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traydeuce
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am looking to get my resume ready to send out for clerkships next month. Is the undergrad gpa suppose to be on resume? My undergrad gpa is 3.74, also magna cum laude, phi beta kappa at top private school. I'm beginning to think if I take off the gpa and just have magna cum laude, phi beta kappa, it will look better?? Thoughts. Thanks.


Leave the college GPA off the resume (while keeping the law on) - some judges, however, will want a college transcript. It's on you, as an off-plan applicant, to find out which ones they are.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:01 am

Is it disingenuous to list yourself as EIC of your journal if you are a co-EIC?

traydeuce
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:03 am

Just whatever the title says on the masthead would be my rule. You're AN editor in chief if that's what the masthead calls you, just as an articles editor is AN articles editor, not a co-articles editor. But if you get asked about what you do in interviews, I'd mention that you have a co-EIC. Someone just may have seen it and you'll sound dishonest if you talk about yourself as if you're the only one.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:35 pm

In cover letter, does applicants name & contact information go to the right (above & opposite side of Judge address block) or the left (same said as Judge adress block).

Also : after applicant's name, address & phone number, does applicant also put their email address?

thank you!

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:In cover letter, does applicants name & contact information go to the right (above & opposite side of Judge address block) or the left (same said as Judge adress block).

Also : after applicant's name, address & phone number, does applicant also put their email address?

thank you!

(1) Doesn't matter re: which side - just make it look nice, clean, and professional

(2) yes, you should include your email address

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kalvano
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby kalvano » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:56 pm

More for state than federal courts...UVA's guide says that it's not that important to try and establish a regional tie, or to impress upon a judge why you wish to be there.

Is that generally true, or is it better to provide at least a little bit of why you are applying somewhere across the country? Does it change anything if you have no real ties to a place?

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quiver
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby quiver » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:36 pm

kalvano wrote:More for state than federal courts...UVA's guide says that it's not that important to try and establish a regional tie, or to impress upon a judge why you wish to be there.

Is that generally true, or is it better to provide at least a little bit of why you are applying somewhere across the country? Does it change anything if you have no real ties to a place?
Yeah I second this question. Our clerkship office told us that bare bones is the way to go (much like GTL's sample resume). I feel like I should, at the very least, describe my regional ties when I apply to judges in my home district. Is that advisable? What about judges where I have less ties, for example where I went to undergrad. Should I include a short paragraph for that? And, as kalvano asked, what about areas where you have no ties?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:05 pm

quiver wrote:
kalvano wrote:More for state than federal courts...UVA's guide says that it's not that important to try and establish a regional tie, or to impress upon a judge why you wish to be there.

Is that generally true, or is it better to provide at least a little bit of why you are applying somewhere across the country? Does it change anything if you have no real ties to a place?
Yeah I second this question. Our clerkship office told us that bare bones is the way to go (much like GTL's sample resume). I feel like I should, at the very least, describe my regional ties when I apply to judges in my home district. Is that advisable? What about judges where I have less ties, for example where I went to undergrad. Should I include a short paragraph for that? And, as kalvano asked, what about areas where you have no ties?


Yes, I think you should establish a tie where it is not obvious, especially as in all the examples above where you have a tie but it is not obvious but not insignificant enough where it looks like you are scrambling for a tie....but will.... refer question to the experts-GTL, traydeuce etc...
My problem is do you show ties when your ties are obvious as in:
...city you were born & raised (no one really knows this by my resume though) is the very same where you go to law school, very same city that you are SA, and same city you are applying to clerk. I would like to put the ties sentence in, but is it like duh! why did you put that in? Thanks, all!

traydeuce
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:12 pm

In my apps to Philly judges, I think I said something about wanting to return home to clerk. But I didn't go to Penn; obviously you can't use that line if you went to school in your hometown. I don't think that the redundancy of a "hey, I went to school here/am from here" ties sentence is too harmful, but if you can write it, you'd be better off just adding the information they don't already know. Perhaps one way of acknowledging the redundancy/making it less redundant is saying "in addition to going to school in x city, I was born and raised here." Since once you're on the topic of ties, it does seem a little weird not to mention the others, even though they're obvious.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:01 am

traydeuce wrote:In my apps to Philly judges, I think I said something about wanting to return home to clerk. But I didn't go to Penn; obviously you can't use that line if you went to school in your hometown. I don't think that the redundancy of a "hey, I went to school here/am from here" ties sentence is too harmful, but if you can write it, you'd be better off just adding the information they don't already know. Perhaps one way of acknowledging the redundancy/making it less redundant is saying "in addition to going to school in x city, I was born and raised here." Since once you're on the topic of ties, it does seem a little weird not to mention the others, even though they're obvious.


That is brilliant, Tray! Thank you for taking the time to figure that out for me!

For Kalvano & Quiver above, I found an old response from GTL on this thread that may help you:

Making the most of your local ties, including writing multiple cover letters, each emphasizing a different set of geographic connections (e.g., one letter for judges in Memphis explaining that you grew up there and have family in the area; another to judges in Boston mentioning your SA job at Ropes & intention to practice in Boston after graduation).

