Clerks Taking Questions

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:How do you get a judicial internship.

And is there any way to find judge's emails? I know some want hard copies, but I am just as willing not to work for those Luddites. I hear more and more don't mind the emailed entreaty, but it's hard to find their emails.

It's hard to find judges' e-mails because if they were generally public, every pro se freak* and their dog would be e-mailing them about why the judge needs to overturn their criminal conviction from 1987 PRONTO. Don't e-mail the judge. Either suck it up and send hard copies, or call the chambers and ask whether they take applications on e-mail, and if so, where you should send them.

*Apologies to the reasonable pro se parties out there.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:08 pm

nvm. Oops, sorry. Didn't mean to be anon.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To those who clerked twice, I'm just trying to get a sense of what kind of chances I'll have in the spring or fall to make the jump to Circuit....2013 clerkship in relatively un-competitive district within Fourth Circuit, probably around top 10% (3.65ish) at T25 with LR (non e-board)/publication, to the extent that individual grades matter in clerkship classes I have A's in Fed Courts, Admin, and Con Law II. Obviously not looking at DC/2/9 but do I at least have a chance if willing to apply fairly broadly?


Would you mind sending me a pm?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:09 pm

If you can't get an associate job at a law firm after clerking for a federal judge, where else should a former clerk apply to?

edamame
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby edamame » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:15 pm

Hi, 0L here. I know it's too early, but what should I do if I want a CoA clerkship from Harvard (intended matriculation)?

From what I've read, I know Law Review is necessary, but is there anything else I should do? Thank you!

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ph14
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby ph14 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:28 pm

edamame wrote:Hi, 0L here. I know it's too early, but what should I do if I want a CoA clerkship from Harvard (intended matriculation)?

From what I've read, I know Law Review is necessary, but is there anything else I should do? Thank you!


Law Review isn't necessary, but it certainly helps your application. Besides that, develop connections with professors (for letters of recommendation) and most importantly, get good grades.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:44 pm

Does anyone want to guess how applying to CoA judges is going to look in the next 2-4 years given the breakdown of the plan? I've already heard some judges hiring in the late fall/winter of 2L year. Is that going to become the norm?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone want to guess how applying to CoA judges is going to look in the next 2-4 years given the breakdown of the plan? I've already heard some judges hiring in the late fall/winter of 2L year. Is that going to become the norm?


It's hard to tell. While many judges have shifted off the plan, it's not necessarily that they'll be going earlier and earlier. Also, more and more judges want work experience for clerks and are hiring alumni/3Ls a year out to whom the plan does not apply thus eliminating any semblence of an ordered schedule.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:51 pm

I'm not sure if more judges will really be going off either, it just seems like that from year to year. A good amount of CoA judges are already off, but I would say the majority of D. Ct. judges are still on plan.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:37 pm

Quick question for current/former clerks: will the fact that the top of my resume reads "Seattle University School of Law" get my application automatically placed in the "burn immediately" pile? Or is there any chance that it will be read further to see: top 3% of class, LR, LR Board, etc.? I am applying only to flyover districts and no CoA (obviously). Just wonder if the app will even be read.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Quick question for current/former clerks: will the fact that the top of my resume reads "Seattle University School of Law" get my application automatically placed in the "burn immediately" pile? Or is there any chance that it will be read further to see: top 3% of class, LR, LR Board, etc.? I am applying only to flyover districts and no CoA (obviously). Just wonder if the app will even be read.



So my judge has us review anyone who is Top 5% at any school. Period. (OSCAR let's you sort this fairly easy.) So we would definitely look over your app. Judge routinely interviews candidates from Tier 2-4 schools.

Your best bet, though, is to really work some sort of connection or have someone who can call for you. If you've interned for a judge, state or federal, their help would be a huge plus.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Quick question for current/former clerks: will the fact that the top of my resume reads "Seattle University School of Law" get my application automatically placed in the "burn immediately" pile? Or is there any chance that it will be read further to see: top 3% of class, LR, LR Board, etc.? I am applying only to flyover districts and no CoA (obviously). Just wonder if the app will even be read.


From my experience, there are absolutely some judges who have strict top school-required cut offs. My judge didn't care what school applicants went to so long as they got good grades, had good recs, and...my judge had heard of the school. There were a few top 1%/valedictorian types from TTTTTTs that the judge said she couldn't consider in good conscience because she didn't even know the school existed, which, in her opinion, meant it was a terrible school (this was always true). That was her only formal cut off w/r/t schools.

But I think a lot of judges prefer hiring top students from lower-ranked schools if they're local.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:39 pm

Timeline question for '16 clerkships. I recently subscribed to my schoool's clerkships blog and, having seen lots of posts seen lots of post suggesting that we start getting app materials together, am a little concerned. Wondering about the viability of the following clerkships timeline.

(Preface: I was a pretty terrible student 1L and so I have no faculty whom I could approach today and realistically expect a good rec. The best any of them could do would be to discuss my grades, and even then I don't know if they could do that due to blind grading.).

If I work on building relationships this fall with the intention of getting LORs in late winter and applying around January, how far behind the ball would I be? The blog suggests this route is viable but doesn't give me a sense of what effect, if any, this would have on my competitiveness.

