Clerks Taking Questions

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:54 pm

What is the general consensus around here on federal clerkships with two year terms?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What is the general consensus around here on federal clerkships with two year terms?


I am about six months (1/4) into a two year fed. dist. clerkship. The main consideration is whether you want to forego a firm salary for a second year of lower, law clerk pay. You do get a significant raise for the second year if barred but its still not close to the 100k + a lot of firms pay. Firms generally don't distinguish between one or two years, except some firms may or may not pay you as a third year associate/credit you as a third year. (I think almost all large firms will treat you at least as a second year).

My judge told me I am not obligated to stay the full second year if a a tempting position arises but at this point I want to finish both years. The time flies by. I'm still learning a ton, meeting new lawyers and issues, bar events, etc. Plus the work is just great and given the quality of life and that my finances are OK, I'm not in a rush to go work super long hours. I've heard others say they get antsy around 1.5 years in, and I can imagine that is possible but I don't feel that way yet.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:24 pm

Double post deleted

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bk1
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:35 pm

I'd generally advise a 1 year over 2 year clerkship. At 1 year you've gained most of the experience and you've minimized the financial impact. While clerking is enjoyable, I don't see 2 years being better than 1 year unless you're the kind of person who would consider being a career clerk (nothing wrong with that, just different people have different goals). That said, being open to 2 year clerkships increases your overall odds of obtaining a clerkship so I would suggest being open to it unless the financial impact is too much for you.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What is the general consensus around here on federal clerkships with two year terms?


I am about six months (1/4) into a two year fed. dist. clerkship. The main consideration is whether you want to forego a firm salary for a second year of lower, law clerk pay. You do get a significant raise for the second year if barred but its still not close to the 100k + a lot of firms pay. Firms generally don't distinguish between one or two years, except some firms may or may not pay you as a third year associate/credit you as a third year. (I think almost all large firms will treat you at least as a second year).

My judge told me I am not obligated to stay the full second year if a a tempting position arises but at this point I want to finish both years. The time flies by. I'm still learning a ton, meeting new lawyers and issues, bar events, etc. Plus the work is just great and given the quality of life and that my finances are OK, I'm not in a rush to go work super long hours. I've heard others say they get antsy around 1.5 years in, and I can imagine that is possible but I don't feel that way yet.


bk1 wrote:I'd generally advise a 1 year over 2 year clerkship. At 1 year you've gained most of the experience and you've minimized the financial impact. While clerking is enjoyable, I don't see 2 years being better than 1 year unless you're the kind of person who would consider being a career clerk (nothing wrong with that, just different people have different goals). That said, being open to 2 year clerkships increases your overall odds of obtaining a clerkship so I would suggest being open to it unless the financial impact is too much for you.


Appreciate the insight. I'm just kind of nervous about making a 2 year commitment this far ahead of time. But then again, there's no guarantee I'll get anything.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:06 pm

What about prestigious bankruptcy bench?
BC/ BU here, we have an extremely connected professor here in Bankruptcy, and she is willing to write me a ROL.
3L here, 10% grades according to the readjusted curve, secondary journal but not published, had my summer associate at mid-size firm in boston.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:02 pm

Current d.ct. clerk, applying for some circuit positions. A question on writing sample: my d.ct. judge sat by designation on an appellate panel, and I am thinking about using a bench memo I wrote then as a writing sample. Do I need permission from just my judge, or from the other panel members as well? Assuming its well-written, would this even be a good choice for a sample?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Current d.ct. clerk, applying for some circuit positions. A question on writing sample: my d.ct. judge sat by designation on an appellate panel, and I am thinking about using a bench memo I wrote then as a writing sample. Do I need permission from just my judge, or from the other panel members as well? Assuming its well-written, would this even be a good choice for a sample?

Typically, you just need permission from your judge. If your judge has concerns about the thoughts of the other two panel members, your judge can let you know. But I doubt it will be a problem.

And, yes, a well-written bench memo is an excellent choice for a writing sample.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby AT9 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:15 pm

Two questions:

1. Can I upload a stock recommendation letter directly in OSCAR? Or do you have to send a recommendation request that sends an e-mail to the recommender with each judge? One of my recommenders is a law firm managing partner, and I don't really want to ask him (or his assistant) to sign and upload 50-100 letters over the next few months. Which creates a sub-question: is using a stock letter ("To Whom it May Concern" or something) in OSCAR acceptable?

