Clerks Taking Questions

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Completely understand it's a tough one to answer. MJ interview is not in my local market. MJ is Central Dist. CA, and I'm on the east coast. I don't see much online about the MJ (other than recent rulings etc.) but s/he was at USAO before, so maybe worth it.


Unless you want to end up in California, I think clerking for a MJ in CDCA is a mistake. His/her ties to USAO would most likely only be helpful in the office he/she has ties, and much of the benefit of a clerkship is getting to know the local bench and bar and the local rules/practices in that district.

The quality of the clerkship depends a great deal on the judge and the district (I don't know CDCA), but I think you won't find that much added value/prestige to your resume by clerking for a MJ on the other coast.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BlackAndOrange84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Understood - definitely appreciate the answers, thank you!

So, I'll pose one more question. If it comes down to the magistrate judge clerkship position only - would it be wiser to just continue working as a litigation attorney instead (maybe get trial experience etc) or take the clerkship because a federal clerkship is better than no clerkship at all? Currently at a small firm. I would ask my "mentor" but I don't want to be a bothersome.


This is a tough question to answer, particularly in the abstract. I think a lot of it depends on the MJ- and district-dependent things I mentioned in my last post (how well regarded this MJ is and how much substantive work the local D.Ct. judges push down to the MJ). Is this "competitive market" your MJ interview will be in also your local market? If so, I'd want to ask around and figure out the things mentioned above.


Completely understand it's a tough one to answer. MJ interview is not in my local market. MJ is Central Dist. CA, and I'm on the east coast. I don't see much online about the MJ (other than recent rulings etc.) but s/he was at USAO before, so maybe worth it.


Given that it's that far away from where are you (and I presume where you want to stay?), this is maybe not a great idea. An MJ clerkship doesn't travel like a D.Ct. clerkship.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:32 am

I've seen much debate on this topic, so I'm still not sure which is the best - thank you email vs. thank you letter (mailed to chambers)? I sent a thank you email previously because the judge had mentioned he was making a decision in 24 hours and my letter would obviously not get to him in time. I now recently had another interview and a decision won't be made until at least a week from now, so my letter could probably make it if I put it in the mailbox today. Or I could just stick to thank you emails. Thoughts?

nixy

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby nixy » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:39 am

Emails are fine.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:02 am

There's been a huge thank you letter debate raging on this site for years. Personally, I typically send handwritten thank you notes for clerkship interviews. I know some old school judges actually care about that. I even do it when I know my letter won't get there before a decision is made. Many others would say don't send a thank you note. And others would say a thank you email is just fine.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:17 am

I put thank you cards and a pen in my car and wrote quick thank you notes immediately after the interview. Then I'd hand them to the CSO or drop it at the clerk's office to pass on to the judge. That way my thoughts were fresh, I could reference the interview, and they got the note the same day (most of the time).

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VirginiaFan

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby VirginiaFan » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:29 pm

Very random question.

For judges requiring paper applications, how bad is it to write the mailing address info on the envelope, as opposed to printing off mailing labels?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:42 pm

VirginiaFan wrote:Very random question.

For judges requiring paper applications, how bad is it to write the mailing address info on the envelope, as opposed to printing off mailing labels?


For my judge's chambers, it makes no difference. The only person who even looks at the envelopes is the judicial assistant, who pulls out the applications and recycles the envelopes before giving the applications to us. I would imagine that this is true for most chambers.

Also, even if we did look at the envelopes, we wouldn't care. It might make a difference if you took the Legally Blonde route and used pink paper with perfume sprayed on it, but outside of something that extreme, we care about substance, not style.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby ConfusedNYer » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:44 pm

I don't think handwriting the addresses should be an issue. I hand wrote the mailing addresses (and I don't have super neat handing right so it didn't look particularly good) on all my paper applications and got at least a few interviews from those applications (although I think the app that led to my offer was electronic.)

That being said, handwriting the addresses was one of the worst parts of sending out large amounts of paper apps, so if you can handle the mail merge and already have an excel doc with the info it may just be worth opting for the printed labels.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:01 am

I didn't sign my cover letters I sent via Oscar / Email. It was an oversight at the time, and my initial reaction was *doh!* but now I figure that the resume/transcript matter most and judges won't not give me an interview simply because of a signature. I have no idea though.

How bad/dumb is this? Should I resend signed ones? Should I take the opportunity to send a short update, and sign it? Or not a big deal?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:I didn't sign my cover letters I sent via Oscar / Email. It was an oversight at the time, and my initial reaction was *doh!* but now I figure that the resume/transcript matter most and judges won't not give me an interview simply because of a signature. I have no idea though.

