Clerks Taking Questions

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BVest
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby BVest » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:[age question]
As for moving into the private sector after, is it generally the same or would I have better luck staying in government?


I personally felt like there was a good deal of age discrimination for starting associates at biglaw (at least for 40+; friends in young 30s did okay), but once you got below biglaw, age was often an asset.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:06 pm

BVest wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:[age question]
As for moving into the private sector after, is it generally the same or would I have better luck staying in government?


I personally felt like there was a good deal of age discrimination for starting associates at biglaw (at least for 40+; friends in young 30s did okay), but once you got below biglaw, age was often an asset.


That's unfortunate but not surprising to hear

Thank you for your input.

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radio1nowhere
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby radio1nowhere » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What are the "must take" classes for successfully completing a clerkship. I know that fed courts and con law are musts. Anything else?

If you already have a clerkship lined up, you might consider reaching out to the judge's clerks (past or present) to ask this question. They should know which classes were helpful and which they wished they'd taken. It can be somewhat judge-dependent as far as what types of cases they normally get (at least, at the district level).

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BVest
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby BVest » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BVest wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:[age question]
As for moving into the private sector after, is it generally the same or would I have better luck staying in government?


I personally felt like there was a good deal of age discrimination for starting associates at biglaw (at least for 40+; friends in young 30s did okay), but once you got below biglaw, age was often an asset.


That's unfortunate but not surprising to hear

Thank you for your input.


FWIW, the biglaw/non-biglaw line I noticed was market-salary. The well-paying but slightly below market firms were receptive.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What are the "must take" classes for successfully completing a clerkship. I know that fed courts and con law are musts. Anything else?

There are no "must take" classes. A lot of it depends on the court and how the judge uses her clerks. For example, many district court judges handle criminal cases with little or no assistance from their clerks; also, in some districts, magistrate judges deal with motions to exclude evidence on 4th/5th amendment grounds. Depending on whether those things are true for your court, crim pro might be useful or it might be irrelevant.

If your court gets its share of patent cases, then I'd take a patent or ip survey course.

Although you should take con law regardless, I wouldn't put it especially high on the list of classes that are most relevant to the typical district-court clerkship. (If the Con Law prof likes to focus on 1983 litigation, that makes it more relevant).

Fed Courts, Evidence, Admin Law (though its relevance depends on the kinds of cases your court hears), and Advanced Civ Pro (if your school offers it) are all helpful.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:02 pm

vonrus1 wrote:What's the oldest anyone has seen a new clerk?

I'll be finishing military service at 32, and finishing school at 35 if I go immediately.

Is a clerkship even a possibility?

How badly would it stunt career progression at a large firm if it is?

There are plenty of clerks in their 30s. On balance, it will likely improve your chances at a clerkship.

I agree that there's some age discrimination in big law, but: (1) that's not true at all firms; (2) even at those firms where it is true, mid-30s is usually not old enough to be a problem; and (3) the resume-boost you'd get from clerking would far outweigh the very marginal negative of being 36 instead of 35 (or whatever) when you hit the big-law job market.
Last edited by rpupkin on Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:12 pm

rpupkin wrote:
vonrus1 wrote:What's the oldest anyone has seen a new clerk?

I'll be finishing military service at 32, and finishing school at 35 if I go immediately.

Is a clerkship even a possibility?

How badly would it stunt career progression at a large firm if it is?

There are plenty of clerks in their 30s. On balance, your age will likely improve your chances at landing a clerkship.

I agree that there's some age discrimination in big law, but: (1) that's not true at all firms; (2) even at those firms where it is true, mid-30s is usually not old enough to be a problem; and (3) the resume-boost you'd get from clerking would far outweigh any the very marginal negative of being 36 instead of 35 (or whatever) when you hit the big-law job market.


Thank you very much for your input. It looks like a clerkship is still something to be pursued, even at a later age.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby lolwat » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:40 pm

radio1nowhere wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I recently had two district court clerkship interviews. The first was in SDNY/CDCA/DDC and the second was in a flyover a few days later. I didnt get an offer for either on the spot, but the day after the flyover interview, the flyover judge called me and gave me an offer. S/he said "I know you have another interview you haven't heard back from yet, and you can think about it if you want, but I'd like for you to join my Chambers." It didn't really sound like s/he wanted to give me time and I heard from his/her previous clerks that s/he expects decisions on the spot, so I was really surprised s/he even offered that. Anyway, I accepted on the spot, without knowing about the other clerkship. I called the first judge the next day and withdrew. S/he seemed slightly disappointed or annoyed that I didn't give a heads up, I couldn't tell.

Did I make a mistake? I was so surprised when I got the SDNY/CDCA/DDC interview. That judge was definitely a reach for my credentials. I didn't mention in the first interview that I had another interview in a few days (the flyover interview). Also, I didn't want to annoy the second judge and ask for a few days. Am I overthinking this? I feel like this could have really changed my career given that my credentials are not HYS or law review at a top school (median at VPMB). I am not sure what to think. I am definitely excited, but I am not sure what to think about how I handled that. Also, I am applying to Circuit clerkships now and would like to be more prepared for something like this.

