Keeping up rapport with judge after position became unavailable

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Keeping up rapport with judge after position became unavailable

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:50 pm

Hi, I have a somewhat unusual story with regard to a federal judge who seemed to like my resume and agreed to meet with me for lunch when she was travelling in my area. I wasn't exactly sure whether this was a formal interview or an informal interview, but I nevertheless went all in and assumed it was formal. The judge kept things vague (I assume intentionally) as to where I stood and just said that I was in consideration for future opportunities. As it turns out, a current clerk recently decided to leave in order to pursue other employment, and the judge alerted me that there would be an immediate opening. I submmited a formal application, but just after I did, the judge said that the clerk decided to stay and that there was no longer an opening.

I think this whole ordeal is probably a bit unconventional as far as how clerks are hired, but I still want to be considered for future opportunities (which will inevitably come), and I am wondering if anybody has dealt with a comparable situation (i.e., keeping a good relationship with a judge who had to pull an opportunity but still intended to keep you in the running). I have yet to reply to the judge, and I am curious as to how I can strike a really positive tone while also communicating that I am ready to go at a moment's notice when a new opening occurs. Again, it is not clear to me whether I am the "selected candidate" for a future position or if I am just in the mix. Anything can change obviously (including my own employment), so I would never want to put all my eggs in one basket. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want to give off a sense of urgency to the judge that I am ready, willing and able to launch into the position ASAP without coming across as too confident that I will necessarily be the chosen candidate when the next opening comes around. I think you guys understand. Please have at it.

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bretby

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Re: Keeping up rapport with judge after position became unavailable

Postby bretby » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi, I have a somewhat unusual story with regard to a federal judge who seemed to like my resume and agreed to meet with me for lunch when she was travelling in my area. I wasn't exactly sure whether this was a formal interview or an informal interview, but I nevertheless went all in and assumed it was formal. The judge kept things vague (I assume intentionally) as to where I stood and just said that I was in consideration for future opportunities. As it turns out, a current clerk recently decided to leave in order to pursue other employment, and the judge alerted me that there would be an immediate opening. I submmited a formal application, but just after I did, the judge said that the clerk decided to stay and that there was no longer an opening.

I think this whole ordeal is probably a bit unconventional as far as how clerks are hired, but I still want to be considered for future opportunities (which will inevitably come), and I am wondering if anybody has dealt with a comparable situation (i.e., keeping a good relationship with a judge who had to pull an opportunity but still intended to keep you in the running). I have yet to reply to the judge, and I am curious as to how I can strike a really positive tone while also communicating that I am ready to go at a moment's notice when a new opening occurs. Again, it is not clear to me whether I am the "selected candidate" for a future position or if I am just in the mix. Anything can change obviously (including my own employment), so I would never want to put all my eggs in one basket. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want to give off a sense of urgency to the judge that I am ready, willing and able to launch into the position ASAP without coming across as too confident that I will necessarily be the chosen candidate when the next opening comes around. I think you guys understand. Please have at it.


You will never know if you were/are the "selected candidate" (whatever that even means), and in the future there will be new competition anyways. All that to say, I wouldn't bet on being the automatic go-to person for future opportunities. Although one way to test that would be to say "I'm sorry the opportunity for 2018 didn't work out. If you are looking for clerks for 2019-2020 (or whatever the relevant year is), I would be honored to be considered. If she offers you a future clerkship, you're a "selected candidate", if not, you're just back the pool with the rest of the plebs, though probably with an edge over others with similar stats since you are a known quantity.

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Re: Keeping up rapport with judge after position became unavailable

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi, I have a somewhat unusual story with regard to a federal judge who seemed to like my resume and agreed to meet with me for lunch when she was travelling in my area. I wasn't exactly sure whether this was a formal interview or an informal interview, but I nevertheless went all in and assumed it was formal. The judge kept things vague (I assume intentionally) as to where I stood and just said that I was in consideration for future opportunities. As it turns out, a current clerk recently decided to leave in order to pursue other employment, and the judge alerted me that there would be an immediate opening. I submmited a formal application, but just after I did, the judge said that the clerk decided to stay and that there was no longer an opening.

