Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

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Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:42 am

... but I'll try, anyways.

Hi everybody. Around three months ago a judge told me the following by email:

"we'll be in touch in September/October to bring you in for an interview."

It's now September 8th and I'd like to arrange to interview with him. Neither he nor his team have yet sent me anything, but if I'm going to buy a plane ticket halfway across the country, I'd prefer to do it sooner rather than later. Additionally, I start work halfway through October, and I'm out of the country until halfway through September, and he knows none of this.

What should I do? Sit here silently because "HE'S A JUDGE LISTEN TO HIS WORDS EXACTLY," or proactively send an email saying, hi, I remain very interested in interviewing and would like to schedule something; here are my options.

Thanks for your help.

edit: the only email address I have is the judge's, directly. I'd prefer not to pester him by email, but I also don't want to lose the interview, and basically all I need is for him to forward the email to his administrators to help organize the interview for me..

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emciosn
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Re: Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby emciosn » Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:30 am

First off I think it is too early to contact chambers on this. They said they would be in touch in September/October--its only the beginning of September. I would give it at least until the beginning of October until I contacted chambers about an interview.

Second--I don't know what kind of relationship you have with this judge (maybe you are close, family friend or something) but I would suggest calling the generic number for chambers that you can probably get online and going through his/her judicial assistant or current clerk. Barring some sort of special relationship with the judge I would use his/her direct email/phone sparingly. If you call the number for chamber and go through the JA or clerk I think it will seem less intrusive and will get the same thing accomplished (the JA/clerk will just go ask the judge about the interview).

Planning for clerkship interviews can kind of put you in a tough spot since it is on your dime and it can be on short notice sometimes. I interviewed all over the country for my clerkship (Cali, TX, Wisconsin, DE...) and it was tough but definitely worth it since I got the clerkship I wanted.

If you can't wait until the end of the month, at least wait until after the 15th or so then I would suggest you contact chambers (over the phone, not the judge directly), ask about the interview, then say something like "No rush here, I am just on a budget and would like to get my plane ticket earlier for a good rate..." Make it seem like you are trying to get on it early and not that the judge is late/has kept you waiting.

TL;DR: I would just wait for the Judge to contact you. If it gets into October, call chambers and talk to the JA/clerk if you must.

lolwat
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Re: Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby lolwat » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:16 pm

I wouldn't do it. My feeling is that even the nice/reasonable judges that understand costs of plane tickets and other personal scheduling issues would not view your proposed course of action favorably. This is even if you take the milder step of calling chambers and going through the JA/law clerks rather than e-mailing the judge personally.

This isn't because "HE'S A JUDGE LISTEN TO HIS WORDS EXACTLY," but more because things like being unavailable for a short time (and since you said halfway through September, your unavailability is almost over), wanting to get a low-cost plane ticket, and starting work in the fall are all things that the judge is likely aware most of his candidates deal with. In other words, your situation isn't really unique and I can't see how calling early to schedule an interview in the first two weeks of September when he said he'd be in touch in Sept/Oct is going to do you any good.

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Re: Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby aliens » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:... but I'll try, anyways.

Hi everybody. Around three months ago a judge told me the following by email:

"we'll be in touch in September/October to bring you in for an interview."

It's now September 8th and I'd like to arrange to interview with him. Neither he nor his team have yet sent me anything, but if I'm going to buy a plane ticket halfway across the country, I'd prefer to do it sooner rather than later. Additionally, I start work halfway through October, and I'm out of the country until halfway through September, and he knows none of this.

What should I do? Sit here silently because "HE'S A JUDGE LISTEN TO HIS WORDS EXACTLY," or proactively send an email saying, hi, I remain very interested in interviewing and would like to schedule something; here are my options.

Thanks for your help.

edit: the only email address I have is the judge's, directly. I'd prefer not to pester him by email, but I also don't want to lose the interview, and basically all I need is for him to forward the email to his administrators to help organize the interview for me..


I wouldn't contact chambers at all. My judge would be extremely irritated by unprompted contact from an applicant. I'm not saying all judges would be, but seriously, just wait to hear from them.

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Re: Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:30 pm

That response is very similar to a response I received from a judge. In what general region does this particular judge sit?

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Re: Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:47 pm

I would not contact chambers with this kind of question. When I applied, I had as little contact with the judge as possible unless it was totally necessary (which, for me, was never). I always talked with law clerks or JAs.

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Re: Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:37 am

Thanks for your thoughts, guys.

I think I'll wait toward the end of September to call chambers and talk to a clerk about it. I agree that emailing the judge directly feels pretty weird, indeed my friend who clerks currently was pretty shocked he was emailing directly with me, not to mention the informality with which he wrote. But I'm too committed to clerk in to let there be any chance he accidently fills things up or forgot about me, so I'm going to call if I don't hear in early October.

