Mentioning (or not) you attended judge's alma mater

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Anonymous User
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Mentioning (or not) you attended judge's alma mater

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 29, 2013 3:33 pm

I'm applying for a federal judge known to be very proud of his association with a particular university and to favor clerks who did UG or LS at this university.

I briefly attended this university for grad school, full-time, while also working part-time. I dropped out in the second semester because I realized I didn't want the career the program was preparing me for, and wanted to do the job, which I loved, full-time instead. The grad program is not currently on my resume because it has nothing to do with everything else I've done. It was out of left field. Plus I quit.

So. . . I KNOW this judge is going to ask me if I have any connection to his alma mater, since I worked in this university's town for several years.

How do I handle this? Do I try to slip the judge's alma mater into my cover letter without mentioning it in the resume? Do I cram it onto my resume (really, it'd look bad; I'd have UG + this school + master's at a different school + LS)? Do I just mention it when the judge asks?

Any thoughts appreciated.

PS: I got all A's the one semester I was at the university, and one professor I had while there would be happy to say positive things about me.

lolwat
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Mentioning (or not) you attended judge's alma mater

Postby lolwat » Wed May 29, 2013 3:40 pm

My suggestion is to mention it, but prepare like hell. Have some damn good explanation / way of discussing your connection there and why you left (if that comes up). I wouldn't say "I realized I didn't want the career the program was preparing me for," but I might say the other part of "At the time, I really loved my job and wanted to do it full-time."

The theory is that it has a good shot at getting you an interview with the judge, but if it does, you better be VERY well prepared to answer all the questions that you know he's going to ask you about it.

Anonymous User
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Re: Mentioning (or not) you attended judge's alma mater

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 29, 2013 5:27 pm

OP here -- Helpful thoughts. Thank you.

Here's the thing: I'm fairly confident of getting an interview with this judge anyway. I met the judge's permanent clerk in an unrelated context and the clerk took something of a shining to me. There's also my association with the judge's alma mater's town; it's not a town many people (especially elite law people [I attend YSH]) live in, or even pass through.

So I'm weighing the extra boost mentioning the school in the application might give me against the potential trickiness of why I dropped out of the judge's beloved university.

lolwat
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Mentioning (or not) you attended judge's alma mater

Postby lolwat » Wed May 29, 2013 7:25 pm

Well, that's all sorts of interesting.

You mentioned that he's going to ask if you have any connection there because you've lived there and because it's a small town. I think that's enough for you to just put it in and come up with some good explanations. After all, while he might not press you on it, I think it'd be more awkward to lie and say you don't have any connection to it (or maybe you're better at lying than I am). And if you say you did have a connection to it, then he's probably going to ask you the same question(s) he would have had you included it in your cover letter/resume.

So basically, it sounds like he's going to ask you about it anyway, so including it for the extra boost probably has little practical drawback.




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