Clerks Taking Questions

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
User avatar
vamedic03
Posts: 1579
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:50 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby vamedic03 » Sun May 08, 2011 8:52 pm

Tron wrote:Any insight on minority clerk hiring? Some judges care, some don't? AA male, T-25, top 1/3, secondary journal editor, note, strong govt work...thoughts?


See page 5.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 09, 2011 11:02 am

So I just emailed one of my faculty recommender's assistants inquiring as to whether it would be possible to have my letter of recommendation completed early if I wanted to apply to judges that hire off plan (or at least have already begun taking applications). She responded that the school does follow the plan and so will not release recommendations early unless the judges fall within relevant exemption rules (and I have no idea what those rules are).

Any advice on what to do? Am I SOL? I'm afraid that a good number of the judges to whom I'd like to apply will have already hired their clerks by the time they get my application in early September.

bellamy
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:33 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby bellamy » Mon May 09, 2011 6:16 pm

Assuming similar class position would your chances of a COA clerkship be enhanced by attending one of CCN rather than another?

User avatar
vamedic03
Posts: 1579
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:50 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby vamedic03 » Mon May 09, 2011 7:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I just emailed one of my faculty recommender's assistants inquiring as to whether it would be possible to have my letter of recommendation completed early if I wanted to apply to judges that hire off plan (or at least have already begun taking applications). She responded that the school does follow the plan and so will not release recommendations early unless the judges fall within relevant exemption rules (and I have no idea what those rules are).

Any advice on what to do? Am I SOL? I'm afraid that a good number of the judges to whom I'd like to apply will have already hired their clerks by the time they get my application in early September.


Talk directly to the faculty members.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 09, 2011 7:57 pm

Wouldn't directly approaching faculty recommenders be received poorly by some, especially after having received a negative answer from the assistant? Looks like I'm just trying to brush past the assistant, saying "I don't give a crap about the policy, just give me my recommendations!"

User avatar
vamedic03
Posts: 1579
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:50 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby vamedic03 » Mon May 09, 2011 8:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Wouldn't directly approaching faculty recommenders be received poorly by some, especially after having received a negative answer from the assistant? Looks like I'm just trying to brush past the assistant, saying "I don't give a crap about the policy, just give me my recommendations!"


You can feel out the faculty member if you go and talk to them. Update them with the judges you plan on applying to and make sure they know what you're up to. You can then tell them that you plan to apply off plan and that you understand that they want to comply with the plan, but ask what they would be willing to do. Perhaps they would be willing to mail certain letters or perhaps they would be open to simply receiving phone calls.

But, it's the prof's decision whether or not to sender a letter early. Unless you know that the secretary talked to the faculty member, then they're just telling you what school policy is.

parttime7
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 7:47 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby parttime7 » Mon May 09, 2011 8:10 pm

What kind of options does an Art III clerkship provide in terms of private practice? Does it open doors that you normally would not have received?

User avatar
Cavalier
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Cavalier » Mon May 09, 2011 8:20 pm

parttime7 wrote:What kind of options does an Art III clerkship provide in terms of private practice? Does it open doors that you normally would not have received?

Depends. If you can get an Article III clerkship you probably already had the grades for a Vault 10 firm, but if for whatever reason you decide that you want to work somewhere besides your 2L summer firm (or you get no-offered), if you have a clerkship you'll be able to shop around. Court of Appeals clerkships are practically necessary if you want to do appellate litigation, and some litigation boutiques only recruit clerks--they don't hire students. If you want to do corporate work, firms are less concerned about clerkships.

User avatar
Cavalier
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Cavalier » Mon May 09, 2011 8:36 pm

Yeah, I guess I was referring to all the circuits and the non-flyover districts. I keep forgetting that Article III covers the flyover districts too!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 09, 2011 8:44 pm

So would an Art III clerkship from a judge in a rural state like Louisiana open any doors? or no?

random5483
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby random5483 » Tue May 10, 2011 12:01 am

I skimmed the thread and did not find any of these questions. The questions might be silly, but I am a 1L interning with a federal court judge this summer, and I figure you are in a good position to answer the questions.

1. How do you do most of your research? Books/etc? WestLaw? Lexis? Combination?
2. If you use WestLaw/Lexis, are courts charged the way firms are or is it more like law school (ie. should I worry about developing efficient research skills in the next month?).

Thanks.

imchuckbass58
Posts: 1245
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby imchuckbass58 » Tue May 10, 2011 10:51 am

random5483 wrote:I skimmed the thread and did not find any of these questions. The questions might be silly, but I am a 1L interning with a federal court judge this summer, and I figure you are in a good position to answer the questions.

