Clerks Taking Questions

Anonymous6482

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by Anonymous6482 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:32 pm

Wondering where I should be looking/if my clerkship office was overly enthusiastic.

Top 1/3 at a non hys t14, no LR but moot court and secondary journal board. I think I will have strong reccommendations, and I have a bunch of public interest work experience. I’m also super geographically flexible and am applying very widely. My grades this semester should also be stronger than 1L (don’t take finals with fevers!)

Also, if I can signficiantly pull up my grades and end up in the top 15% for 2L grades, would a COA app be realistic?

Thanks!

lolwat
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by lolwat » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:23 am

Anonymous6482 wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:32 pm
Wondering where I should be looking/if my clerkship office was overly enthusiastic.

Top 1/3 at a non hys t14, no LR but moot court and secondary journal board. I think I will have strong reccommendations, and I have a bunch of public interest work experience. I’m also super geographically flexible and am applying very widely. My grades this semester should also be stronger than 1L (don’t take finals with fevers!)

Also, if I can signficiantly pull up my grades and end up in the top 15% for 2L grades, would a COA app be realistic?

Thanks!
COA realistic? Yes, but also difficult.

Some non-HYS T14s place better than others.

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MJB
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by MJB » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:31 pm

I'd call COA "possible," but not much about your application stands out (except maybe work experience, depending on what you were doing). I think your chances would improve significantly with good legal work experience or a district court clerkship, though.

Anonymous23423

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by Anonymous23423 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:48 pm

Thanks guys! I meant to also ask (hazards of phone typing) if you'd say I'm in range for district courts. Our clerkship counsellor is just so nice I don't think he'd say no to my face.

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RoyalHollow
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by RoyalHollow » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:20 pm

Anonymous23423 wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:48 pm
Thanks guys! I meant to also ask (hazards of phone typing) if you'd say I'm in range for district courts. Our clerkship counsellor is just so nice I don't think he'd say no to my face.
If you are "Anonymous6482" from above, then yes, you should be able to get *a* district court clerkship. Might be a stretch for feeders and super desirable judges and whatnot, but for the rest, you should be in consideration. You will be most competitive with judges who have a public interest background/like to see that.

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WorkoutTapesbyFonda
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by WorkoutTapesbyFonda » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:07 pm

My co-clerk and I were debating whether we should get gifts for everyone in chambers for Christmas and I was wondering if there was a general consensus on this. No one has mentioned a gift exchange and I just assumed there wouldn't be one. My co-clerk really wanted to get a something small (like candy) for everyone. I think we shouldn't because it will make everyone feel awkward when they have nothing for us.

Thoughts?

lawman84
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by lawman84 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:13 am

WorkoutTapesbyFonda wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:07 pm
My co-clerk and I were debating whether we should get gifts for everyone in chambers for Christmas and I was wondering if there was a general consensus on this. No one has mentioned a gift exchange and I just assumed there wouldn't be one. My co-clerk really wanted to get a something small (like candy) for everyone. I think we shouldn't because it will make everyone feel awkward when they have nothing for us.

Thoughts?
I think your instincts are right.

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MJB
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by MJB » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:15 am

WorkoutTapesbyFonda wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:07 pm
My co-clerk and I were debating whether we should get gifts for everyone in chambers for Christmas and I was wondering if there was a general consensus on this. No one has mentioned a gift exchange and I just assumed there wouldn't be one. My co-clerk really wanted to get a something small (like candy) for everyone. I think we shouldn't because it will make everyone feel awkward when they have nothing for us.

Thoughts?
I wouldn’t, or at least I wouldn’t present it as a “gift.” I think it would be different to bring in candy (or donuts or cookies or something) and put them in the kitchen for everyone, but giving people individual gifts changes the dynamic.

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usaorbust
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by usaorbust » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:46 pm

I know this is pretty chamber specific, I would guess, but I would love some info form clerks about judicial internships: What types of assignments do you give interns, how do I know what chambers would be best to work for, what do interns take away form the process, and how do you know which judges will or will not hire interns as clerks.

