Clerks Taking Questions

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JusticeJackson
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby JusticeJackson » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:34 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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iagolives
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby iagolives » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:29 pm

GTL, you should forget about practicing after you're done and write a clerkship advice book like they have to get into top colleges and be a career counselor somewhere. I bet you'd make bank off of royalties alone! :)

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Cavalier
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Cavalier » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:11 pm

iagolives wrote:GTL, you should forget about practicing after you're done and write a clerkship advice book like they have to get into top colleges and be a career counselor somewhere. I bet you'd make bank off of royalties alone! :)

Except for the fact that there are only a few thousand people every year who can seriously consider federal clerkships.

tibahdab
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby tibahdab » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:45 am

To echo everyone else, GREAT thread! Bump.
Last edited by tibahdab on Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:03 pm

Applying as a graduate this cycle. I know judges can see my apps immediately. However, will chambers at least get an e-mail when I finalize an application? I'm trying to nail down a clerkship before a few SmallLaw firm interviews, but if these judges don't even know I'm applying, I'll need to go with paper.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:05 pm

tibahdab wrote:To echo everyone else, GREAT thread! Thanks for taking the time to answer questions.<snip>
You need to edit this post. Mission accomplished.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:50 pm

Incredible thread. Thanks so much, GTL.

So, how important is it to get something published prior to applying? As a rising 2L, I am planning my courses in the fall and am concerned that making plans to write a significant paper -- whether in a seminar or through an independent study -- will push my 2L schedule into the red and jeopardize my ability to do well this year.

My other credentials are solid -- top school, good grades, law review, great recommenders. I feel like I've jumped through so many hoops already and that 2L year is already shaping up to be exhausting without the prospect of developing a strong piece of scholarship. It doesn't help that I have little clue what to write about.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:44 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Incredible thread. Thanks so much, GTL.

So, how important is it to get something published prior to applying? As a rising 2L, I am planning my courses in the fall and am concerned that making plans to write a significant paper -- whether in a seminar or through an independent study -- will push my 2L schedule into the red and jeopardize my ability to do well this year.

My other credentials are solid -- top school, good grades, law review, great recommenders. I feel like I've jumped through so many hoops already and that 2L year is already shaping up to be exhausting without the prospect of developing a strong piece of scholarship. It doesn't help that I have little clue what to write about.

As long as the rest of your app is solid, there is no need to publish in my experience. That said, you will still need a good writing sample, which you might develop on the law review or in a seminar.


Just wanted to chime in that, after looking over dozens of judges' requirements on OSCAR today, a number of them specifically do not want an academic piece for a writing sample.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:36 pm

What do you do when your firm holds a meeting, the gyst of which is to actively discourage you from clerking? As in, offers may not be held open for clerks, as previously promised? I'm only interested in district court clerkships, as I want the trial level experience, but is this marketable?? Clerking is a dream of mine, but I don't want to lose the big law salary forever. I have crazy amounts of loans to pay back. Help.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What do you do when your firm holds a meeting, the gyst of which is to actively discourage you from clerking? As in, offers may not be held open for clerks, as previously promised? I'm only interested in district court clerkships, as I want the trial level experience, but is this marketable?? Clerking is a dream of mine, but I don't want to lose the big law salary forever. I have crazy amounts of loans to pay back. Help.


Calculated risk. If you have the credentials for biglaw, and you snag a clerkship in a competitive district (e.g. SDNY) you'll have options once you're done clerking. But if you barely snuck into biglaw or you're clerking in a flyover district, the opportunities may not be there.

On the other hand, if you really want to clerk, you could always start at your firm, spend a couple of years paying back your loans, and then leave to clerk. After that, if they really want you, they'll bring you back, or you transition to another firm/something else entirely.

Note it might be worth outing the firm. Covington tried something slightly different last summer, stating they encouraged people to go clerk only right after law school, and that they shouldn't start at the firm and leave after a year to clerk. Once word got around, they quickly doubled back.

OnceUponAMemo
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby OnceUponAMemo » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:15 am

Tagging, thanks for the advice all.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:23 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just wanted to chime in that, after looking over dozens of judges' requirements on OSCAR today, a number of them specifically do not want an academic piece for a writing sample.

District judges or COA?


As a COA clerk, would you say this is an atypical restriction as far as writing sample goes? Do you think that an applicant to COA positions can safely "plan" on using an academic piece, or would it be safer to use a more practical writing sample like a brief?

ihhwap1
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby ihhwap1 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:39 am

Tag :)

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:30 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Tangerine Gleam wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just wanted to chime in that, after looking over dozens of judges' requirements on OSCAR today, a number of them specifically do not want an academic piece for a writing sample.

District judges or COA?


As a COA clerk, would you say this is an atypical restriction as far as writing sample goes? Do you think that an applicant to COA positions can safely "plan" on using an academic piece, or would it be safer to use a more practical writing sample like a brief?

Yes, the restriction above is highly atypical for COA judges, which is why I asked. I have seen some district judges list that restriction, but never a COA judge. Anyhow, you should plan on using an academic piece as your writing sample. That is actually the safer play, at least at the high end of the clerkship market.


The only time I've seen this is for judge Briscoe on the Tenth Circuit. I had to polish up a second writing sample las year just for the opportunity to receive her rejection email.

smittytron3k
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby smittytron3k » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:38 pm

Is there an expectation that if you apply to one judge, you need to apply to the remaining judges in that court/building/chambers for purposes of propriety/respect? I've heard this about SCOTUS but don't know if it applies beyond that.

