pointers for applicants from current clerk looking to hire

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Re: pointers for applicants from current clerk looking to hire

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:13 pm

Jessuf wrote:Should I write handwritten thank you notes?


Yes. While they can't hurt, not writing one can absolutely hurt.

My judge once made a decision between two candidates based on one writing a thank you and the other one not. Obviously this was a strange situation, but it takes a minute to do it, so there's no good reason not to.

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Re: pointers for applicants from current clerk looking to hire

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Jessuf wrote:Should I write handwritten thank you notes?


Yes. While they can't hurt, not writing one can absolutely hurt.

My judge once made a decision between two candidates based on one writing a thank you and the other one not. Obviously this was a strange situation, but it takes a minute to do it, so there's no good reason not to.


And write one to everyone you meet...judge, clerks, and judicial assistant.

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jessuf
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Re: pointers for applicants from current clerk looking to hire

Postby jessuf » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:39 pm

Okay, thanks. I don't have an email address for anyone, so it's either a handwritten thank you or nothing. If I don't get offered on the spot, then I will write something.

REALLY basic question, but what kinds of questions should I expect in an interview with an appellate judge? I've only ever done trial level internships and clinics, so I have pretty much nothing to talk about in terms of substantive appellate work.

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Re: pointers for applicants from current clerk looking to hire

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:32 pm

Depends on the judge - lots will stick to the usual "tell me about yourself, why law school, what do you want to do after this" kind of conversation. You'll possibly/probably also get questions about how you would handle a situation in which the judge wants to rule one way and you think it should go another. You might get asked about your writing experience/what makes a good writer/what makes you a good writer, and how well you work with others. There are some judges who treat the interview like an oral exam - I had a friend get grilled about every argument in his LR note (and I think in a seminar paper), so know your resume inside and out, and there are stories of getting asked things like "what's your favorite/least favorite Supreme Court case." But I think they are a minority. The best thing is to find someone who's clerked for/interviewed with the judge who can tip you off to their style, but I know that's not always possible.

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Re: pointers for applicants from current clerk looking to hire

Postby jessuf » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:42 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Depends on the judge - lots will stick to the usual "tell me about yourself, why law school, what do you want to do after this" kind of conversation. You'll possibly/probably also get questions about how you would handle a situation in which the judge wants to rule one way and you think it should go another. You might get asked about your writing experience/what makes a good writer/what makes you a good writer, and how well you work with others. There are some judges who treat the interview like an oral exam - I had a friend get grilled about every argument in his LR note (and I think in a seminar paper), so know your resume inside and out, and there are stories of getting asked things like "what's your favorite/least favorite Supreme Court case." But I think they are a minority. The best thing is to find someone who's clerked for/interviewed with the judge who can tip you off to their style, but I know that's not always possible.

Thanks! I will definitely brush up on my writing sample because I don't remember anything it says or what the law says. I'll also google previous clerks and try to email them. I know there aren't any old clerks from my LS (at least none listed in the database who say they're willing to field questions from applicants), which sucks.

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Re: pointers for applicants from current clerk looking to hire

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:01 am

Good luck!

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Re: pointers for applicants from current clerk looking to hire

Postby andythefir » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:19 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:You'll possibly/probably also get questions about how you would handle a situation in which the judge wants to rule one way and you think it should go another.


What's the right answer to this question? What are the judges looking for?

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Re: pointers for applicants from current clerk looking to hire

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:57 pm

andythefir wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:You'll possibly/probably also get questions about how you would handle a situation in which the judge wants to rule one way and you think it should go another.


What's the right answer to this question? What are the judges looking for?


This is an instance where there really is one correct answer: you make your best case to the judge, and if she still disagrees, then you write the opinion/order however the judge wants it. Only one person in chambers has a commission, and she gets to make the final decision.

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Re: pointers for applicants from current clerk looking to hire

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:07 pm

ClerkAdvisor wrote:
andythefir wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:You'll possibly/probably also get questions about how you would handle a situation in which the judge wants to rule one way and you think it should go another.


What's the right answer to this question? What are the judges looking for?


This is an instance where there really is one correct answer: you make your best case to the judge, and if she still disagrees, then you write the opinion/order however the judge wants it. Only one person in chambers has a commission, and she gets to make the final decision.

This is true. FWIW, though, every time something like this has come up with judges, they have said that they want a clerk who will push back and challenge them on their thinking. So for the purpose of an interview, I think judges want to make sure you are capable of thinking for yourself and having confidence in your opinion/reasoning (though at the same time you recognize that the judge has the final say).

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Re: pointers for applicants from current clerk looking to hire

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:49 pm

During my interview, I told the judge that I would speak my mind in a well-reasoned, rational way (after I've done my own independent research and review of the law). After discussing our viewpoints, if the judge still disagrees with me,t hen I would defer to his judgment because it's ultimately the Honorable John/Jane Smith, not the Honorable Me.

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Re: pointers for applicants from current clerk looking to hire

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:50 pm

Not the OP, but in a similar situation. My most basic advice is please, for the love of god, follow the (simple) instructions in the judge's OSCAR posting. E.g. If it says to submit your app as a single PDF file, don't send your resume, transcript, writing sample etc all as separate attachments. :x




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