Clerkship Hiring Thread

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:15 am

Got an interview scheduled for the 18th. This is nerve wracking as hell...

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Corsair
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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Corsair » Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:48 pm

..

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DelDad
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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby DelDad » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:10 pm

Same, but home today. Doesn't help that I keep hearing this weird, intermittent buzzing sound in my plumbing that sounds uncannily like a vibrating cell phone.

Update: Received an offer, which I accepted from a state judge - Totally Thrilled!

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Corsair » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:39 pm

..

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TTT-LS
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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby TTT-LS » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:14 pm

Congrats, DelDad!!

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby bumpjon » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:03 am

The judge I am externing for told me that he read my application and was “very impressed” but that he got nearly 500 applications, compared to about 75-100 on any given year. After he screened out those not in the top quarter and doubles (people applying for both positions) he was able to whittle it down to 350 "well qualified applicants." He said that any other year he would have invited me for an interview but that he had way too many better qualified applicants, including the numbers 1s or 2s from Vandy, Ohio State, Chapman, McGeorge, Tulsa, Akron, George Mason, and William and Mary (I may be mistaken on some of the schools but I think that's accurate), and top tens from several other schools. It looks like it’s gonna be a tough year.

Congrats to anyone getting offers and good luck to those still waiting.

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby charliec9 » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:20 am

Anyone know about how many people judges interview per slot, on average? Also, thoughts on whether or not judges might be interviewing more than typical per slot, given the huge and highly talented applicant pool this year?

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby ggocat » Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:37 am

charliec9 wrote:Anyone know about how many people judges interview per slot, on average?

Depends on the judge. Some interview just one or two (the judge will make an offer right away and cancel or not schedule any other interviews). But 10-15 is a reasonable estimate for judges who decide to wait until the end of their interviews; this was the number a judge I interned for interviewed a few years ago.

charliec9 wrote:Also, thoughts on whether or not judges might be interviewing more than typical per slot, given the huge and highly talented applicant pool this year?

Probably not. If there were more judges hiring, then each judge might need to interview more, but most likely an increase in the applicant pool will have no or very little effect on the number of candidates interviewed.

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby charliec9 » Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:41 am

ggocat wrote:Depends on the judge. Some interview just one or two (the judge will make an offer right away and cancel or not schedule any other interviews). But 10-15 is a reasonable estimate for judges who decide to wait until the end of their interviews; this was the number a judge I interned for interviewed a few years ago.

Thanks so much. Stupid clarification, but 10-15 total and not per spot, right?

Also, say I have three interviews on my first day with judges likely waiting till the end of the first day to make decisions. Odds are pretty good I'd get an offer from one, right?

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby ggocat » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:04 pm

charliec9 wrote:Thanks so much. 10-15 total and not per spot, right?

Judge was only hiring for one spot, so that was 10-15 for one spot. I don't know if a judge would interview more students for more than one spot. I have a hard time believing they would interview very many more, but that's just my intuition. The longer a judge waits, the less likely the best candidates will be available.

charliec9 wrote:Also, say I have three interviews on my first day with judges likely waiting till the end of the first day to make decisions. Odds are pretty good I'd get an offer from one, right?

Three interviews on the first day; sounds like you've got a good shot. Let us know how it goes. Congrats and good luck!

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby TTT-LS » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:31 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby charliec9 » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:08 pm

TTT-LS wrote:Well let's try to keep speculation out of the equation here if we can. I can say that the first COA judge I interviewed with interviewed at least 10 people for 4 spots (he said he'd be doing this point blank), and potentially more like 12 to 15 (according to discussion on LCA). The second one I interviewed with seems to be interviewing a much smaller number of people per slot, however.


TTT--any chance you (and anyone else who's interviewed) could talk a little bit about the questions you got posed during your clerkship interviews and the kind of preparation you did? Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby TTT-LS » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:22 pm

Sure. I think the questions generally fell into X categories:

1. Biographical questions. Both the clerks and the judges asked a number of questions relating to my work prior to law school, my experiences as a summer associate, my work on the Law Review, and other entries on my resume. So I'd say be prepared to discuss anything you have listed on your resume--all the better if you can link those entries together into a coherent story building up to the practice of law. I have an "interests" section on my resume, and I got a lot of questions about things on there. Those were easy, of course.

2. Law School questions. What was your favorite class and why? What was your least favorite class? How would you describe your working style? What classes have you taken and what do you plan to take your 3L year? The clerks asked all of these questions in the interviews I went on, and my answers then led to follow-on conversations about a particular area of law. That conversation was not substantive, in the sense of them quizzing me about the rule in a particular case or whatever, but seemed to be more gauged to see how clearly I could explain an idea.

3. Note/Writing Sample questions. I got questions from both the clerks and the judges about my sample, and I expect most applicants will as well. Know your writing sample inside and out, and be prepared to address counterarguments or follow-on questions. While most interviews don't focus on substantive law or the doctrine of that particular circuit/court, I do think any law cited in or immediately related to your writing sample is fair game.

4. Where else are you interviewing? These questions focused on what my game plan was for clerking, why I wanted to do it, what other judges I was applying to, and so on. There are good reasons to answer such questions in different ways depending on your personal situation, but just know that these can come up. In my case, pending interviews with other judges might have provided more leverage to get an offer, for instance (this is just my guess, based on how things played out).