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leobowski
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby leobowski » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:18 pm

As far as the writing sample, I plan on using a publication that won an award. Is it OK to use a portion of the near-final draft, which received almost no substantive edits from the LR board? I would explain this in the cover letter.

Or should I use an earlier draft, or not use the publication at all?

Thanks in advance!

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DelDad
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby DelDad » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:03 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:That's a SCOTUS-only thing. It is both acceptable and normal to apply to only some judges on a particular circuit or district.



One other particular state court exception - Delaware Court of Chancery likes applicants to apply to all five members.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:16 pm

I know alumni clerkship hiring is the hot thing now. How many years do people usually spend as an associate before leaving for a clerkship?

I didn't apply as a 2L, but I'm in the top few percent at a CCN, law review but no board and my comment was preempted before I could get published. I'm currently summering in biglaw but I'm not sure how happy I am with my firm. I'm interested in tax, and am just starting to consider using a clerkship as a springboard to a different and more competitive firm that just isn't looking for any rising 3Ls in tax this year (as far as I know, so far). I'm assuming any competitive district court, any circuit court, or the tax court would help with that?

Thanks, I appreciate the advice.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:28 pm

Also interested in clerking as an alum. I'm probably going to graduate in the top ten (students, not percent), potentially top five, from a top fourteen law school. It seems that I've missed most if not all of the big name circuit court judges, except the DC Circuit which I'm unlikely to get, and so I'm thinking it might make more sense to wait a couple years and then apply rather than go for a clerkship that doesn't really interest me (I'd rather just go straight to big law and make money). But I also don't want to temporarily leave big law and then find it difficult to return. Maybe I should wait and see how the economy does; presumably leaving after a couple years for a clerkship won't be as risky if hiring picks up.

JusticeJackson
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby JusticeJackson » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:42 pm

.....
Last edited by JusticeJackson on Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:06 am

As far as using externship memos, is it crucial, would you say, that the case be very hard? So my problem is that I like none of my papers, comments or notes. (The papers are A papers, but still, not very good.) Fortunately for purposes of finding a writing sample, though not so fortunately for my resume, I've done two COA internships where I wrote a ton of memos. And in the second one, I had a very good clerk who insisted on maniacally editing anything I wrote before the Judge saw it. So, what I have out of that externship is very polished. However, the cases weren't terrifically hard. Perhaps the most complex was an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, where petitioner argued that his appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to argue that the trial court made several erroneous evidentiary rulings. AEDPA being what it is, I had to jump through a lot of hoops as to standard of review; the state court opinion we were reviewing was very curt and cited another state court opinion for its standard, and that opinion in turn contained no majority opinion, but two pluralities, one of which was contrary to and one of which wasn't. Normally the narrower, correct one would probably control, but that plurality was so confusing that subsequent state court opinions citing the case ignored it and relied on the plurality that was contrary. Then after I dealt with that I had to deal with Strickland and the prejudice to the appeal, which came down to the harmless error standard prevailing in Michigan in 1993... so, there was, I guess, a fair amount of stuff going on there. In the previous externship, however, I wrote a mammoth memo on a circuit split as to whether minute modifications to BIA orders render them non-final for purposes of appellate review, thereby forcing a petitioner to file a new notice of appeal from the modified order. That memo probably isn't so polished, but the issues are more demanding and interesting, as dull as that issue sounds, and I suppose I could try to edit it. So that's question #1.

Question #2 is the typical "what are my chances." As stated above, I have the dismal summer experience of the two COA externships, though both judges will say glowing things about me if and when they're called by colleagues. The good news is top 1% grades at Georgetown, and that I'm ME of my secondary. Unfortunately, my secondary is so mismanaged that I have no idea whether my note's getting published or not. Oh, and I transferred. Obviously I had good grades back there. My recommenders are (1) a COA nominee/professor for whom I did absurd amounts of RA work, (2) a very connected liberal professor who will make calls and wrote a nice letter about my touching childhood adversities (namely, a mental disability that impaired my coordination to the point where I couldn't ride a bike, play soccer, tie my shoes, etc.), and (3) a Ct. of Fed. Cl. Judge. I have worked in two circuits, one of which is in my hometown, so there is a pretty strong geographical connection to one. I also have a 1L prof who's calling the D.C. Circuit judge he clerked for, on top of the recommender who already offered to call the same judge.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:39 pm

I have a dilemma.

I interviewed with an off-plan judge last week, and was told I would hear back in a few weeks. My school has a deadline coming up for me to get them my paper apps and pay for them all (about $100). Is it appropriate for me to email the judge to follow-up, and let him know that I have a deadline coming (in the nicest way possible)? I don't want to spend $100 possibly unnecessarily. I also don't want to come off like I am presuming I got the position.

Help!

nymario
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby nymario » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:46 pm

Pay the $100 jeez. If you're in play for an off-plan judge, that is peanuts over your career. It's really nothing. Following up for this purpose is a bad idea in my opinion.

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Cavalier
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Cavalier » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:52 pm

I agree; just suck it up and pay. The only reason to ask for an expedited decision is if you already have another offer with a deadline, from what I've heard.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerk, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:04 pm

My school has a stated policy that clerks must accept clerkship offers on the spot. Obviously this suits the school for future-clerk hiring, but I could see it being a big problem come hiring season. I have heard horror stories of students taking clerkships in random districts only to receive offers days later for their desired districts. Does anyone have thoughts about how to approach this situation?




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