Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

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Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:25 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm a 2L, and am interested in clerking during the 2015-2016 cycle.

To be the best of my knowledge, federal clerkship applications open fall semester for 2Ls. So in this case, it would open after the Fall 2013 semester.

But, are there any websites you guys find useful to make sure I'm on track with my applications?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:51 pm

Besides OSCAR, I don't know of any useful websites. There used to be a few, but the ones I know of have become defunct. (Besides sharing information here, anyway.)

Also, applications don't really "open" after the fall semester. The Hiring Plan governs applications from 2Ls (rising 3Ls) submitted online through OSCAR, and those applications will only be released to judges after a certain date (this year it was June 28). So to the extent applications "open," it wouldn't be until the end of June 2014 (presuming no changes in the date). However, more and more applicants skip OSCAR and apply directly to judges, because more and more judges are dispensing with the Plan and hiring before the deadline. Accepted wisdom is for someone on your schedule to apply once you get fall 2013 grades back, although there are judges who start hiring even earlier than that (extremely competitive judges have probably hired already).

(Apologies if you knew all that and that was what you meant by applications "opening," but it wasn't clear to me.)

Anonymous User
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Re: Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:55 pm

^ Actually, thank you so much. Unlike a lot of people I've asked, your response actually addresses my question.

So, this may sound stupid, but how does one go about directly applying to judges?

lolwat
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Re: Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby lolwat » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:58 pm

Generally speaking, you just snail mail hard copies of your cover letter, resume, transcript, writing sample, and three letters of recommendation to the judge's chambers.

I haven't gone out of my way to look for other websites anytime recently, but I think all of the other clerkship resources are more or less dead other than this forum.

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Re: Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:31 pm

+1 to what Nony said.

You are right in that generally fall 2L is around the earliest that any judge starts looking at applicants (there might be some that look at people during 1L summer but I don't know of them). That said, those that look at people during fall 2L are a very small fraction of judges and they are very selective. The majority seem to go during spring 2L (and bleed into summer 2L).

I've been told that you want to get your application in when the judge starts reviewing apps. I'm not sure the wisdom in that, especially due to the lack of information. What I mean is that because you won't know when a lot of judges are looking at apps (heck a lot of judges aren't sure in advance when they'll start reviewing them) you are better off sending your app in too early rather than too late. Trying to get our app in right on the money increases the risk that your app will be late. It is true that some judges will throw away apps that they get early, though my feeling is that most of them just stick them in a corner somewhere until they feel like looking at them. This makes Jan/Feb of spring 2L, after you've gotten your fall 2L grades, probably ideal. I'd personally err on the side of being too early rather than trying to figure out the precise timing since you risk sending an app too late.

There really isn't a ton of information out there on precise times. Your best bet is to hear through the grapevine, which probably means whatever minimal information your school's clerkship office has. You can try to find things out from TLS or other discussion sites, but by the time someone posts that a judge is reviewing apps you're already a bit late even if you overnight the app to the judge. Another thing you can do is call chambers, but that is time intensive and often the clerks won't know or won't give you that sort of information. Judges do post some information on OSCAR about when they are hiring but some of that information is wrong (either because it is outdated or otherwise), so I wouldn't necessarily rely on that information for timing.

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Re: Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:29 am

I don't know of any sites. But my career services office had a helpful timeline. Maybe yours does too?

I found that getting letters of recommendation ASAP as helpful because it, in my opinion, is the most hassle and takes the longest to figure out. So start thinking of and then asking professors to write reccs for you. You want at least 3.

Second, I would start preparing a writing sample. Make that thing perfect. No typos, no nothing. Read it carefully line by line and even backwards to catch every typo and error. (Do this for resumes and cover letters too).

All of the above can be done right now.
--

I didn't spend as much time on the cover letters. I did the "bare bones" approach. I was carpet bombing the entire nation and didn't have time to customize and personalize each letter. Unless it was very clear that I had a connection (e.g., I'm from the state!); I usually didn't try to think of one beyond anything right off the top of my head. I didn't want to force any type of "connection." (e.g., I read an opinion of yours once and I really liked your thought process and thought I could be a good addition to your team).

Tip: I subscribed to an OSCAR notification service. Basically, every time a position opens up, I get notified. You can customize what districts or courts you want to be notified about. (e.g., You want to only get notifications about judge openings in the Ninth Circuit). I clicked on all jurisdictions, so I get notifications for any and every judge who has an opening on OSCAR. I pretty much applied the day any position opened up because I already had my materials ready.

You can also try the early-paper-mailing route, but I didn't really do this too much and had no success (i.e., no interviews) going this way. (Did anyone find this kind of expensive and tiring? Maybe I'm just lazy).

P.S. Meh, this turned into more of a general advice post, but I hope it helps you still.

lolwat
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Re: Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby lolwat » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:40 am

You can also try the early-paper-mailing route, but I didn't really do this too much and had no success (i.e., no interviews) going this way. (Did anyone find this kind of expensive and tiring? Maybe I'm just lazy).


