Turning down judges

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art vandelay
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Turning down judges

Postby art vandelay » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 pm

So, I've heard you're not supposed to turn down judicial internship offers from judges.

How is this enforceable? What happens if I turn one down? I mean, they don't pay or anything, so how come we are supposedly bound by them? If I really need money, and then a paid opportunity arises, am I supposed to disregard my need for money (which i need for things like food, etc) in favor of some arcane rule that says judges are not to be turned down?

Anyone?

emoticons777
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby emoticons777 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:14 pm

One option in a case like that would be to split your summer (half with judge, half with firm). This allows you to stay on with the judge and break any unwritten rules, but still get paid.

LongRifle
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby LongRifle » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:18 pm

splitting = much lower pay, which is a significant sacrifice.

I would turn down the judge unless you knew the judge personally, it's an alumni from your law school or it's a market in which you expect to practice. If it's one of those, I'd ask to split the summer. BTW, a lot of 1L firm jobs are only half the summer from what I've heard from firms so far.

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TTT-LS
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby TTT-LS » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:23 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LongRifle
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby LongRifle » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:34 pm

Bad example. Hasn't the last two years been a learning experience that firms can a will lay associates off and no offer capable SAs. Law schools and students do the same thing over WL movement all the time too.

I agree that if money is so tight that a student has to be paid, they should only apply to firms and go after public interest grants.

But, say a student sends out resumes on 12/1 to judges, accepts an offer from a judge and then gets straight A's on their late January transcript leading to a 1L firm job for the summer in February. If I were this student, I would test the market with my grades and if I received an offer from a firm I'd take it and explain to the judge as soon as possible that I had to rescind.

Obviously, there could be some negative repercussions with the judge, but I don't think it's unethical for a student to weigh the utility of changing their mind.

Snooker
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby Snooker » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:08 pm

emo's suggestion sounds interesting. Any comments on splitting summers with judges and a firm?

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steve_nash
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby steve_nash » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:13 pm

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Last edited by steve_nash on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LongRifle
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby LongRifle » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:27 pm

That's a wonderful story, but it doesn't make any new points. Rescinding on a job isn't the world's nicest gesture, but in most situations it is not career suicide or prohibited by any honor code. Theres a lot of uncertainty and I don't fault any student for trying to protect their career interests by building a relationship with a firm if there is an opportunity.

It's not like judges can't re-advertise an opening. There are plenty of students looking for internships with judges, even in February/March.

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chadwick218
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby chadwick218 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:35 pm

I concur with TTT-LS. Have some honor. Furthermore, some schools have requirements / policies that effectively prohibit you from turning down an offer from a judge. To what extent schools have enforced this, I don't know, but I imagine that they could threaten to pull OCI out from under you.
Last edited by chadwick218 on Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thesealocust
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:38 pm

n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

DukeHopeful
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby DukeHopeful » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:43 pm

OP doesn't actually say that a judge's offer was ACCEPTED, only that one was received (from what I can tell, at least). Is turning the offer down (without ever accepting) the same as rescinding? I really just don't see the parallel in the firm hiring situation where an offer was extended and then accepted.

What do I know though, I'm just looking for an offer from a school :?

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dresden doll
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby dresden doll » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:44 pm

TTT-LS wrote:
art vandelay wrote:So, I've heard you're not supposed to turn down judicial internship offers from judges.

How is this enforceable? What happens if I turn one down? I mean, they don't pay or anything, so how come we are supposedly bound by them? If I really need money, and then a paid opportunity arises, am I supposed to disregard my need for money (which i need for things like food, etc) in favor of some arcane rule that says judges are not to be turned down?

Anyone?

Have some honor. If you really need money, apply for paid jobs. If you want to work for a judge and can stomach taking an unpaid job, then apply to judges. But if you do the latter, you can't just tell the judge "see ya" if something paid comes along later.

Perhaps an example will illustrate. I take it you might want a firm job. Let's suppose you interview with Firm X, you like Firm X and they find you to be a good candidate, so they extend you an offer. You have other offers, but you like Firm X more than those, so you accept. Only a few months later, a magna grad from HLS comes along and applies to Firm X. They like you, but boy do they LOVE this guy. He offers them more of what they want. So they send you a polite letter rescinding your offer and hire the HLS grad. Sucks to be you in that situation. Just like it sucks to be the judge in yours. You might argue that the judge can't be equated with a single law student, but really, from the standpoint of one's word and making choices, they're exactly the same.

That's why the "rule" exists.


I don't think a student should be able to go back on an accepted offer but it does strike me as bit much that we're obliged to accept an offer if it's extended to us. I mean, we do have a choice as to whether we want to accept a PI or a firm job offer, right? So it kind of sucks that we can't say no to a judge if he chooses to hire us after the interview.