Those four categoies are not exhaustive, of course, but they do seem to cover much of what I encountered. I also suggest that you bring a complete set of your application materials, as it was helpful that I did so on one of mine.

Good luck everyone!

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby ggocat » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:11 pm

charliec9 wrote:
TTT-LS wrote:Well let's try to keep speculation out of the equation here if we can. I can say that the first COA judge I interviewed with interviewed at least 10 people for 4 spots (he said he'd be doing this point blank), and potentially more like 12 to 15 (according to discussion on LCA). The second one I interviewed with seems to be interviewing a much smaller number of people per slot, however.


TTT--any chance you (and anyone else who's interviewed) could talk a little bit about the questions you got posed during your clerkship interviews and the kind of preparation you did? Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.

I was asked plenty of "biographical" questions, as TTT-LS described them. I wasn't asked very many law school questions, except for stuff about law review and questions about a few professors (two of the clerks at one of my interviews went to my school). I didn't get any questions about my writing sample. I was told ahead of time by some clerks for other judges to prepare for "substantive" questions, but I didn't get any. I only received the "where are you interviewing" question from the state judges I interviewed with because they wanted to know if I would accept a position before the federal plan.

To prepare for the interviews, I read through a few legal blogs that discussed recent cases in the circuit (for federal judges) and state. I did general google research and used the WLD-JUDGE database on Westlaw. I read a few recent opinions by each judge and any law review articles they had written. I probably did more research than was necessary.

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:22 pm

Nothing Friday, nothing Monday. Top 25% at DCNG, not on law journal. Expecting to go oh-fer...

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby DelDad » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:45 pm

charliec9 wrote:
TTT-LS wrote:Well let's try to keep speculation out of the equation here if we can. I can say that the first COA judge I interviewed with interviewed at least 10 people for 4 spots (he said he'd be doing this point blank), and potentially more like 12 to 15 (according to discussion on LCA). The second one I interviewed with seems to be interviewing a much smaller number of people per slot, however.


TTT--any chance you (and anyone else who's interviewed) could talk a little bit about the questions you got posed during your clerkship interviews and the kind of preparation you did? Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.


I was asked substantive questions regarding my college major (graduated 13 years ago), the hobbies I'd listed on my resume, my thoughts about current events/politics, future career plans, biographical info, reasons I wanted a clerkship (did I really want to clerk, or did I want to have a extra year to let the economy heal or to find a better job afterward, etc.)

For preparation, I didn't do as much research as ggocat, but did read try to find as much biographical information on the judges as possible (I'd read opinions by the ones I interviewed with already, though).

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:48 pm

Has anyone heard from the Supreme Courts of MA or CT? I'm ~ top 1/3, secondary journal at CCN and I thought I might have a shot at some state courts, but it's looking like a no at this point. I haven't heard anything from Fed. judges, but that was practically guaranteed.

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby TTT-LS » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:57 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone heard from the Supreme Courts of MA or CT? I'm ~ top 1/3, secondary journal at CCN and I thought I might have a shot at some state courts, but it's looking like a no at this point. I haven't heard anything from Fed. judges, but that was practically guaranteed.


I didn't have any applications to the most competitive places such as DC or NY, but I was limited to my native New England because of spouse issues. Otherwise, I think I might have had at least a decent shot at some more remote places down south, which is an area of the country I actually love.

I just feel like this year is so crazy in terms of clerkships, I tried to expect as little as possible.

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:01 pm

The judge I interned for after 1L is not hiring right now, and it is clear on OSCAR that he is not hiring. He normally receives 90-100 applications in a given year. He currently has a stack of 340.

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:33 pm

Several people I spoke with who are previous or current clerks indicated that if you are interviewing with a COA judge, the judge will often ask the "Why do you want to clerk?" question, followed by "Why appellate over district court?" I have an answer for the first question, but not so much on the second. Thoughts as to what might be some good reasons to go COA over D. Ct. (aside from the "prestige" factor)?

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Corsair » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:48 am

..

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:08 pm

Corsair wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Several people I spoke with who are previous or current clerks indicated that if you are interviewing with a COA judge, the judge will often ask the "Why do you want to clerk?" question, followed by "Why appellate over district court?" I have an answer for the first question, but not so much on the second. Thoughts as to what might be some good reasons to go COA over D. Ct. (aside from the "prestige" factor)?


Do you have academic interests? Do you want to go into appellate litigation?


I feel like going down the academic interest route is similar to the prestige factor. I mean, what do you really get out of a COA clerkship that you wouldn't get out of a D. Ct. clerkship in terms of ability to teach about a specific area of law? I guess it'd be relevant if you wanted to, say, teach an appellate advocacy course or something, but that seems rather remote. I want to go into litigation in general, not sure about appellate as a specialty. As I understand it, very few firms have an appellate practice, and if they do, they are talking like, SCOTUS-level appellate, not COA. (I am not interested in SCOTUS and the COA judge is not a feeder.)

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Corsair » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:26 am

..

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Re: Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:09 pm

Found a typo on my resume. The one I sent out with every application.

Protip: "Client" is rarely spelled "clinet" in legal practice. It's doubtful that any judges will believe you when you tell them it's a term of art with which they aren't familiar.

Protip for the protip: Don't actually tell any judges it's a term of art.

Christ I hope my (only) interview goes well enough to make up for it.




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