Expensive not really, it's like $2 per. Sure, it adds up, but just drink one less beer every time you go out and you'll make up for it. It does get tiring, though. It's also potentially very fruitful if you do targeted mailings. I think I had around 4 interviews during my summer 2L/fall 3L (back when hiring plan was in Sept), and two of them were pre-hiring plan paper mailings; both were judges that had some connection to my school in some form (not a school that places terribly well in clerkships).

indo
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Re: Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby indo » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hi everyone,

I'm a 2L, and am interested in clerking during the 2015-2016 cycle.

To be the best of my knowledge, federal clerkship applications open fall semester for 2Ls. So in this case, it would open after the Fall 2013 semester.

But, are there any websites you guys find useful to make sure I'm on track with my applications?


I was looking at Duke website I found this.
Please see the links below that these two students have already line up to 2 post graduated clerkships.

http://law.duke.edu/news/conor-reardon-14

http://law.duke.edu/news/chris-bryant-14/

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:You can also try the early-paper-mailing route, but I didn't really do this too much and had no success (i.e., no interviews) going this way. (Did anyone find this kind of expensive and tiring? Maybe I'm just lazy).

I only did early/paper mailing - the first time round because I was in a circuit where no one was on-plan, the second time round because I was an alum (I suppose I could have gone through OSCAR as an alum but because I had hard copies of the letters all set I just did it that way).

Also, as for the 2 Duke shining stars - if you're a really good candidate, that can happen; when you apply for right after graduation, you may run into judges who've already hired for that cycle but like you enough to offer you a clerkship a year later, and then you can get something to fill in the intervening year (having a clerkship makes it easier to get a clerkship). Or you get something for right after graduation, get/go on more interviews, and ask the judge to consider you for the following cycle since you've already committed to someone else for that cycle. So it's not unusual, but it's not what I would consider the ordinary course of events, either. (Note that these guys are graduating '14, so their first clerkship is '14-15, which makes sense. Most judges likely haven't hired for '15-16 yet.)

Anonymous User
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Re: Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:20 pm

indo wrote:I was looking at Duke website I found this.
Please see the links below that these two students have already line up to 2 post graduated clerkships.

http://law.duke.edu/news/conor-reardon-14

http://law.duke.edu/news/chris-bryant-14/

While it is true that some judges hire quite early (e.g. in spring 2013 for a 15-16 clerkship) and that there are judges who have had 15-16 clerkships filled for months now, I'm not sure that is helpful to rising 2Ls because I don't think those judges would have considered someone during spring of their 1L year. Though they hire far in advance, they are still looking at 2L/3L/grad applicants.

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MarkRenton
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Re: Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby MarkRenton » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:15 pm

indo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi everyone,

I'm a 2L, and am interested in clerking during the 2015-2016 cycle.

To be the best of my knowledge, federal clerkship applications open fall semester for 2Ls. So in this case, it would open after the Fall 2013 semester.

But, are there any websites you guys find useful to make sure I'm on track with my applications?


I was looking at Duke website I found this.
Please see the links below that these two students have already line up to 2 post graduated clerkships.

http://law.duke.edu/news/conor-reardon-14

http://law.duke.edu/news/chris-bryant-14/


Duke would post shit like this on their website.

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ObviouslyMasochistic
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Re: Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby ObviouslyMasochistic » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:20 pm

MarkRenton wrote:
indo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi everyone,

I'm a 2L, and am interested in clerking during the 2015-2016 cycle.

To be the best of my knowledge, federal clerkship applications open fall semester for 2Ls. So in this case, it would open after the Fall 2013 semester.

But, are there any websites you guys find useful to make sure I'm on track with my applications?


I was looking at Duke website I found this.
Please see the links below that these two students have already line up to 2 post graduated clerkships.

http://law.duke.edu/news/conor-reardon-14

http://law.duke.edu/news/chris-bryant-14/


Duke would post shit like this on their website.


Way to add to the conversation.

Anyone have any insight on when alums should apply for '15-16? Now?

Anonymous User
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Re: Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:50 am

In my (SCOTUS feeder) COA chambers, we definitely wouldn't look at any apps we received right now. But I have no idea yet when we'll start. We need to figure that out with the judge, who only fairly recently abandoned hiring on plan. I imagine we'll start receiving apps sometime before fall semester grades come out, but I doubt anyone that submits super early will have any advantage.

Random tip. If you are submitting electronically but not through OSCAR, consider putting your whole app together as a single PDF file. The clerks who will be screening your app will love you for it if they don't have to open and print a bunch of separate documents.

Anonymous User
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Re: Any good websites for general clerkship timeline?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:59 pm

If you hear about a judge who has started to move, but you don't have all of your letters of rec. completely ready to send out, you can put "letters will be sent under separate cover" on your cover letter. Last cycle I received my clerkship before one of my recommenders finished writing the letter, the judge just called her and she said good things about me on the phone.

Obviously, it's better to send things with letters, so get on that ASAP, but not having all of your letters in should not stop you from mailing out a time sensitive application.




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