2. I interned with a judge 1L summer and drafted some opinions for him. I was given permission to use my version as a writing sample. Should I do this, or use something from school? For whatever it's worth, my draft was at least acceptable because the final version was virtually unchanged by the clerks or judge.

Thanks!

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:00 am

Pretty sure that the whole point of OSCAR is that a recommender uploads their letter once and it gets sent out to everyone you apply to. IIRC (or it hasn't changed since I last looked) you can't upload a recommender's letter because it's tied to their e-mail, but they shouldn't have to do it more than once. "To whom it may concern" is standard - if you have someone who knows any of your target judges personally, you're probably better off having them contact the judge directly (as well as write a general LOR, if they're writing for you).

And I think using the real-world opinions is better than using a school thing, as long as you make it really clear that your judge has approved you doing so, and how much editing the piece received.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby AT9 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:06 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Pretty sure that the whole point of OSCAR is that a recommender uploads their letter once and it gets sent out to everyone you apply to. IIRC (or it hasn't changed since I last looked) you can't upload a recommender's letter because it's tied to their e-mail, but they shouldn't have to do it more than once. "To whom it may concern" is standard - if you have someone who knows any of your target judges personally, you're probably better off having them contact the judge directly (as well as write a general LOR, if they're writing for you).

And I think using the real-world opinions is better than using a school thing, as long as you make it really clear that your judge has approved you doing so, and how much editing the piece received.


I might have misunderstood the instructions on OSCAR, it just made it sound like each time you create a new application, it generates an email to the recommender. But maybe the recommender can just upload one and use it as the default.

Thanks!

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:06 am

I could definitely have it wrong, so check with someone more currently knowledgeable. They may get more emails and have to consent to the letter getting used but I really don't think they have to sign and upload it anew each time (you don't have to upload your resume anew each time you apply, right?).

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby grand inquisitor » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:43 am

the faculty member can choose from a few options re: recommendations--so they can set it to automatically generate for each application or require approval from them, iirc. seems like most would like the ease of the automatic option.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby AT9 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:11 pm

Thank you both for the input. I should at least be able to tell the recommender that the LOR can probably be standardized and hopefully only uploaded/approved once.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby AT9 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:27 pm

Alright, two more questions (sorry).

1. For judges who have little info on OSCAR (haven't updated their profile since 2014, don't have any application info at all, etc.), should I just mail in an unsolicited application?

2. The thread with the other guy complaining about meritocracy and the clerkship process spurred this question (pretty similar spot stat-wise). Is it worth applying to district courts in flyover states where I have virtually no ties? I get that the competition is less stiff, but I would also think that those spots are largely taken up by T14 kids with ties or top students at local schools. Also, is it worth pursuing a clerkship in those places if I don't intend to stay there post-clerkhsip?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:38 pm

AT9 wrote:Alright, two more questions (sorry).

1. For judges who have little info on OSCAR (haven't updated their profile since 2014, don't have any application info at all, etc.), should I just mail in an unsolicited application?

2. The thread with the other guy complaining about meritocracy and the clerkship process spurred this question (pretty similar spot stat-wise). Is it worth applying to district courts in flyover states where I have virtually no ties? I get that the competition is less stiff, but I would also think that those spots are largely taken up by T14 kids with ties or top students at local schools. Also, is it worth pursuing a clerkship in those places if I don't intend to stay there post-clerkhsip?


1. You may want to call chambers and ask first.

2. There's no harm in applying. Although your assessment of your chances is likely accurate, you never know what might grab the attention of a clerk or a judge. As for geographic location, I think it's fine to do a A3 clerkship in a location that you don't plan to work in after. I mean, it's better if you plan to stay, but the clerkship will still be a valuable credential in other markets. By the way, that advice does not apply to a magistrate clerkship or a state court clerkship. For those types of clerkships, remaining in the region is more important.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby AT9 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:15 pm

rpupkin wrote:
AT9 wrote:Alright, two more questions (sorry).

1. For judges who have little info on OSCAR (haven't updated their profile since 2014, don't have any application info at all, etc.), should I just mail in an unsolicited application?

2. The thread with the other guy complaining about meritocracy and the clerkship process spurred this question (pretty similar spot stat-wise). Is it worth applying to district courts in flyover states where I have virtually no ties? I get that the competition is less stiff, but I would also think that those spots are largely taken up by T14 kids with ties or top students at local schools. Also, is it worth pursuing a clerkship in those places if I don't intend to stay there post-clerkhsip?