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kalvano
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby kalvano » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:40 am

I can see that. I guess my question is more geared towards places with no ties...is it better to try and make up something, even something tenuous, like I would for a firm, or do judges not care that much? The UVA thing mentions how firms want you for several years, but judges want for 1-2 and you're done, so ties don't mean as much.

So if I have to stretch it for ties, is it best to just leave it alone, or should I mention that I want to stay in the state afterwards?

traydeuce
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:12 am

We're not state clerks, unfortunately. For federal, they get that you want a federal clerkship because it's a federal clerkship. But with state courts, my and I think your intuition is that they look for ties. (For all I know, they make you take the bar in that state before clerking.) That said, I assume you're not carpet-bombing the 50 state supreme courts, that you're choosing courts and judges to apply to for some reason, so why not, at the least, state what those are? An interest in a particular judge is just as or more compelling than a tie to his jurisdiction.

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quiver
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby quiver » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:08 am

traydeuce wrote:We're not state clerks, unfortunately. For federal, they get that you want a federal clerkship because it's a federal clerkship.
So (for federal clerkships) it's better to go with a bare bones approach and not mention ties at all if you have no connection to an area? If we have no ties to the area should we mention why we want to clerk for that specific judge or, again, is it better to just go bare bones?

Just want to clarify and make sure

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legalese_retard
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby legalese_retard » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:11 am

kalvano wrote:More for state than federal courts...UVA's guide says that it's not that important to try and establish a regional tie, or to impress upon a judge why you wish to be there.

Is that generally true, or is it better to provide at least a little bit of why you are applying somewhere across the country? Does it change anything if you have no real ties to a place?


I think regional ties are more important for judges in remote or "flyover" districts. If you are applying to a clerkship in Chicago, I don't think establishing a local connection is as important as if you were applying for a clerkship in Oklahoma City. If you have a connection to a big city and applying to clerkships there, I don't think it will hurt to mention that in a cover letter.

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ggocat
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby ggocat » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:24 am

kalvano wrote:I can see that. I guess my question is more geared towards places with no ties...is it better to try and make up something, even something tenuous, like I would for a firm, or do judges not care that much? The UVA thing mentions how firms want you for several years, but judges want for 1-2 and you're done, so ties don't mean as much.

So if I have to stretch it for ties, is it best to just leave it alone, or should I mention that I want to stay in the state afterwards?

I would not make something up or add something tenuous. You risk looking disingenuous. If your grades / creds are a little better (maybe on par) compared to students at the local schools, I think you will have a shot regardless of the ties.

But as trayduece mentioned, I believe a number of state courts (mine included) want you to take that state's bar exam. If you plan to do so, mention that in the cover letter.

I'm not a fed clerk but interned with several fed courts and went through the off-plan process. My understanding from the process was that most federal judges do not care a great deal about ties (especially in large cities), but some judges in smaller/"flyover" districts care a great deal. Judges are people with different opinions; universal advice is difficult to provide.

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gotmilk?
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby gotmilk? » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:48 pm

Should publications listed on my resume be fully bluebooked? For some things the Bluebook provides a decent citation, but for some other types of publications, it just looks long and clunky.

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kalvano
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby kalvano » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:29 pm

traydeuce wrote:We're not state clerks, unfortunately.



I know, and I appreciate your efforts. I'm somewhat wary of those "guide to" whatever from schools, and even if your federal experience is somewhat different than state, I trust what you and GTL have to say far more.

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Doritos
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Doritos » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:28 pm

This question must have been asked at some point but I can't find it after searching. What if a judge wants to interview you during your summer associateship? Are firms usually OK with this? I imagine taking time off during the week is usually a no-no but do firms make an exception for interviewing with off-plan judges?

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:38 pm

Doritos wrote:This question must have been asked at some point but I can't find it after searching. What if a judge wants to interview you during your summer associateship? Are firms usually OK with this? I imagine taking time off during the week is usually a no-no but do firms make an exception for interviewing with off-plan judges?


Depends on the firm. If a firm is generally supportive of clerkships, then they should certainly let you have time off. I don't know of anyone at a major DC firm who had issues this past summer taking some time off for clerkships interviews. I have heard of some firms, however, reserving the right to dock a day of pay if you miss a full day.

traydeuce
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:02 pm

Here's my completely uninformed sense of where ties matter in federal apps and where they don't. (After all, I only have one clerkship and sent one form cover letter to everyone, except for judges from my hometown.) I don't think COA judges care a lot. This goes for COA judges in Oklahoma City just as well as it does for Posner. But if you're applying to a COA judge in Oklahoma and you have some really solid tie to Oklahoma, it doesn't hurt to mention it. That said, only mention things that really would be solid plus factors, don't go fishing for them because you don't have to. Districts are different. A district judge is part of his city's legal community in a way that a COA judge often isn't (maybe 80% of COA judges never hear a case in the city in which they have their chambers); he may like to know that you intend to be a part of that legal community too. With district judges, take more time thinking about ties. But remember: you may apply to hundreds of judges, so you're not going to have time to write tons of tailored letters.

