Judicial Internships

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didi
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby didi » Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:51 am

thanks for your encouragement.
I have no ties at all to New York. surprised that they called me.
I read somewhere that the judge used to hire 2-3 interns. I got more confident after knowing that. I think even if he brings in more interviewees there's still a higher chance of scoring a position than if he only hires one.

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bobjr
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby bobjr » Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:16 am

thedogship wrote:Getting any court experience is better than no court experience


grades don't come out for another week-- I already sent out a few cover letters + resumes to judges that didn't specify that they wanted transcripts, etc... as long as I don't end up interning in small-claims court!

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bobjr
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby bobjr » Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:40 pm

scratch that-- now word is that grades at GULC might not come out until the end of Jan, or early Feb... I wonder if I should just send out letters/resume to judges who specified they wanted transcripts and just say that I'll send the grades when I get them....

didi
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby didi » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:15 pm

seems to me that at least some of the judges are more interested in the writing sample than any of the grades. maybe they reckon that the writing sample relates to the actual stuff that you will do, while grades do not reflect a lot about your ability ....

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thedogship
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby thedogship » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:23 pm

bobjr wrote:scratch that-- now word is that grades at GULC might not come out until the end of Jan, or early Feb... I wonder if I should just send out letters/resume to judges who specified they wanted transcripts and just say that I'll send the grades when I get them....


I'd say yes, do that. At least then they have the rest of your profile, and if interested, can wait to get your grades to make a decision. With nothing, they don't even know you exist, so they would likely decide on those candidates they have before them.

And to didi's point, I don't think either grades or writing sample make the decision - I think judges/clerks just prefer to go off as much information as possible. A great writing sample may make up for a lack of grades and vice versa, but in general it's probably better to have both since most of the apps they receive will be very similar.

didi
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby didi » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:33 pm

yeah ... come to think of it, the judges can't tell whether the sample is really the applicant's work. and the applicants will have edited their work according to professors' comments/ corrections. I dont think anyone 's sample will be truly bad. but maybe this is because I can't tell good from bad writing samples

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DelDad
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby DelDad » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:37 pm

In the absence of grades, a good resume can get you an interview. I'm quite certain at least one judge interviewed me purely because of the non-law school stuff on my resume.

didi
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby didi » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:40 pm

what happen to those who dont really have writing samples? (I am glad that I at least took some effort to do a decent work in my legal writing class)

Do you think judges will consider any non-legal research writing at all?

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Corsair
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby Corsair » Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:32 am

..

NakaNaka
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby NakaNaka » Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:38 am

What is the best way to apply to federal judges for legal internships?

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A'nold
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby A'nold » Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:55 am

Are you guys 1L's?

didi
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby didi » Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:37 pm

all 1L I guess

just write to each individual judge ....

the bad thing is you dont know which judge is hiring and which is not in most cases.
I interviewed for an appellate judge (state court) and his law clerk told me that actually only about 8 out of the 25 judges consider interns but we were asked to write to ALL. :evil:

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rucoach
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby rucoach » Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:42 pm

1) Write to every judge working in a place you may be interested in. Get to know mail merge, it's your friend, and really makes this painless.

2) You don't need to send a writing sample or transcripts. Simply indicate they are available upon request. If the judge wants them they'll ask (or more likely their clerk will).

3) The writing sample must be a legal writing sample.

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thedogship
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby thedogship » Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:52 pm

rucoach wrote:2) You don't need to send a writing sample or transcripts. Simply indicate they are available upon request. If the judge wants them they'll ask (or more likely their clerk will).


This seems to me to be a good way to not get a call for a first interview. This is just my experience, but a bunch of the clerks that called me said they did so specifically because they liked my writing sample and I already had a set of grades for them to evaluate, which helped them decide what kids to call. Had they not had those things, they probably would not have called me at all. Again, that's just my circumstance, but I really think that the more info these people have on you, the better, and probably makes you seem like you care about getting the position more.

didi
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby didi » Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:10 pm

this is what I think too! the more the better, but our CS asked us not to send writing samples ..... in our first letter.