1. How do you do most of your research? Books/etc? WestLaw? Lexis? Combination?
2. If you use WestLaw/Lexis, are courts charged the way firms are or is it more like law school (ie. should I worry about developing efficient research skills in the next month?).

Thanks.


Here's my experience interning last summer:
-I rarely saw anyone (myself or the clerks) use anything except for Westlaw and Lexis. The only thing I can think of is once we requested a book from a library, but it was more for background reading than for actual research. That said, it will be extremely rare to use anything else besides lexis/westlaw. Even if you do, it will probably be some social science journal article that's available through jstor. Plus, most courts have a library and librarians that can help you out if you need to locate some esoteric book.

-I'm not sure of the structure of how courts are charged (flat fee, pay per document), but I know it is significantly, significantly less. Cost-effective research was not a concern at all (though cost-effective research is often also time-efficient research, so you might want to learn anyways). Double check, but I also think Lexis and Westlaw allow you to use your student account over the summer if you are working PI/for a judge, in which case your cost would be zero.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 16, 2011 10:37 am

Here is a question for anyone out there and wildly speculative responses are encouraged where hard data is lacking.

What are the big firm options for a T-75 grad, close to top of the class, who clerks at a solid district court (SDNY, DDC, NDCA, EDPA, EDVA, NDIL) close to their school but wants to work in another major market, i.e. in an area not near the clerkship or school? Assume no real ties to the area.

Similarly, what would be the options for a clerk who does CoA in a "flyover" area but wishes to work in a major market elsewhere?

I am trying to get a feel for how far, distance-wise, clerkships will go for a student outside the T-25.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 16, 2011 7:36 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
random5483 wrote:I skimmed the thread and did not find any of these questions. The questions might be silly, but I am a 1L interning with a federal court judge this summer, and I figure you are in a good position to answer the questions.

1. How do you do most of your research? Books/etc? WestLaw? Lexis? Combination?
2. If you use WestLaw/Lexis, are courts charged the way firms are or is it more like law school (ie. should I worry about developing efficient research skills in the next month?).

Thanks.

1. I do most of my research using Westlaw/Lexis, although I do use secondary sources (e.g., Nimmer on Copyright; Wright & Miller's Federal Practice & Procedure) a fair bit also.

2. I have no idea how the court pays for/is charged for Westlaw/Lexis access. Whatever that arrangement is, it does not affect how I use the services. Basically, I just treat both as unlimited and free, just as in law school, and do what I need to do. Efficiency is thus unimportant as a cost measure. It is, however, important in terms of getting your work done in a timely fashion.


The DDC has access to both Lexis & Westlaw, and it's a flat fee so you don't have to pay for each separate thing.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 17, 2011 2:25 am

First of all, thank you so much for this thread. I know you're less able to comment on district clerkships, so I'd invite anyone else who'd like to weigh in as well.

My situation: I'm at HLS, extremely mediocre grades (all P's with a couple of H's, maybe some more coming in from this spring), secondary journal (no masthead), no publications, 1L summer DA's office / 2L summer state AG. I have one pretty good faculty rec and two faculty recs that are just okay, and I'm expecting one very good practitioner rec from my 1L summer.

I'm going for federal district (plus magistrates and state courts), and I realize I need to apply broadly to make that happen. The problem is, most of my geographic ties lie within the N.D.Cal. It's my understanding that ties don't matter quite as much for federal clerkships, but that leaves the question of how to narrow the field a bit. On one hand, I can't think of many places I would never work in, and on the other hand, 'going home' doesn't help me a whole lot. Any help making sense of this whole process would be much appreciated!

Clurking2011
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:47 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Clurking2011 » Tue May 17, 2011 5:57 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
(5) You have answered this somewhat, but I thought I should ask it outright: Is sending a casenote that has been published alright for a writing sample (the entire note)? Or should I send something else because the note is available on westlaw and the cite is my resume?
I think many judges are completely fine with a published casenote, but I would avoid using that version if you can. If you have an earlier draft that reflects only your own writing and editing, that would be best. The whole thing is fine, too--although I think earlier in this thread I suggested breaking off a piece dedicated to legal analysis, which is something a lot of applicants do as well. Whatever you choose to do, attach a cover page explaining what the piece is about, whether it has been edited by others, etc.



If I had to choose between (1) a published casenote, which was edited by the journal's staff, or (2) an appellate brief written for a class, which do you think would be best?

Thanks in advance for any guidance!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 8:00 am

Thanks a lot for answering questions G T L Rev. Very helpful. I was wondering if you could assess my chances at federal district court. Do you think getting a clerkship for a magistrate is significantly easier than for a normal district court judge? I am planning on applying to a bunch of state court clerkships as well.

