Appellate WFH Forum

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Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Feb 18, 2022 4:53 pm

Can anyone speak to federal appellate judges and their WFH policies for clerks? Obviously it'll differ by judge, but was just hoping to get a sense.

And I mean their ACTUAL policies, not stated policies- for instance, my (district) judge allows us to work from home basically whenever we want, so long as there's not a trial or hearing we need to deal with. But that's not his "official" policy.

I know I could just ask my judge, but it feels a little premature.

Thanks!

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Feb 18, 2022 5:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Feb 18, 2022 4:53 pm
Can anyone speak to federal appellate judges and their WFH policies for clerks? Obviously it'll differ by judge, but was just hoping to get a sense.

And I mean their ACTUAL policies, not stated policies- for instance, my (district) judge allows us to work from home basically whenever we want, so long as there's not a trial or hearing we need to deal with. But that's not his "official" policy.

I know I could just ask my judge, but it feels a little premature.

Thanks!
As you said, totally variable by judge. In my COA clerkship, we are working in the office with no WFH option. I also know some COA judges have more of a hybrid model, though, VERY anecdotally, I don't personally know of many COA clerks who are working from home--most people seem to be in the office. I suppose just be prepared for either!

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 20, 2022 4:50 pm

My COA clerkship is also in-person mandatory with WFH only if you're feeling sick. We went remote for a bit during omicron but we're back. Agreed with the above that anecdotally, I think COA clerkships are in person.

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 20, 2022 7:19 pm

Judges generally like to be able to have opportunities for in-person mentorship and coordination. So most days they will want you to be in person. However, the judges I am familiar with would also be open to a conversations about adapting that to fit individual needs. So while I think very few (if any judges) would be OK with a clerk being fully remote, I think a lot would be OK with you working on modified hours or having a set day each week where you work from home. If the judge isn't in chambers a lot themselves, then they'll likely be fine with you working remotely as well. Having a good reason helps: if you just prefer working from home, that won't cut it for a lot of judges. But if for example you have a child that you need to be home with certain days of the week, that could get you a bit further.

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 20, 2022 8:09 pm

There are judges who allow full remote—e.g. Newman and Park on CA2, I believe. It’s uncommon though.

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 20, 2022 8:40 pm

I clerked on a circuit court and had a fairly long commute due to personal circumstances. Relatively early on, my judge gave me permission to work from home on Fridays. Then COVID hit and we all worked from home every day except the few days we were needed in chambers.

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by LBJ's Hair » Sun Feb 20, 2022 8:41 pm

I feel like half the point of clerking is building a relationship with the judge and your co-clerks. can see circumstances where WFH permanent is appealing (weird location and you don't want to relocate family/kids etc) but if you can do in-person, not sure I'd recommend seeking out remote

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 20, 2022 11:01 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:
Sun Feb 20, 2022 8:41 pm
I feel like half the point of clerking is building a relationship with the judge and your co-clerks. can see circumstances where WFH permanent is appealing (weird location and you don't want to relocate family/kids etc) but if you can do in-person, not sure I'd recommend seeking out remote
Yeah the small number of permanent remote clerks I know of all had young children and spouses.

Most judges did at least partial WFH during Covid so there’s probably more flexibility w/r/t that then there used to be. All else being equal it’s probably more likely with younger judges—e.g. there are some senior judges who don’t really use computers for whom it would be basically impossible.

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 21, 2022 12:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Feb 20, 2022 8:09 pm
There are judges who allow full remote—e.g. Newman and Park on CA2, I believe. It’s uncommon though.
Walker on CADC too

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 21, 2022 2:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Feb 21, 2022 12:56 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Feb 20, 2022 8:09 pm
There are judges who allow full remote—e.g. Newman and Park on CA2, I believe. It’s uncommon though.
Walker on CADC too
Doesn't Walker mostly work from Kentucky anyways?

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 29, 2022 10:10 am

Different anon, but just bumping this. Sounds like there are at least a few appellate judges that are fully remote, albeit on the 2nd and DC Circuits. Are there others who are fully remote but from different circuits (and thus a tad less selective...)?

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Apr 30, 2022 6:30 pm

I'm aware of at least a couple 9th circuit judges that allow remote clerks. At least part of the year at least

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 02, 2022 3:37 pm

Which judges?

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 06, 2022 2:23 am

Bump...anyone know which?

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 06, 2022 9:31 pm

I don't know if Judge Bade would let you work from another state, but my impression is that she's basically fully remote. Clerks only go into chambers if they so desire.

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 08, 2022 10:07 am

Several CA10 chambers are hybrid with clerks expected to work in person 2-3 days a week. Not sure if any are fully remote at this point.