I guess it's pretty hard to impress just with the resume. Unless you got something sexy in the judges' eyes ....

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bobjr
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby bobjr » Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:24 pm

yeah, our career center told us to just send cover letters + resumes to judges who didn't request anything else. we also have a database of fed judges/state judges in the area with their preferences (prob about a half just say send letter + resume, others request transcript/writing sample, some even request undergraduate transcript).

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rucoach
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby rucoach » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:23 pm

I'm just going on what I've read and what CS told me. But it seems like an awful waste of paper to print a writing sample for every judge you're sending a resume to.

didi
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby didi » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:32 pm

and it would have been easier if they allow online applications .... though this would be difficult for the clerks and assistants.

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thedogship
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby thedogship » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:40 pm

So that I didn't waste unnecessary paper, what I did was call the chambers each of the judges I was interested in working for and asked them if they were accepting applications for summer interns. For example, I called all the SDNY judges, 2nd Circuit judges, and 9th Circuit judges. Probably only about 1/2 of them said they were taking apps for interns, so boom, right there I cut down my work and paper. Secondly, I specifically asked them if they prefer regular mail or email submissions. Many of them hadn't thought about it until then, but when asked, said that email would probably be easier (some still said the wanted paper mail apps). But there again I was able to cut costs and paper by submitting my materials in pdf form, which made sending a lengthy writing sample a lot easier and cheaper. Then the clerks just printed out the pdfs that I sent them.

didi
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby didi » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:09 pm

I guess if you are not sure if a judge is accepting interns, you'd better send a letter -- i.e. cast a wide net.
I was wondering if I should even apply to NY judges (NY is known to be a competitive market and I never lived there myself). As things turn out, it happened that one of them is strongly interested in my application .....

NakaNaka
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby NakaNaka » Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:54 am

thedogship wrote:So that I didn't waste unnecessary paper, what I did was call the chambers each of the judges I was interested in working for and asked them if they were accepting applications for summer interns. For example, I called all the SDNY judges, 2nd Circuit judges, and 9th Circuit judges. Probably only about 1/2 of them said they were taking apps for interns, so boom, right there I cut down my work and paper. Secondly, I specifically asked them if they prefer regular mail or email submissions. Many of them hadn't thought about it until then, but when asked, said that email would probably be easier (some still said the wanted paper mail apps). But there again I was able to cut costs and paper by submitting my materials in pdf form, which made sending a lengthy writing sample a lot easier and cheaper. Then the clerks just printed out the pdfs that I sent them.


This is great advice. I'm gonna start making some calls.

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rucoach
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby rucoach » Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:36 pm

I have to agree, that's pretty solid advice. I wonder why CS (at least where I am, and I think at a lot of other places) still recommend snail mailing everything. It seems like e-mail is more efficient for the student and probably for the employer (they can forward multiple copies of documents to the necessary people).

cannoneer
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby cannoneer » Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:42 pm

Did you guys target your cover letters to the judges (or at least the courts), or did you just express an interest in working for a judge generally?

And thanks to everyone who has posted about their experiences in this thread - it's all very helpful information.
Last edited by cannoneer on Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rucoach
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby rucoach » Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:13 pm

I wouldn't claim outright that you have excellent research and writing skills. It is only one semester of legal writing, and the clerks who first screen the resume (and have done law review, etc.) might laugh at that. I mailed to each judge individually, and it seemed to generate a lot of responses.

Honestly, I'm not sure about mentioning the grade in the cover letter. Again, the first people to screen you are the clerks, and they might regard it as toolish. If your resume is remotely interesting on its own, they'll ask for your grades and see it then.

cannoneer
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Re: Judicial Internships

Postby cannoneer » Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:26 pm

I think you may be right. I have a poorly developed toolishness detector, which is why I asked. I wouldn't say I have excellent writing skills, though. Instead, I'd say I'm interested in a position to develop my writing skills and receive feedback from pros, and that I have a good enough basic capacity for research and writing that they'd be safe in expecting non-crap work from me.

You mentioned mail merge earlier in the the thread - was your cover letter pretty much the same to all the judges you mailed out to, with their names and courts filled in?




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