How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

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How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:19 am

Just wondering, how many interviews did you all have before you landed your clerkship?

I just got my third rejection, and it really sucks. the judge was nice, and like the first two, he said he would retain my application in case another position opens up this coming year; I'm starting to think that's just standard practice now. I'd love to know if I'm just bad at the interview process or if this is just how the process is and everyone's having a tough time.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:28 am

I got my first on the third interview. It's typical to get several rejections.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:40 pm

The one I landed was my 6th...

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:13 pm

I did 4 interviews in a three-day period. Got an offer from the third judge on the same day as the interview and accepted.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:15 pm

If you're a 2L, it's still super early. If you're a 3L, a lot of judges like to hire people with W/E. You got this!

I interviewed with 4 before an offer came in.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:18 pm

Did you all receive an actual rejection (not just silence) after interview?

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:25 pm

I clerked multiple times and got a rejection letter every time I was rejected, although one took about four months post-interview to arrive.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:58 pm

five interviews before I got a hit.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:22 pm

I landed my sixth interview (with two of the other judges yet to decide).

Edited to add: Keep your chin up. I felt like a miserable failure after multiple rejections, but I just kept applying. Ultimately, I landed (arguably) the most prestigious gig I interviewed for. You never know how the chips will fall.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:49 am

Only did one interview, but did not get an on-the-spot offer. Ended up following up with chambers to let them know I was going to interview with another judge in three days and that I was required by school policy to accept the first offer I got, but that I really wanted to clerk for the first judge. Got a call back the next day with an offer.

This was in early november of my 2L year, so pretty early in the process and definitely not typical of my classmates. I don't think there is a lot of rhyme or reason to it.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Only did one interview, but did not get an on-the-spot offer. Ended up following up with chambers to let them know I was going to interview with another judge in three days and that I was required by school policy to accept the first offer I got, but that I really wanted to clerk for the first judge. Got a call back the next day with an offer.

This was in early november of my 2L year, so pretty early in the process and definitely not typical of my classmates. I don't think there is a lot of rhyme or reason to it.


Is this a good idea?

Obviously, it was for you haha. I thought about doing the same thing, but my instincts told me that a judge might not appreciate it.

Is this sort of thing okay to do?

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:29 pm

It's been two months since the interview and haven't heard a peep. Followed up a couple weeks ago, but apparently still haven't decided either way. Sigh..............

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is this a good idea?

Obviously, it was for you haha. I thought about doing the same thing, but my instincts told me that a judge might not appreciate it.

Is this sort of thing okay to do?


Follow your instincts then. It was definitely a high-stakes move, but I (1) really wanted the clerkship with the first judge and (2) did my best to present the information as matter-of-factly as possible without trying to put pressure on the judge. It was a gamble that worked out; I don't endorse it for every person in every situation.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is this a good idea?

Obviously, it was for you haha. I thought about doing the same thing, but my instincts told me that a judge might not appreciate it.

Is this sort of thing okay to do?


Follow your instincts then. It was definitely a high-stakes move, but I (1) really wanted the clerkship with the first judge and (2) did my best to present the information as matter-of-factly as possible without trying to put pressure on the judge. It was a gamble that worked out; I don't endorse it for every person in every situation.



A friend of mine did the same thing and got the opposite result. She called and told a judge she had an four interviews lined up back to back and got a "no thank you" soon after. I think it depends where you are on the judge's qualifications list. If he or she really likes your personality and your resume outshines the others, you might get an offer on the spot. Otherwise, it's a fast way to get rejected.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:11 pm

Just got my third rejection in the past few days with no more interviews lined up. I'm an awful interviewer, so I just assumed that it was my fault that I blew all three interviews, but I see now that it's normal to get several rejections first.

Doesn't make it any less disheartening though

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is this a good idea?

Obviously, it was for you haha. I thought about doing the same thing, but my instincts told me that a judge might not appreciate it.

Is this sort of thing okay to do?


Follow your instincts then. It was definitely a high-stakes move, but I (1) really wanted the clerkship with the first judge and (2) did my best to present the information as matter-of-factly as possible without trying to put pressure on the judge. It was a gamble that worked out; I don't endorse it for every person in every situation.



A friend of mine did the same thing and got the opposite result. She called and told a judge she had an four interviews lined up back to back and got a "no thank you" soon after. I think it depends where you are on the judge's qualifications list. If he or she really likes your personality and your resume outshines the others, you might get an offer on the spot. Otherwise, it's a fast way to get rejected.

