Clerks Taking Questions

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Anonymous User
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 05, 2016 9:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
pluto111 wrote:Weird question, but do any current or former clerks out there have the experience of having/getting a dog before going into the clerkship? I'm thinking of getting a puppy soon because I'll be at home all summer studying for the bar (online) with plenty of time to train and monitor it, but I'm worried about taking care of the dog once I start clerking. Has anyone done this (particularly with a puppy and not an older, lower maintenance dog)? Any tips



My co-clerk did exactly this. She got a puppy three months before taking the bar and spent that time training it. Now that she's clerking, she lives right next to the court house and runs home for lunch to let the dog out. She also takes the dog out before/after work. It's definitely somewhat limiting, but doable. Doggy daycare is also an option if you can afford it - I have several friends that got dogs while studying for the bar and take them to doggy daycare during the day.


Certainly nothing you could expect or count on, but my judge would have let you bring your dog to work.

ETA: You should think beyond your clerkship though. Are you headed to biglaw after that? Pretty tough to take decent care of an animal as a junior associate.

JackOfAllTrades
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby JackOfAllTrades » Sat May 14, 2016 1:58 am

davidagnew wrote:
run26.2 wrote:I say just leave the outstanding apps out there and if you get an interview, tell the judge. I wouldn't apply for more now. Why not just apply for clerkships that start after your first one ends?

One of the big benefits of clerking is the network you develop. If you leave early, the judge and co-clerks will not have a favorable impression. There's a chance this could come back to haunt you later.


I feel like this has probably been covered, but haven't seen it as I've been perusing the forums --- isn't another clerkship following a two-year D. Ct. considered a bit too much?


I have a similar problem. I have an interview scheduled for a 2 year D.Ct clerkship, but I want to do a circuit ct clerkship after. Will having a 2 yr clerkship hurt my chances of getting a circuit clerkship compared to a 1 yr clerkship?

I suppose some circuit judges might like a 2 yr D.Ct clerkship because you have more clerking experience. But I feel like others may think it means you were not as competitive and couldn't get a 1 yr clerkship.

Any thoughts from people who've worked in circuit ct and have a general feel for how judges think? Am I completely overthinking this?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 15, 2016 1:00 pm

Would judges entertain unsolicited 2019-2020 applications or should I hold off until it appears on Oscar? Could I apply for 2018-2019 positions but ask to clerk for the following term?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 15, 2016 1:13 pm

^You can state on your cover letter that you are "applying for a clerkship starting in 2018 or 2019." If they acknowledge that they'd hold onto your file, then you are good. If not, I'd reapply again for 2019 if I was you.

davidagnew
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby davidagnew » Sun May 15, 2016 1:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Would judges entertain unsolicited 2019-2020 applications or should I hold off until it appears on Oscar? Could I apply for 2018-2019 positions but ask to clerk for the following term?


Bad if you look manipulative, but maybe if you have a good reason. Recently, a state SSC's JA called me to schedule an interview, which I declined because I had just accepted a fed d. ct. clerkship. Immediately, she followed up to ask, "Well how about after?"

But maybe that's besides the point. Perhaps your app for 2019 will look better over time as you do more stuff to put in that application.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:28 am

JackOfAllTrades wrote:
davidagnew wrote:
run26.2 wrote:I say just leave the outstanding apps out there and if you get an interview, tell the judge. I wouldn't apply for more now. Why not just apply for clerkships that start after your first one ends?

One of the big benefits of clerking is the network you develop. If you leave early, the judge and co-clerks will not have a favorable impression. There's a chance this could come back to haunt you later.


I feel like this has probably been covered, but haven't seen it as I've been perusing the forums --- isn't another clerkship following a two-year D. Ct. considered a bit too much?


I have a similar problem. I have an interview scheduled for a 2 year D.Ct clerkship, but I want to do a circuit ct clerkship after. Will having a 2 yr clerkship hurt my chances of getting a circuit clerkship compared to a 1 yr clerkship?

I suppose some circuit judges might like a 2 yr D.Ct clerkship because you have more clerking experience. But I feel like others may think it means you were not as competitive and couldn't get a 1 yr clerkship.

