2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

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hoos89
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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby hoos89 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:For those of you that are casting a wide net for clerkships, how do you handle letters of recommendation when you're applying? It seems a little unreasonable to ask a a recommender to prepare 50 or so letters when I can't reasonably expect 50 interviews.


Does your school have a clerkship advisor? If so you should speak to him/her: a lot of schools have a process for applying. At WUSTL, Professors submit their LoRs to an office, and you submit lists of judges to whom you apply and they do a mail merge and send them out for you. Also, for OSCAR professors just upload them to the site. They don't actually write a letter for each individual judge.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:09 am

It's pretty much what you have to do, since if you don't submit letters chambers will consider your application incomplete and you won't get considered. If your recommenders are faculty, they should know this is what writing a clerkship letter entails (and ideally your school has a system for dealing with this - at mine, the faculty gave their assistants the computer file of the letter, you gave the assistants a word doc with the addresses etc. in a table, and the faculty assistants did a mail merge and sent everything out; again, it was part of everyone's job). If your recommenders are non-faculty this is tougher (I'm assuming that if they're full-time employed lawyers they probably also have assistants, but obviously preparing your LOR isn't really part of their job they way it is part of faculty assistants' jobs).

Probably the best way to handle it is to be honest with them, and to explain that you're going to be applying by paper and maximizing your chances requires sending out XX number of applications, but that also requires having paper LORs for each application, and so how would they prefer to handle this/what is the max number of copies they're willing to supply? Some people might just give you a copy of a letter and let you print out all the copies you need (don't ask for this, but some people will volunteer it), some will just say, That's fine, I/my assistant will do it, and maybe some will give a max, but if so, at least you know and no one should be pissed off.

(I also suspect that the easiest way recommenders will deal with this is by preparing a generic "To Whom It May Concern" letter that doesn't require customizing headers/addresses, that can just be copied in bulk and stuffed in blank envelopes. Running off/putting in envelopes 50 copies of the same letter isn't that big a deal, and while it's nicer to have each letter addressed to the appropriate judge, I don't think it's mandatory.)

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:12 am

After we accept an offer, is it necessary/what's the best way to withdraw applications? For OSCAR it's obvious, but I mass mailed a ton of judges. Mail/call chambers/do nothing?

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:After we accept an offer, is it necessary/what's the best way to withdraw applications? For OSCAR it's obvious, but I mass mailed a ton of judges. Mail/call chambers/do nothing?


Our school requested that we call chambers and withdraw. Seemed slightly odd to me, but that's what I did a couple of weeks ago. Honestly, most conversations consisted of "thank you for the notice" and that was it. A couple of times the assistants/clerks wanted to chat briefly about who I wound up accepting with, and even once I had a short conversation with a judge herself. Didn't take too long and I guess not that much of a hassle. Not positive obviously though on how the actual clerks from the other side see it, though.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Zar » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Our school requested that we call chambers and withdraw. Seemed slightly odd to me, but that's what I did a couple of weeks ago. Honestly, most conversations consisted of "thank you for the notice" and that was it. A couple of times the assistants/clerks wanted to chat briefly about who I wound up accepting with, and even once I had a short conversation with a judge herself. Didn't take too long and I guess not that much of a hassle. Not positive obviously though on how the actual clerks from the other side see it, though.


From a clerk's perspective, it's professional and saves us the time we would have spent reviewing your application, but it's not strictly necessary. Most applicants never bother withdrawing, and it's not a huge deal for them to tell us they've accepted another position if we happen to call and offer an interview. We just go to the next person on the list.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:56 pm

I go to school in the Midwest, and I've got an interview next week with a district judge in Philly/Camden/Wilmington. I'm planning to call all of the judges to whom I have previously applied in those three courthouses to try to get more interviews. Should I call judges in other courthouses, and if so how far away should I go, given that I'll be on Spring Break next week? Could I go as far as NYC/DC? If so how should I approach that exactly?

Thanks.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby TLSNYC » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I go to school in the Midwest, and I've got an interview next week with a district judge in Philly/Camden/Wilmington. I'm planning to call all of the judges to whom I have previously applied in those three courthouses to try to get more interviews. Should I call judges in other courthouses, and if so how far away should I go, given that I'll be on Spring Break next week? Could I go as far as NYC/DC? If so how should I approach that exactly?

Thanks.


No answer but can you PM me with what judges? I might have some info for you on who else is interviewing/has hired.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:36 pm

anybody know what it means for a judge to be under consideration for a COA spot? Meaning, a judge that I want to clerk for is, according to media outlets, being considered for a COA spot..anybody know how likely that is to happen etc?

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:49 am

If a judge has had my application for...two weeks, three weeks, a month...should I assume that they've seen it and aren't interested?

I'd like to ask my recommenders to make calls for me but I don't want them to waste their time on judges who aren't going to interview me anyway. Thoughts?

I've had a few interviews so far and each time I got a call it happened less than a week after I submitted my application. Makes me think all these other apps are dead in the water...

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:If a judge has had my application for...two weeks, three weeks, a month...should I assume that they've seen it and aren't interested?

I'd like to ask my recommenders to make calls for me but I don't want them to waste their time on judges who aren't going to interview me anyway. Thoughts?

