Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

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Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:04 pm

Hi,

I am applying for some state clerkships (Not District, but higher levels) and jobs in OCI. I was once a semi-professional poker player and depending on the whims of Google and Bing, if you search my name it can come up (Especially one large cash prize (75K+) at a very big east coast casino). It shows in google images my pic with a poker caption on it and usually second if not first page of web results. Should I mention poker as a hobby on my resume? Should I ever disclose it? What should I say about? I don't think I could ever dodge it because there is a photo of me with it.

I do still play recreationally in legal establishments and occasionally online. If I get asked the dreaded question, "tell me something" on my resume, should I ever bring that up?

Thanks

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shazi
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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby shazi » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:06 pm

I'm an 0L so take my advice with a grain of salt. I personally think you shouldn't disclose it unless it's the only way to fill large gaps on your resume? Is a hobby section on your resume really necessary?

I think if you have adequate WE to fill your resume there's no reason to disclose it. I think it can only be seen as a disadvantage by employers (i.e. instead of volunteering/interning this guy was gambling in his free time?). If they google you and see your poker pic, let them ask you about it, otherwise I wouldn't disclose it. I guess you could spin it into a positive if they ask you about it (i.e. it helped you learn to read people/out maneuver people like a lawyer would need to do during a trial).

That being said, if you don't mind me redirecting your thread...

Were you able to play a decent amount during 1L year? I used to play all through college and figured there's no way I can pull that off during law school so I recently quit playing online. Plus, ever since black friday, I haven't made a dime playing on these other BS sites.

lolwat
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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby lolwat » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:34 pm

I personally think you shouldn't disclose it unless it's the only way to fill large gaps on your resume? Is a hobby section on your resume really necessary?


This is why there's rules against 0Ls posting in the Legal Employment forum. It should apply here as well. An "interests" section is almost essential for clerkship (and OCI, at that) applications unless you have a really pressing reason not to have one.

As far as poker goes, though, I don't think it's viewed as a bad thing these days. I would personally put it on my resume under an interests section--particularly in your case because more often than not, clerks/employers are going to do at least some cursory googling anyways. And if you're asked about it, I'd just say that you aren't playing semi-profesionally anymore but still play recreationally from time to time.

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shazi
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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby shazi » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:39 pm

I see. It was more of an inquiry on my part than advice as I thought i disclaimed.

In that case this question is also pertinent to my interest. Interesting to know there's an interest section in clerkship apps.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:52 pm

I think it would be very smart to put it in the interests section. Any big law job you get it is guaranteed to come up at some point--either before or after you're hired. It is much better for you to bring it up. Then when you're working at the firm and someone brings it up with you, it already out in the open. You can say "Oh it's funny because partner X said Y about it during the interview." I don't think it's even necessarily a negative since it shows competitiveness, ability, and prior success (albeit in playing a game).

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby RodneyRuxin » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:55 pm

viewtopic.php?f=34&t=202715

It's not allowed in this one either.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:32 pm

lolwat wrote:
I personally think you shouldn't disclose it unless it's the only way to fill large gaps on your resume? Is a hobby section on your resume really necessary?


This is why there's rules against 0Ls posting in the Legal Employment forum. It should apply here as well. An "interests" section is almost essential for clerkship (and OCI, at that) applications unless you have a really pressing reason not to have one.

As far as poker goes, though, I don't think it's viewed as a bad thing these days. I would personally put it on my resume under an interests section--particularly in your case because more often than not, clerks/employers are going to do at least some cursory googling anyways. And if you're asked about it, I'd just say that you aren't playing semi-profesionally anymore but still play recreationally from time to time.

Great advice. Disclose in interests section. Don't bring up unless asked. If asked, explain candidly.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:50 pm

"This is why there's rules against 0Ls posting in the Legal Employment forum. It should apply here as well. An "interests" section is almost essential for clerkship (and OCI, at that) applications unless you have a really pressing reason not to have one."

What are you taking about, bud? Unlike OCI, a clerkship resume does not require an "interests" section. You think you're going to get dinged for omitting that? Hasn't stopped me.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:"This is why there's rules against 0Ls posting in the Legal Employment forum. It should apply here as well. An "interests" section is almost essential for clerkship (and OCI, at that) applications unless you have a really pressing reason not to have one."

What are you taking about, bud? Unlike OCI, a clerkship resume does not require an "interests" section. You think you're going to get dinged for omitting that? Hasn't stopped me.

