What do judges want from alumni applicants?

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Anonymous User
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What do judges want from alumni applicants?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:47 pm

Specifically, what kind of legal experience are they looking for? I'm sure that, like anything else in this crazy game, it depends on the individual judge. Even anecdotes would be welcome.

I'm a 3L who will be applying for 2016-2017, and the reason I'm worried is that, although I have the stats for big law (T20, single-digit rank, LR Board, publication, moot court), I'm headed to a small firm (~30 attorneys) in a small market. Will the lack of a fancy big firm name on my resume hurt me?

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Re: What do judges want from alumni applicants?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:57 pm

In my chambers, unless it's one of a handful of super fancy firms, we wouldn't care at all whether it is Sullivan & Cromwell or Dewey Cheatham & Howe.

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ph14
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Re: What do judges want from alumni applicants?

Postby ph14 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:In my chambers, unless it's one of a handful of super fancy firms, we wouldn't care at all whether it is Sullivan & Cromwell or Dewey Cheatham & Howe.


What firms would you consider to be super fancy?

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Re: What do judges want from alumni applicants?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:13 pm

I recently learned that some judges are very cautious - to avoid false appearance of a favored group.

I come from the investment community. In one recent clerkship interview, one judge was straight forward with me - "I prefer to hire fresh out of school because I don't want to appear to favor the investment community." He even used word appearance of "bias."

So it does matter to an extent.

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ph14
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Re: What do judges want from alumni applicants?

Postby ph14 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I recently learned that some judges are very cautious - to avoid false appearance of a favored group.

I come from the investment community. In one recent clerkship interview, one judge was straight forward with me - "I prefer to hire fresh out of school because I don't want to appear to favor the investment community." He even used word appearance of "bias."

So it does matter to an extent.


Apparently he can't also hire law clerks from the public interest community.

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Re: What do judges want from alumni applicants?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:21 pm

I can only speak for my judge, but he/she only hires clerks straight out of law school. Then again, he/she doesn't really care how prestigious an applicant's summer firm was (although he/she would prefer to hire people who plan on practicing in state, and applicants may have problems if they worked at an ID mill or something like that).

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ph14
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Re: What do judges want from alumni applicants?

Postby ph14 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I can only speak for my judge, but he/she only hires clerks straight out of law school. Then again, he/she doesn't really care how prestigious an applicant's summer firm was (although he/she would prefer to hire people who plan on practicing in state, and applicants may have problems if they worked at an ID mill or something like that).


Can you be more specific on your clerkship? D. Ct., CoA, SSC, etc.

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Re: What do judges want from alumni applicants?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:16 pm

OP here: seems promising so far. I can deal with the firm being a neutral factor. Thanks to those who have shared.

Citizen Genet
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Re: What do judges want from alumni applicants?

Postby Citizen Genet » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:19 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I don't think my federal court judge knows who the fancy firms even are.


This. My D Ct judge wouldn't know Williams & Connelly from Adam & Eve.

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ndirish2010
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Re: What do judges want from alumni applicants?

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:26 pm

My judge has an idea about top NYC firms, but neither me nor my co-clerk had a firm job 2L summer. I'm pretty sure he only hires straight out of school, though.

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Re: What do judges want from alumni applicants?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:36 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:My judge has an idea about top NYC firms, but neither me nor my co-clerk had a firm job 2L summer. I'm pretty sure he only hires straight out of school, though.


OP again: while we're on the subject, is there a reliable place to find out which judges consider alumni? Many of their oscar postings don't mention it one way or another, which I take to mean that they'll consider alumni applicants.

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Re: What do judges want from alumni applicants?

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:58 pm

Most judges consider alumni, and, in all honesty, it's not worth the effort figuring out which ones don't...

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Re: What do judges want from alumni applicants?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:42 am

ph14 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In my chambers, unless it's one of a handful of super fancy firms, we wouldn't care at all whether it is Sullivan & Cromwell or Dewey Cheatham & Howe.


What firms would you consider to be super fancy?


I mean, I think in our chambers Judge might take note of the fancy firms where s/he has sent former clerks. There's a couple of very particular/hard to get boutique firms, WLRK, that's about it though as far as what might stick out from the otherwise undifferentiated mass of private firms.




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