Clerks Taking Questions

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Expand view Topic review: Clerks Taking Questions

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by MJB » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:44 pm

Question wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:43 pm
Does it matter if I swap out a recommender for my OSCAR application? About a month ago, I sent in paper apps with Recommenders A, B, and C. I'm monitoring OSCAR as listings open up, and one just recently came up. I applied to this judge previously in a paper application. Would it matter if my OSCAR application, one week later, is A, B, and D?

I'm asking because recommender D is a recent addition and I believe a stronger recommendation than C.
This is fine. Even if they notice, all they'll know for now is that you got four people to recommend you. If you get an interview, they might ask you to clarify, but it sounds like there's nothing of concern to address.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by RoyalHollow » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:31 pm

Question wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:43 pm
Does it matter if I swap out a recommender for my OSCAR application? About a month ago, I sent in paper apps with Recommenders A, B, and C. I'm monitoring OSCAR as listings open up, and one just recently came up. I applied to this judge previously in a paper application. Would it matter if my OSCAR application, one week later, is A, B, and D?

I'm asking because recommender D is a recent addition and I believe a stronger recommendation than C.
Am a clerk, and I recently saw an app with an "Updated on..." note on someone's recommendation letter. I thought, "Huh, never seen that before" then I read the application exactly the same way I would have anyways.

When it's something like this, I make a conscious decision to assume it was for a applicant's benefit (they obtained a stronger recommendation late in the process) instead of detriment (someone decided they would no longer be a recommender).

Why are you applying both in paper and on OSCAR though?

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by lolwat » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:40 am

Question wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:43 pm
Does it matter if I swap out a recommender for my OSCAR application? About a month ago, I sent in paper apps with Recommenders A, B, and C. I'm monitoring OSCAR as listings open up, and one just recently came up. I applied to this judge previously in a paper application. Would it matter if my OSCAR application, one week later, is A, B, and D?

I'm asking because recommender D is a recent addition and I believe a stronger recommendation than C.
I doubt they'd notice, but, even if they do, it's probably not a big deal.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by Question » Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:43 pm

Does it matter if I swap out a recommender for my OSCAR application? About a month ago, I sent in paper apps with Recommenders A, B, and C. I'm monitoring OSCAR as listings open up, and one just recently came up. I applied to this judge previously in a paper application. Would it matter if my OSCAR application, one week later, is A, B, and D?

I'm asking because recommender D is a recent addition and I believe a stronger recommendation than C.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by Saami » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:51 pm

Thank you all for the advice. Sorry for being whiny.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by lolwat » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:17 am

Seminars are fine. You take enough classes in law school before graduation to have some "fluff" while still taking all of the important classes. I took several fluff classes (along with a clinic and moot court which gave credit) and still took Fed Courts, Evidence, and most of the other substantive classes too.

Not making a certain scholar or GPA cut isn't the death of your prospects. You're at Columbia, you have a shot, period. You should apply broadly and talk to your career people to see if they've got any leads on judges who aren't quite as stringent on grades.

I understand the frustration (and that this is a forum where people generally feel free to vent) but I'd get rid of the attitude about grades being BS. It's just whiny and the type of stuff people say when they don't get the grades they wanted. You really don't want that when you're looking at applying to stuff. (Edit: scooped, but keeping this here because it's important.)

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by MJB » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:16 am

Saami wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:15 pm
Should I avoid taking any seminars?
I agree with Nony. You don't want to go overboard, but seminars can help give your application a little flavor if you're otherwise a pretty plain vanilla candidate. A judge trying to get a sense of who you are, which is usually what the interview focuses on, is more likely to ask (genuinely) about why you took Law and Literature than why you took Federal Courts or Evidence. Balance is key.

As to your other questions, you're not screwed in any sense. You'll be out of the running for some judges, but there are plenty who might still give your application a look, especially if you've got other experience demonstrating your ability to do the work. (This probably goes without saying, but I'd keep a lid on the "law school grades are BS" perspective during the process - not-quite-stellar grades are more easily overcome than the perception that you deal with setbacks poorly.)

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by CS1775 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:20 am

Saami wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:35 pm
Nony wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:21 pm
1) seminars are fine. Don’t take, say, all seminars, or too many that are, say, “Law and Literature” or otherwise sound really fluffy. But overall they’re fine, especially if you can show how the subject fits your interests or the like. Different judges like different things, so for every judge who thinks seminars are “fluff” there’s probably another judge who likes that it’s a chance for you to write something.