Accepting the flyover on the spot was probably the right thing to do if you think the judge expects decisions on the spot.

However, I do think it was a mistake not to tell your first choice judge about the other interview. I would always advise telling first choice judges about other interviews — otherwise you may miss out merely because the judge didn't realize you had such a (potentially) tight timeline. Judges are used to this sort of situation, so they won't think it's weird for you to tell them; in fact, some judges regularly ask applicants if they have other interviews.

Don't beat yourself up about it though; flyovers are still really awesome opportunities! Good luck on the COA search.


Above is all correct. I know if I were in that situation it would have been difficult to ask for the time, but objectively speaking I probably would have done so since the judge offered to give you time to think about it. Something similar happened when I clerked... my judge knew the candidate we interviewed already had another interview with a judge in a "competitive" district (which also happened to be the district where the candidate had a firm offer to return after any clerkship they did), and so wanted to give them some time to think about it / figure out whether they'd get or accept that clerkship. I don't remember if they ended up accepting on the spot or a day or two later, but they ended up clerking for my judge.

It might have some extremely minor impact on job searches if you haven't already gotten an offer to return to a firm, but over time a federal clerkship is a federal clerkship and it ends up being more about the people you connected with/the clerk family/whatever.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:57 am

Any sense of how significant a letter from chambers is after receipt of an application? Do these tend to be generic or are they personalized? Obviously not super important to overthink but it may modify my approach to deciding whether to have professors call those judges who I may think are more interested based on these letters. For example, I just received one that was signed by the judge.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby radio1nowhere » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:Any sense of how significant a letter from chambers is after receipt of an application? Do these tend to be generic or are they personalized? Obviously not super important to overthink but it may modify my approach to deciding whether to have professors call those judges who I may think are more interested based on these letters. For example, I just received one that was signed by the judge.

Pretty sure those are meaningless form letters. Beats me why judges bother sending them out (and signing them), but I got a few and then never heard from the judge again.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby mjb447 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:22 am

radio1nowhere wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any sense of how significant a letter from chambers is after receipt of an application? Do these tend to be generic or are they personalized? Obviously not super important to overthink but it may modify my approach to deciding whether to have professors call those judges who I may think are more interested based on these letters. For example, I just received one that was signed by the judge.

Pretty sure those are meaningless form letters. Beats me why judges bother sending them out (and signing them), but I got a few and then never heard from the judge again.

+1. I think I've seen this topic addressed on TLS before, and AFAIK no one has ever been able to show that this means that your app is under more serious consideration than anyone else's.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby lavarman84 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:08 pm

radio1nowhere wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any sense of how significant a letter from chambers is after receipt of an application? Do these tend to be generic or are they personalized? Obviously not super important to overthink but it may modify my approach to deciding whether to have professors call those judges who I may think are more interested based on these letters. For example, I just received one that was signed by the judge.

Pretty sure those are meaningless form letters. Beats me why judges bother sending them out (and signing them), but I got a few and then never heard from the judge again.


Yea, I just assume they're soft rejections until proven otherwise.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:51 am

Judge Hull posted openings for 2019-20, but her directions say do not apply until the summer of 2018. Why does she open them up? Is this a test?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby 4thand9 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:44 am

When the description on OSCAR specifies "Do not contact chambers," does that also mean that you should tell recommenders not to call?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:23 pm

I'm in my second year of big law, clerking for a district court judge next year (18-19), and hoping to clerk for a circuit court judge the following year (19-20). I've been applying to circuit clerkships for about 3 months now, but I haven't heard a thing. I'm pretty geographically flexible and I have the district clerkship lined up, so I thought I would at least get some interviews.

1. Is there anything else I can do at this point? Or just keep on applying? I realize it's two years away but from what I gather it seems like most spots are already filled. I've been following OSCAR, TLS, and even checking with some chambers about openings, but I'm not really sure what to do other than wait. FWIW, the clerkship office at my school is useless.

2. I'm open to clerking in 20-21 (so after my district clerkship I would work for a year) if I cant secure a 19-20 circuit clerkship, but I am not sure what to put on my cover letter. Something along the lines of "I intend to return to biglaw for a year after my district clerkship and before this one?" Also, is there there any downside to this path (2 years big law, district clerkship, 1 year big law, circuit clerkship)? I would much rather do the clerkships consecutively, but I will still pursue a 20-21 clerkship if I struck out for 19-20.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:56 pm

.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:27 pm

It's not that confusing. Outgoing calls from a courhouse are often routed through a different number. I've had several calls for interviews where the call back number left in the voicemail was a different number than what showed up in caller ID.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:00 pm

FascinatedWanderer wrote:It's not that confusing. Outgoing calls from a courhouse are often routed through a different number. I've had several calls for interviews where the call back number left in the voicemail was a different number than what showed up in caller ID.


Anon from above.

