Withdrawing before interview?

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Withdrawing before interview?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:07 pm

I have an interview scheduled with a district judge next week (only one I've got). I've done more research to the area and I'm convinced it's not in a place I want to be or, frankly, would be able to last a year in. I would rather not waste the judge's time and withdraw prior to the interview actually happening, despite the fact that I don't have a clerkship yet (I would be deferring a firm offer to clerk). Is this a bad etiquette move? Should I still do the interview anyway? Any foreseeable negative repercussions?

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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:07 pm
I have an interview scheduled with a district judge next week (only one I've got). I've done more research to the area and I'm convinced it's not in a place I want to be or, frankly, would be able to last a year in. I would rather not waste the judge's time and withdraw prior to the interview actually happening, despite the fact that I don't have a clerkship yet (I would be deferring a firm offer to clerk). Is this a bad etiquette move? Should I still do the interview anyway? Any foreseeable negative repercussions?
I have the exact same question. I don't know if I should do the interview then if I get an offer decline it or if I should just cancel the interview–in either of those situations I don't know how to phrase things.

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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:07 pm
I have an interview scheduled with a district judge next week (only one I've got). I've done more research to the area and I'm convinced it's not in a place I want to be or, frankly, would be able to last a year in. I would rather not waste the judge's time and withdraw prior to the interview actually happening, despite the fact that I don't have a clerkship yet (I would be deferring a firm offer to clerk). Is this a bad etiquette move? Should I still do the interview anyway? Any foreseeable negative repercussions?
No, totally fine. There is no point in wasting the judge and the clerk’s time if you will not accept. Doing the interview, getting the offer, and then declining looks much worse. Just explain that after thinking about it more / talking about it with SO (if applicable), you do not feel the geographic fit is right, so don’t want to waste their time and would like to cancel. I did the same thing, and the Judge was pleasant about it.

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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:34 pm

You shouldn't interview for a job you wouldn't take and for some reason there's a stigma against declining clerkship offers so just withdraw. Phrase it artfully of course--"after discussions with my family, we came to the difficult decision that this opportunity wouldn't be ideal for us at this time..." blah blah blah.

nixy

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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by nixy » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:45 pm

Agreed. Withdrawing before an interview is fine. Turning down an offer after is fine too (in my book - may annoy some judges but it’s your life) if you learn something at the interview that convinces you that you couldn’t do the gig - you loathe the judge or the career clerk or the location once you’ve actually seen it. But if you’re certain now that you wouldn’t take it, then don’t waste everyone’s time and end up in a slightly more awkward situation.

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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by Wild Card » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:47 pm

It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but judges do complain too much.

There are plenty of folks who would jump for it even if you withdrew.

A judge spends 30 minutes interviewing you, 30 minutes reading your application, and 30 minutes chatting with your references. Oh, no!

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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:12 pm

I did this a few years ago and I'm glad I did it. My school's clerkship office set up the interview before I had a chance to fully think through what it would mean to live in the judge's city (in flyover country with a bad reputation for livability, and with no connection to any market relevant to my career) for a year. I called chambers directly and said I appreciated the invitation but that I unfortunately needed to withdraw my application. It was a little awkward because the JA congratulated me, presuming I had been offered another clerkship for the term, but I just told her I didn't have a clerkship and was withdrawing for personal reasons.

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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:53 pm

I once accepted an interview with a judge because the chambers called at a VERY early hour (time difference) and I made the mistake of answering the phone immediately after waking up. The job was in a geographic area where I really didn't want to live, and I had some decent prospects elsewhere, so had I been fully cognizant I probably would have declined then.

That said, I did probably a bad thing, and just did the interview (it was virtual so no expense to me). I figured that I just might hear something that would make the job more appealing, and if not, I could withdraw my application afterward. As it turns out, the judge basically told me he tries to work his clerks to death, and forgot my name three times during the interview... So, I sent a polite email withdrawing shortly thereafter, but not giving a specific reason. I believe the judge's assumption was that I heard something I didn't like during the interview (true, even though I wasn't all that interested before).

I'm not saying this is the right thing to do in your case specifically, but it might still be worth interviewing to see if you really like the judge or the career clerk or something.

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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:46 pm

If you are withdrawing pre-interview because you took a position with another judge, how much info should you share in the withdrawal? I am withdrawing from a judge in the same courthouse as the one I am clerking for. Should I say "I am withdrawing because I accepted a position with Judge X" (or something to that effect) or leave off the name? I have no idea what the etiquette is!

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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by nixy » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:30 pm

I think you can just say that you've accepted another clerkship, and don't need to go into more detail. If for some reason they ask, tell them, but that's not extremely likely.

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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:41 pm

nixy wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:30 pm
I think you can just say that you've accepted another clerkship, and don't need to go into more detail. If for some reason they ask, tell them, but that's not extremely likely.
Is that true even though the chambers are physically close and the clerks apparently frequently interact? Sorry to push back/make sure, but I just do not want to offend anyone I will be working with before I even start my job.

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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:41 pm
nixy wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:30 pm
I think you can just say that you've accepted another clerkship, and don't need to go into more detail. If for some reason they ask, tell them, but that's not extremely likely.
Is that true even though the chambers are physically close and the clerks apparently frequently interact? Sorry to push back/make sure, but I just do not want to offend anyone I will be working with before I even start my job.
If the judges are on the same court I would say I accepted with Judge X. There are certainly exceptions but most judges are friendly with one another. The judge you're declining will probably congratulate you on getting a great clerkship and then maybe rib their colleague for stealing one from them.

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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by nixy » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:57 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:41 pm
nixy wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:30 pm
I think you can just say that you've accepted another clerkship, and don't need to go into more detail. If for some reason they ask, tell them, but that's not extremely likely.
Is that true even though the chambers are physically close and the clerks apparently frequently interact? Sorry to push back/make sure, but I just do not want to offend anyone I will be working with before I even start my job.
If the judges are on the same court I would say I accepted with Judge X. There are certainly exceptions but most judges are friendly with one another. The judge you're declining will probably congratulate you on getting a great clerkship and then maybe rib their colleague for stealing one from them.
You certainly can, but you don't have to. They will find out at some point when you show up for the clerkship, but it wouldn't offend anybody if you didn't say which judge earlier. There's no universal expectation about this, so go with whichever you feel more comfortable doing.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:33 am

I withdrew from an interview after hearing some bad things about the judge from a former clerk. I also did the thing where when I emailed to cancel the interview, the JA asked where I'd accepted and I had to say nowhere. My school was not thrilled, but it was definitely the right thing to do. I ended up getting a better clerkship, but even if I hadn't, it would have been the right call. Don't interview for a job you don't want.

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Re: Withdrawing before interview?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:22 am

nixy wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:01 pm
You certainly can, but you don't have to. They will find out at some point when you show up for the clerkship, but it wouldn't offend anybody if you didn't say which judge earlier. There's no universal expectation about this, so go with whichever you feel more comfortable doing.
Thanks.

P.S.: Thanks to Anon above as well.

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