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quiver
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby quiver » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:05 pm

traydeuce wrote:Here's my completely uninformed sense of where ties matter in federal apps and where they don't. (After all, I only have one clerkship and sent one form cover letter to everyone, except for judges from my hometown.) I don't think COA judges care a lot. This goes for COA judges in Oklahoma City just as well as it does for Posner. But if you're applying to a COA judge in Oklahoma and you have some really solid tie to Oklahoma, it doesn't hurt to mention it. That said, only mention things that really would be solid plus factors, don't go fishing for them because you don't have to. Districts are different. A district judge is part of his city's legal community in a way that a COA judge often isn't (maybe 80% of COA judges never hear a case in the city in which they have their chambers); he may like to know that you intend to be a part of that legal community too. With district judges, take more time thinking about ties. But remember: you may apply to hundreds of judges, so you're not going to have time to write tons of tailored letters.
Interesting. Unfortunately I'll only be applying to on-plan district courts this year and have ties to only three districts (one of which is extremely competitive). I'm planning on applying broadly and, while I don't have ties to any of the others, should I include a sentence or two about my interest in their city/area? I don't care about the time to tailor cover letters; I'll write cover letters 24/7 if it gives me a better chance at an AIII clerkship.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:12 pm

quiver wrote:
traydeuce wrote:Here's my completely uninformed sense of where ties matter in federal apps and where they don't. (After all, I only have one clerkship and sent one form cover letter to everyone, except for judges from my hometown.) I don't think COA judges care a lot. This goes for COA judges in Oklahoma City just as well as it does for Posner. But if you're applying to a COA judge in Oklahoma and you have some really solid tie to Oklahoma, it doesn't hurt to mention it. That said, only mention things that really would be solid plus factors, don't go fishing for them because you don't have to. Districts are different. A district judge is part of his city's legal community in a way that a COA judge often isn't (maybe 80% of COA judges never hear a case in the city in which they have their chambers); he may like to know that you intend to be a part of that legal community too. With district judges, take more time thinking about ties. But remember: you may apply to hundreds of judges, so you're not going to have time to write tons of tailored letters.
Interesting. Unfortunately I'll only be applying to on-plan district courts this year and have ties to only three districts (one of which is extremely competitive). I'm planning on applying broadly and, while I don't have ties to any of the others, should I include a sentence or two about my interest in their city/area? I don't care about the time to tailor cover letters; I'll write cover letters 24/7 if it gives me a better chance at an AIII clerkship.


From my experience, which is admittedly very limited (internship with district court judge), traydeuce is pretty accurate regarding D.Ct. judges. Many are local and/or went to school local. If you have just crazy stats, you might be able to get your app pulled. But at least where I worked, average stats (HAHAHA. By average I mean top 10-20% at good schools) would not get pulled without a tie. So while it certainly won't not hurt to try to show some interest (within reason, and without totally BSing), it is unlikely to be extremely effective.

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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:07 pm

I have a writing sample that is only 5-6 pages (double-spaced TNR) and it is in the form of an appellate brief. However, it parses fairly dense and recent Supreme Court precedent. I have other, longer writing samples as well, but they address considerably easier state law issues. I know common wisdom says that you should not use a brief for your writing sample if you can avoid it-- but I don't have anything else. Which of the above should I use?

traydeuce
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have a writing sample that is only 5-6 pages (double-spaced TNR) and it is in the form of an appellate brief. However, it parses fairly dense and recent Supreme Court precedent. I have other, longer writing samples as well, but they address considerably easier state law issues. I know common wisdom says that you should not use a brief for your writing sample if you can avoid it-- but I don't have anything else. Which of the above should I use?


Brief's a bad idea, 5-6 pages double-spaced is a disastrous idea. Produce something. I don't care if you have to lie and say that some thing you wrote just for sample purposes was a seminar paper.

traydeuce
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Re: Clerks, taking questions for a bit

Postby traydeuce » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
quiver wrote:Interesting. Unfortunately I'll only be applying to on-plan district courts this year and have ties to only three districts (one of which is extremely competitive). I'm planning on applying broadly and, while I don't have ties to any of the others, should I include a sentence or two about my interest in their city/area? I don't care about the time to tailor cover letters; I'll write cover letters 24/7 if it gives me a better chance at an AIII clerkship.


From my experience, which is admittedly very limited (internship with district court judge), traydeuce is pretty accurate regarding D.Ct. judges. Many are local and/or went to school local. If you have just crazy stats, you might be able to get your app pulled. But at least where I worked, average stats (HAHAHA. By average I mean top 10-20% at good schools) would not get pulled without a tie. So while it certainly won't not hurt to try to show some interest (within reason, and without totally BSing), it is unlikely to be extremely effective.


Yeah, an extra sentence or two that points to some nonexistent tie isn't going to change anything, unless you're really good at making up convincing reasons for wanting to live in some place you've never been in. You just have to hope your app gets pulled for other reasons.




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