Clerks Taking Questions

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run26.2
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby run26.2 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:27 pm

Emma. wrote:
run26.2 wrote:Admittedly, I've never seen the results of one these, to compare one against another. But it sounds like it would reward people who were able simply to get things done in rapid fashion. While there is definitely value to that, my observation is that a high percentage of people who have an innate ability to get things done quickly also produce work that has serious deficiencies. I get that it provides some data, I just don't think that it provides the right type of data. I don't know how it could be done, but if you could somehow screen for ability to pick things up quickly, as opposed to where someone was at day 1, would be a better test.


I've heard several judges (particularly DCt but also COA) talk about how bad it is when a clerk can't get things done in a rapid fashion. And ultimately, think the judge is in a better position than you or I to know whether a writing test provides the right type of data.

More of a response to your earlier point. It provides some information, surely. And does also provide a baseline. I'm just arguing that a better measure for how good a clerk will be is how well they will be able to pick up what they need to, as opposed to coming in at a particular level.

On this point, yes, there is a need to get things done fast. But to the extent that the test just tests for how well you are going to get something serviceable done (this is my assumption, given that your testing people that probably have never done this or something very similar before), you may not be able to filter out who will eventually be able to do something that is good, as opposed to just get something done.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:21 pm

I doubt it's always an either/or situation. I'm sure judges who administer these tests frequently find candidates who can write an opinion both extremely well and quickly.

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Emma.
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Emma. » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:06 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:I doubt it's always an either/or situation. I'm sure judges who administer these tests frequently find candidates who can write an opinion both extremely well and quickly.


Exactly. No one is going to be perfect, but there are going to be certain test takers who do substantially better than others. Certainly if there are people who really shine on that test, it makes sense to infer that they'll also turn out work product that is better than just "servicable" during the clerkship.

Sure, it is possible that one of the less-good candidates could wind up eventually being a better clerk, but that is true of every metric that judges are forced to rely on. Of course a candidate with lower grades could turn out to be better than a candidate with higher grades, but how can a judge possibly make those predictions? The judge wants the best possible clerks, but there's no real way to predict who is going to be the better at learning the skills necessary to be a good clerk (although you might get a hint of some of this stuff in the interview), so it makes sense to use as a metric the person's starting abilities. I don't think anyone is suggesting that for the judges that use a writing test they would always prefer the candidate who does best on that test. Maybe the person who kills the writing test just comes across in the interview as someone who isn't willing to listen/learn. If so, I'm sure that person isn't getting the job.

run26.2
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby run26.2 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:08 pm

Don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I'm just curious. Can anyone who has seen these things comment on how frequently people produce written product on the test that is extremely well written?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:01 pm

Emma. wrote:
run26.2 wrote:Admittedly, I've never seen the results of one these, to compare one against another. But it sounds like it would reward people who were able simply to get things done in rapid fashion. While there is definitely value to that, my observation is that a high percentage of people who have an innate ability to get things done quickly also produce work that has serious deficiencies. I get that it provides some data, I just don't think that it provides the right type of data. I don't know how it could be done, but if you could somehow screen for ability to pick things up quickly, as opposed to where someone was at day 1, would be a better test.


I've heard several judges (particularly DCt but also COA) talk about how bad it is when a clerk can't get things done in a rapid fashion. And ultimately, think the judge is in a better position than you or I to know whether a writing test provides the right type of data.


D. ct. clerk from above re: writing tests.

You can glean an incredible amount from a writing test. Yes, opinion-writing is learnable and a one-day writing test isn't indicative of your ultimate ability to write, but that's aside the point. The point of the test is to see what your baseline is and whether it's sufficient. Our chambers is very busy and the judge doesn't have the time to re-write our work. It needs to be acceptable to go out the door by the time he sees it.

And yes, taking too long is not good. Doing things hastily and making errors is worse, but it's very possible to do good work promptly.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:03 pm

run26.2 wrote:Don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I'm just curious. Can anyone who has seen these things comment on how frequently people produce written product on the test that is extremely well written?


D. ct. clerk from above. The product is all over the place. I was also told that by a judge I interviewed for who gave me a test that it ranged from near-publishable to autoding.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:32 am

Just accepted a COA 2016 offer in a non DC/9/2 circuit. Top 1-5 at T-40 school with law review. What are my chances at getting a more prestigious district/COA clerkship starting in 2017.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:35 am

I would say very good chances at a DCt, though I don't know enough about the specific hiring practices in the really selective ones like SDNY to comment on that. Why would you want to do a second COA?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:40 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote: Why would you want to do a second COA?


This.

