Clerks Taking Questions

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ndirish2010
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ok, this is likely a silly question, but I am losing my mind here over a clerkship that I interviewed for. I graduated from a T6 with mediocre grades. Even though I would like to clerk, I didn't expect to get many interviews when I started applying because of my grades and lack of journal. I have gotten 6 interviews (a surprise), one of those is in a reasonably prestigious district (a major surprise). During that interview, I really got along with everyone in chambers, it is easily my top choice, etc.

Nonetheless, I am still surprised that I got the interview in the first place given that there must have been tons of competition. The Judge mentioned that she was interviewing one other person and set a deadline for getting back to me that has now passed (but chambers was clearly very busy, so whatever). After an interview, what tends to be the deciding factor? Is it purely fit? Or do grades and journal experience still play some role? I'm sure it is somewhat idiosyncratic and obviously the judge would not have called me in for an interview if she couldn't see hiring me. But say you had 2 candidates who each had good interviews-- one with stellar credentials and the other with mediocre ones-- how heavily do those credentials weigh at that point?


I mean, I doubt my district judge would have called someone in to interview if he would not have hired that person. So my usual thought is that the interview matters more. However, it could be that the other candidate had much better stats than you and so the burden was really on you to outperform that candidate. Each judge is likely different at this stage.

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mjb447
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby mjb447 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:57 pm

The interview matters more at this stage. I'd probably go even further: given the pool of applicants that district judges usually have access to, I don't think many interview applicants whose credentials place them in a severe uphill battle that the interview has to overcome. If you weren't basically on a level playing field with the other candidates, it's very unlikely that you would have been interviewed. I think it could matter as a tiebreaker or at the margins, but it's probably not very meaningful at this stage.

Anyway, it sounds like there's not much you can do at this point but wait (and kudos for letting the deadline pass without checking in with chambers: no one forgets about the person they want to hire).

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:31 pm

.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Boltsfan
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Boltsfan » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is there a source where I can find the judicial assistant's email of a chamber by any chance? Judicial Yellow Book is only showing me the judge, clerk, and court room deputy... I assume the last position isn't the same as the judicial assistant.

What question are you going to ask? For most questions, emailing the clerk would be fine. Also, you can always call chambers--the JA will likely pick up the phone.


It's a notice regarding a pending deadline with another offer and a general follow up -- the judge has expressed that he/she would be in touch by now. Would it be appropriate to email the clerk who was in touch with me to set up the interview then? I feel uncomfortable contacting the judge directly.


Call chambers or email a clerk. Do not email the judge because (1) he or she is busy and (2) your email will probably get lost/ignored.

Boltsfan
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Boltsfan » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ok, this is likely a silly question, but I am losing my mind here over a clerkship that I interviewed for. I graduated from a T6 with mediocre grades. Even though I would like to clerk, I didn't expect to get many interviews when I started applying because of my grades and lack of journal. I have gotten 6 interviews (a surprise), one of those is in a reasonably prestigious district (a major surprise). During that interview, I really got along with everyone in chambers, it is easily my top choice, etc.

Nonetheless, I am still surprised that I got the interview in the first place given that there must have been tons of competition. The Judge mentioned that she was interviewing one other person and set a deadline for getting back to me that has now passed (but chambers was clearly very busy, so whatever). After an interview, what tends to be the deciding factor? Is it purely fit? Or do grades and journal experience still play some role? I'm sure it is somewhat idiosyncratic and obviously the judge would not have called me in for an interview if she couldn't see hiring me. But say you had 2 candidates who each had good interviews-- one with stellar credentials and the other with mediocre ones-- how heavily do those credentials weigh at that point?


I don't think there is a single answer to this question for every judge or even for every individual clerk hire from a single judge. My COA judge cares very highly about credentials and has commented to me after we interviewed a person that, while he liked the person, he isn't comfortable hiring someone who wasn't on the journal or who didn't have enough Hs/A+s. Just getting the interview is important, and doing well at the interview is certainly necessary, but the fact that you had what you felt was a good interview is not sufficient in my experience.

Other judges likely won't even call you in for an interview unless you are good enough on paper, so take my anecdote for what its worth.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:24 pm

This might be my neurosis (probably is) but is the fact that the judge had not yet read my writing sample a sign that he/she was not that interested in hiring me even before the interview? the judge let this slip during the interview... :(

lawman84
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby lawman84 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This might be my neurosis (probably is) but is the fact that the judge had not yet read my writing sample a sign that he/she was not that interested in hiring me even before the interview? the judge let this slip during the interview... :(


Think about it like this...do you think the judge had something better to do with his or her time than interview you? If the answer is yes, why would the judge interview a candidate he or she was not interested in hiring?

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runinthefront
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby runinthefront » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This might be my neurosis (probably is) but is the fact that the judge had not yet read my writing sample a sign that he/she was not that interested in hiring me even before the interview? the judge let this slip during the interview... :(

why would the judge waste their time interviewing you if the judge wasn't interested. maybe the judge is busy. maybe your application is strong enough that it was worth it to interview you even without having read your resume.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:33 pm

also if the judge decides you're not a good fit based on the interview, they don't have to waste any time reading the writing sample.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:40 pm

I'm interviewing for DOJ ATR, but the interview will almost certainly be after I would hear back from a SSC interview. Ultimately, I want DOJ, but would prefer civil (especially commercial or fedp) over ATR. Should I withdraw from SSC? State is one of PA/NJ/NY.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:37 pm

Those states are very different. I would be embarrassed to say I clerked on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The other 2 are legit courts.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Those states are very different. I would be embarrassed to say I clerked on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The other 2 are legit courts.