2) I have no idea where you fall on the curve/what Stone Scholar is, but there are lots of judges who hire for lots of things, and plenty will be happy to see an A and don’t care what class it’s in. Chill.
Stone Scholar is approximately Top 30% at Columbia (3.41 GPA or above). I'm just pissed because I was on track for it last semester, but this semester I didn't do as well and now I'm afraid I've jeopardized some of my future goals (like clerking). Sorry for sounding dramatic. This year has just been a wild ride and I hate how law school grades are calculated. Do judges understand that grades are somewhat BS? My two best grades were in classes that had strict word limits on exams, so my slow typing didn't hold me back. Though maybe judges want clerks who can type 100WPM lol.
You're probably sick of hearing this, but it depends on the judge. If a judge was a T14 valedictorian, Order of the Coif, Law Review, Moot Court, and racked up like 300+ hours of pro bono work, that judge probably will be more stringent in grades requirement. If a judge used to be a public defender or a prosecutor and wasn't a BigLaw gunner (with similarly un-BigLaw grades), they're probably less concerned with grades and more concerned about job performance.

The two judges I have internship experience with cared more about my ability to get the job done well rather than grades but I'm not gunning for SDNY. You can probably find a Federal judge out there who'll accept say Top 32% from Columbia, you may just need to broaden your search and maybe talk to your law school's alumni relations people to find such a judge.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by Saami » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:35 pm

Nony wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:21 pm
1) seminars are fine. Don’t take, say, all seminars, or too many that are, say, “Law and Literature” or otherwise sound really fluffy. But overall they’re fine, especially if you can show how the subject fits your interests or the like. Different judges like different things, so for every judge who thinks seminars are “fluff” there’s probably another judge who likes that it’s a chance for you to write something.

2) I have no idea where you fall on the curve/what Stone Scholar is, but there are lots of judges who hire for lots of things, and plenty will be happy to see an A and don’t care what class it’s in. Chill.
Stone Scholar is approximately Top 30% at Columbia (3.41 GPA or above). I'm just pissed because I was on track for it last semester, but this semester I didn't do as well and now I'm afraid I've jeopardized some of my future goals (like clerking). Sorry for sounding dramatic. This year has just been a wild ride and I hate how law school grades are calculated. Do judges understand that grades are somewhat BS? My two best grades were in classes that had strict word limits on exams, so my slow typing didn't hold me back. Though maybe judges want clerks who can type 100WPM lol.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by Nony » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:21 pm

1) seminars are fine. Don’t take, say, all seminars, or too many that are, say, “Law and Literature” or otherwise sound really fluffy. But overall they’re fine, especially if you can show how the subject fits your interests or the like. Different judges like different things, so for every judge who thinks seminars are “fluff” there’s probably another judge who likes that it’s a chance for you to write something.

2) I have no idea where you fall on the curve/what Stone Scholar is, but there are lots of judges who hire for lots of things, and plenty will be happy to see an A and don’t care what class it’s in. Chill.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by Saami » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:28 pm

Also, I was one letter grade off from making Stone Scholar. How screwed am I when it comes to getting a clerkship? The only non-elective 1L course I didn't get a B/B+ in was Civ Pro (A-). And I'm sure a U.S. federal judge will totally care about my A in International Law... Someone kill me.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by Saami » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:15 pm

Should I avoid taking any seminars?

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by Nony » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:58 pm

MJB wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:22 pm
CS1775 wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:20 am
Aye or nay on mentioning a CALI for Professional Responsibility (required ethics, MPRE class) in a clerkship cover letter? State judges if it makes any difference (course was based on the Model Rules).
I’d probably just put it on your resume and omit it from the cover letter unless you have something unusually interesting and relevant to say about that experience.
Ditto.