Judges move quickly, too. Some of my classmates got their externships the same day they interviewed. Great for them, but it effectively foreclosed from so much as glancing at other opportunities.

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TTT-LS
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby TTT-LS » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:45 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TTT-LS
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby TTT-LS » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:49 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

art vandelay
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby art vandelay » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:50 pm

TTT-LS wrote:
art vandelay wrote:So, I've heard you're not supposed to turn down judicial internship offers from judges.

How is this enforceable? What happens if I turn one down? I mean, they don't pay or anything, so how come we are supposedly bound by them? If I really need money, and then a paid opportunity arises, am I supposed to disregard my need for money (which i need for things like food, etc) in favor of some arcane rule that says judges are not to be turned down?

Anyone?

Have some honor. If you really need money, apply for paid jobs. If you want to work for a judge and can stomach taking an unpaid job, then apply to judges. But if you do the latter, you can't just tell the judge "see ya" if something paid comes along later.

Perhaps an example will illustrate. I take it you might want a firm job. Let's suppose you interview with Firm X, you like Firm X and they find you to be a good candidate, so they extend you an offer. You have other offers, but you like Firm X more than those, so you accept. Only a few months later, a magna grad from HLS comes along and applies to Firm X. They like you, but boy do they LOVE this guy. He offers them more of what they want. So they send you a polite letter rescinding your offer and hire the HLS grad. Sucks to be you in that situation. Just like it sucks to be the judge in yours. You might argue that the judge can't be equated with a single law student, but really, from the standpoint of one's word and making choices, they're exactly the same.

That's why the "rule" exists.


What a terrible example. If that is why the rule exists, then the rule would exist in that situation as well.

Plus, a judge can always find an intern (even after one turns that judge down) in this oversaturated job market. A prospective intern can't always find a job after a firm rescinds an offer.

art vandelay
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby art vandelay » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:53 pm

dresden doll wrote:
TTT-LS wrote:
art vandelay wrote:So, I've heard you're not supposed to turn down judicial internship offers from judges.

How is this enforceable? What happens if I turn one down? I mean, they don't pay or anything, so how come we are supposedly bound by them? If I really need money, and then a paid opportunity arises, am I supposed to disregard my need for money (which i need for things like food, etc) in favor of some arcane rule that says judges are not to be turned down?

Anyone?

Have some honor. If you really need money, apply for paid jobs. If you want to work for a judge and can stomach taking an unpaid job, then apply to judges. But if you do the latter, you can't just tell the judge "see ya" if something paid comes along later.

Perhaps an example will illustrate. I take it you might want a firm job. Let's suppose you interview with Firm X, you like Firm X and they find you to be a good candidate, so they extend you an offer. You have other offers, but you like Firm X more than those, so you accept. Only a few months later, a magna grad from HLS comes along and applies to Firm X. They like you, but boy do they LOVE this guy. He offers them more of what they want. So they send you a polite letter rescinding your offer and hire the HLS grad. Sucks to be you in that situation. Just like it sucks to be the judge in yours. You might argue that the judge can't be equated with a single law student, but really, from the standpoint of one's word and making choices, they're exactly the same.

That's why the "rule" exists.


I don't think a student should be able to go back on an accepted offer but it does strike me as bit much that we're obliged to accept an offer if it's extended to us. I mean, we do have a choice as to whether we want to accept a PI or a firm job offer, right? So it kind of sucks that we can't say no to a judge if he chooses to hire us after the interview.

Judges move quickly, too. Some of my classmates got their externships the same day they interviewed. Great for them, but it effectively foreclosed from so much as glancing at other opportunities.


See bolded. That's exactly what I'm referring to; Not rescinding an acceptance of a job offer, but turning them down before agreeing to work with them. I don't think applying to a job should bind one to accept it should the judge make an offer.

Snooker
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby Snooker » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:54 pm

If you don't like the rule, then just add as a last line to your cover letter:

"Judge <name>, I must also inform you that should you extend an offer to me, I will probably bail on you if a paid opportunity arises later on. If these terms are acceptable to you, I would greatly look forward to working in your chambers in the summer."

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dresden doll
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby dresden doll » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:54 pm

TTT-LS wrote:
dresden doll wrote:Judges move quickly, too. Some of my classmates got their externships the same day they interviewed. Great for them, but it effectively foreclosed from so much as glancing at other opportunities.

Fair enough. But the obvious solution to this supposed dilemma is to NOT APPLY TO JUDGES. If you really want to try other things, then don't apply to jobs that might foreclose such investigation. There is no entitlement to be able to apply for everything under the sun, and when one takes the benefit of applying for judicial internships, one pays a small price. For some, that price is worth it.