Any thoughts from people who've worked in circuit ct and have a general feel for how judges think? Am I completely overthinking this?


2/9/DC clerk here. In our chambers 1 or 2 year d. ct. clerkship makes zero difference and, in fact, we've interviewed a number of people with 2 separate d. ct. clerkships (which I find a little weird but the Judge doesn't seem to). Demonstrates nothing other than that particular d. ct. judge hires for 2 years, not 1.

To clarify, having a d. ct. clerkship is a plus. It just doesn't matter how long that clerkship was, is the point.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:
JackOfAllTrades wrote:
davidagnew wrote:
run26.2 wrote:I say just leave the outstanding apps out there and if you get an interview, tell the judge. I wouldn't apply for more now. Why not just apply for clerkships that start after your first one ends?

One of the big benefits of clerking is the network you develop. If you leave early, the judge and co-clerks will not have a favorable impression. There's a chance this could come back to haunt you later.


I feel like this has probably been covered, but haven't seen it as I've been perusing the forums --- isn't another clerkship following a two-year D. Ct. considered a bit too much?


I have a similar problem. I have an interview scheduled for a 2 year D.Ct clerkship, but I want to do a circuit ct clerkship after. Will having a 2 yr clerkship hurt my chances of getting a circuit clerkship compared to a 1 yr clerkship?

I suppose some circuit judges might like a 2 yr D.Ct clerkship because you have more clerking experience. But I feel like others may think it means you were not as competitive and couldn't get a 1 yr clerkship.

Any thoughts from people who've worked in circuit ct and have a general feel for how judges think? Am I completely overthinking this?


2/9/DC clerk here. In our chambers 1 or 2 year d. ct. clerkship makes zero difference and, in fact, we've interviewed a number of people with 2 separate d. ct. clerkships (which I find a little weird but the Judge doesn't seem to). Demonstrates nothing other than that particular d. ct. judge hires for 2 years, not 1.

To clarify, having a d. ct. clerkship is a plus. It just doesn't matter how long that clerkship was, is the point.

Yeah, 2 year clerkships aren't less competitive - they just mean that judge prefers to hire for 2 years at a time.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:57 am

I'm about to leave my small firm for a COA clerkship, and hoping to transition to a bigger firm after. I've worked here for two years post-graduation. Before I leave, do I need to collect any information for interviews? E.g., list of cases I've worked on, hours billed, etc.? I don't know what firms will be looking for during the interview process.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:12 am

When applying for State Supreme Court (or appellate courts generally), can writing sample be from a motion at D.Ct level? Is it worth digging up some appellate brief from law school if more current/more representative sample isn't appellate in nature?

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BVest
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby BVest » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When applying for State Supreme Court (or appellate courts generally), can writing sample be from a motion at D.Ct level? Is it worth digging up some appellate brief from law school if more current/more representative sample isn't appellate in nature?


Use whatever is most representative of your skills. It doesn't matter whether its appellate in nature.

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bk1
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby bk1 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm about to leave my small firm for a COA clerkship, and hoping to transition to a bigger firm after. I've worked here for two years post-graduation. Before I leave, do I need to collect any information for interviews? E.g., list of cases I've worked on, hours billed, etc.? I don't know what firms will be looking for during the interview process.

Presumably you will need to fill out a conflicts check with the new firm. I'm assuming you've filled one out before (the parties to your matters are important, hours billed are not).

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:16 am

Applying for COA with 3.9 at NU, book award, and a lot of geographic flexibility. I'm sending out apps in the next week or two before I hear about law review. Law review results come out the third and fourth weeks of July.

Any risk in applying before law review results come out? My adviser says to just mention in my cover letters that I haven't heard back about law review but will update when I know. Credited advice?

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EzraFitz
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby EzraFitz » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:Applying for COA with 3.9 at NU, book award, and a lot of geographic flexibility. I'm sending out apps in the next week or two before I hear about law review. Law review results come out the third and fourth weeks of July.

Any risk in applying before law review results come out? My adviser says to just mention in my cover letters that I haven't heard back about law review but will update when I know. Credited advice?

I would say good advice.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:20 am

Regarding reaching out to former clerks. This thread talks about reaching out 1) before sending apps, to get more general info on the judge; and 2) after sending apps, to get more info heading into interviews.