Your prior clerkship would probably hurt your app with my (fancy) COA judge. The judge believes both that (1) COA clerkships are a scarce good so it's best to share the love around, and (2) as a clerk, you've received most of the benefit of a clerkship after 1 year. As a result, the judge shies away from hiring folks who've already landed a COA clerkship.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:18 pm

OP here. I'm thinking of applying to a different COA to possibly move markets. I am thinking of leaving the market my firm is in and the market my clerkship is in, and I figured firms might give me more attention if I take a COA clerkship in that market.

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seizmaar
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby seizmaar » Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:27 pm

i wouldn't think that move was terribly necessary unless you've already tried and failed to get a job. that's like working 7 years to marry rachel only to marry leah, or some shit.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I'm thinking of applying to a different COA to possibly move markets. I am thinking of leaving the market my firm is in and the market my clerkship is in, and I figured firms might give me more attention if I take a COA clerkship in that market.

I think a DCt clerkship in your chosen market would make more sense - new/different experience from COA, and you get to know what judges in that market like. I don't think the region of COA makes as much difference (if you can analyze the law in one circuit, you can do it in any circuit). But that's just my impression.

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rpupkin
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:29 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I'm thinking of applying to a different COA to possibly move markets. I am thinking of leaving the market my firm is in and the market my clerkship is in, and I figured firms might give me more attention if I take a COA clerkship in that market.

I think a DCt clerkship in your chosen market would make more sense - new/different experience from COA, and you get to know what judges in that market like. I don't think the region of COA makes as much difference (if you can analyze the law in one circuit, you can do it in any circuit). But that's just my impression.

Agree with this.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:14 pm

2L here currently interviewing for 2016 and 2017. I just found out this week that I'll most likely be abroad for a specialized program for part of 3L. Should I warn judges that I will be studying abroad, or is that irrelevant to them? It's at a well known school in western europe (think Oxford ect.) and I would receive a certain type of license from the program, but I doubt that makes any difference and generally I feel this type of thing is frowned upon by art III judges (the coursework would be less rigorous, no chance to take federal courts, ect.). Is it disingenuous if I accept a position and then go abroad, or does no one care?

Thanks!

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:2L here currently interviewing for 2016 and 2017. I just found out this week that I'll most likely be abroad for a specialized program for part of 3L. Should I warn judges that I will be studying abroad, or is that irrelevant to them? It's at a well known school in western europe (think Oxford ect.) and I would receive a certain type of license from the program, but I doubt that makes any difference and generally I feel this type of thing is frowned upon by art III judges (the coursework would be less rigorous, no chance to take federal courts, ect.). Is it disingenuous if I accept a position and then go abroad, or does no one care?

Thanks!


This is just my opinion, so hopefully someone else will chime in, but I don't see a problem with this (unless a judge asks whether you plan to take X class or asks about your 3L course load--gotta tell the truth then, obviously). Judges know that by hiring earlier and earlier they are giving up the ability to get a complete picture of you as a candidate--it's part of the game.

run26.2
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby run26.2 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:17 am

TatteredDignity wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2L here currently interviewing for 2016 and 2017. I just found out this week that I'll most likely be abroad for a specialized program for part of 3L. Should I warn judges that I will be studying abroad, or is that irrelevant to them? It's at a well known school in western europe (think Oxford ect.) and I would receive a certain type of license from the program, but I doubt that makes any difference and generally I feel this type of thing is frowned upon by art III judges (the coursework would be less rigorous, no chance to take federal courts, ect.). Is it disingenuous if I accept a position and then go abroad, or does no one care?

Thanks!


This is just my opinion, so hopefully someone else will chime in, but I don't see a problem with this (unless a judge asks whether you plan to take X class or asks about your 3L course load--gotta tell the truth then, obviously). Judges know that by hiring earlier and earlier they are giving up the ability to get a complete picture of you as a candidate--it's part of the game.

Agreed. I don't see why it would be disingenuous, unless the judge you were interviewing for asked if you were planning to take Fed. Courts and you said yes. If your interview already happened and you said this and then found out you'll be going abroad, you might want to update him/her as to your plans.

I also wouldn't say that nobody cares. I think some judges would prefer you to take relevant classes in a school here. But as TD said, they give up some ability to discern what you are going to do by interviewing earlier.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:29 am

Rhode Island Supreme Court: can any former or current clerks weigh in on their experience? What are the exit opportunities? I have ties in the area and think I have a decent shot at a clerkship. I'm trying to decide between pursuing a clerkship or accepting a position at a mid-size firm in a city (not-RI), which likely won't hold an offer for a clerkship.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:34 pm

How important is it to take admin, assuming no interest in clerking in DC, for (a) actual usefulness while clerking at district or circuit level and (b) signaling mechanism to hiring judges? Already have d.ct. clerkship lined up and am considering applying for circuit. Wondering same also about Crim Pro-Adjudication. (Will have fed courts, both con laws, crim pro-investigations, corps, employment, remedies, evidence, inter alia). Thanks!

