Clerks Taking Questions

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bk1
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby bk1 » Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:08 am

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

Generally yes, though some judges will push you towards Skype.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:55 am

I'm sure this has been asked and answered, but I looked through this thread and couldn't find anything, so I'll ask it again. What are clerkship interviews like/how can I best prepare? I'm a 2L interviewing for CoA this coming week.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm sure this has been asked and answered, but I looked through this thread and couldn't find anything, so I'll ask it again. What are clerkship interviews like/how can I best prepare? I'm a 2L interviewing for CoA this coming week.


Ask your clerkship office for a handbook, which they probably have.

Your biggest priority now is talking to former clerks to get a sense of what the interview will be like. Some judges and their clerks are just getting to know you (what do you read for fun?), while some want to see you squirm (was lochner correctly decided?). Reach out to alums first, but non-alums are still very helpful and happy to help out generally.

Non-substantively, prepare for typical interview questions, kind of like OCI.

Substantively, read the most-cited Westlaw opinions of the judge, and a few recent ones. It will be helpful to know and be able to draw on/discuss your favorite/least favorite SCOTUS justices and why; your favorite/least favorite SCOTUS cases and why; and your theory of statutory and constitutional interpretation. I think the last is particularly helpful, because if/when you get thrown a curveball by one of the clerks, you can use your first principles to answer the question.

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mjb447
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby mjb447 » Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote: Your biggest priority now is talking to former clerks to get a sense of what the interview will be like. Some judges and their clerks are just getting to know you (what do you read for fun?), while some want to see you squirm (was lochner correctly decided?). Reach out to alums first, but non-alums are still very helpful and happy to help out generally.

This, if you can. Any of the other things this anon said (and more) can come up, and the best way to have a decent idea is to try to find judge-specific information.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:08 am

3L didn't get offer from SA firm (wasn't big law). Didn't end on a bad note just didn't have the resources to higher everyone. Was wondering what my chances were at getting a judicial clerkship and in what level courts?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:3L didn't get offer from SA firm (wasn't big law). Didn't end on a bad note just didn't have the resources to higher everyone. Was wondering what my chances were at getting a judicial clerkship and in what level courts?

Where are you at school and what are your grades?

Boltsfan
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Boltsfan » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm sure this has been asked and answered, but I looked through this thread and couldn't find anything, so I'll ask it again. What are clerkship interviews like/how can I best prepare? I'm a 2L interviewing for CoA this coming week.


As others have noted, it varies wildly with the judge. I advise at least reading a few of your judge's prominent opinions. I didn't have any substantive questions come up during my interview, but I've heard they do happen. Depending on how long your judge has been on the bench, see if you can find some former clerks that can give you some tips. I was able to reach out to attorneys at my SA firm (before my SA since I was in the same boat as you are in) who had clerked for my judge, so maybe try that in addition to your school's alumni.

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rpupkin
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:3L didn't get offer from SA firm (wasn't big law). Didn't end on a bad note just didn't have the resources to higher everyone. Was wondering what my chances were at getting a judicial clerkship and in what level courts?

District-Court Clerkship: 25%
COA Clerkship: 10%
SCOTUS Clerkship: 5%

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mjb447
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby mjb447 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:00 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:3L didn't get offer from SA firm (wasn't big law). Didn't end on a bad note just didn't have the resources to higher everyone. Was wondering what my chances were at getting a judicial clerkship and in what level courts?

District-Court Clerkship: 25%
COA Clerkship: 10%
SCOTUS Clerkship: 5%

+2% if you send a thank-you note post interview. :lol:

RaceJudicata
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:21 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:3L didn't get offer from SA firm (wasn't big law). Didn't end on a bad note just didn't have the resources to higher everyone. Was wondering what my chances were at getting a judicial clerkship and in what level courts?

District-Court Clerkship: 25%
COA Clerkship: 10%
SCOTUS Clerkship: 5%


I think the percentages are better this year. Clerkship highering is up this year.

grixxlybear99
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby grixxlybear99 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:00 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:3L didn't get offer from SA firm (wasn't big law). Didn't end on a bad note just didn't have the resources to higher everyone. Was wondering what my chances were at getting a judicial clerkship and in what level courts?

District-Court Clerkship: 25%
COA Clerkship: 10%
SCOTUS Clerkship: 5%


I think the percentages are better this year. Clerkship highering is up this year.


You have a higher chance of being hired by a higher level judge if you demonstrate an ability to discern what context to use the term hire and higher

run26.2
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby run26.2 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:34 am

RaceJudicata wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:3L didn't get offer from SA firm (wasn't big law). Didn't end on a bad note just didn't have the resources to higher everyone. Was wondering what my chances were at getting a judicial clerkship and in what level courts?

District-Court Clerkship: 25%
COA Clerkship: 10%
SCOTUS Clerkship: 5%


I think the percentages are better this year. Clerkship highering is up this year.