No resume "requires" anything. Many people find an interests section just as helpful for clerkship applications as at OCI (possibly more so, since personal fit is so important in clerkship hiring). If you got hired without one, good for you, but many people feel differently about it.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby lolwat » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:"This is why there's rules against 0Ls posting in the Legal Employment forum. It should apply here as well. An "interests" section is almost essential for clerkship (and OCI, at that) applications unless you have a really pressing reason not to have one."

What are you taking about, bud? Unlike OCI, a clerkship resume does not require an "interests" section. You think you're going to get dinged for omitting that? Hasn't stopped me.


Yeah, fine, I worded my original post wrong. It's not "essential." But it can only help (unless you fuck it up, and then it's on you, not on the fact that you have an interests section), and therefore there is really no reason not to have one on your resume. Unless you're at the top of your class at a t14 or regional school that judges hire from, and/or have connected professors feeding you clerkships, an interests section is one of the few ways outside of pure luck to get your resume pulled out of a pile of 400 other equally qualified candidates.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:21 am

I think interests is helpful, especially if you're closer to straight through, but definitely not necessary. I had a lot of pre-law stuff to include on my resume and so didn't have an interest line, and it was a non-issue with both of my judges. One asked what I did for fun, which I was happy to chat about, and the other didn't ask. I think there are few hard and fast rules to this, other than to not spell the judge's name wrong on your cover letter. I think that, ladies, to quote Liz Lemon, is a dealbreaker.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:01 pm

"No resume "requires" anything. Many people find an interests section just as helpful for clerkship applications as at OCI (possibly more so, since personal fit is so important in clerkship hiring). If you got hired without one, good for you, but many people feel differently about it."

That's fine, I never said it absolutely shouldn't go on your resume. I also know that I'm not an exception in leaving this off my clerkship resume. As someone who has read clerkship applications for my judge, I actually think it isn't the greatest idea in most cases. Yes, fit is important, but that doesn't come from you writing that you love the Chinese national badminton team on your resume and then finding a judge who shares your passion. If a judge is the type who likes to ask about personal stuff, he/she will do so at the interview. I find it hard to believe that non-professional interests will be the extra boost that gets a person an interview, except in extraordinary situations ("I authored a NYT best selling novel.") The possible downside? As judges move more and more toward an alum-focused hiring process, writing that you love to bake and exercise emphasizes that you are still a student, and not yet a professional.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:30 pm

What on earth do loving to bake and exercise have to do with not being a professional? I graduated college during the Clinton administration and had a whole other professional career before going to law school, and I like both those things.

I like reading the interests section on applicants' resumes - it makes them more human rather than a collection of statistics. And it's not so much that I think the judge looks directly for people to share his/her interests (though I know judges who're very happy to see a candidate list skiing, cycling, or golf), as that having interests listed is a built-in topic for discussion which allows you to better assess fit.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby bk1 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The possible downside? As judges move more and more toward an alum-focused hiring process, writing that you love to bake and exercise emphasizes that you are still a student, and not yet a professional.

This is weird. As Nony pointed out, these are not odd interests for adults to have. On top of that, I feel like the point for judges that prefer alums is that alums have legal experience, not that fresh grads are too immature to be clerks.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:08 pm

You mean on Hendon Mob at the Borgata?? No need to disclose. -EV though. HEHEHE
Did you disclose on LS applications?

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:45 pm

1. A law student is, by definition, not yet a professional lawyer. If you were a practicing attorney seeking a clerkship or any other position, you wouldn't include a resume line explaining that you go deep-sea diving every summer. Why? Because it would look strange and you would have enough actually pertinent things to fill up a one page CV such that it would be a waste of space or seem out of place.

2. Evidently, CSOs feel that an interests section greases the wheel at OCI (and for clerkships, though my CSO did not encourage us to do this for clerkships, FWIW) particularly, as has been suggested, for candidates who would otherwise have little on their resume because they came straight through from undergrad. That's great - I still have trouble believing it makes much of a difference, but perhaps interviewers are grateful to have something to seize on in awkward moments.

Fast forward to today's clerkship application world: it is undeniable that more and more alums are clerking. These people generally have some experience (though it's often just Big Law doc review that they have to spin to seem valuable). At the very least, in my experience and practice a person at this stage in his or her career will be able to craft a resume packed with professional facts and will not put a line item about the joy of scuba diving.

Now, the law student doesnt have quite as much to talk about, so he could spend a line or two on competitive chess and woodworking. I never said this would make him look immature, just that it would create a contrast with an application full of legal work that an attorney applicant has actually done.