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rpupkin
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How important is it to take admin, assuming no interest in clerking in DC, for (a) actual usefulness while clerking at district or circuit level and (b) signaling mechanism to hiring judges? Already have d.ct. clerkship lined up and am considering applying for circuit. Wondering same also about Crim Pro-Adjudication. (Will have fed courts, both con laws, crim pro-investigations, corps, employment, remedies, evidence, inter alia). Thanks!

As always, it depends on the judge, but I don't think that taking or not taking Admin Law is likely to make or break your chances. And if you've taken Fed Courts and Advanced Con Law, you've probably already covered about a third of the material that you'd cover in Admin Law.

BUT....it's a useful course. I clerked in DC, and I would've been pretty lost if I hadn't taken admin law in school. I know you have no interest in clerking in DC, but it's not uncommon for admin law cases to arise in the other circuits. I'd take the class if I were you.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:56 pm

could someone give me a sense of where in the class 7H/7P and LR places from SLS? No book awards :(

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:could someone give me a sense of where in the class 7H/7P and LR places from SLS? No book awards :(


It's hard to tell, given the grading change. A few years ago, 7Hs after 1L seemed to be about top 1/3. Given that the new fed lit grades are probably unevenly dispersed, I'd say you're lower, probably around top 40% but above median. With LR and those grades, though, you're quite competitive for clerkships if you apply widely.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:could someone give me a sense of where in the class 7H/7P and LR places from SLS? No book awards :(


It's hard to tell, given the grading change. A few years ago, 7Hs after 1L seemed to be about top 1/3. Given that the new fed lit grades are probably unevenly dispersed, I'd say you're lower, probably around top 40% but above median. With LR and those grades, though, you're quite competitive for clerkships if you apply widely.


I figured that would happen statistically with the new grading scheme :(

Do you have any sense of where median is? I was thinking 5.

And thanks!

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:could someone give me a sense of where in the class 7H/7P and LR places from SLS? No book awards :(


It's hard to tell, given the grading change. A few years ago, 7Hs after 1L seemed to be about top 1/3. Given that the new fed lit grades are probably unevenly dispersed, I'd say you're lower, probably around top 40% but above median. With LR and those grades, though, you're quite competitive for clerkships if you apply widely.


I figured that would happen statistically with the new grading scheme :(

Do you have any sense of where median is? I was thinking 5.

And thanks!


I am of the belief that median used to be 4, so I'd say 5 is probably right. It really depends on how your class clusters though, given how small SLS is. Some years there are lots of people at 7-8 Hs and fewer at 10+, other years there are larger groups at the tips and big clusters closer to median. From talking to people in the last 4-5 class years, it seems pretty volatile. That said, 5 seems most likely, and I'd bet that a good number of people around median also have a book prize.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:26 pm

hello clerks, I'm interviewing with a fed COA judge who does not share my political convictions (the judge is on the conservative side, republican appointee, I am definitively not) and I'm wondering how big a problem this is. I know it doesn't matter at the d. ct. level but the appellate courts are more politicized. FWIW I am perfectly happy to work for someone who I disagree with, and I think it could be interesting and intellectually challenging; that's not my concern at all. I'm assuming that since I've been granted an interview, the judge has not been repelled by my profile. But would there be a stigma against me in the profession (I don't want to only be hirable by Gibson et al), in academia, or if I were to pursue another clerkship with a democratically-appointed judge? If it would be a problem, should I bow out now before the interview?

Thanks!

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Emma.
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Emma. » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:hello clerks, I'm interviewing with a fed COA judge who does not share my political convictions (the judge is on the conservative side, republican appointee, I am definitively not) and I'm wondering how big a problem this is. I know it doesn't matter at the d. ct. level but the appellate courts are more politicized. FWIW I am perfectly happy to work for someone who I disagree with, and I think it could be interesting and intellectually challenging; that's not my concern at all. I'm assuming that since I've been granted an interview, the judge has not been repelled by my profile. But would there be a stigma against me in the profession (I don't want to only be hirable by Gibson et al), in academia, or if I were to pursue another clerkship with a democratically-appointed judge? If it would be a problem, should I bow out now before the interview?

Thanks!


It varies hugely from judge to judge. If your political leanings are clear from your resume and the judge has nonetheless called you in for an interview then it's somewhat safe to assume that this judge doesn't care too much (note that I say "somewhat safe." It's possible that the judge is calling you in just out of curiosity). It is quite unlikely that clerking for a conservative judge is going to hamper your chances at a firm or academia. It might, however, create issues for some very liberal judges. It seems crazy to bow out unless you have another offer in hand though.




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