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CS1775
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by CS1775 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:42 am

usaorbust wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:46 pm
I know this is pretty chamber specific, I would guess, but I would love some info form clerks about judicial internships: What types of assignments do you give interns, how do I know what chambers would be best to work for, what do interns take away form the process, and how do you know which judges will or will not hire interns as clerks.
I just saw this now eleven days later, figured you warrant a response. You answered your own question: it depends on the chambers. My XP is that I did a judicial internship and worked daily with other interns, I spoke to other law students who did judicial internships, and I read. A lot. I will be applying for clerkships this cycle (2020-2021).

1) What types of assignments do interns get? This will depend on the court's level, the judge, and the clerk(s). If you're at an appellate court, you're going to be doing more research and writing, probably internal. Opinion draft writing is really fun, I did that + "hey, can you research this question for me?" during my judicial internship. If you're at a "trial" court, like a state general court of jurisdiction, a Federal district court, or a specialty court like say a state family court, you're going to do more "trial" related work like responses to motions, memos to the judge, etc.

2) How do you know what chambers to work for? TL:DR, ask questions. Except for very prominent judges like retired Judge Kozinski (and note that Kozinski had a sexual abuse scandal), you will have to PM a former clerk/intern on here, that other forum, Reddit, or over a more connection-based forum like LinkedIn, email, or a phone call (these latter three avenues are usually opened up via school connections).

3) What do interns take away from the process? This depends on the intern with one exception, writing samples. Some courts rule all intern-created content as "internal" and unable to be used by the former intern as a writing sample. But in general, what interns get out of the "job" depends on the intern. You reap what you sow.

4) How do [applicants] know which judges hire interns? This is the applicant's job to figure out. First, where do you want to be geographically? A judicial internship is a nice way to break into a market or shore up connections. Second, what level do you want to work at? Appellate or trial? Grades will be somewhat dispositive here now that 1Ls (and obviously 2Ls) have grades. Once you answer these questions, talk to your law school's career services office. They absolutely keep tabs on who goes where, especially on their "home turf", the law school's primary market. If you want to go where everyone else does (like say to the chief judge of the local Federal district court), then you need to have qualifications that put you head and shoulders above the competition, or at least makes you more compelling to hire than the rest of your 1L competition. If you want to go where no one else does, you have that advantage of not facing as much competition.

Once you do steps 1, 2, and 3, you'll have a good idea. Career services will often know of connections too, like say a judge contacts them and says "I would like an intern for Summer 2019" and does not publicly advertise.

Of course, the simplest way to find out is to call the chambers's secretary (often the default number) and ask if chambers takes interns, or send an email. Just sending a cover letter and resume works too - that's what I did after I talked to career services.

The only other thing worth mentioning is that some judges/courts will not hire former interns as clerks due to concerns about favoritism and appearances. My state's supreme court chief justice has this policy.

soapy
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by soapy » Fri May 17, 2019 4:36 pm

My writing sample is a draft of the argument section of an appellate brief I wrote as an intern. It's a state case, so all the citations use the state citation convention, which is different than the bluebook. I am applying for federal clerkships. Should I keep them as is, or change them to reflect the style the judge will be using. My gut says to keep them as is.

lolwat
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by lolwat » Fri May 17, 2019 6:01 pm

soapy wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 4:36 pm
My writing sample is a draft of the argument section of an appellate brief I wrote as an intern. It's a state case, so all the citations use the state citation convention, which is different than the bluebook. I am applying for federal clerkships. Should I keep them as is, or change them to reflect the style the judge will be using. My gut says to keep them as is.
Keep as is. I usually see a cover that briefly explains what the sample is about and where it's from, that the applicant has permission from employer to use it, etc. etc..., you may as well include in that cover that because you wrote the brief in a state case all citations conform to that citation format.

Question Anon

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by Question Anon » Sat May 18, 2019 3:32 pm

Assuming your goals are to eventually become a trial lawyer at a firm, would it be worth it to leave for a 2 year D. Ct. clerkship as a 2nd year in one of EDNY/D Mass/CD Cal/ND Il? Losing out on 3rd and 4th year salaries and bonuses is a lot. Is the resume boost/cap feather worth the financial cost?

RelativelyAnon

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by RelativelyAnon » Sun May 19, 2019 2:28 pm

Top ~5% at CCN. Rising 3L, but not applying right away this summer so that I can try and get more solid LoR writers and a better writing sample. Published note but not LR, relevant summer/semester internships (large federal agencies and DCt chambers). Will hopefully lock up another LoR or two over fall semester and begin applying over the winter/thru spring of 2020.

