Telephone Calls Question

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Telephone Calls Question

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:38 am

I just finished getting out right around 200 apps 2 weeks ago. I spoke to the dean of my law school and he agreed to make calls on my behalf. But our most prestigious professor who clerked twice for the Supreme Court would be my number 1 choice to make calls on my behalf. Problem is I have never taken a class with him. Finally, my stats are second tier school, number 2 in class, law journal eboard, published and I have externed for two federal judges, one of them COA.

My question is whether it is worth it to try to get the prestigious professor who doesn't know me as well to call in addition to my dean, and if so, how would you suggest I go about it?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Telephone Calls Question

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:22 am

If you've never taken a class with the snazzy professor, what do you think he'll have to say about you besides "This student really wants a clerkship"? Do you know him in any other context and can he comment on your legal abilities? The more specific a reference is, the more valuable it is. A great reference is one who can say, Jimmy is one my top 5 students in 30 years of teaching and easily the equal of my former student who clerked on your court/SCOTUS/somewhere impressive." A reference can't say that if they don't know anything about your work.

I mean, I get that the point of the call is to get your application noticed, but I think the prof has to be able to say good things about you nonetheless. Like, has to know you.

ETA: don't mean to sound snarky here - it's a genuine question, does the snazzy prof know you personally from any context. If he does, so that he can speak to your abilities, that's totally different, it just doesn't sound like he does.
Last edited by A. Nony Mouse on Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Telephone Calls Question

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:36 am

I don't want to hijack the thread (too much), but the OP mentioned that the dean was willing to call for him/her. Is this at all common/useful? I have spoken with the dean of students at my school a few times and was hired by that same dean to perform an academically-related job (though I'm not working directly with that person). Would it make any sense to ask that dean to call judges for me?

To put the question more generally: does one decide whether to ask a dean to make calls based on the same considerations one would use in deciding whether to ask professors for this favor? Or is it very uncommon to ask a dean for this sort of assistance?

Thanks!

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Re: Telephone Calls Question

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:13 am

I am curious about this as well. How much weight does a rec from a Dean carry? Are such recs common?

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Re: Telephone Calls Question

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:05 am

The best reference is going to be from someone who knows your legal work and can speak directly, concretely, and positively to your abilities in research/writing/getting along with people/managing your own shit (stuff that's required for clerking). If that's your Dean, great; if your Dean can't do that, just the fact of being your Dean isn't going to be very useful. (All the ones that I saw were from profs - often people the applicant had RAed for - and summer employers, especially if they knew the judge in question.)

I mean, if you can combine great content with some kind of prestige (former SCOTUS clerk, Dean, whatever), that's great. But the prestige without the great content really doesn't do much. All it means is that you found someone famous to say something vaguely positive about you - it doesn't really tell the judge if you'll be very good at the job.

I don't know as much about calls per se... it just makes more sense to me that it would be one of your LOR writers who'd call, but if someone has a connection to the judge, and is willing to sit down with you and learn about what makes you amazing so they can talk that up to the judge, I'm sure it would help. It just seems a little unlikely that a prof would be willing to do that if you don't have any relationship with them. It seems more likely that a dean would be willing to do that, since their job is to promote the school and all the students. It also seems, though, that if they were willing to call to promote their clerkship applicants, they'd be doing nothing else during clerkship season. But if your school doesn't traditionally send a lot of people into clerkships, it might make more sense for the Dean to take part with the few competitive candidates.

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Re: Telephone Calls Question

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:30 pm

In my case, calls from "snazzy" professors were useful in getting my application pulled from the pile, after which I had the professor who really knew me to call and give judges substantive detail. If interviews were scheduled, the dean would call and say general things like "this is one of our top students; he is very well-respected by the faculty and a great representative of our student body, etc." I think it this market, every little bit helps.

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Re: Telephone Calls Question

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:13 pm

So calls from summer legal employers might make sense? Would those get an application pulled from the stack?

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patrickd139
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Re: Telephone Calls Question

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:18 pm

OP: if you happen to go to OU Law, feel free PM me.

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Re: Telephone Calls Question

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:28 am

patrickd139 wrote:OP: if you happen to go to OU Law, feel free PM me.

Thanks for the offer, but no I don't attend OU

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Re: Telephone Calls Question

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:OP: if you happen to go to OU Law, feel free PM me.

Thanks for the offer, but no I don't attend OU

Fair enough. Carry on. :lol:




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