Well that's kind of a snotty thing to say. I get the distinction you're making but there are better ways to put it, and different people have different goals.

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ronanOgara
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby ronanOgara » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:02 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Those states are very different. I would be embarrassed to say I clerked on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The other 2 are legit courts.

Well that's kind of a snotty thing to say. I get the distinction you're making but there are better ways to put it, and different people have different goals.


He might be referring to the recent scandals that have involved the PA Supreme Court, but that still doesn't take away from the general snottiness of his post.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:08 pm

Yeah, I figured there may have been something more specific being referred to, but I still think it could have been put differently.

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ronanOgara
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby ronanOgara » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:14 pm

Couple justices sent pornographic/inappropriate stuff via email and got busted--were removed/resigned. Embarrassing for the Court but I think it's a stretch to say you'd be embarrassed to be a clerk there. It's still a very prestigious SSC.

Also, poster is a wuss for going anon on such a dumb comment.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:36 pm

Above anon. I did not mean to be snotty wrt "prestige" or anything of the kind. The PA court is elected in a partisan manner and the recent scandals show the jurists it is stocked with to be nothing more than backwoods, junior varsity political hacks.

No doubt Anony knows my username and thus also knows from my previous posts that I am clerking on a flyover SSC, so the generic prestige of a court is not something I overvalue.

Edit: it's also not just the porn scandals. One of the justices also illegally used her court staff to work on her re-election campaign.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:32 pm

Original Anon: It is PA. Yeah, some are partisan hacks, but the justice I interviewed with is prestigious in background (YLS - DCCIR - Williams & Connolly - Partner in Major PA Firm). And I could deal with being in that state long term.

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rpupkin
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Original Anon: It is PA. Yeah, some are partisan hacks, but the justice I interviewed with is prestigious in background (YLS - DCCIR - Williams & Connolly - Partner in Major PA Firm). And I could deal with being in that state long term.

The bolded is the only thing that really matters. In general, a state supreme court clerkship is not "prestigious" in some abstract sense. Sure, there are a small handful of state supreme court justices who are viewed like federal COA judges, but there the prestige lies in clerking for the individual judge, not the court itself.

A Pennsylvania supreme court clerkship is great if you want to practice in Pennsylvania. A New Jersey supreme court clerkship is great if your want to practice in New Jersey. Beyond that, I think it's pretty silly to get caught up in comparing the relative "prestige" of the various state supreme courts.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:41 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Original Anon: It is PA. Yeah, some are partisan hacks, but the justice I interviewed with is prestigious in background (YLS - DCCIR - Williams & Connolly - Partner in Major PA Firm). And I could deal with being in that state long term.

The bolded is the only thing that really matters. In general, a state supreme court clerkship is not "prestigious" in some abstract sense. Sure, there are a small handful of state supreme court justices who are viewed like federal COA judges, but there the prestige lies in clerking for the individual judge, not the court itself.

A Pennsylvania supreme court clerkship is great if you want to practice in Pennsylvania. A New Jersey supreme court clerkship is great if your want to practice in New Jersey. Beyond that, I think it's pretty silly to get caught up in comparing the relative prestige of the various state supreme courts.


Original Anon: Another one of my goals would be to try to use the connection to get a subsequent clerkship with a PA District Court Judge. Thoughts on that? Particularly since the PA district courts are very depleted right now (and if HRC/Dems win, there will likely be lots of appointments in the next 12 months).

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:23 pm

Legit question. How do you find motivation in early 2L to keep lawlschooling for another 1.5 years after locking up clerkship + SA? Dreams of SCOTUS? Fear of revoked offer?

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ArtistOfManliness
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Legit question. How do you find motivation in early 2L to keep lawlschooling for another 1.5 years after locking up clerkship + SA? Dreams of SCOTUS? Fear of revoked offer?


I didn't.

Boltsfan
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Boltsfan » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Legit question. How do you find motivation in early 2L to keep lawlschooling for another 1.5 years after locking up clerkship + SA? Dreams of SCOTUS? Fear of revoked offer?


You haven't received an offer from your SA firm yet. You may also not want to return to your SA firm even if you do receive an offer. In either scenario, cratering your grades is not likely to be in your best interest.

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rpupkin
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Legit question. How do you find motivation in early 2L to keep lawlschooling for another 1.5 years after locking up clerkship + SA? Dreams of SCOTUS? Fear of revoked offer?

Hint: you may not want to work at your SA firm for the rest of your life.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:55 pm

Yeah, you're not set for life yet. (You whippersnappers who get clerkships before 2L, I didn't get hired for a federal clerkship until after I graduated, grumble grumble get offa my lawn.)

But also if you find lawlschooling hard without the immediate pressure of getting a SA/clerkship you're probably not going to like having an actual job.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:08 am

If a judge offers the choice between an in-person and a Skype interview, is it generally better to interview in-person?




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