Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

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Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:50 pm

For the first time in my legal career since I started law school, I have managed to sleep through an interview, and I really don't know what to do. This happened recently, and I'm starting to wonder if I should be reaching out.

The interview was via Zoom, quite early in the morning (time difference), and I don't sleep well to begin with, so I slept through my alarm and woke up an hour after the interview was supposed to start. I already had to reschedule once because I had a sudden work obligation that I couldn't ignore, and then this happened. I didn't say anything or call chambers immediately because I was embarrassed and ashamed.

I wasn't necessarily extremely enthusiastic about this position (and to be honest only accepted the interview because I felt cornered by the phone call) (note to self, stop picking up the phone), but I also feel awful that I essentially no-showed on a judge who was really nice and accommodating.

Should I just forget about it and move on, or should I try to apologize (not trying to salvage the job, just saying sorry)? Would saying anything make matters worse somehow? If it helps, this position was not in a district where I ever see myself practicing.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:50 pm
For the first time in my legal career since I started law school, I have managed to sleep through an interview, and I really don't know what to do. This happened recently, and I'm starting to wonder if I should be reaching out.

The interview was via Zoom, quite early in the morning (time difference), and I don't sleep well to begin with, so I slept through my alarm and woke up an hour after the interview was supposed to start. I already had to reschedule once because I had a sudden work obligation that I couldn't ignore, and then this happened. I didn't say anything or call chambers immediately because I was embarrassed and ashamed.

I wasn't necessarily extremely enthusiastic about this position (and to be honest only accepted the interview because I felt cornered by the phone call) (note to self, stop picking up the phone), but I also feel awful that I essentially no-showed on a judge who was really nice and accommodating.

Should I just forget about it and move on, or should I try to apologize (not trying to salvage the job, just saying sorry)? Would saying anything make matters worse somehow? If it helps, this position was not in a district where I ever see myself practicing.
Apologize profusely so you don't tank future applicants from your school any more than you already have.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:50 pm
For the first time in my legal career since I started law school, I have managed to sleep through an interview, and I really don't know what to do. This happened recently, and I'm starting to wonder if I should be reaching out.

The interview was via Zoom, quite early in the morning (time difference), and I don't sleep well to begin with, so I slept through my alarm and woke up an hour after the interview was supposed to start. I already had to reschedule once because I had a sudden work obligation that I couldn't ignore, and then this happened. I didn't say anything or call chambers immediately because I was embarrassed and ashamed.

I wasn't necessarily extremely enthusiastic about this position (and to be honest only accepted the interview because I felt cornered by the phone call) (note to self, stop picking up the phone), but I also feel awful that I essentially no-showed on a judge who was really nice and accommodating.

Should I just forget about it and move on, or should I try to apologize (not trying to salvage the job, just saying sorry)? Would saying anything make matters worse somehow? If it helps, this position was not in a district where I ever see myself practicing.
You should start saying prayers that this doesn't make it back to your law school's clerkship office. But on a real note, yes, you've gotta do something to take ownership. One does not "ghost" a federal judge.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:06 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:50 pm
For the first time in my legal career since I started law school, I have managed to sleep through an interview, and I really don't know what to do. This happened recently, and I'm starting to wonder if I should be reaching out.

The interview was via Zoom, quite early in the morning (time difference), and I don't sleep well to begin with, so I slept through my alarm and woke up an hour after the interview was supposed to start. I already had to reschedule once because I had a sudden work obligation that I couldn't ignore, and then this happened. I didn't say anything or call chambers immediately because I was embarrassed and ashamed.

I wasn't necessarily extremely enthusiastic about this position (and to be honest only accepted the interview because I felt cornered by the phone call) (note to self, stop picking up the phone), but I also feel awful that I essentially no-showed on a judge who was really nice and accommodating.

Should I just forget about it and move on, or should I try to apologize (not trying to salvage the job, just saying sorry)? Would saying anything make matters worse somehow? If it helps, this position was not in a district where I ever see myself practicing.
You should start saying prayers that this doesn't make it back to your law school's clerkship office. But on a real note, yes, you've gotta do something to take ownership. One does not "ghost" a federal judge.
My law school doesn't have a clerkship office, and what they do have (a "career" office) is a disorganized, unhelpful dumpster fire that as far as I can tell does nothing to help anyone-- they certainly never did anything to help me, even when I begged for advice or assistance. I've also already graduated, so I guess the most they could do is revoke my OSCAR access or something.

That said, I sent an email apologizing for missing the call and for any inconvenience or wasted time, and thanking the judge for their consideration anyway. I figured it was the right thing to do, and it isn't like I haven't already lost my shot.