Just trying to combat the apparently deeply-held notion that an Interests section is really key to clerkship apps. Ultimately, it will depend on the judge and clerks reading your app. I don't love interests sections, and they can be misleading. (I like to golf but am wary of people who list that interest). My judge could care less. This dude here thinks they are a great way to get interview conversations started. Right on. Proceed in the way you think is best, just know that you are never going to be picked for an interview you otherwise wouldn't get on the basis of your interests.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Samara » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:50 pm

I like how the people with the craziest opinions always post anon. That is definitely what the anon feature is for.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:25 pm

"I like how the people with the craziest opinions always post anon. That is definitely what the anon feature is for."

I like how people think going against career services resume writing orthodoxy is a "crazy" opinion. I'm anon because I've explained some personal stuff about my career. Not sure why so many of you little fellas are in such a huff.

I initially wrote to contradict the silly claim that an interest section is "virtually essential" for clerkship applications. It's not, and if it would take space away from more substantive information, it might be inadvisable. That's all. Happy hunting and mega posting

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:31 pm

I don't think anyone's arguing that the interests section is the key to clerkship apps, in that it's going to outweigh grades and other achievements or people are going to get picked solely for their interests. I think people are simply suggesting reasons why including one isn't weird - which is what the counterargument seems to suggest - and can be of some benefit, if only marginal. The thing is that these days, in clerkship applications, as in pretty much all job applications at this point, even a marginal benefit can be worth the effort. If you don't want to include one, that's totally fine, but there's nothing strange or bizarre or immature about including one, either. And I don't think anyone anywhere has ever suggested that interests should take space away from more substantive information, so nice straw man.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:37 pm

OP Here

Wasn't Borgata. Geez I hate those hendon mob pics. They pop up everywhere.

I decided to not put it on the resume, couldn't fit it but if it comes up I will talk proudly about and how it helps me "read people". Can say I am like Matt Damon I guess.

Thanks for the responses.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:51 pm

Well, the initial claim was "virtually essential," and this has been retreated from only slightly. I never claimed that anyone had asserted it is a factor that outweighs grades - nice straw man yourself.

Assuming you are trying to keep your resume to one page, I've always found it difficult to stay within that length, even in law school when I had little to say for myself. it's a small space to make a statement about yourself, and things like a more detailed description of your involvement in student organizations, for example, or an extra line giving further detail on work you did during an internship might, in my opinion, take precedence over an interests line.

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Samara
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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Samara » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:"I like how the people with the craziest opinions always post anon. That is definitely what the anon feature is for."

I like how people think going against career services resume writing orthodoxy is a "crazy" opinion. I'm anon because I've explained some personal stuff about my career. Not sure why so many of you little fellas are in such a huff.

I initially wrote to contradict the silly claim that an interest section is "virtually essential" for clerkship applications. It's not, and if it would take space away from more substantive information, it might be inadvisable. That's all. Happy hunting and mega posting

That's not what is crazy. What is crazy is being wary of someone who lists golf as an interest.

Your judge may not care about an interests line, but your judge isn't dinging someone who has it, right? Since there is no downside and only a possible upside, even if that upside is small, it seems to me like a no-brainer to include it. Countless people on here have posted about their interests section helping them get either an interview or an offer.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby lolwat » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:15 pm

Typing on a tablet sucks.

But eh. I applied to clerkships as an alum. I had (and have) more than enough professional experience to fill 1, 1.5 pages of a resume. I still put interests on there. Got the clerkship and from conversations I've had it seems like the interests section in part got me the interview (and the interview got me the clerkship).

I get to the point of virtually essential not from the view that people without interests sections won't do perfectly fine--they should and often will if the rest of their qualificstions are fine. I approach it from the view that interests sections have and likely will continue to have positive effects for the applicant and the worst case scenario is that it doesn't help (yet doesn't hurt either). This "only positive" result means I think everyone should have an interests section unless there is a compelling reason not to. For clerkship applications anyway.

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:22 pm

Gambling is one of those things that can be reacted to in wildly divergent ways. If you were in a trading firm setting, chances are you'd get a +1 for your interest in poker. In a legal one, maybe, but I'm leaning more against it, just on the off chance that you get stuck with someone who is sternly against any and all gambling for religious reasons or what not.

But seriously, nice job on the $75k win. 8)

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Re: Disclose Poker History to Clerkship Interview Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:26 pm

Anyone interested in poker has probably heard of Vanessa Selbst (Yale Law grad, full time poker player). Check out podcast below if you're interested in how Vanessa feels about law school, poker, and everything in between:
http://www.thinkingpoker.net/2012/10/th ... sa-selbst/




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