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Attainable SDNY/EDNY judges

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:27 pm
by Anonymous User
I'm at HYS, and struggling a little to get information on non-feeder SDNY/EDNY judges. For family reasons, I'm pretty limited to clerking in NYC, and I think I'd prefer district court to appellate. I think while I'm generally a pretty competitive candidate, I'm probably out of reach for the really prestigious SDNY judges because of my grades. I am really not looking to spend my clerkship year with someone known to be a bad boss, so I'd really like more information on the better SDNY/EDNY judges to work for in terms of mentoring, quality of life, etc. I'm mostly struggling to get this sort of information information, because most alums/connections I have have clerked for the real high-flyer SDNY Obama appointees (Nathan, Oetken, etc), and haven't had a ton of information on other judges.

FWIW my stats are top 30% of my class (but hard to tell with our weird ass grading system), on law review, with multiple publications in and before law school, and strong/interesting PI-heavy softs. I have four strong recommendations and the professors are willing to call for me. I'd love any advice y'all have on judges to target on both SDNY and EDNY known to be good bosses that are attainable with my stats. Thanks in advance!

Re: Attainable SDNY/EDNY judges

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:34 pm
by Quichelorraine
While I'm sure you're about to get a great deal of wisdom on SDNY/EDNY hiring practices, I don't know if it makes sense to "target" anybody given your narrow focus. Why not just apply to most of the judges in both districts, with the possible exception of those reputed to be difficult bosses? Honestly, you never know who might bite, and culling judges in advance simply means you miss out on those slight chances. You might want to "target" a few with professor calls, but the actual application strategy should be a broad one.

(Despite your "NYC" statement, you should also apply to the SDNY judges in White Plains and DNJ-Newark. EDNY's secondary courthouse is a bit more of a hassle but might also be doable. Perhaps throw a few awesome magistrate judges into the mix (Barbara Moses, for instance).)

Re: Attainable SDNY/EDNY judges

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:18 pm
by Wild Card
Also try Central Islip (EDNY).

Consider magistrate clerkships (SDNY & EDNY) too.

Re: Attainable SDNY/EDNY judges

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:27 pm
by Anonymous User
Quichelorraine wrote:While I'm sure you're about to get a great deal of wisdom on SDNY/EDNY hiring practices, I don't know if it makes sense to "target" anybody given your narrow focus. Why not just apply to most of the judges in both districts, with the possible exception of those reputed to be difficult bosses? Honestly, you never know who might bite, and culling judges in advance simply means you miss out on those slight chances. You might want to "target" a few with professor calls, but the actual application strategy should be a broad one.

(Despite your "NYC" statement, you should also apply to the SDNY judges in White Plains and DNJ-Newark. EDNY's secondary courthouse is a bit more of a hassle but might also be doable. Perhaps throw a few awesome magistrate judges into the mix (Barbara Moses, for instance).)

Thanks! I definitely am blanketing these districts, to be clear. I think what I'd really appreciate knowing are 1) who the judges are who are known to be difficult bosses, so I can give them a miss (this is also info basically no one has shared!); and 2) by "targeting," which judges I should be using limited recommender calls on to flag my application. My recommenders are wonderful, but they obviously can't call everyone, and I basically really would love to know what judges are both realistic for my stats (i.e. not prestigious feeders) and are great enough bosses that it's worth the extra push to have someone advocate for me. Of course, if you think I'm going about this wrong, I'd also really appreciate knowing that!

Re: Attainable SDNY/EDNY judges

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:11 pm
by Anonymous User
Pick the judges you like best or have some sort of ties/commonalities with. Top 30% at HYS will likely get you a close look with almost all of them, and then who knows what will get you flagged for an interview with a specific judge. So spend some time reading their backgrounds, write personalized cover letters, and ask your recommenders to call those judges.

I would check out the "Best and Worst Judges to Clerk For" thread for more info about who's a difficult boss, but for the second half of your question, you're looking for an answer no one could give. I landed interviews with judges for whom, based just on my stats/grades, I shouldn't have been competitive, and I'm fairly certain it was because they liked something from my background and/or because one of my recommenders really pushed for me.