These are certainly interesting times-- if it had been an in-person interview, I don't think there's any way I would have managed to sleep in.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by abujabal » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:36 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:06 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:50 pm
My law school doesn't have a clerkship office, and what they do have (a "career" office) is a disorganized, unhelpful dumpster fire that as far as I can tell does nothing to help anyone-- they certainly never did anything to help me, even when I begged for advice or assistance. I've also already graduated, so I guess the most they could do is revoke my OSCAR access or something.

That said, I sent an email apologizing for missing the call and for any inconvenience or wasted time, and thanking the judge for their consideration anyway. I figured it was the right thing to do, and it isn't like I haven't already lost my shot.

These are certainly interesting times-- if it had been an in-person interview, I don't think there's any way I would have managed to sleep in.
Maybe they would have tried to help you out but you kept sleeping in through your meetings with them
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by nixy » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:06 pm

Apologizing was the right call. I agree though that it’s WAY easier to miss stuff from home than if you have to get up and go somewhere.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by BansheeScream » Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:03 pm

Doesn't seemed like you were too jazzed about the position anyway. Sh*t happens. Keep applying and don't make a habit of it.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by ExperssioUnius » Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:54 pm

Apologize profusely so you don't tank future applicants from your school any more than you already have.
Yes, you should apologize, which you already realized and did.
But, the line of thinking that a mistake by one student will doom the school's reputation with a judge is ridiculously overblown both in clerkship offices and on this forum. Do we really think that judges who have hired and worked with many law clerks will conclude that because one person from school X missed an interview, then everyone from school X is not a good candidate.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by lavarman84 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:42 pm

ExperssioUnius wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:05 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:54 pm

Apologize profusely so you don't tank future applicants from your school any more than you already have.
Yes, you should apologize, which you already realized and did.
But, the line of thinking that a mistake by one student will doom the school's reputation with a judge is ridiculously overblown both in clerkship offices and on this forum. Do we really think that judges who have hired and worked with many law clerks will conclude that because one person from school X missed an interview, then everyone from school X is not a good candidate.
I have heard of judges swearing off hiring clerks from a law school because of a bad experience with a clerk from that school. Judges are people. People have eccentricities.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:11 pm

ExperssioUnius wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:05 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:54 pm

Apologize profusely so you don't tank future applicants from your school any more than you already have.
Yes, you should apologize, which you already realized and did.
But, the line of thinking that a mistake by one student will doom the school's reputation with a judge is ridiculously overblown both in clerkship offices and on this forum. Do we really think that judges who have hired and worked with many law clerks will conclude that because one person from school X missed an interview, then everyone from school X is not a good candidate.
Yes. Source - I had a judge's clerk tell me that my app wouldn't get looked at because "oh the Judge had a bad interview experience with a XYZ School applicant and doesn't really review these."

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:11 pm
ExperssioUnius wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:05 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:54 pm

Apologize profusely so you don't tank future applicants from your school any more than you already have.
Yes, you should apologize, which you already realized and did.
But, the line of thinking that a mistake by one student will doom the school's reputation with a judge is ridiculously overblown both in clerkship offices and on this forum. Do we really think that judges who have hired and worked with many law clerks will conclude that because one person from school X missed an interview, then everyone from school X is not a good candidate.
Yes. Source - I had a judge's clerk tell me that my app wouldn't get looked at because "oh the Judge had a bad interview experience with a XYZ School applicant and doesn't really review these."
Probably depends on which school. A judge will be more likely to overlook aberrant behavior from Harvard or Yale than for Emory or Iowa.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:11 am

Eh, I don't think judges care. They get tons of applicants from top schools. I interned with a judge who had a terrible experience with not one but two U Chicago grads. They refused to consider U Chicago grads after that.

(I should say that I don't think the OP's situation necessarily counts as a terrible interview experience. Not showing up after rescheduling was bad, but a humble and respectful apology can go a long way with a reasonable person.)

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:09 am

What do y’all mean when saying a terrible interview experience?

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by nixy » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:48 am

Not just run of the mill mediocre interviewing/bad fit - like actual rudeness or disrespect. Being rude to the JA, waltzing in 20 mins late and not apologizing, maybe acting like the job is yours already. It’s possible that there are judges who are particularly persnickety who will ding candidates/schools for less, but judges interview probably at least 5? people every year, so over time they should get a reasonable sense of what stands out as egregiously ding-their-school bad and what’s run of the mill haplessness.

