Clerkship Interview Advice

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
Anonymous User
Posts: 273233
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:11 pm

I have my first ever (and maybe only) clerkship interview next week with a district judge in my school's state. I go to a T1 regional school and got very good grades but struck out at OCI. With nothing lined up yet for the summer I really want to do my best here. Any general advice is appreciated. I heard from a prior student this judge just tries to get to know you and doesn't ask hard legal questions and then you meet with his career clerk to learn more and ask questions. If I am asked about not having anything lined up for the summer yet would it make sense to try and use that to say how badly I really want to clerk for him and that I'll basically do everything I can to kill it if he hires me. Thanks in advance.

User avatar
$peppercorn
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:49 pm

Re: Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby $peppercorn » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:37 pm

Trust me: do not appear too eager and try to go over the top. There is no need to try to make up for your perceived deficiencies in one interview. Just do you let best to come across as like able and intelligent. Those are the best thing you can do to put you in the best position. Judges will have things they look for that are outside of your control. I've been in a similar position so feel free to pm me.

User avatar
rpupkin
Posts: 3864
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby rpupkin » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote: If I am asked about not having anything lined up for the summer yet would it make sense to try and use that to say how badly I really want to clerk for him and that I'll basically do everything I can to kill it if he hires me. Thanks in advance.

No, no, no. Desperation is not a good look for a clerkship applicant. If your summer plans come up (and they may not), just truthfully share what options you're exploring.

Oh, and if you actually have no plan at all for the summer right now--like, you're not even sure where you're going to apply--you probably should come up with something before the interview.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273233
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:27 pm

Thanks for the replies. I'm glad I learned the desperation plea is a no go haha.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273233
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:19 pm

Sounds like a fit assessment. Your papers got you the interview, your personality can get you the job. When interviewing candidates in our chambers, we always look for earnestness, the right motivations (desire to contribute to the public service mission of the court, etc), and a sense that we wouldn't mind spending a LOT of time with working with you side by side.

User avatar
BVest
Posts: 5691
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:51 pm

Re: Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby BVest » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:39 pm

This sounds typical for a clerkship interview to me. It's a fit interview, as mentioned above. When everyone talked about fit interviews before I started interviewing, they made it sound like it was unusual, but I didn't have a single clerkship interview that I would have said was anything other than a fit interview.

Personally, I'm a bit of an introvert, at least initially, so I take some time to warm up. I made an effort to talk to people in a relaxed way (either a friend on the phone or friends in the student lounge) shortly before each interview to try to get that warm up out of the way. Otherwise, just be yourself, and don't give BS answers because judges can sense that.

ETA: BTW, I also struck out at OCI. By the time I got interviews, I actually had something lined up for second half, but it was a non-OCI, non-prestigious govt job in my area of interest, and I was registered for a couple classes for first half. (I later picked up an RA, but I only had one interview after I got that, and it was the day after, so I didn't have much to say about it). If asked about my first half, I would mention that I was currently registered for classes, but that I had several pending applications (and mentioned the types of firms those were with). But the interviews focused on me, my life before law school, what I liked to do with free time, what I wanted to do after law school (but never a "where do you see yourself in x years" question), how I liked to work, etc.




Return to “Judicial Clerkships”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.