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Notifying earlier judges about new interview - etiquette

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 7:18 pm
by Anonymous User
1. Interview with judge A. Waiting. Other interviews come in. If judge A is top choice, acceptable to email chambers/JA letting them know and reiterating interest? Seems yes. But do you do it for each additional interview, or just that first one?

2. If A isn't your top choice, but still would be very excited to clerk for her, what is proper etiquette when receiving new interview offers? Should you notify her regardless? Or is perfectly fine to maintain the silence if upcoming judge B is preferred (in case B offers on the spot and you would definitely accept).

3. Same as 2, but B didn't offer on the spot. Now you fear getting left out in the cold. Acceptable to email judge A to back-update them on an interview that you had and are waiting to hear back from? I guess it's not as effective because updating A means that they now know B did not offer you on the spot.

Note: reviewed previous scattered responses address this, but could not find them all in one place
[EDIT] Anon b/c don't want to have this together with other posts

Re: Notifying earlier judges about new interview - etiquette

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 7:49 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 7:18 pm
1. Interview with judge A. Waiting. Other interviews come in. If judge A is top choice, acceptable to email chambers/JA letting them know and reiterating interest? Seems yes. But do you do it for each additional interview, or just that first one?

2. If A isn't your top choice, but still would be very excited to clerk for her, what is proper etiquette when receiving new interview offers? Should you notify her regardless? Or is perfectly fine to maintain the silence if upcoming judge B is preferred (in case B offers on the spot and you would definitely accept).

3. Same as 2, but B didn't offer on the spot. Now you fear getting left out in the cold. Acceptable to email judge A to back-update them on an interview that you had and are waiting to hear back from? I guess it's not as effective because updating A means that they now know B did not offer you on the spot.

Note: reviewed previous scattered responses address this, but could not find them all in one place
[EDIT] Anon b/c don't want to have this together with other posts
1. I would think you should let judge A know when you get another interview. I would say a tactful email to one of their clerks you were communicating with would suffice. Hopefully it pushes the process along and doesn't put you in a weird position if Judge B offers you.

2. I think its fine not to tell judge A about other interviews you get after you interviewed with them. Obviously, if they asked to be notified about new interview offers you should let them know. But otherwise, i thin you are 100% ok to maintain radio silence.

3. I think this is more of a judgement call. If judge A feels rushed they make a decision sooner, but it may not be the decision you want. Also, I think it may be a bit odd to tell a judge "I just interviewed for another judge" since they will wonder why you didnt tell them before you took another interview.

I would also say get more information than just my opinion lol.

Re: Notifying earlier judges about new interview - etiquette

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 8:48 pm
by nixy
I think you can update Judge A with an upcoming interview once, but not after that. If the first interview doesn't incline A to change their timeline for making an offer, later ones won't either.

If you know you'd rather clerk for B, my take is that there's no need to tell A about the upcoming interview with B - just go on the interview, and if you get the offer from B, accept, then withdraw from A. The only exception is that some judges will ask you to tell them if you get other interview (not sure how common this is, but I have seen it happen), so if that's the case, then of course you'd notify A.

I would *not* go back to A after an interview with B to tell A about the interview after the fact. The point of telling A about an upcoming interview isn't to make yourself look more desirable (I mean, I get that it kind of is in reality, but in terms of etiquette it's not), it's a courtesy to allow A to make a decision/offer if they have made up their mind without imposing on B by going on an interview that might not lead to anything. Going back and saying "oh and by the way I interviewed with judge B" just looks like a naked attempt to force A's hand. (I suppose in theory you could not tell A that you've already had the interview with B... but this is all just getting too shady and complex.)

The other wrinkle is that I have had judges make an offer and give me time to decide, and both times the judges were clear that they knew I might get other options and they wanted me to be able to weigh them (one judge just thought I might get better options than them and wanted me to be able to pursue those options if I wanted, the other judge knew I was looking at a long-distance relationship during the clerkship and wanted to let me have the chance to look for a local option). So it may not be as complicated as you're imagining.

Re: Notifying earlier judges about new interview - etiquette

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 9:14 pm
by Wild Card
This is interesting.

I've had three judges tell me, get in touch with me if you get an OFFER from another judge and would prefer to clerk for me.

I've only had one judge tell me, let me know if you have any upcoming interviews.

Re: Notifying earlier judges about new interview - etiquette

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 9:47 pm
by Anonymous User
OP. So much of this is interesting and conflicting. Conventional wisdom is accept offer on the spot, or take a day or two to think it over. But if you take a day, it shouldn't be about trying to leverage another offer elsewhere (so they say--it should just be about yes or no with *this* judge. but then what's there to think about??). If you go back to earlier judge saying "hey i got an offer and you told me to tell you" and that judge offers you, you accept, then tell that other judge (who gave you some time to think) "no thanks, I'm taking my talents elsewhere," you essentially played her. Maybe that's fine and can be rationalized as "well this other judge had the first go because they were the first to interview me" (and you were given time to think anyway). Still seems like leveraging though, which everyone here says is frowned upon.