Not showing up for an interview (especially after rescheduling once) would be up there, but I think a lot of reasonable people will accept a genuine apology. I don’t think the OP could redeem themselves, but it would be more because they’d be seen as personally irresponsible/unreliable rather than rude in a way that reflects on their school. (I fully admit I’m speculating here, but it’s hard to know for certain how any given judge will react and different judges will have different responses.)

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:11 am
Eh, I don't think judges care. They get tons of applicants from top schools. I interned with a judge who had a terrible experience with not one but two U Chicago grads. They refused to consider U Chicago grads after that.

(I should say that I don't think the OP's situation necessarily counts as a terrible interview experience. Not showing up after rescheduling was bad, but a humble and respectful apology can go a long way with a reasonable person.)
I get that judges are Boomers with life tenure who make weird hiring decisions all the time, but this practice seems particularly bizarre/irrational/petty.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:20 pm

Eh, it's common for judges to have quirky reasons to really love or dislike a school, and an applicant not showing up for an interview could certainly put the school in the "dislike" category--especially if the judge doesn't regularly interview candidates from that school. Of course, if the judge has had 5 great law clerks from UVA and a UVA kid fails to show up for the interview, they probably aren't going to write off the whole school. But if it's the first time a judge has interviewed a candidate from, like, Fordham (which is, by all accounts, a very good law school but not one with clerkship placement power), then I wouldn't be surprised if the judge just never interviewed another Fordham kid. Judges can (and do) have quirky attitudes about schools for reasons far less concrete than failing to show for an interview.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by nixy » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:13 pm

That’s fair. A judge might do that. I don’t think all necessarily will, but it’s possible. I don’t think it’s just about school ranking though - they could have the same reaction to any school they don’t hire from a lot, which could be any of the T14 schools for some judges (any one of them, I mean - not saying there are judges that refuse to hire from the T14 at all. Probably there’s someone out there like that, but I meant more like a judge in CA who hires almost entirely from Stanford, Berkeley, and the top of Davis/Irvine/Hastings, who just hasn’t happened to have hired, say, a Penn grad before).

As to whether it’s bizarre/irrational/petty to ban a school - again, not all judges will. But it’s worth remembering that judges have to hire a clerk every year (every other at most), it’s a lot of work, and it takes time away from more pressing matters. Judges are always looking for ways to winnow down applicants. So if they’ve had some degree of bad experience with students from a particular school, it’s not shocking to me that they might just not really look at applicants from that school any more. Kind of the flip side of judges who only hire from one school. It may not be fair to other students from that school, but it’s not really irrational or petty. (And it doesn’t have to be about the judge’s ego getting bruised or something by an applicant being late to the interview of whatever. It could even be something more intellectual like they really disagree with the way the school teaches a particular subject or legal writing or such.)

I’m not going to say that no judge who does this ever does it for petty reasons, but I think mostly it’s a combination of all the other factors.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by ExperssioUnius » Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:45 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:42 pm

I have heard of judges swearing off hiring clerks from a law school because of a bad experience with a clerk from that school. Judges are people. People have eccentricities.
I'd put a bad experience with a clerk in a very different category than a bad experience with an interviewee. The former involves a much more extensive relationship and I have no doubt, happens a fair bit; albeit more so when a judge has more than one bad experience with a clerk from X school.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:48 am

ExperssioUnius wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:05 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:54 pm

Apologize profusely so you don't tank future applicants from your school any more than you already have.
Yes, you should apologize, which you already realized and did.
But, the line of thinking that a mistake by one student will doom the school's reputation with a judge is ridiculously overblown both in clerkship offices and on this forum. Do we really think that judges who have hired and worked with many law clerks will conclude that because one person from school X missed an interview, then everyone from school X is not a good candidate.
Judges absolutely develop preferences for schools based on, among other factors, their experiences with interviewees and clerks from the school. One of my judges doesn't consider applicants from a particular T6 because he had some bad interview experiences with students from that school. As others have said there is a fire hose of qualified candidates, and judges and clerks use relatively arbitrary criteria to winnow down the list all the time.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:48 am
ExperssioUnius wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:05 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:54 pm

Apologize profusely so you don't tank future applicants from your school any more than you already have.
Yes, you should apologize, which you already realized and did.
But, the line of thinking that a mistake by one student will doom the school's reputation with a judge is ridiculously overblown both in clerkship offices and on this forum. Do we really think that judges who have hired and worked with many law clerks will conclude that because one person from school X missed an interview, then everyone from school X is not a good candidate.
Judges absolutely develop preferences for schools based on, among other factors, their experiences with interviewees and clerks from the school. One of my judges doesn't consider applicants from a particular T6 because he had some bad interview experiences with students from that school. As others have said there is a fire hose of qualified candidates, and judges and clerks use relatively arbitrary criteria to winnow down the list all the time.
I would love to know what a "bad interview experience" is?