Thanks, but that doesn't resolve my confusion. I have also received calls from chambers routed through different numbers, but I have never received a call from chambers in which they didn't leave a voicemail or follow up with an email. I suppose no one on here will have an answer and I'll have to wait and see if they call back one way or another.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby mjb447 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
FascinatedWanderer wrote:It's not that confusing. Outgoing calls from a courhouse are often routed through a different number. I've had several calls for interviews where the call back number left in the voicemail was a different number than what showed up in caller ID.


Anon from above.

Thanks, but that doesn't resolve my confusion. I have also received calls from chambers routed through different numbers, but I have never received a call from chambers in which they didn't leave a voicemail or follow up with an email. I suppose no one on here will have an answer and I'll have to wait and see if they call back one way or another.

I have. I have no idea what's going on in your situation - like you said, no one here can tell you with any certainty - but it's a possibility. Hopefully they'll call again.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm in my second year of big law, clerking for a district court judge next year (18-19), and hoping to clerk for a circuit court judge the following year (19-20). I've been applying to circuit clerkships for about 3 months now, but I haven't heard a thing. I'm pretty geographically flexible and I have the district clerkship lined up, so I thought I would at least get some interviews.

1. Is there anything else I can do at this point? Or just keep on applying? I realize it's two years away but from what I gather it seems like most spots are already filled. I've been following OSCAR, TLS, and even checking with some chambers about openings, but I'm not really sure what to do other than wait. FWIW, the clerkship office at my school is useless.

2. I'm open to clerking in 20-21 (so after my district clerkship I would work for a year) if I cant secure a 19-20 circuit clerkship, but I am not sure what to put on my cover letter. Something along the lines of "I intend to return to biglaw for a year after my district clerkship and before this one?" Also, is there there any downside to this path (2 years big law, district clerkship, 1 year big law, circuit clerkship)? I would much rather do the clerkships consecutively, but I will still pursue a 20-21 clerkship if I struck out for 19-20.


Mail in paper applications for judges not on OSCAR (or even judges who are on OSCAR but are not clear about having filled their positions and haven't made clear that they don't want paper apps).

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
FascinatedWanderer wrote:It's not that confusing. Outgoing calls from a courhouse are often routed through a different number. I've had several calls for interviews where the call back number left in the voicemail was a different number than what showed up in caller ID.


Anon from above.

Thanks, but that doesn't resolve my confusion. I have also received calls from chambers routed through different numbers, but I have never received a call from chambers in which they didn't leave a voicemail or follow up with an email.

Sometimes people call and then don't leave a voicemail for one reason or another. It's not strange and it's not confusing.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:51 am

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
FascinatedWanderer wrote:It's not that confusing. Outgoing calls from a courhouse are often routed through a different number. I've had several calls for interviews where the call back number left in the voicemail was a different number than what showed up in caller ID.


Anon from above.

Thanks, but that doesn't resolve my confusion. I have also received calls from chambers routed through different numbers, but I have never received a call from chambers in which they didn't leave a voicemail or follow up with an email.

Sometimes people call and then don't leave a voicemail for one reason or another. It's not strange and it's not confusing.


I think it's pretty strange if they want to get into contact with said person. If you call me and don't leave me a voicemail, I'm not calling you back unless I recognize the number.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby GoneSouth » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:47 am

4thand9 wrote:When the description on OSCAR specifies "Do not contact chambers," does that also mean that you should tell recommenders not to call?


I don't think so. From what I remember, pretty much all judges have this on OSCAR, even ones who would gladly accept recommender calls

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby radio1nowhere » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:58 am

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
FascinatedWanderer wrote:It's not that confusing. Outgoing calls from a courhouse are often routed through a different number. I've had several calls for interviews where the call back number left in the voicemail was a different number than what showed up in caller ID.


Anon from above.

Thanks, but that doesn't resolve my confusion. I have also received calls from chambers routed through different numbers, but I have never received a call from chambers in which they didn't leave a voicemail or follow up with an email.

Sometimes people call and then don't leave a voicemail for one reason or another. It's not strange and it's not confusing.

Yeah I hate voicemail. If I call about something non-urgent and someone doesn't answer, I just call again another time.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:23 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
FascinatedWanderer wrote:It's not that confusing. Outgoing calls from a courhouse are often routed through a different number. I've had several calls for interviews where the call back number left in the voicemail was a different number than what showed up in caller ID.


Anon from above.

Thanks, but that doesn't resolve my confusion. I have also received calls from chambers routed through different numbers, but I have never received a call from chambers in which they didn't leave a voicemail or follow up with an email.

Sometimes people call and then don't leave a voicemail for one reason or another. It's not strange and it's not confusing.

I think it's pretty strange if they want to get into contact with said person. If you call me and don't leave me a voicemail, I'm not calling you back unless I recognize the number.

I agree that it would be strange to expect someone to call you back after not leaving a message, but that's not what we're talking about. Sometimes, you call and want to ask a person something, but—for one reason or another—you don't want to start a game of phone tag. So you call back at another time in the hopes of having a live conversation.




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