To be clear, it is OK to reach out to former clerks before sending apps, right?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:26 am

tag

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nothingtosee
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby nothingtosee » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:Regarding reaching out to former clerks. This thread talks about reaching out 1) before sending apps, to get more general info on the judge; and 2) after sending apps, to get more info heading into interviews.

To be clear, it is OK to reach out to former clerks before sending apps, right?



Yes.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:17 pm

Pretty random question, but do federal clerks get paid on the same schedule as other federal employees, i.e., the GSA schedule? : http://www.gsa.gov/portal/mediaId/239995/fileName/GSA_Payroll_Calendar_2016.action

For any current clerks, your last paycheck would have been on the 17th if you're on this schedule.

I'm trying to figure out how long I'll have between paychecks when I transition from my firm this fall.

Thanks.

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bk1
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby bk1 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:03 pm

Yes clerks get paid on the GSA payroll calendar.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:36 pm

Any things you wish you would've done to prepare for clerking, particularly at the circuit level? I'm one year away from the start of my first clerkship (of two), and I'm starting to have a real bad case of imposter syndrome at this point. I usually don't read Scotusblog/law reviews for leisure, and I definitely don't know any jurisprudence outside of what's been taught in my doctrinal courses. Would love to hear tips from anyone on how to prep for clerking (assuming that's even possible)

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bk1
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby bk1 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:39 pm

Knowing that stuff isn't all that useful for the job since you'll be doing research for your cases anyways.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:58 pm

bk1 wrote:Yes clerks get paid on the GSA payroll calendar.


Thanks.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:07 am

I agree with bk1 that reading SCOTUSblog and so on isn't going to be that helpful because you're just going to have to research the pertinent law anyway. I don't think there's too much you can do to prep since each judge has their own preferences and you won't be able to know what they prefer. (I have seen judges have absolutely diametrically opposed preferences on specific language things, for instance - like one demanding the oxford comma and one loathing the oxford comma. And yet another judge could care less as long as you get the right result and get it out quickly).

However, if you really do have time on your hands, you could find a bunch of your judges' orders/opinions and read through them - not to learn their jurisprudence (the actual outcome is going to depend too much on stuff you won't know from the outside), but just to get a sense of how they put their written work together. If you just skim for structure/organization, you will get a sense of what you will be asked to produce. (One judge in the same courthouse where I clerked, his orders were so distinctive because he had such an unusual way of writing them, even now if I'm browsing that jurisdiction's law I can spot his opinions a mile away.) It's not going to tell you at all how the judge is going to want you to rule in future, but it may give you a sense of how they want their rulings written.

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BVest
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby BVest » Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:05 am

SSC here, but I find my judge's dissents are the most revealing of both his voice and judicial philosophy.

run26.2
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby run26.2 » Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:11 pm

I read Opinion Writing by Judge Aldisert. I thought that was helpful.

Other than learning the substantive areas of law that your judge may hear, there aren't a lot of ways you can practice being a clerk. Unless you just want to download briefs, summarize them, and then try to write a bench memo. You will learn how to it on the job. The first few of months will be harder, and the days will be longer, because you don't know what you're doing. But that's expected. And the job will get easier.

I concur with others that reading things you judge has written (especially dissents) is helpful. You can learn about your judge's tendencies, style, voice, issues that are important to her or him, etc. by reading the opinions.

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rpupkin
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:34 am

BVest wrote:SSC here, but I find my judge's dissents are the most revealing of both his voice and judicial philosophy.

I agree that you should read your judge's dissents, but one word of caution: dissents are fun and easy to write. Your judge likely won't need much help with dissents. Indeed, it's not uncommon for judges to draft their own dissents.

Drafting precedential majority opinions is significantly more challenging. Most judges especially value clerks who can draft majority opinions that: (a) won't bother the other judges on the panel, (b) will provide clarity on the law for lawyers and lower-court judges, and (c) won't get reversed by the Supreme Court. The tone one adopts in dissents is generally not appropriate for majority opinions.

So, sure, read your judge's dissents. But, if your really want to help your judge, read and learn from strong majority opinions that carefully lay out the facts, the relevant legal precedent, and the holding of the Court.




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