Best case scenario are those anecdotes from people saying all judges they interviewed with were totally open with telling other judges, playing the field, "i understand you're applying broadly and have your own preferences." But seems like that's the outlier and for the rest, we're stuck navigating some awkward game.

Really appreciate the responses!

Re: Notifying earlier judges about new interview - etiquette

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 10:15 pm
by nixy
Wild Card wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 9:14 pm
This is interesting.

I've had three judges tell me, get in touch with me if you get an OFFER from another judge and would prefer to clerk for me.

I've only had one judge tell me, let me know if you have any upcoming interviews.
TBF, "tell me if you get an offer" is probably more common. And I did leave out the important bit - "and you still want to clerk for me." Obviously if you don't want to clerk for that judge, no need to contact them about anything.

I don't think going on a second interview, getting an offer, and telling the first judge is playing anyone. You can't not go on the second interview because you don't yet have an offer from anyone - judges know that. (If the judge didn't want you to go on other interviews they'd ask you to tell them if you get another one.) Getting a second offer definitely doesn't guarantee you an offer with the first judge. It just lets them know you (presumably) have a deadline by which you need to answer the second judge, and you're looking to find out if they can give you an answer by that deadline. They will either give you an answer - which could be yes or no - or let you know that they can't give you an answer by then, in which case you're probably going to thank them and withdraw (unless you feel reallllly lucky). I think the majority of judges will be able to give you a yes or no at that point, but some might want to make sure by interviewing their whole pool before making a decision, and maybe the last candidate can't interview for 2 weeks, something like that. It's all very idiosyncratic.

(I guess it feels like you're assuming that having an offer from a second judge is always going to make you look like a stronger candidate and therefore increase your chances with the first judge, but I don't think that's really the case. It really is about getting timelines to line up, not actually increasing your chances.)

And really, people *are* trying to leverage interviews and offers and so on, you just need to avoid *looking like* you're leveraging anything. I think the "don't leverage if you get a day to think" advice is mostly about "don't call up judges who haven't expressed any interest in you and try to arrange short-notice interviews before your deadline," because that's going to look a little untoward. It's not the same as handling overlapping interviews/offers. If A asks you to tell them about any other offers if you're still interested in clerking for them, you interview with B, tell A about it, and get an offer from A, B might be slightly disgruntled (if they wanted to hire you), but they're not going to hold it against you.

Re: Notifying earlier judges about new interview - etiquette

Posted: Fri May 29, 2020 2:17 pm
by texanslimjim
Wild Card wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 9:14 pm
This is interesting.

I've had three judges tell me, get in touch with me if you get an OFFER from another judge and would prefer to clerk for me.

I've only had one judge tell me, let me know if you have any upcoming interviews.

I would only get in touch after another offer if explicitly told by the judge to do so. When they tell you that, they're giving you permission to break the norm that you're supposed to accept the first offer you get. Which is honestly pretty greedy because it's telling the applicant to break the norm with another judge (who may care about it) without guaranteeing an offer.

Unless you get specific instruction from the judge, you should let them know that you have another interview so they have an opportunity to give you a quick offer if they really liked you, because the norm is you will accept from whichever judge offers you first. In light of that norm, letting a judge know you have other interviews is plainly a matter of courtesy, even though it's true there's a leverage angle.

I agree that you just let them know you have another interview once. The point is to let them to know you might receive an offer from another judge any day now, not how many judges you might receive an offer from.

Re: Notifying earlier judges about new interview - etiquette

Posted: Fri May 29, 2020 5:40 pm
by Anon-non-anon
texanslimjim wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 2:17 pm
Wild Card wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 9:14 pm
This is interesting.

I've had three judges tell me, get in touch with me if you get an OFFER from another judge and would prefer to clerk for me.

I've only had one judge tell me, let me know if you have any upcoming interviews.

I would only get in touch after another offer if explicitly told by the judge to do so. When they tell you that, they're giving you permission to break the norm that you're supposed to accept the first offer you get. Which is honestly pretty greedy because it's telling the applicant to break the norm with another judge (who may care about it) without guaranteeing an offer.

Unless you get specific instruction from the judge, you should let them know that you have another interview so they have an opportunity to give you a quick offer if they really liked you, because the norm is you will accept from whichever judge offers you first. In light of that norm, letting a judge know you have other interviews is plainly a matter of courtesy, even though it's true there's a leverage angle.

I agree that you just let them know you have another interview once. The point is to let them to know you might receive an offer from another judge any day now, not how many judges you might receive an offer from.
Seconding this. Just reach out once, say you have other interviews and wanted to give them a heads up. If it's true, you could say (in a nice way) you'd cancel your interview to clerk for that judge. I would think a lot about how you word that though, if you want to say it at all.