DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

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DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:24 pm

Applications opened today, so figured I'd get this started. Debating whether or not to apply, since I'm graduating from a CCN with slightly above-median grades but no clerkship, and thus not likely to be competitive.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:04 am

DOJ Honors alum here. I had no clerkship and came from a TTT school but had all the “check marks” to make it in (ie moot court, mock trial, fed internship, grades, etc.) so it is definitely possible.

Best thing you can do is try to leverage your experiences (either before or during law school) and try to frame your application so that it shows you either have some experience and interest in the top 3 selections you choose.

Although I had no clerkship, I was able to set myself apart by highlighting the fact that I was a non-traditional candidate who can bring diversity to the Honors Program. I reinforced this by sharing my pre law school professional experience that related to the area of the law I currently work in, I showcased that I was eager to advocate in the courtroom by highlighting my accomplishments from my time in moot court, and I was able to show I had a strong dedication to public service by interning at federal agencies (SLIP/ non-slip).

All these things help form a strong application even though I didn’t come from a T14 and maybe was a breath of fresh air to the interviewers from the traditional JLC/ T14 application they see every year.

Additional advice: be realistic in your top 3. I’m sure there are highly sought-after components that are hiring this cycle (USAO, FBI, DEA, etc) that each have 1-2 hires available for the whole country. If you can’t dig deep and try to tie your real-life experiences to the highly sought-after positions, it may be better to choose a different component (crim/ civil division, EOIR, etc) that will offer hire more than just 1-2. The HP is competitive as it is.

Or you could always go the judge clerkship route and try a future HP cycle since clerkship “toll” your eligibility to the HP.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 09, 2020 2:09 pm

What are traditionally seen as the "less sought-after" components? Is it basically just a question of more/fewer spots, or do particular components also tend to see fewer applicants each year?

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