True. But OP is asking about last year.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:52 am

Accepted a 2017-18 COA clerkship last year. Judge said I'd start sometime in august or sepetember--he didn't know. When's the appropriate time to ask him for a start date? Now? January? Would he even know at this time, or is the start date determined by something else?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:07 pm

Often it's based on what the outgoing clerk wants to do - when their next gig starts and how long they want to work (I know of
situations where someone wanted to work the first day of September because that got them health insurance for the whole month, for instance). I think my start date got settled in April when I started thinking about housing. If you have a specific reason you need to know, I think it's fair to ask about it whenever. Otherwise I would probably wait until closer to spring. Also, if you have any of the current clerks' contact info, you could probably reach out to one of them.

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BVest
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby BVest » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:43 pm

I'd contact the JA and say I understand the start date is not yet determined but to please let you know as soon as s/he knows what it would be so you can plan accordingly. ETA: but Nony's advice may be better.

wwwcol
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby wwwcol » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:25 pm

How much guidance do y'all get from your judge on a day-to-day basis? I'm thinking about close motions, e.g. a 12b6 right on the edge of plausibility or a 56 right on the edge of reasonable? Do you usually dciuss the outcome with the judge before you start writing an order? Edit: didn't mean to exclude appellate clerks-interested in hearing from you too.
Last edited by wwwcol on Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:41 pm

Varies quite a bit between judges. With my judge, usually at the outset I'll get a very brief instruction ("looks like a grant/denial"). If it ends up looking close or like more input is necessary after some research, I'll check back in, sometimes with a completed draft (if it's not too hard and I think having something concrete to work with will be useful) and sometimes without.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:39 am

I go over everything on my own and provide a recommendation for the judge. But if I'm not sure, I'll say I'm not sure, and ask to talk about it. My judge is pretty casual though.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:45 pm

This might be a dumb question, but I know there is a limit of four years of clerking for term clerks. Does a SCOTUS clerkship count towards that? My assumption is yes. But I wasn't sure if you could clerk for four years and then take a SCOTUS clerkship.(if my assumption proves correct, I guess you couldn't)

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mjb447
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby mjb447 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:58 pm

Not a dumb question, as I've never seen anything expressly addressing your question. Since I've never seen an exception noted, though, the official answer is probably yes.

(I also suspect that there's little overlap in the Venn diagram of "people who wish to clerk for more than four years years" and "people with SCOTUS clerk credentials.")

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Emma.
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Emma. » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:06 pm

Pretty sure you just can't get paid for more than 4 years of federal clerking. I'd imagine if you have used all four years but a Justice wants to hire you you just work for free that year.

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ArtistOfManliness
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:16 pm

Pretty sure if a justice wants to hire someone, they'll amend the rule right quick.

lawlorbust
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby lawlorbust » Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:21 pm

mjb447 wrote:Not a dumb question, as I've never seen anything expressly addressing your question. Since I've never seen an exception noted, though, the official answer is probably yes.

(I also suspect that there's little overlap in the Venn diagram of "people who wish to clerk for more than four years years" and "people with SCOTUS clerk credentials.")


My natural thought about what goes behind the question is someone trying to bootstrap clerkships, e.g., something like D.S.D.->S.D.N.Y.->CA2->CADC->SCOTUS. Obviously, that doesn't happen. People who become SCOTUS clerks don't take four prior clerkships to end up there.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:33 pm

lawlorbust wrote:
mjb447 wrote:Not a dumb question, as I've never seen anything expressly addressing your question. Since I've never seen an exception noted, though, the official answer is probably yes.

(I also suspect that there's little overlap in the Venn diagram of "people who wish to clerk for more than four years years" and "people with SCOTUS clerk credentials.")


My natural thought about what goes behind the question is someone trying to bootstrap clerkships, e.g., something like D.S.D.->S.D.N.Y.->CA2->CADC->SCOTUS. Obviously, that doesn't happen. People who become SCOTUS clerks don't take four prior clerkships to end up there.


I mainly asked because the scenario I was thinking about was a two-year D. Ct. clerkship to the Rakoff/Katzmann joint clerkship. Was more curious than anything.

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mjb447
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby mjb447 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:57 pm

lawlorbust wrote:My natural thought about what goes behind the question is someone trying to bootstrap clerkships, e.g., something like D.S.D.->S.D.N.Y.->CA2->CADC->SCOTUS. Obviously, that doesn't happen. People who become SCOTUS clerks don't take four prior clerkships to end up there.

Makes sense, especially given how helpful prior clerking experience generally is in applying for another clerkship (going MJ -> DJ, DJ -> COA, COA -> SCOTUS, or less competitive court -> more competitive court). Most people probably wouldn't even apply to a second clerkship that wasn't some kind of step up. It's just that someone who has the credentials to wind up at SCOTUS skips most of the earlier steps: it's not really an 'up from the mailroom' kind of thing.

Anonymous User wrote:I mainly asked because the scenario I was thinking about was a two-year D. Ct. clerkship to the Rakoff/Katzmann joint clerkship. Was more curious than anything.

Yeah, it's an interesting question, and I'm not sure there's a definitive answer - as ArtistOfManliness pointed out, SCOTUS may be able to get what it wants notwithstanding the current policy. I'd also hope that someone in that position would have the foresight not to take a two-year district court clerkship. Anyway, it's not something I'll ever really have to think seriously about. :D




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