Re: Attainable SDNY/EDNY judges

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:08 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Quichelorraine wrote:While I'm sure you're about to get a great deal of wisdom on SDNY/EDNY hiring practices, I don't know if it makes sense to "target" anybody given your narrow focus. Why not just apply to most of the judges in both districts, with the possible exception of those reputed to be difficult bosses? Honestly, you never know who might bite, and culling judges in advance simply means you miss out on those slight chances. You might want to "target" a few with professor calls, but the actual application strategy should be a broad one.

(Despite your "NYC" statement, you should also apply to the SDNY judges in White Plains and DNJ-Newark. EDNY's secondary courthouse is a bit more of a hassle but might also be doable. Perhaps throw a few awesome magistrate judges into the mix (Barbara Moses, for instance).)

Thanks! I definitely am blanketing these districts, to be clear. I think what I'd really appreciate knowing are 1) who the judges are who are known to be difficult bosses, so I can give them a miss (this is also info basically no one has shared!); and 2) by "targeting," which judges I should be using limited recommender calls on to flag my application. My recommenders are wonderful, but they obviously can't call everyone, and I basically really would love to know what judges are both realistic for my stats (i.e. not prestigious feeders) and are great enough bosses that it's worth the extra push to have someone advocate for me. Of course, if you think I'm going about this wrong, I'd also really appreciate knowing that!
You’re thinking about this in the right way but I think you have one part backwards. Instead of asking which judges might be worth having a recommender call, ask around at your school (clerkship office/students who have gotten clerkships/professors you trust: which professors know an SDNY/EDNY judge well enough that a phone call to the judge would make a difference? If one of your recommenders or potential recommenders has a relationship with a judge, that’s the judge to target. SDNY especially is filled with former SCOTUS clerks and administration lawyers, which are also breeding grounds for HYS professors. These social circles are small.

Also reiterating the above advice to blanket Newark in addition to SDNY/EDNY and to think about whether White Plains, Central Islip, Bridgeport, and/or New Haven could be doable for a year in your situation.

Re: Attainable SDNY/EDNY judges

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:16 pm
by Quichelorraine
Anonymous User wrote:
Also reiterating the above advice to blanket Newark in addition to SDNY/EDNY and to think about whether White Plains, Central Islip, Bridgeport, and/or New Haven could be doable for a year in your situation.
White Plains should be doable. There are express trains to/from White Plains from GCT/125th all day, and the court is not far from the station. For most people in NYC, except those who live very far out, White Plains/Newark are equally doable.

Central Islip seems like a longer train ride and a bit of a walk from either train station. Bridgeport's court is actually pretty close to the station, but it's always an hour-plus ride.

If you don't have a car, White Plains and Newark are the best bets for non-NYC District Courts.

Re: Attainable SDNY/EDNY judges

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:28 pm
by Person1111
Only thing I’d add is that I think you are underestimating your competitiveness. With the exception of someone like Judge Rakoff, I don’t think you are categorically out of the running for any district court judge in NY.

Re: Attainable SDNY/EDNY judges

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:14 pm
by Anonymous User
Although I agree Central Islip is a hike, one thing to note is that Judge Azrack has her chambers in Brooklyn and only goes out to LI for hearings/trials. She is probably on the less competitive side, but her clerks seemed to like her and the experience. Your stats should probably make you competitive for most (though not all) judges in EDNY, esp. as many judges there prefer public-interest candidates.

Re: Attainable SDNY/EDNY judges

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:27 pm
by Anonymous User
To the original poster: Feel free to message me directly for advice, as I may be able to give you some specific guidance.

Re: Attainable SDNY/EDNY judges

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:30 pm
by Abb1993
Anonymous User wrote:To the original poster: Feel free to message me directly for advice, as I may be able to give you some specific guidance.

Hi anonymous user. I have the same question as the OP and hoping you might be able to help me out as well. I am not able to message you, however, so if you could message me that would be great!!