Cover Letter - Can't Find Info on Judge

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patriot888
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:06 pm

Cover Letter - Can't Find Info on Judge

Postby patriot888 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:54 pm

all,

So I am preparing cover for a few judges, some for whom I cannot find any information. they say that you are supposed to make the letter specific and "geared" toward that judge. But, I can't find anything other than the matters over which that judge is presiding.

Any input?

Thanks.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Cover Letter - Can't Find Info on Judge

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:34 am

I'm not really sure this is standard, but some schools (incl. mine) advise a very barebones cover letter-- just state that you're applying for a clerkship in whatever term, indicate that your materials are enclosed, and provide contact info for your recommenders.

UnderrateOverachieve
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:34 pm

Re: Cover Letter - Can't Find Info on Judge

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:40 am

All judges are looking for certain attributes; tailor one good letter for those attributes and you will be fine.

Writing, research, et cetera.

Anonymous User
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Re: Cover Letter - Can't Find Info on Judge

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:11 pm

As a clerk who recently helped review 200 apps to hire my replacement, I assure you that tailoring your CL to a specific won't matter. Or, rather, not tailoring it won't hurt whatsoever. The only exception to this that I can think of is for courts of specific jurisdiction.

But tailoring it to the judge can often be so transparent it's cringeworthy. For example, one applicant wrote something like "I recently read your decision in X v. Y, and found it fascinating." This person clearly just looked up a recent case in WL and cited it without reading it (or realizing it was a routine boilerplate decision, which, to be fair, is understandable).

Citizen Genet
Posts: 516
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Re: Cover Letter - Can't Find Info on Judge

Postby Citizen Genet » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a clerk who recently helped review 200 apps to hire my replacement, I assure you that tailoring your CL to a specific won't matter. Or, rather, not tailoring it won't hurt whatsoever. .


Eh, it varies judge to judge. I know of a few judges who discard any apps with generic cover letters that don't explain, at the very least, why someone wants to clerk in that area. But they're definitely the small exception rather than the rule.

blsingindisguise
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Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Cover Letter - Can't Find Info on Judge

Postby blsingindisguise » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:30 pm

I would avoid referencing anything too specific about the judge as a person/jurist, it will just come off as trying to get cute.

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legalese_retard
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:14 pm

Re: Cover Letter - Can't Find Info on Judge

Postby legalese_retard » Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:52 am

As a current law clerk, I can say that it is more important to explain your tie to the area and why you want to clerk. You can always try finding out about their career trajectory and try to make a comparison (i.e. "I saw that you worked as an AUSA, which is another reason why I hope to clerk for you, as that is a job I hope to obtain after clerking.").




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