1. You may want to call chambers and ask first.

2. There's no harm in applying. Although your assessment of your chances is likely accurate, you never know what might grab the attention of a clerk or a judge. As for geographic location, I think it's fine to do a A3 clerkship in a location that you don't plan to work in after. I mean, it's better if you plan to stay, but the clerkship will still be a valuable credential in other markets. By the way, that advice does not apply to a magistrate clerkship or a state court clerkship. For those types of clerkships, remaining in the region is more important.


Gotcha. I have loose, regional ties to a few flyover locations (military kid), so I'll target those especially. Thanks!

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:45 am

AT9 wrote:Alright, two more questions (sorry).

1. For judges who have little info on OSCAR (haven't updated their profile since 2014, don't have any application info at all, etc.), should I just mail in an unsolicited application?

2. The thread with the other guy complaining about meritocracy and the clerkship process spurred this question (pretty similar spot stat-wise). Is it worth applying to district courts in flyover states where I have virtually no ties? I get that the competition is less stiff, but I would also think that those spots are largely taken up by T14 kids with ties or top students at local schools. Also, is it worth pursuing a clerkship in those places if I don't intend to stay there post-clerkhsip?

Agreed with rpupkin. I mailed a lot of unsolicited applications and got a lot of rejections (or radio silence), but that was also how I got my gig. (Caveat: there was still some semblance of a plan when I applied and I applied as an alum, so things were a little different. Still isn't going to hurt, though.)

And my gig was also a flyover state where I had no ties. It was in the same circuit as/bordered my law school state (to which I didn't have ties before law school), but tons of the clerks had no ties to the state and were going off to big firms in NYC or DC. (Looking at all this, I have no idea why my judge actually hired me.)

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby xael » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:50 pm

there is a lot of stuff about how doing two of the "same" clerkships looks bad to employers because you just want to clerk (i.e. COA followed by COA) unless it is feeder-->scotus. Do people think the same applies to 2 year clerkships followed by a different clerkship? As in, a 2 year district clerkship followed by appellate (or vice versa I guess).

i'd prefer a 1 year clerkship but just wondering about this.

also what if there is a break between the clerkships? I'm thinking like a (1 year) district court clerkship, followed by working for a few years, followed by district.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Emma. » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:17 pm

xael wrote:
also what if there is a break between the clerkships? I'm thinking like a (1 year) district court clerkship, followed by working for a few years, followed by district.


One of my d.ct co-clerks did this as a way to pivot from a firm in another city to gov't work in the city where we clerked.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby bk1 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:09 pm

I think 2 year district court --> 1 year CoA is probably fine, but it may be stretching it for some firms. Not sure whether you'd come in as a 3rd year or a 4th year.

I agree with emma. that a several year break followed by a clerkship can make sense as a pivot. Probably makes less sense if you want to go back to biglaw (assuming that's where you're coming from), but that's just my intuition.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby lawman84 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:21 pm

Anyone willing to share advice on the best way to prep for a D. Ct. interview? It's not imminent but I'm not sure what to expect and I'd like to be prepared.(first clerkship interview)

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:22 am

I have an interview in two weeks with a district court judge in city X. Can I call chambers of other judges I've applied to in that city to try to leverage the first interview into other interviews? If I can do that, how do I phrase that?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby grand inquisitor » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have an interview in two weeks with a district court judge in city X. Can I call chambers of other judges I've applied to in that city to try to leverage the first interview into other interviews? If I can do that, how do I phrase that?

Sure, you can do that. I would just politely call the JA and say something like, "Good morning, Ms. ____, I have an application in with Judge ____ and just wanted to let you know I would be in _city_ on __date__. Thank you."

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby BVest » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have an interview in two weeks with a district court judge in city X. Can I call chambers of other judges I've applied to in that city to try to leverage the first interview into other interviews? If I can do that, how do I phrase that?


I've seen advice from clerkship office to this effect (specifically advising calling). Personally I would more likely email chambers, though it's possible that calling is advised because it is perceived to yield better results. I just prefer email because I can edit it to be exactly what I want to say. Something like this (though this is a first draft)
Dear Judge Dredd,

I am a 2L recently applied for a clerkship in your chambers for the 2017-18 term. I will be in Capital City on Tuesday, March 8, for another interview, and would welcome the opportunity to meet with you about the clerkship opportunity in your chambers as well.

My other interview is Tuesday morning. If you would like to meet with me, I am available that afternoon or can schedule my travel to arrive earlier or depart later to meet with you another day that week.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Benedict Vest

P.S. A copy of my originally submitted cover letter and resume are attached.




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