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 09, 2022 1:23 am

Do you know which judges specifically?

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:18 pm

Bumping this... anyone know which CA10 judges? I live within the circuit but couldn't do more than 2-3 days in the office for family reasons.

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:18 pm
Bumping this... anyone know which CA10 judges? I live within the circuit but couldn't do more than 2-3 days in the office for family reasons.
Pretty sure Ebel in Denver, but it's hard to know if these types of Covid-related policies will remain in place in future years.

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 16, 2022 7:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:18 pm
Bumping this... anyone know which CA10 judges? I live within the circuit but couldn't do more than 2-3 days in the office for family reasons.
I don't mean to sound snotty, but what family reasons would require you to be at home yet still allow you to work from home?

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by namefromplace » Thu Jun 16, 2022 9:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 7:38 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:18 pm
Bumping this... anyone know which CA10 judges? I live within the circuit but couldn't do more than 2-3 days in the office for family reasons.
I don't mean to sound snotty, but what family reasons would require you to be at home yet still allow you to work from home?
This sounds horribly snotty. A lot of kids/elderly parents/pets can't be left at home alone but don't require constant supervision/direction.

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 16, 2022 10:01 pm

namefromplace wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 9:17 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 7:38 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:18 pm
Bumping this... anyone know which CA10 judges? I live within the circuit but couldn't do more than 2-3 days in the office for family reasons.
I don't mean to sound snotty, but what family reasons would require you to be at home yet still allow you to work from home?
This sounds horribly snotty. A lot of kids/elderly parents/pets can't be left at home alone but don't require constant supervision/direction.
I wish the poster well (or you if it's you), and it doesn't matter in the slightest what I think because I'm not hiring anyone, but I'm still confused about how that would work. I'd like to understand so I can avoid being a jerk in future if I encounter this in my actual work like, because I want people to have good work/life balance. But if a pet/parent/kid can't be left alone, doesn't that mean you have to be available to them? How does that work with being employed full time?

Anonymous User
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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 16, 2022 10:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 10:01 pm
namefromplace wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 9:17 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 7:38 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:18 pm
Bumping this... anyone know which CA10 judges? I live within the circuit but couldn't do more than 2-3 days in the office for family reasons.
I don't mean to sound snotty, but what family reasons would require you to be at home yet still allow you to work from home?
This sounds horribly snotty. A lot of kids/elderly parents/pets can't be left at home alone but don't require constant supervision/direction.
I wish the poster well (or you if it's you), and it doesn't matter in the slightest what I think because I'm not hiring anyone, but I'm still confused about how that would work. I'd like to understand so I can avoid being a jerk in future if I encounter this in my actual work like, because I want people to have good work/life balance. But if a pet/parent/kid can't be left alone, doesn't that mean you have to be available to them? How does that work with being employed full time?
If you are sincerely curious, for example, an elderly widowed parent who is a fall risk. Or a child that has seizures or type one diabetes. Imagine a situation that is unlikely to occur but dangerous enough that the person can't be left fully alone all day. Most of the time there's nothing to do, but when there's something to do, it's an emergency. Of course, there are a million other reasons, but that's one obvious one.

Anonymous User
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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 17, 2022 12:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 10:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 10:01 pm
namefromplace wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 9:17 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 7:38 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:18 pm
Bumping this... anyone know which CA10 judges? I live within the circuit but couldn't do more than 2-3 days in the office for family reasons.
I don't mean to sound snotty, but what family reasons would require you to be at home yet still allow you to work from home?
This sounds horribly snotty. A lot of kids/elderly parents/pets can't be left at home alone but don't require constant supervision/direction.
I wish the poster well (or you if it's you), and it doesn't matter in the slightest what I think because I'm not hiring anyone, but I'm still confused about how that would work. I'd like to understand so I can avoid being a jerk in future if I encounter this in my actual work like, because I want people to have good work/life balance. But if a pet/parent/kid can't be left alone, doesn't that mean you have to be available to them? How does that work with being employed full time?
If you are sincerely curious, for example, an elderly widowed parent who is a fall risk. Or a child that has seizures or type one diabetes. Imagine a situation that is unlikely to occur but dangerous enough that the person can't be left fully alone all day. Most of the time there's nothing to do, but when there's something to do, it's an emergency. Of course, there are a million other reasons, but that's one obvious one.
Sure, I get those things, but if you're actually working when something happens - like say you're in your office on a Zoom call with a client or the court at least a floor away from the fall-risk parent or the child having a seizure or a low blood sugar crisis - I'm not sure how you being in the house will actually help if you're actually tied up with work and have no idea the crisis is occurring. Maybe you mean that you'd find out and be able to come to their aid sooner than if you were miles away? but that would still be way less good than having actual child/elder care able to prevent a situation in the first place, or at least respond immediately.

