Clerkship Interview Advice

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Anonymous User
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Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:46 am

Any advice on interviewing? Particularly interested in the types of questions others have been asked.

BlackAndOrange84
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Re: Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:39 am

If you have an interview, you should get in touch with former clerks of that judge. They can give you far better insight into the interview than asking TLSers about their experiences.

If not, try the search function or browse through old threads. There are plenty of threads that deal with this generic question.

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Re: Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:48 pm

BlackAndOrange84 wrote:If you have an interview, you should get in touch with former clerks of that judge. They can give you far better insight into the interview than asking TLSers about their experiences.

If not, try the search function or browse through old threads. There are plenty of threads that deal with this generic question.


This is absolutely correct. Find former clerks any way you can. (LinkedIn, people at your school if you tend to have a lot of clerks, friends or friends of friends at schools with more clerks).

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Re: Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:17 pm

Not OP - but I'm interviewing with a very new Judge so there aren't really past people I can seek advice from. Any general advice? I've seen articles about being quizzed about opinions the Judge wrote or things like that - does that actually happen? (No interview I've had with a Judge in the past has had questions like that, but those were all state judges).

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BVest
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Re: Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby BVest » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not OP - but I'm interviewing with a very new Judge so there aren't really past people I can seek advice from. Any general advice? I've seen articles about being quizzed about opinions the Judge wrote or things like that - does that actually happen? (No interview I've had with a Judge in the past has had questions like that, but those were all state judges).


That doesn't happen a ton, most seem to interview for fit rather than anything else. In the words of a long-time judge I interviewed with who has worked at both trial and appellate level, "You wouldn't have gotten this interview if you weren't qualified, but our chambers are small so I've gotta make sure you're not going to drive me or the other clerks nuts."

That said a new judge may not have found what works for them yet, so anything's possible. Not directly on point, but if you want to learn more about a new judge, look at their confirmation questionnaire (assuming they're federal). Just search by name, then click on one of the status updates to find the questionnaire: http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/nominations/judicial

(Obviously you would use that info for background, rather than just reciting facts about their life in a super-stalkery kind of way).

catinthewall
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Re: Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby catinthewall » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:23 pm

My Judge was newer to the bench, so I asked questions about whether he looked to other judges as mentors and what about those judges did he admire. He liked that line of questions.

marcotomas
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Re: Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby marcotomas » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:56 pm

General advice is hard to give, because the interview is almost exclusively about fit. Chambers are small and you work with these people every day in super close quarters, in some instances multiple clerks to a room, so the ability to get along is absolutely key. If you can relax and get the clerks laughing during the interview it is obviously a good thing. Find ways to connect with them on a personal level. I used being a musician, our mutual love of coffee, and coming from a large family in my interviews, but obviously this is just something that is dependent on all of the parties involved. Just remember that the people who seek out this gig are notoriously nerdy. And while kind of nerdy is OK, unbearably nerdy is not. Avoid coming off as the latter.

As for what my coclerks and judge told me after I was hired:

My judge told me he heavily weighted my writing samples (I had to submit 5!!) and said he could easily "have a beer with me." My coclerks told me they pressed the judge to hire me because we just got along so well in the interview and my writing samples showed I could definitely do the job. A sparkling and convincing letter or recommendation also helped.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

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Re: Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:25 pm

As everyone else said, it's more about fit than substantive knowledge or something. Be ready for more personal questions than in OCI interviews--stuff like family and SO that might not even be legal to ask about (but who's going to sue a judge). Know why you want to clerk and know your resume cold.

Unless you hear from classmates/alumni that the judge asks about substantive knowledge, I wouldn't worry too much about this, but I might just think a little about what your favorite case is and stuff like that because it can be hard to think of on the fly. Also good to briefly read some of the judge's opinions and think about how you can say why you want to clerk for him in a way that isn't overly vague but also doesn't look like flattery.

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Re: Clerkship Interview Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:53 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone! I had my first interview yesterday (D.Ct). Just as everyone said, it was very laid back, casual and conversational. I wouldn't even call it an interview! Judge wanted me to meet the other law clerks and to talk about my hobbies/interests/family/plans --stuff that wasn't on my resume.




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