Clerkship Thank You Letter Tips?

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Clerkship Thank You Letter Tips?

Postby brassmonkey7 » Wed May 29, 2013 1:31 am

Just had a district court interview and it went pretty well I thought as far as making good conversation, laughing, etc. I'm drafting a thank you letter now and some of the ones I've seen from various school's CSOs online vary on a few things:

1) Some draft letters explicitly tell the judge the applicant would immediately accept the clerkship if offered or that the clerkship is their first choice job. That is the truth for me. Should I just state that in the letter? There was no moment in our interview where I had the opportunity to say it without it interrupting the flow of our conversation.

2) Should I do a very short letter just saying thanks or should I refer back to specific things we discussed. Understandably, the judge is busy and I don't want to come on too strong, but we did have a very collegial and laid back discussion so I figured I'd highlight some of the more stand-out moments. Is that advisable?


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Re: Clerkship Thank You Letter Tips?

Postby lolwat » Wed May 29, 2013 10:20 am

I think doing both of the things you listed are fine, but I'd probably follow instincts based on how the judge was like. Of course the judge is busy, but I think it's likely that they will be very appreciative of the thank you letter if it is more personalized.

I would defer to someone with more experience with these things, though. Thank you letters haven't really helped me much, but I believe my judge would really appreciate something like that.

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Re: Clerkship Thank You Letter Tips?

Postby Citizen Genet » Wed May 29, 2013 10:41 am

Here's the thing. Don't expect it to win you the position, but it can be a plus. I think judges do tend to like these things more than, say, a hiring partner at a law firm. I wrote a feeder judge a thank you note for participating in an event I put on at my school and he sent me a handwritten response. (Definitely unexpected!) I sent a judge I interviewed with (and was not hired by) a thank you note. When I saw her at a public event, she pulled me aside, asked me how I was doing, thanked me for the note, and set up a lunch with me. Now, that is a rare circumstance where a thank you note had an impact, but it also did not get me the job.

As for your specific questions.

1. Since it is true for this judge, do that. That may seem like it may be hard to organically include that fact. That's okay. Just include it as one of your finals lines. ("Our interview confirmed that you are the judge that I most want to clerk for.")

2. Include at least one line that references something for the interview. E.g. "I appreciated your advice on...." or "I enjoyed learning about..." This tells the judge that you were paying attention and that you actually put thought into your letter. (By the way, you should pay attention in interviews and you should actually put thought into your letter.)

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Re: Clerkship Thank You Letter Tips?

Postby ZyzzBrah » Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:21 pm

It can't hurt, but it won't necessarily help. I was offered a clerkship without having sent a thank you letter fwiw.

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Re: Clerkship Thank You Letter Tips?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:22 pm

Just wondering, are we talking about a thank you email or an actual paper thank you note? Is there one that the judges prefer usually?

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