That would be why I haven't yet applied. They're pretty much my last resort, once I've convinced myself I really can't have a paid job for the summer. It does suck insofar as not applying in a timely manner may well cost me lots of spots (at least some judges have deadlines that will expire before I've had the chance to participate in the winter OCI), but what can one do. I certainly won't be breaking the rule - I don't need to build a shitty reputation, particularly not as early as my 1L year.

art vandelay
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby art vandelay » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:54 pm

DukeHopeful wrote:OP doesn't actually say that a judge's offer was ACCEPTED, only that one was received (from what I can tell, at least). Is turning the offer down (without ever accepting) the same as rescinding? I really just don't see the parallel in the firm hiring situation where an offer was extended and then accepted.

What do I know though, I'm just looking for an offer from a school :?


Yes, people, THIS is what I'm referring to. My understanding is that we are to not turn down judges, which means that if they offer us we are to accept. It makes no sense to me, but that's what I understand to be the case.

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dresden doll
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby dresden doll » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:56 pm

Snooker wrote:If you don't like the rule, then just add as a last line to your cover letter:

"Judge <name>, I must also inform you that should you extend an offer to me, I will probably bail on you if a paid opportunity arises later on. If these terms are acceptable to you, I would greatly look forward to working in your chambers in the summer."


That's not what OP was talking about. I believe OP is referring to the fact that we must say 'yes' to judges if they choose to extend us an offer. That's a bit of a different situation there.

I am perversely hoping my classmates get plucked by judges before our winter OCI so that I can have a better shot at a paid job.

Snooker
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby Snooker » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:56 pm

My theory is that judge's chambers are highly prestigious places to work but they have very limited resources and are working on large case loads. These judges often put a lot of effort into training their interns, and don't rely on 1Ls for help in the same way non-profits do. This rule probably makes it a lot easier on them.

Snooker
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby Snooker » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:58 pm

dresden doll wrote:
Snooker wrote:If you don't like the rule, then just add as a last line to your cover letter:

"Judge <name>, I must also inform you that should you extend an offer to me, I will probably bail on you if a paid opportunity arises later on. If these terms are acceptable to you, I would greatly look forward to working in your chambers in the summer."


That's not what OP was talking about. I believe OP is referring to the fact that we must say 'yes' to judges if they choose to extend us an offer. That's a bit of a different situation there.

I am perversely hoping my classmates get plucked by judges before our winter OCI so that I can have a better shot at a paid job.


You could tweak the proviso to say either. The main point is that you can just tell the judge you won't be following the custom.

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dresden doll
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby dresden doll » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:59 pm

Snooker wrote:My theory is that judge's chambers are highly prestigious places to work but they have very limited resources and are working on large case loads. These judges often put a lot of effort into training their interns, and don't rely on 1Ls for help in the same way non-profits do. This rule probably makes it a lot easier on them.


That's fair enough. I am sure there are solid reasons for the rule. It's just that it does suck a little for us. As I said before, I feel like I'm gambling by postponing my judicial apps. I could easily wind up not getting a paid job and then finding out later that all the judges in the area have already hired their interns. It's kind of nerve wrecking, particularly when the deadline for lots of judges is this Friday, and our winter OCI won't happen untill February 5th.

LongRifle
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby LongRifle » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:12 pm

Umm ... there is a lot to consider in this issue and I don't think it's an ethical issue. OP is talking about an offer and acceptance for an at will unpaid internship. The only fact that could change is if a school has some sort of honor policy. I've never heard of this and it sounds like an internet board rumor.

Can anyone post something verifying the must accept if offered rule being mentioned ... for any school?

There's something that doesn't seem fair about having to accept a position if you apply, but if you apply the judge doesn't have to accept you. If this were the case, there's a pretty strong incentive not to apply to many judges at all.

Also, opportunity costs for a student are much higher than for the judge. I doubt there is a large discrepancy between first and the next best student and the effect is for just one summer.

Something missing is how a school might react to the student's decision on their reputation. Obviously, something to discuss with career services.

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wiseowl
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Re: Turning down judges

Postby wiseowl » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:13 pm

dresden doll wrote:
Snooker wrote:My theory is that judge's chambers are highly prestigious places to work but they have very limited resources and are working on large case loads. These judges often put a lot of effort into training their interns, and don't rely on 1Ls for help in the same way non-profits do. This rule probably makes it a lot easier on them.


That's fair enough. I am sure there are solid reasons for the rule. It's just that it does suck a little for us. As I said before, I feel like I'm gambling by postponing my judicial apps. I could easily wind up not getting a paid job and then finding out later that all the judges in the area have already hired their interns. It's kind of nerve wrecking, particularly when the deadline for lots of judges is this Friday, and our winter OCI won't happen untill February 5th.


yep. basically will be a race to the phone. i wanted to postpone judicial apps, but they're all hiring now. gambling on a firm is rough.




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