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:24 pm

I know for a fact (having clerked there) that a certain CA2 judge will not hire from a certain elite law school based on two clerks this judge has had from that school, both of which went very unfavorably from the judge's POV.

The people who are skeptical of this notion (yes, even with respect to an elite school) don't correctly appreciate just how many sufficiently amazing options these (especially, federal appellate) judges have when they go to fill their chambers. Not hiring from a certain school, even an elite one, won't affect the quality of work in chambers. And they know it. That gives them the room to establish idiosyncratic hiring practices.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by nixy » Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:21 pm
I would love to know what a "bad interview experience" is?
nixy wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:48 am
Not just run of the mill mediocre interviewing/bad fit - like actual rudeness or disrespect. Being rude to the JA, waltzing in 20 mins late and not apologizing, maybe acting like the job is yours already. It’s possible that there are judges who are particularly persnickety who will ding candidates/schools for less, but judges interview probably at least 5? people every year, so over time they should get a reasonable sense of what stands out as egregiously ding-their-school bad and what’s run of the mill haplessness.
To follow up: bad doesn't mean you made a good faith effort but didn't hit it off with the judge or the clerks, or gave a substantively wrong answer to a legal question, or even that you just didn't come across as someone who'd be a good clerk. It's going to be more attitude.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:21 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:48 am
ExperssioUnius wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:05 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:54 pm

Apologize profusely so you don't tank future applicants from your school any more than you already have.
Yes, you should apologize, which you already realized and did.
But, the line of thinking that a mistake by one student will doom the school's reputation with a judge is ridiculously overblown both in clerkship offices and on this forum. Do we really think that judges who have hired and worked with many law clerks will conclude that because one person from school X missed an interview, then everyone from school X is not a good candidate.
Judges absolutely develop preferences for schools based on, among other factors, their experiences with interviewees and clerks from the school. One of my judges doesn't consider applicants from a particular T6 because he had some bad interview experiences with students from that school. As others have said there is a fire hose of qualified candidates, and judges and clerks use relatively arbitrary criteria to winnow down the list all the time.
I would love to know what a "bad interview experience" is?
I'm the above anon -- by bad experiences I mean rudeness -- whether that be being rude to the current clerks or the JAs, being late without explanation, etc. This is why I posted about this on this thread -- the OP who blew off the interview (even if by accident) does risk hurting the chances of future students from his or her school as judges remember things like this. As has been said several times in this thread, there are way more qualified candidates than there are positions available, so people are looking for reasons to say no and rude behavior is an easy pass.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:23 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:21 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:48 am
ExperssioUnius wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:05 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:54 pm

Apologize profusely so you don't tank future applicants from your school any more than you already have.
Yes, you should apologize, which you already realized and did.
But, the line of thinking that a mistake by one student will doom the school's reputation with a judge is ridiculously overblown both in clerkship offices and on this forum. Do we really think that judges who have hired and worked with many law clerks will conclude that because one person from school X missed an interview, then everyone from school X is not a good candidate.
Judges absolutely develop preferences for schools based on, among other factors, their experiences with interviewees and clerks from the school. One of my judges doesn't consider applicants from a particular T6 because he had some bad interview experiences with students from that school. As others have said there is a fire hose of qualified candidates, and judges and clerks use relatively arbitrary criteria to winnow down the list all the time.
I would love to know what a "bad interview experience" is?
I'm the above anon -- by bad experiences I mean rudeness -- whether that be being rude to the current clerks or the JAs, being late without explanation, etc. This is why I posted about this on this thread -- the OP who blew off the interview (even if by accident) does risk hurting the chances of future students from his or her school as judges remember things like this. As has been said several times in this thread, there are way more qualified candidates than there are positions available, so people are looking for reasons to say no and rude behavior is an easy pass.
I know it's been said on TLS before but it can't be said enough: treat the JA as one of your interviewers! Our interviews begin when the JA meets you at the courthouse door and continues as you go through security, take the elevator ride up, and make the long walk down the hall to chambers. By the time the judge meets you the JA has had 3 or so minutes to get to know you, make small talk, and you better have made small talk back and treated her the same way you would have treated the judge if he had met you at the door.

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Re: Slept Through Interview-- Apologize or Let It Go?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:56 pm

1. For what it's worth, my judge refuses to hire from 2 schools in the T14 because he/she had a bad experience with clerks from that school.

2. I would definitely apologize. Aside from preventing a stupid but largely harmless mistake from ballooning into a really bad situation for you and other candidates from your school, it's just the right thing to do.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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