Advice for approaching judges in person

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Advice for approaching judges in person

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:52 pm

A judge will be speaking at an event for my law school; any advice on how to be noticed by the judge without appearing to be pushy? (I've already sent him an application but I've never met him before.)

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Re: Advice for approaching judges in person

Postby Citizen Genet » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:03 pm

You can't. Be engaged during the lecture. If they have a Q&A, ask a thoughtful question. If he or she stays around after, feel free to go up and thank the judge as well as make any additional comment you might think is necessary. But it's generally considered bad form to tell the judge you have an application in or anything like that. If the judge asks what you're doing after graduation (if you're a 3L) or what you hope to do, be honest and saying you're hoping to clerk. That's about the most tactful way to bring it up.

Some people go to these events thinking this is their chance to get in good with a judge, but I have never heard of it ever happening. Ever. I am open to anecdotes that say otherwise though.

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patrickd139
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Re: Advice for approaching judges in person

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:13 pm

Citizen Genet wrote:You can't. Be engaged during the lecture. If they have a Q&A, ask a thoughtful question. If he or she stays around after, feel free to go up and thank the judge as well as make any additional comment you might think is necessary. But it's generally considered bad form to tell the judge you have an application in or anything like that. If the judge asks what you're doing after graduation (if you're a 3L) or what you hope to do, be honest and saying you're hoping to clerk. That's about the most tactful way to bring it up.

Some people go to these events thinking this is their chance to get in good with a judge, but I have never heard of it ever happening. Ever. I am open to anecdotes that say otherwise though.

This seems incredibly spot on.

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Re: Advice for approaching judges in person

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:38 pm

Citizen Genet wrote:You can't. Be engaged during the lecture. If they have a Q&A, ask a thoughtful question. If he or she stays around after, feel free to go up and thank the judge as well as make any additional comment you might think is necessary. But it's generally considered bad form to tell the judge you have an application in or anything like that. If the judge asks what you're doing after graduation (if you're a 3L) or what you hope to do, be honest and saying you're hoping to clerk. That's about the most tactful way to bring it up.

Some people go to these events thinking this is their chance to get in good with a judge, but I have never heard of it ever happening. Ever. I am open to anecdotes that say otherwise though.


Agree that this is spot on. Frankly, the most I've gotten out of recent judge presentations at my school is a sense of whether the presenting judge is someone I'd want to work for. Seeing if/how they respond to individual questions after the presentation is especially telling.

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Re: Advice for approaching judges in person

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:57 am

patrickd139 wrote:
Citizen Genet wrote:You can't. Be engaged during the lecture. If they have a Q&A, ask a thoughtful question. If he or she stays around after, feel free to go up and thank the judge as well as make any additional comment you might think is necessary. But it's generally considered bad form to tell the judge you have an application in or anything like that. If the judge asks what you're doing after graduation (if you're a 3L) or what you hope to do, be honest and saying you're hoping to clerk. That's about the most tactful way to bring it up.

Some people go to these events thinking this is their chance to get in good with a judge, but I have never heard of it ever happening. Ever. I am open to anecdotes that say otherwise though.

This seems incredibly spot on.


Not the same sort of event, but events like post-moot banquets et al I know have led to that sort of connection.

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Re: Advice for approaching judges in person

Postby Citizen Genet » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:
Citizen Genet wrote:You can't. Be engaged during the lecture. If they have a Q&A, ask a thoughtful question. If he or she stays around after, feel free to go up and thank the judge as well as make any additional comment you might think is necessary. But it's generally considered bad form to tell the judge you have an application in or anything like that. If the judge asks what you're doing after graduation (if you're a 3L) or what you hope to do, be honest and saying you're hoping to clerk. That's about the most tactful way to bring it up.

Some people go to these events thinking this is their chance to get in good with a judge, but I have never heard of it ever happening. Ever. I am open to anecdotes that say otherwise though.

This seems incredibly spot on.


Not the same sort of event, but events like post-moot banquets et al I know have led to that sort of connection.


That's fair. I've heard of it happening with judges with students who (1) perform well at a competitive tournament and (2) for organizer's of an event. (Even then, I've only heard getting to interviews, not actual offers from it.) For instance, I knew a LR EIC who organized a symposium that featured a few federal judges; after all was done, the judge asked him to submit an application, he got interviewed, and then rejected. Those situations come from a student actually demonstrating ability, rather than some momentary interaction that doesn't actually involve any analysis. And, from the few instances I have heard, it was always initiated by the judge rather than manipulated by the student.

So if you're running an event with a federal judge, do an awesome job and hope that it turns out well.




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