually tell by reading, but sometimes I can't, which is a little concerning.)

4) Tell me the issue you're writing about

and 5) Tell me, upfront in your cover page, whether any sections are omitted.

SAMPLE:

The following is from a memorandum in support of a motion to dismiss that I drafted for my legal writing class. All work is my own. The primary issue is what the proper standard for pleading gross negligence is in order to survive a 12(b)(6) motion. The Question Presented, Short Answer, and Conclusion have been omitted in order to reduce length. I am happy to provide a full version upon request.


Can we get this post stickied somewhere?

Real Madrid
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby Real Madrid » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:45 am

Anyone else snagged an externship yet or have any info on when offers are typically made (particularly for CDCA)? Thanks!

Anonymous User
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:40 am

Real Madrid wrote:Anyone else snagged an externship yet or have any info on when offers are typically made (particularly for CDCA)? Thanks!


Got dinged today to a 9th Circuit COA. Got a conditional interview to another 9th Circuit COA Judge if my grades are good enough.

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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby illiniguy1551 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:14 am

Accepted a federal externship on the spot last week in Illinois, not the northern district though.

UnderrateOverachieve
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:41 am

book recommendation? For writing.

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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:03 pm

Anyone else hear back from 9th Circuit judges yet?

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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:32 am

Quick question about form for these applications. Are nice regular sized envelopes appropriate, or do they all need to be larger envelopes so the resume and cover letter don't get folded up? Also, is it fine to hand write the address on the envelope?

Simple questions but things I'd rather not get wrong lol.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:49 am

I used big envelopes, because cramming writing samples into regular-sized envelopes is ugly. And I printed the addresses, but I sent everything priority mail (with delivery confirmation), so I printed labels off the USPS website.

WahooLaw24
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby WahooLaw24 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:31 pm

Oh okay thanks. I wasn't planning on sending a writing sample to start with (I'm sending roughly 150 applications). Do you think it's fine to just send the resume and cover letter in a regular sized envelope?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Answering all of your 1L judicial externship questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:05 pm

I think most judges will want a writing sample, and they're more likely to ignore your application as incomplete than get in touch with you and ask for a sample. But I also don't think you need to send 150 applications.




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