Because the thing is, WFH is *working* from home, which is doing one thing at a time, not working while simultaneously taking care of kids/parents/pets. This is why so many parents lost their minds trying to combine the two during the lockdown/closed schools phases of the pandemic. WFH isn't a solution for some kind of family care requirement.

It would make much more sense that there's some kind of logistical thing I'm overlooking, like the parents trade off dropping off/picking up kids, and the OP can only make the timing work if they're WFH (like the kids' school is the opposite direction from the workplace/commute times/etc), or the commute would add enough time they'd have to pay for afterschool care whereas WFH they can make pickup and they can swing paying for care 2-3x/wk but not more, or their spouse has one of those truly inflexible jobs like 24-hour doctor/nursing shifts where they're literally not available. I should have thought of that earlier.

namefromplace

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Re: Appellate WFH

Post by namefromplace » Fri Jun 17, 2022 2:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 17, 2022 12:17 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 10:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 10:01 pm
namefromplace wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 9:17 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 7:38 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:18 pm
Bumping this... anyone know which CA10 judges? I live within the circuit but couldn't do more than 2-3 days in the office for family reasons.
I don't mean to sound snotty, but what family reasons would require you to be at home yet still allow you to work from home?
This sounds horribly snotty. A lot of kids/elderly parents/pets can't be left at home alone but don't require constant supervision/direction.
I wish the poster well (or you if it's you), and it doesn't matter in the slightest what I think because I'm not hiring anyone, but I'm still confused about how that would work. I'd like to understand so I can avoid being a jerk in future if I encounter this in my actual work like, because I want people to have good work/life balance. But if a pet/parent/kid can't be left alone, doesn't that mean you have to be available to them? How does that work with being employed full time?
If you are sincerely curious, for example, an elderly widowed parent who is a fall risk. Or a child that has seizures or type one diabetes. Imagine a situation that is unlikely to occur but dangerous enough that the person can't be left fully alone all day. Most of the time there's nothing to do, but when there's something to do, it's an emergency. Of course, there are a million other reasons, but that's one obvious one.
Sure, I get those things, but if you're actually working when something happens - like say you're in your office on a Zoom call with a client or the court at least a floor away from the fall-risk parent or the child having a seizure or a low blood sugar crisis - I'm not sure how you being in the house will actually help if you're actually tied up with work and have no idea the crisis is occurring. Maybe you mean that you'd find out and be able to come to their aid sooner than if you were miles away? but that would still be way less good than having actual child/elder care able to prevent a situation in the first place, or at least respond immediately.

Because the thing is, WFH is *working* from home, which is doing one thing at a time, not working while simultaneously taking care of kids/parents/pets. This is why so many parents lost their minds trying to combine the two during the lockdown/closed schools phases of the pandemic. WFH isn't a solution for some kind of family care requirement.

It would make much more sense that there's some kind of logistical thing I'm overlooking, like the parents trade off dropping off/picking up kids, and the OP can only make the timing work if they're WFH (like the kids' school is the opposite direction from the workplace/commute times/etc), or the commute would add enough time they'd have to pay for afterschool care whereas WFH they can make pickup and they can swing paying for care 2-3x/wk but not more, or their spouse has one of those truly inflexible jobs like 24-hour doctor/nursing shifts where they're literally not available. I should have thought of that earlier.
You seem to have a kind of warped perspective of how work and caretaking actually function. For a lot of people, taking care of kids/parents/pets doesn't take up all of the time they have at home. The thing being taken care of needs to have someone around in case they need something, but kids, elderly, and pets can be pretty chill throughout the day (not all of them, of course). A parent working from home can make sure their kids are fed and not doing anything crazy without having to take up too much time from their day.

At the same time, working from home does not take up all of the time that someone has at home. Sure, you're spending most of your day focused on work, but you're not locked in an airtight room the whole day. You are accessible to your family and can hear if there's a commotion. If there's a lot of distractions on a given day, you may be a little less productive. But plenty of people are willing to put in extra hours at other times of the day to catch up.

The sort of inescapable work meetings you are talking about are pretty rare for a lot of attorneys. They're also usually scheduled far in advance, making it easy for caretakers to find someone to watch their family while the meeting is going on.

Of course, working from home while caretaking is not ideal, but it's an option that works for a lot of people. And, believe it or not, a lot of people can't afford a full-time caretaker.

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