-Top quarter at T30 (3.4) with much higher GPA during 2L than 1L (and during 2L took a bunch of curved classes like admin & crim pro)
-Ed board of law review
-2L summer at DOJ
-Fall 3L externship w/ federal magistrate
-3 solid recs: 2 from professors (one for whom I was RA, one from class) and one from 1L summer job at NGO

Thanks again, I appreciate it.

Also, do you think using a write-on competition submission as a writing sample is legit? In my case it's a lot better than my LR note.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 11:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:First of all, thank you so much for this thread. I know you're less able to comment on district clerkships, so I'd invite anyone else who'd like to weigh in as well.

My situation: I'm at HLS, extremely mediocre grades (all P's with a couple of H's, maybe some more coming in from this spring), secondary journal (no masthead), no publications, 1L summer DA's office / 2L summer state AG. I have one pretty good faculty rec and two faculty recs that are just okay, and I'm expecting one very good practitioner rec from my 1L summer.

I'm going for federal district (plus magistrates and state courts), and I realize I need to apply broadly to make that happen. The problem is, most of my geographic ties lie within the N.D.Cal. It's my understanding that ties don't matter quite as much for federal clerkships, but that leaves the question of how to narrow the field a bit. On one hand, I can't think of many places I would never work in, and on the other hand, 'going home' doesn't help me a whole lot. Any help making sense of this whole process would be much appreciated!


I just went through the clerkship application process from HLS.

I would just apply everywhere in OSCAR where you would be willing to live, and then maybe be more selective with your paper applications because you need to pay for them. To be totally honest, your grades right now are on the low end for district court clerkships. Some of my friends did land clerkships with similar grades, but they usually had some kind of special connection to the judge (i.e. from an area where ties are really important or had a relative who knew the judge, etc.). OCS can give you good advice on which kinds of judges to target, but my bet would be that you should focus pretty heavily on state court and magistrate judges. (I'm sorry if that's pessimistic, just trying to be frank from what I observed in the past cycle).

Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 5:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I just went through the clerkship application process from HLS.

I would just apply everywhere in OSCAR where you would be willing to live, and then maybe be more selective with your paper applications because you need to pay for them. To be totally honest, your grades right now are on the low end for district court clerkships. Some of my friends did land clerkships with similar grades, but they usually had some kind of special connection to the judge (i.e. from an area where ties are really important or had a relative who knew the judge, etc.). OCS can give you good advice on which kinds of judges to target, but my bet would be that you should focus pretty heavily on state court and magistrate judges. (I'm sorry if that's pessimistic, just trying to be frank from what I observed in the past cycle).


No, thanks for being honest. For my grades, OCS lists Circuit/popular districts/Mass SJC as reach judges, and smaller districts/state supreme/federal specialty and magistrate as target. But then, last year in EIP I imploded due in part to listening to OCS's recommendations, so yes, I think lowballing a bit is a good idea.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 19, 2011 11:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
No, thanks for being honest. For my grades, OCS lists Circuit/popular districts/Mass SJC as reach judges, and smaller districts/state supreme/federal specialty and magistrate as target. But then, last year in EIP I imploded due in part to listening to OCS's recommendations, so yes, I think lowballing a bit is a good idea.


Have you met with Kirsten Solberg yet? If not, you should make an appointment with her. She is one of the few at OCS, at least in my experience, who really knows what she is doing and gives good, personalized advice. (And completely anecdotally, pretty much all of my friends who took her advice very seriously and applied exactly as she recommended secured clerkships, while the two of my friends who ignored her advice came up empty-handed).

Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 19, 2011 12:37 pm

did you have to undergo a background check? was it similar to the ones they do at DoJ? thanks

User avatar
npe
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby npe » Thu May 19, 2011 9:20 pm

What do you think about using a bench memo written as part of an LRW teaching assistant position as a writing sample? Don't know if it would come across as not academic enough, or if it would be viewed more positively given it was written for a "judge."

aam1980
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:04 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby aam1980 » Sun May 22, 2011 8:09 pm

Did the background check involve an employment history check? If so, how far back did it go?

Clurking2011
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:47 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Clurking2011 » Mon May 23, 2011 7:53 am

aam1980 wrote:Did the background check involve an employment history check? If so, how far back did it go?


It will go back 10 or 7 years (depending on the level of clearance required, I think) or your 18th birthday, whichever is closer to today.

aam1980
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:04 pm

Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby aam1980 » Mon May 23, 2011 5:24 pm

Thanks for responding, I guess what I am really wondering is if you fill out the form SF-85 (for a judge that doesn't require a security clearance) or if you use a different form since this is in the judiciary? I'm interested because I worked in several locations overseas before law school, and I've heard that if they have to go back far enough to reach those employers/residences then the check can take a long time and I should maybe go ahead and ask to get the ball rolling before I start in the fall? Thanks again.




Return to “Judicial Clerkships”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.