Don’t rehash your resume on your cover letter.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by lolwat » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:06 pm

CS1775 wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:20 am
Aye or nay on mentioning a CALI for Professional Responsibility (required ethics, MPRE class) in a clerkship cover letter? State judges if it makes any difference (course was based on the Model Rules).
CALI awards are fine to mention in general; it's never bad to point out subtly that you got the highest grade in a class. But they generally don't mean a whole lot unless it's specific practice area based. Your overall GPA will already tell the story better than one grade in one class.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by MJB » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:22 pm

CS1775 wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:20 am
Aye or nay on mentioning a CALI for Professional Responsibility (required ethics, MPRE class) in a clerkship cover letter? State judges if it makes any difference (course was based on the Model Rules).
I’d probably just put it on your resume and omit it from the cover letter unless you have something unusually interesting and relevant to say about that experience.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by CS1775 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:20 am

Aye or nay on mentioning a CALI for Professional Responsibility (required ethics, MPRE class) in a clerkship cover letter? State judges if it makes any difference (course was based on the Model Rules).

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by lolwat » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:02 pm

soapy wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:55 pm
Curious about any insights current/former clerks may have to application strategy with the new hiring plan. I am hoping for a COA position and applying broadly, but naturally there are some that I would prefer over others.
That being said, I am guessing I should just send out all my apps on the first day that we are allowed to and go with whatever sticks?
I'd say yes. I'm not entirely sure how the hiring plan works this time, but if it's anything like the one in place during my time, pretty much all of the hiring for judges on the plan is going to happen at around the same time frame, so there's no practical way to stagger your applications without being at an extreme disadvantage for any you didn't apply to on the first day.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by soapy » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:55 pm

Curious about any insights current/former clerks may have to application strategy with the new hiring plan. I am hoping for a COA position and applying broadly, but naturally there are some that I would prefer over others.
That being said, I am guessing I should just send out all my apps on the first day that we are allowed to and go with whatever sticks?

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by lolwat » Wed May 29, 2019 4:21 pm

I intend to bring my printed app, a notepad, and two pens in a padfolio to interviews. Pretty convenient and unobtrusive.
This is super common, super safe, and a good idea in general. Chances are good that it'll just sit on your lap or something for an hour and you'll never use it, but occasionally something does come up.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by beep » Tue May 28, 2019 11:12 am

The only other thing I'll add is a printout with contact info for references if that wasn't in your app packet for whatever reason (and if they differ from your recommenders)

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by MJB » Tue May 28, 2019 10:49 am

Question Asker wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 3:42 pm
What do we need to bring to interviews? A copy of everything in our app, or?
I would (with unofficial transcripts only and excepting letters of recommendation). They'll probably have a copy of everything you gave them, but you'll be prepared in case they don't, you'll be able to go over anything you want whenever you have a moment (like CS 1775 said), and depending on the format you may wish to/be able to follow along during the interview.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by CS1775 » Tue May 28, 2019 6:58 am

Question Asker wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 3:42 pm
What do we need to bring to interviews? A copy of everything in our app, or?
I intend to bring my printed app, a notepad, and two pens in a padfolio to interviews. Pretty convenient and unobtrusive.

Normally career services people suggest bringing "your materials" to an interview in case there's a question or if you want to look it over before the interview to memorize/think about an intended response. The two times that I've been interviewed for judicial internships were vastly different: one judge literally asked two questions and the other asked a bunch of questions that kept me on edge. Secured both positions.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by Question Asker » Mon May 27, 2019 3:42 pm

What do we need to bring to interviews? A copy of everything in our app, or?

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by lolwat » Tue May 21, 2019 9:10 am

One year is a lot better than two. A LOT. That would definitely change things to me. As a very general matter, I do think as a matter of training, experience, and development, even 1 year of actually arguing motions and attending trials would be better than 1 year of clerking, but there's no real substitute for the clerk experience. I'd probably go for it assuming you really can just go back to your firm. But if that's the case, why not talk to some of the partners and see how valuable they think it is? They would have a better perspective on whether they, looking at your longer-term development as an attorney at the firm, think you should go clerk and come back or just stay at the firm.

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

by beep » Mon May 20, 2019 12:42 pm

Question Anon wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 7:35 pm
ETA to my earlier post--if I negotiate to come back only skipping 1 year with the firm, would that be a good idea?
One year would be better from a "not jeopardizing a career with a firm" perspective, but would you be leaving right away? If you're a 2nd-year now, there's probably some lead time unless you're hustling for one of the few remaining 2019 slots. Not sure this is better if you'd end up being 2.5 years out and going to clerk for a year.

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