That person wasn't going to get hired anyway - they just didn't have to wait to get rejected.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is this a good idea?

Obviously, it was for you haha. I thought about doing the same thing, but my instincts told me that a judge might not appreciate it.

Is this sort of thing okay to do?


Follow your instincts then. It was definitely a high-stakes move, but I (1) really wanted the clerkship with the first judge and (2) did my best to present the information as matter-of-factly as possible without trying to put pressure on the judge. It was a gamble that worked out; I don't endorse it for every person in every situation.



A friend of mine did the same thing and got the opposite result. She called and told a judge she had an four interviews lined up back to back and got a "no thank you" soon after. I think it depends where you are on the judge's qualifications list. If he or she really likes your personality and your resume outshines the others, you might get an offer on the spot. Otherwise, it's a fast way to get rejected.


OP (in this chain) here

I ended up doing something like it on accident. When I was setting up the interview, I told them that one of the dates wouldn't work because I had another interview that day (without thinking about it). They scheduled the interview earlier in the week, and they ended up offering me the clerkship before the other interview.

Don't know if it's appropriate for every judge, but I think it might be okay if it's tactful.(which means walking a fine line)

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:55 pm

I interviewed for an appellate clerkship and didn't get it. Then interviewed for a district court clerkship, got it, still wanted to do appellate for year following district court. Interviewed with two more appellate judges, both rejections. Got an appellate gig the next interview.

Rejections really suck. Especially when you spend a lot of money flying to the interview and end up really loving the judge/chambers/courthouse/city. But, once you get interviews, you know you're qualified; it's just fit at that point. I always tried to tell myself that a judge knew best if I'd be a good fit, so rejections were for the best -- I shouldn't want to work where I don't fit. That's a little wishy washy, but it helped.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed for an appellate clerkship and didn't get it. Then interviewed for a district court clerkship, got it, still wanted to do appellate for year following district court. Interviewed with two more appellate judges, both rejections. Got an appellate gig the next interview.

Rejections really suck. Especially when you spend a lot of money flying to the interview and end up really loving the judge/chambers/courthouse/city. But, once you get interviews, you know you're qualified; it's just fit at that point. I always tried to tell myself that a judge knew best if I'd be a good fit, so rejections were for the best -- I shouldn't want to work where I don't fit. That's a little wishy washy, but it helped.


You don't necessarily know you're qualified. Qualified on paper, sure. But clerks are typically tasked with testing interviewee's substantive knowledge, and we have been known to ax interviewees who do not seem bright enough or able to demonstrate sufficient analysis or logical reasoning.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:20 pm

I got 6 rejections before landing my 7th. Keep your chin up! My credentials are less than spectacular and I am admittedly a bad interviewer, so I had very low expectations going in. And my first few interviews were master classes in what not to do. By the 6th and 7th I felt totally relaxed, had practiced my answers ad infinitum, and managed to have what felt like normal conversations. Obviously getting so many rejections is not ideal, but think of them as practice for when you get your next invitation to interview.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby lavarman84 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:42 pm

ArtistOfManliness wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed for an appellate clerkship and didn't get it. Then interviewed for a district court clerkship, got it, still wanted to do appellate for year following district court. Interviewed with two more appellate judges, both rejections. Got an appellate gig the next interview.

Rejections really suck. Especially when you spend a lot of money flying to the interview and end up really loving the judge/chambers/courthouse/city. But, once you get interviews, you know you're qualified; it's just fit at that point. I always tried to tell myself that a judge knew best if I'd be a good fit, so rejections were for the best -- I shouldn't want to work where I don't fit. That's a little wishy washy, but it helped.


You don't necessarily know you're qualified. Qualified on paper, sure. But clerks are typically tasked with testing interviewee's substantive knowledge, and we have been known to ax interviewees who do not seem bright enough or able to demonstrate sufficient analysis or logical reasoning.


What sort of things are you testing in terms of substantive knowledge?

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:05 pm

ArtistOfManliness wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed for an appellate clerkship and didn't get it. Then interviewed for a district court clerkship, got it, still wanted to do appellate for year following district court. Interviewed with two more appellate judges, both rejections. Got an appellate gig the next interview.

Rejections really suck. Especially when you spend a lot of money flying to the interview and end up really loving the judge/chambers/courthouse/city. But, once you get interviews, you know you're qualified; it's just fit at that point. I always tried to tell myself that a judge knew best if I'd be a good fit, so rejections were for the best -- I shouldn't want to work where I don't fit. That's a little wishy washy, but it helped.