Interested primarily in doing a CoA clerkship, but open to doing a year of each or even two at the CoA level. Circuits of interest are 1st/DC > 2nd > 3rd > 7/9 > Anywhere else. I'm curious about people's experiences with doing both multiple clerkships, potentially at different levels. Which did they prefer, did both feel useful, etc... How were they as an experience and how are they now viewed/remarked upon as a credential? Additionally--As far as I can tell, I am a very strong candidate for 1st/3rd/7th Circuit and almost all district courts. 2/9/DC Circuit are all within reach, but it's not obvious that I would get one. Does that accord with what you have seen?

lolwat
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by lolwat » Sun May 19, 2019 5:02 pm

Question Anon wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:32 pm
Assuming your goals are to eventually become a trial lawyer at a firm, would it be worth it to leave for a 2 year D. Ct. clerkship as a 2nd year in one of EDNY/D Mass/CD Cal/ND Il? Losing out on 3rd and 4th year salaries and bonuses is a lot. Is the resume boost/cap feather worth the financial cost?
What kind of firm are you thinking about being a trial lawyer at? This is really tough because I don't think clerking is even that much of a resume boost to be a trial lawyer once you're out in practice. Clerkships get you hired as a litigator for firms, but the way to become a trial lawyer is to get courtroom experience. I think 2 years of working your way into getting into courtrooms and second chairing trials etc. would be much more valuable than 2 years at a district court clerkship.

Question Anon

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by Question Anon » Sun May 19, 2019 7:34 pm

lolwat wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 5:02 pm
Question Anon wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:32 pm
Assuming your goals are to eventually become a trial lawyer at a firm, would it be worth it to leave for a 2 year D. Ct. clerkship as a 2nd year in one of EDNY/D Mass/CD Cal/ND Il? Losing out on 3rd and 4th year salaries and bonuses is a lot. Is the resume boost/cap feather worth the financial cost?
What kind of firm are you thinking about being a trial lawyer at? This is really tough because I don't think clerking is even that much of a resume boost to be a trial lawyer once you're out in practice. Clerkships get you hired as a litigator for firms, but the way to become a trial lawyer is to get courtroom experience. I think 2 years of working your way into getting into courtrooms and second chairing trials etc. would be much more valuable than 2 years at a district court clerkship.
Thank you for your reply. I am currently at a litigation boutique, and I would return from any clerkship. So as a matter of training, experience, and career development, you think 2 years of taking deps/arguing motions/attending trials would be more helpful for my career than 2 years of clerking?

Question Anon

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by Question Anon » 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?

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beep
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post by beep » Mon May 20, 2019 12:40 pm

Question Anon wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 7:34 pm
lolwat wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 5:02 pm
Question Anon wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:32 pm
Assuming your goals are to eventually become a trial lawyer at a firm, would it be worth it to leave for a 2 year D. Ct. clerkship as a 2nd year in one of EDNY/D Mass/CD Cal/ND Il? Losing out on 3rd and 4th year salaries and bonuses is a lot. Is the resume boost/cap feather worth the financial cost?
What kind of firm are you thinking about being a trial lawyer at? This is really tough because I don't think clerking is even that much of a resume boost to be a trial lawyer once you're out in practice. Clerkships get you hired as a litigator for firms, but the way to become a trial lawyer is to get courtroom experience. I think 2 years of working your way into getting into courtrooms and second chairing trials etc. would be much more valuable than 2 years at a district court clerkship.
Thank you for your reply. I am currently at a litigation boutique, and I would return from any clerkship. So as a matter of training, experience, and career development, you think 2 years of taking deps/arguing motions/attending trials would be more helpful for my career than 2 years of clerking?
Two years after two years at a firm seems tough. You'll be a fifth year associate with two years of clerking instead of two years of being a midlevel. Agree with lolwat. That said, if you aren't getting much trial experience at your current boutique, clerking could be a way to more gracefully transition to a place that's more willing to give that.

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beep
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post 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.

lolwat
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post 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.

Question Asker

Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post 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?

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CS1775
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post 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.

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MJB
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post 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.

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beep
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post 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)

lolwat
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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Post 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.

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