Judicial Internship, worry about Judge's past controversy?

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Anonymous User
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Judicial Internship, worry about Judge's past controversy?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:21 pm

Should a Judge's past controversies be a major factor in determining interning for the judge during the summer? Think controversial comments that were well heard of in the area.

Aside from the moral uncomfortableness of not agreeing with such comments, is this something that should be a worry as far as potential employers associating you with it? Or if a judge was not popular among lawyers, could that hurt you as far as hiring attorneys seeing you interned for the judge and somehow associating their distaste with you?

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Re: Judicial Internship, worry about Judge's past controversy?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:18 am

I clerked for a judge who had a very well-known past controversy. By the time I got the clerkship, the incident was several years old. Having gone through more than one hiring round since my clerkship:

- No potential employer has ever associated me with the controversy;
- My judge's written reference and verbal recommendations have been given significant (and at times dispositive) weight by varied employers.

However, "the incident" does come up, including in job interviews. There will be uncomfortable moments where people bring it up, whether to see what your take on it is or simply to make sure you know they know. You will wrestle with how to square your sense of loyalty to your judge with other competing factors - e.g., not wanting to come across as condoning a problematic incident you do not in fact condone.

On the whole, these challenging moments have not outweighed the benefits of the clerkship experience. I also think that as an intern, you are much less likely to have to worry about being associated permanently with your judge than law clerks would. You might consider whether your judge's image with the local bar has been at all "rehabilitated" since the incident. My judge's image largely had been, and while "the incident" will always be remembered by the local bar, the media, and Google, the judge was viewed favorably by most of the bar by the time I clerked.

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Re: Judicial Internship, worry about Judge's past controversy?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:05 am

I had a similar experience with a judge. Loved the judge and had a great summer, but he/she was associated with a very widely known controversy. Pretty sure most lawyers across the country have heard about it at some point. Almost no one mentioned it at OCI, and the few who did were cool about it and knew I had nothing to say about it. It was more of a "Oh, you worked for X? That was a crazy situation..." Then it was on to the next subject. You'll be alright.

hiima3L
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Re: Judicial Internship, worry about Judge's past controversy?

Postby hiima3L » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:45 am

LOL no. Come on.

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Re: Judicial Internship, worry about Judge's past controversy?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:29 pm

OP

Thanks for the responses.
To the last response, I guess I am glad you think this is an obvious answer, but I just wanted to make sure.




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