You don't necessarily know you're qualified. Qualified on paper, sure. But clerks are typically tasked with testing interviewee's substantive knowledge, and we have been known to ax interviewees who do not seem bright enough or able to demonstrate sufficient analysis or logical reasoning.


My sense is that this is true for a minority of chambers. Most interviews I've had have not been substantive at all. My interviews with the clerks have been particularly non-substantive. "Tell us about your hobbies" "how did you like city X" etc.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:39 pm

lawman84 wrote:
ArtistOfManliness wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed for an appellate clerkship and didn't get it. Then interviewed for a district court clerkship, got it, still wanted to do appellate for year following district court. Interviewed with two more appellate judges, both rejections. Got an appellate gig the next interview.

Rejections really suck. Especially when you spend a lot of money flying to the interview and end up really loving the judge/chambers/courthouse/city. But, once you get interviews, you know you're qualified; it's just fit at that point. I always tried to tell myself that a judge knew best if I'd be a good fit, so rejections were for the best -- I shouldn't want to work where I don't fit. That's a little wishy washy, but it helped.


You don't necessarily know you're qualified. Qualified on paper, sure. But clerks are typically tasked with testing interviewee's substantive knowledge, and we have been known to ax interviewees who do not seem bright enough or able to demonstrate sufficient analysis or logical reasoning.


What sort of things are you testing in terms of substantive knowledge?


Things like scotus case you disagree with, area of con law that you'd change, prod at the writing sample, push people's logic to see if they'll bend/break when taken to extreme, etc.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:42 pm

ArtistOfManliness wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed for an appellate clerkship and didn't get it. Then interviewed for a district court clerkship, got it, still wanted to do appellate for year following district court. Interviewed with two more appellate judges, both rejections. Got an appellate gig the next interview.

Rejections really suck. Especially when you spend a lot of money flying to the interview and end up really loving the judge/chambers/courthouse/city. But, once you get interviews, you know you're qualified; it's just fit at that point. I always tried to tell myself that a judge knew best if I'd be a good fit, so rejections were for the best -- I shouldn't want to work where I don't fit. That's a little wishy washy, but it helped.


You don't necessarily know you're qualified. Qualified on paper, sure. But clerks are typically tasked with testing interviewee's substantive knowledge, and we have been known to ax interviewees who do not seem bright enough or able to demonstrate sufficient analysis or logical reasoning.


Quoted Anon

That's fair. I definitely received questions testing substantive knowledge (for the person who asked - agree/disagree with recent supreme court cases, defending my note, legal opinion on recent political events -- e.g., at the time, Obama's EO on immigration was just released -- stuff like that). The substantive questioning was more intense in interviews with more "prestigious" judges.

I tend to think people who are qualified on paper can also respond to substantive questions in a sufficient (even if not preferable) way, but I haven't been on the questioning side of it yet so that assumption could very well be wrong.

I understood the point of this thread to be about the number of rejections people have had before getting their first offer. Candidates should know to prep for substantive questions, and if they haven't, they should prep after their first surprise round of substantive questions. So that shouldn't be the reason for a ding, other than possibly the first one. More often, I think the reason is because of fit rather than responses to substantive questions.

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Re: How many interviews did you have before you landed one?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:55 pm

FascinatedWanderer wrote:
ArtistOfManliness wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed for an appellate clerkship and didn't get it. Then interviewed for a district court clerkship, got it, still wanted to do appellate for year following district court. Interviewed with two more appellate judges, both rejections. Got an appellate gig the next interview.

Rejections really suck. Especially when you spend a lot of money flying to the interview and end up really loving the judge/chambers/courthouse/city. But, once you get interviews, you know you're qualified; it's just fit at that point. I always tried to tell myself that a judge knew best if I'd be a good fit, so rejections were for the best -- I shouldn't want to work where I don't fit. That's a little wishy washy, but it helped.


You don't necessarily know you're qualified. Qualified on paper, sure. But clerks are typically tasked with testing interviewee's substantive knowledge, and we have been known to ax interviewees who do not seem bright enough or able to demonstrate sufficient analysis or logical reasoning.


My sense is that this is true for a minority of chambers. Most interviews I've had have not been substantive at all. My interviews with the clerks have been particularly non-substantive. "Tell us about your hobbies" "how did you like city X" etc.

I was also asked very few substantive questions during my interviews (I think there were 6?). Anyway, I assume the people posting in this thread know what kinds of questions they got and whether their interview was partially about substantive knowledge or just about fit.



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