I've had a few interviews so far and each time I got a call it happened less than a week after I submitted my application. Makes me think all these other apps are dead in the water...



Depends on the judge, I think. Some judges aren't even going to start considering apps until the summer, or so they say. I just got an interview request after a month, for what it's worth.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:45 pm

Interesting! So there is some hope after all. Thanks :) good luck with the interview!

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby 90LawSchool » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:anybody know what it means for a judge to be under consideration for a COA spot? Meaning, a judge that I want to clerk for is, according to media outlets, being considered for a COA spot..anybody know how likely that is to happen etc?


Most likely this means that the judge has been nominated for the respective COA. I do not know the judge you are speaking of but he/she is likely somewhere between being nominated and a final vote in the Senate. If she is brought up for a vote, there are high chances that the judge will be confirmed (about 97% of judges brought for a full Senate vote are confirmed in this administration) but the real question is whether the judge will get a vote (many judges do not). All of which to say: who knows!

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:36 pm

You all writing thank you notes after your interview?

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Danger Zone
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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You all writing thank you notes after your interview?

Maybe I'm just talking out of my ass here, but I'm working under the assumption that thank you's are absolutely necessary for clerkship interviews. And I didn't write a single one to a law firm during 2L fall.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Nelson » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You all writing thank you notes after your interview?

I think you get an answer in many cases before the thank you would even arrive.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:43 am

Danger Zone wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You all writing thank you notes after your interview?

Maybe I'm just talking out of my ass here, but I'm working under the assumption that thank you's are absolutely necessary for clerkship interviews. And I didn't write a single one to a law firm during 2L fall.


Not at all. We actually talked about this with my judge while we were hiring and he really doesn't care. While he'd never be sorry to get a nice handwritten note, they certainly can't help you.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:05 pm

Whereas a judge I interviewed with in a competitive district said during a second-round interview that he was impressed that that I turned around a personalized thank-you note within hours of the first-round interview being over and ensured that it reached him the next day.

Look at it this way: writing a thank you note can never hurt you (unless you write one with egregious errors or your handwriting looks like you should maybe apply to clerk for a serial killer instead). Failing to write one will probably not hurt you, especially if you are a strong candidate for the job, but writing one is easy as hell to do, and you don't want to take the slim risk that not writing one factors into a judge's decision to go with someone else, right?

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Danger Zone
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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:20 pm

Oh. Well fuck that, then. Overnight shipping is expensive.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Whereas a judge I interviewed with in a competitive district said during a second-round interview that he was impressed that that I turned around a personalized thank-you note within hours of the first-round interview being over and ensured that it reached him the next day.

Look at it this way: writing a thank you note can never hurt you (unless you write one with egregious errors or your handwriting looks like you should maybe apply to clerk for a serial killer instead). Failing to write one will probably not hurt you, especially if you are a strong candidate for the job, but writing one is easy as hell to do, and you don't want to take the slim risk that not writing one factors into a judge's decision to go with someone else, right?


I am the original person who asked about this and I disagree. It can hurt you if: (1) you make any error in it, (2) the judge thinks thank you's are over-personal for interviews, (3) you put your foot in your moth in some other way. For me, personally, the risk I mess it up with a grammatical error/foot-in-my-mouth is greater than the benefit to be gained by writing it. That's not because I'm bad at catching errors, either. It's because I think the gain to be had is so minimal that I'd rather not throw the dice at all.

To add some anecdotal gusto to this, I asked two friends who are clerks/will be clerking. Both did not send thank you notes. One felt that most judges have enough of the decision made (whether someone is in the running) by the time that a thank you note arrives that any gain is small.

So maybe it comes down to the particular judge's proclivities. In the situation I can't discern those proclivities in my interview/convos with clerks, I'm gunna let my resume, interview, and in-person gratitude stand on its own. May God have mercy on my thankless soul.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:15 pm

Does anyone know if Bumb (NJ) is interviewing yet for 2015?

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:52 pm

If the judge you are interviewing with has been nominated to a COA spot or there are media reports about a possible nomination, it is proper to bring this up during the interview? Like asking the judge a question about it.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:If the judge you are interviewing with has been nominated to a COA spot or there are media reports about a possible nomination, it is proper to bring this up during the interview? Like asking the judge a question about it.


(3L with a COA position here)

Honestly, I would avoid the topic entirely unless the judge herself brings it up. You don't want the judge to have even the germ of an idea that you're applying in anticipation of such a nomination. On the other hand, it might be a good idea in this kind of case to downplay the "I'm committed to working in a district court and want the immediate trial experience" part of your interview schtick.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:21 pm

Just got a rejection by e-mail literally 30 minutes after the interview. I knew it didn't go well but I didn't think it was THAT bad.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby station4 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just got a rejection by e-mail literally 30 minutes after the interview. I knew it didn't go well but I didn't think it was THAT bad.


Brutal, man. Sorry. This is a tough process.

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Re: 2015-2016 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:46 pm

station4 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just got a rejection by e-mail literally 30 minutes after the interview. I knew it didn't go well but I didn't think it was THAT bad.


Brutal, man. Sorry. This is a tough process.


Oof. At least you don't have to spend weeks wondering. Sometimes it's just not a good fit, you know? That's what I tell myself :)




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