For what it's worth, the courts I am interested in arn't flyover but also not top tier. Mostly D.Cts. in states with population 1mil <X <5mil so not flyover country but also not SDNY or anything. COAs of interest are also near the middle of the competitiveness spectrum.

objctnyrhnr
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby objctnyrhnr » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:07 pm

what is it that happens during an interview that makes a judge want one strong candidate over another?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:14 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:what is it that happens during an interview that makes a judge want one strong candidate over another?

It will totally depend on the judge. Mostly it will be whether the judge thinks they would like working with one candidate over another, but what makes a judge think that will vary from judge to judge.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:24 am

What kind of security clearance is required for clerking for federal judges, anything in particular for fed cir. or dc cir.?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What kind of security clearance is required for clerking for federal judges, anything in particular for fed cir. or dc cir.?

Federal district at least doesn't require any security clearance, just regular application info (the application asks about arrests or convictions but no one does record checks). The exception is if your judge regularly gets national security matters - then you might get a clearance to be able to work on those matters. (The check is expensive and takes a long time, though, so some judges who have career clerks won't get clearance for a term clerk, and will just have the career clerk handle the sensitive stuff.) I presume COA is the same but can't confirm that.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:52 pm

anyone have any other info on this?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:anyone have any other info on this?


I'm a clerk starting a COA (non-D.C. Cir.) later this year and I have finished filling out all the paperwork. There is no security clearance required. It's just a standard job application background information. It asks if you've been convicted of anything, etc.

Here's the actual application, so you can look it over for yourself: http://www.dcp.uscourts.gov/Human_Resou ... oyment.pdf

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:25 pm

No security clearance is required for the Federal Circuit.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:09 pm

MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:Timeline question for '16 clerkships. I recently subscribed to my schoool's clerkships blog and, having seen lots of posts seen lots of post suggesting that we start getting app materials together, am a little concerned. Wondering about the viability of the following clerkships timeline.

(Preface: I was a pretty terrible student 1L and so I have no faculty whom I could approach today and realistically expect a good rec. The best any of them could do would be to discuss my grades, and even then I don't know if they could do that due to blind grading.).

If I work on building relationships this fall with the intention of getting LORs in late winter and applying around January, how far behind the ball would I be? The blog suggests this route is viable but doesn't give me a sense of what effect, if any, this would have on my competitiveness.

For what it's worth, the courts I am interested in arn't flyover but also not top tier. Mostly D.Cts. in states with population 1mil <X <5mil so not flyover country but also not SDNY or anything. COAs of interest are also near the middle of the competitiveness spectrum.


Also interested in this. I haven't seen many posts here about 2016 clerkship applications yet, but my school has made it seem like application period starts this fall.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:40 am

Rising 2L. How much time should be spent with a professor before you feel they can write a quality recommendation?

I'm doing research this summer for a professor at CCN who did not clerk himself, but is nevertheless well-known in his circle. I got an A- in his class. He's a great guy and would go to bat for me if I needed it, but he's in and out of his office this summer, so there's not too much face time with the research. Would it be prudent to continue the research throughout the fall semester, then ask him for an LOR in the spring?

For other classes I did better in, should I try to do research with those professors? Is doing research for two professors at once ridiculous, and does that calculus change if I'm lucky enough to get Law Review (i.e. time commitment)? Given that, what's my best strategy for building a stronger LOR with a professor if all I currently have is a congenial relationship and an A in their class?

Thank you!

objctnyrhnr
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby objctnyrhnr » Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:38 pm

Do federal judicial clerks use westlaw, lexis, both, or does it vary?

Is it kind of an unlimited searching situation, or is it more similar to a firm where the govt (in this case) needs to pay per search?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:21 pm

You should have access to both.

And I never ran into any issues with searching/costs. I'd occasionally run into something outside of the plan, but I've never had a job - firm or government or clerking - where I actually had to worry about searching efficiently.

objctnyrhnr
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby objctnyrhnr » Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Rising 2L. How much time should be spent with a professor before you feel they can write a quality recommendation?

I'm doing research this summer for a professor at CCN who did not clerk himself, but is nevertheless well-known in his circle. I got an A- in his class. He's a great guy and would go to bat for me if I needed it, but he's in and out of his office this summer, so there's not too much face time with the research. Would it be prudent to continue the research throughout the fall semester, then ask him for an LOR in the spring?

For other classes I did better in, should I try to do research with those professors? Is doing research for two professors at once ridiculous, and does that calculus change if I'm lucky enough to get Law Review (i.e. time commitment)? Given that, what's my best strategy for building a stronger LOR with a professor if all I currently have is a congenial relationship and an A in their class?

Thank you!


I'll tell you how to get the best academic recs in my opinion. Step 1. Do well in the prof's class, Step 2. Take a bunch of your extra time to delve into a legal issue/make an argument that really interests you over the course of a 30 or whatever page article. Involve the professor every step of the way (assuming he/she is into the topic as well), get edits, all that kind of shit. Step 3. spam all of the bottom level schools' secondary journals and hopefully if you are a good enough writer, something will offer you a publication offer even though you are a student.

Now, you have a close relationship with a prof who can talk at length about your writing (and of course your good grade), you have demonstrated that you love the law so much that you will take the time to write an article even without course credit, and you have a forthcoming publication you can throw on the res...and of course this could supplement your note if u got that published. You have shown that you are a go-getter, you have a sweet topic that u can discuss in an interview, you have an awesome rec, and you have your first or second publication under your belt.




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