FYI for those looking for clerkship, this arose from asking a professor to email the judge about me (I asked her to call, she chose to email), since she had previously clerked alongside him in their younger days. Def a good way to get noticed, it seems.

lolwat
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Re: Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby lolwat » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:25 pm

I still think it's a bad idea even if you waited, but waiting until at least mid-October is probably an okay compromise here. Good luck!

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Re: Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for your thoughts, guys.

I think I'll wait toward the end of September to call chambers and talk to a clerk about it. I agree that emailing the judge directly feels pretty weird, indeed my friend who clerks currently was pretty shocked he was emailing directly with me, not to mention the informality with which he wrote. But I'm too committed to clerk in to let there be any chance he accidently fills things up or forgot about me, so I'm going to call if I don't hear in early October.

FYI for those looking for clerkship, this arose from asking a professor to email the judge about me (I asked her to call, she chose to email), since she had previously clerked alongside him in their younger days. Def a good way to get noticed, it seems.

People say this kind of thing a lot, and it's worth recognizing that judges are trying to nab good candidates (and get the hiring process over with) just as much as candidates are trying to nab clerkships. If a judge actually likes you as a candidate and thinks you're worth considering, they're not going to forget about you or fill things up accidentally. They don't just say "we'll bring you in for an interview" unless they actually want to meet you. If they're waiting that long, they probably have a process they use every year to identify people and bring them all in around the same time. You just need to be patient.

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Re: Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:23 am

Update on this thread:

Today another judge called and started the interview process for 2014. The judge at issue in this thread is 2015. I'd like to get the chance to meet him before the 2014 judge makes a decision. NOW can I contact chambers about lining up an interview?

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Re: Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Update on this thread:

Today another judge called and started the interview process for 2014. The judge at issue in this thread is 2015. I'd like to get the chance to meet him before the 2014 judge makes a decision. NOW can I contact chambers about lining up an interview?


Nope.

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Re: Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby lolwat » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:00 pm

Look, basically, the only time it's really acceptable for a candidate to call up chambers to ask about interviewing is if you have an interview with another judge in the same courthouse (or very close by) and would therefore save yourself a possible second trip to the same courthouse/area. And even then, some judges aren't going to like that.

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Re: Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:04 pm

lolwat wrote:Look, basically, the only time it's really acceptable for a candidate to call up chambers to ask about interviewing is if you have an interview with another judge in the same courthouse (or very close by) and would therefore save yourself a possible second trip to the same courthouse/area. And even then, some judges aren't going to like that.


Just a quick (I hope) side question:

What are your thoughts on contact chambers if you will be working with the judge next year as a clerk? Say I got an offer from this judge and accepted it, but I have questions about chambers, timeline, HR stuff, etc. For example, say I wanted to ask about good places to live around this area because I've never been there before, or say I wanted to ask when I'll get my HR paperwork. I'll obviously contact my predecessor-law clerk first directly, but how much contacting should I do?

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Re: Nitpicky, self-concscious question you probably can't answer

Postby lolwat » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lolwat wrote:Look, basically, the only time it's really acceptable for a candidate to call up chambers to ask about interviewing is if you have an interview with another judge in the same courthouse (or very close by) and would therefore save yourself a possible second trip to the same courthouse/area. And even then, some judges aren't going to like that.


Just a quick (I hope) side question:

What are your thoughts on contact chambers if you will be working with the judge next year as a clerk? Say I got an offer from this judge and accepted it, but I have questions about chambers, timeline, HR stuff, etc. For example, say I wanted to ask about good places to live around this area because I've never been there before, or say I wanted to ask when I'll get my HR paperwork. I'll obviously contact my predecessor-law clerk first directly, but how much contacting should I do?


This is all completely reasonable. There's typically one or two people in chambers that do administrative-type things--whether it's a JA, an administrative law clerk, or someone else. They'll be able to tell you about chambers, timeline, HR and other related stuff. Sometimes the process is still early enough that there's just not much info they can give you other than a rough timeline, but that's probably all you really needed anyway. Questions as to where to live around the area are probably best directed to the law clerks (whether your predecessor or another law clerk--depending on how many are in chambers) since they just went through the same process a year ago that you're now going through, but it also doesn't hurt to ask the JA or, well, get as many opinions as you can about good areas/areas to avoid and such. In my judge's chambers we basically just circulated some ideas around for the incoming clerks and let them know what some of the better (at least in our opinion) options were, and told them to email us if they had any questions.




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