I think this whole ordeal is probably a bit unconventional as far as how clerks are hired, but I still want to be considered for future opportunities (which will inevitably come), and I am wondering if anybody has dealt with a comparable situation (i.e., keeping a good relationship with a judge who had to pull an opportunity but still intended to keep you in the running). I have yet to reply to the judge, and I am curious as to how I can strike a really positive tone while also communicating that I am ready to go at a moment's notice when a new opening occurs. Again, it is not clear to me whether I am the "selected candidate" for a future position or if I am just in the mix. Anything can change obviously (including my own employment), so I would never want to put all my eggs in one basket. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want to give off a sense of urgency to the judge that I am ready, willing and able to launch into the position ASAP without coming across as too confident that I will necessarily be the chosen candidate when the next opening comes around. I think you guys understand. Please have at it.


One judge with whom I interviewed contacted me after the fact and told me that it came down to me and one other applicant, and he chose the other applicant. He further explained that it was nearly a coin toss, and encouraged me to consider applying to a future term, if I was still in the market. I sort of took this as something that (nice) judges maybe just tell someone to ease the rejection. The judge also asked me to keep in touch with him/his clerks going forward. It felt awkward, but when something relatively noteworthy happened, I would drop a line to chambers, and they always responded (usually just something like "Great work!" or "Congratulations!" etc). Then, fast forward a few months, his clerk contacted me asking if I was still interested in applying for that future term (at this point, the future was now, so to speak). I was, so I did. Interviewed again (a little more casual this time), and accepted an offer a few weeks later.

I'm sure these situations are rather rare, but why not keep in touch and hope for the best? This kind of networking is far more effective (in my mind) than the cold emailing alums/cocktail reception kind of networking. In any event, it was good for my ego while I was otherwise getting lots of rejections.

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Re: Keeping up rapport with judge after position became unavailable

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:07 pm

Hi, OP here....the judge of whom I spoke recently announced an opening, and I emailed her directly about it after having had back-and-forth email over several months....the judge seemed neutral at absolute best and, annoyed, at worst -- for me at least. The judge asked me to send my application to the HR office for filtering purposes....could just be a CYA kind of deal, in the event that I'm hired, but I have a sneaky suspicion that I'm not going to get any "preferential treatment" in this instance....oh well

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Re: Keeping up rapport with judge after position became unavailable

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi, OP here....the judge of whom I spoke recently announced an opening, and I emailed her directly about it after having had back-and-forth email over several months....the judge seemed neutral at absolute best and, annoyed, at worst -- for me at least. The judge asked me to send my application to the HR office for filtering purposes....could just be a CYA kind of deal, in the event that I'm hired, but I have a sneaky suspicion that I'm not going to get any "preferential treatment" in this instance....oh well


I've never heard of an application go to HR as part of the screening process. In my experience, I've filled out an application for HR's paperwork purposes for your file like a month before I started the clerkship.

Is it possible you're misreading brevity for annoyed? An email of "OK" or "Fine" might not be annoyed, even if it's terse.

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Re: Keeping up rapport with judge after position became unavailable

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:36 am

Th
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi, OP here....the judge of whom I spoke recently announced an opening, and I emailed her directly about it after having had back-and-forth email over several months....the judge seemed neutral at absolute best and, annoyed, at worst -- for me at least. The judge asked me to send my application to the HR office for filtering purposes....could just be a CYA kind of deal, in the event that I'm hired, but I have a sneaky suspicion that I'm not going to get any "preferential treatment" in this instance....oh well


I've never heard of an application go to HR as part of the screening process. In my experience, I've filled out an application for HR's paperwork purposes for your file like a month before I started the clerkship.

Is it possible you're misreading brevity for annoyed? An email of "OK" or "Fine" might not be annoyed, even if it's terse.



There are a handful of districts that actually route their clerkship applications through HR. I know D. Utah is one such district. So, it is possible that the judge if following the normal process in her district.



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