How bad/dumb is this? Should I resend signed ones? Should I take the opportunity to send a short update, and sign it? Or not a big deal?


I never signed my cover letters. I received offers from two judges.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby radio1nowhere » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I didn't sign my cover letters I sent via Oscar / Email. It was an oversight at the time, and my initial reaction was *doh!* but now I figure that the resume/transcript matter most and judges won't not give me an interview simply because of a signature. I have no idea though.

How bad/dumb is this? Should I resend signed ones? Should I take the opportunity to send a short update, and sign it? Or not a big deal?


I never signed my cover letters. I received offers from two judges.


I wasn't even aware that signing cover letters was something people did, and I had a successful application process. Wouldn't worry about it.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:04 pm

I know it is a bit early in my clerkship to start interviewing at firms for next year, but I wanted to ask about the logistics for planning purposes. Will most firms fly clerks out and put them up in a hotel for an interview? Is it like OCI where you should attempt to schedule interviews with different firms in the same city for the same week, and then ask the several firms to split the costs, or is post-clerkship hiring less collaborative between firms given that it is less structured?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:17 pm

radio1nowhere wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I didn't sign my cover letters I sent via Oscar / Email. It was an oversight at the time, and my initial reaction was *doh!* but now I figure that the resume/transcript matter most and judges won't not give me an interview simply because of a signature. I have no idea though.

How bad/dumb is this? Should I resend signed ones? Should I take the opportunity to send a short update, and sign it? Or not a big deal?


I never signed my cover letters. I received offers from two judges.


I wasn't even aware that signing cover letters was something people did, and I had a successful application process. Wouldn't worry about it.


I sign my cover letters. However, when I was going through applications for my judge, it made no difference to me. I noticed simply because I do it, but it wasn't something that earned or lost the applicant any points. I only evaluated credentials, writing, and whether they met certain criteria my judge prefers.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:I know it is a bit early in my clerkship to start interviewing at firms for next year, but I wanted to ask about the logistics for planning purposes. Will most firms fly clerks out and put them up in a hotel for an interview? Is it like OCI where you should attempt to schedule interviews with different firms in the same city for the same week, and then ask the several firms to split the costs, or is post-clerkship hiring less collaborative between firms given that it is less structured?


In my experience, flying out and hotel is standard. I don't know about scheduling multiple interviews in the same week. My impression is that firms' hiring timelines can be very different, so you may just not end up with multiple interview invitations at the same time. Also, the constraints of the job may make it difficult to take off more than a day a week, though this depends a lot on your court's caseload and your judge's practices. It's probably worth going ahead and asking your JA how your judge prefers clerks to handle this.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know it is a bit early in my clerkship to start interviewing at firms for next year, but I wanted to ask about the logistics for planning purposes. Will most firms fly clerks out and put them up in a hotel for an interview? Is it like OCI where you should attempt to schedule interviews with different firms in the same city for the same week, and then ask the several firms to split the costs, or is post-clerkship hiring less collaborative between firms given that it is less structured?


In my experience, flying out and hotel is standard. I don't know about scheduling multiple interviews in the same week. My impression is that firms' hiring timelines can be very different, so you may just not end up with multiple interview invitations at the same time. Also, the constraints of the job may make it difficult to take off more than a day a week, though this depends a lot on your court's caseload and your judge's practices. It's probably worth going ahead and asking your JA how your judge prefers clerks to handle this.


When I interviewed at big Chicago firms, they covered callbacks but not screeners.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:39 pm

Do people have advice re: how to find out if a judge is adhering to the plan? I tried calling the contact information listed on the Circuit website but they just referred me back to Oscar (should I have asked to be forwarded to the specific judge's chambers, instead, before mentioning that I wanted to find out hiring policies?)? Or are people just mailing out paper applications with the hope that the judge will consider them outside the plan (would be worried about this annoying judges who are actually on the plan)?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:05 am

Current district court clerk. How would you go about applying to a circuit court judge in your courthouse? How do you make the most of the situation?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Current district court clerk. How would you go about applying to a circuit court judge in your courthouse? How do you make the most of the situation?


Ask his/her clerks. Pretty straightforward.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:Current district court clerk. How would you go about applying to a circuit court judge in your courthouse? How do you make the most of the situation?


Agreed with the above. Get to know them through happy hours and lunches and stuff, and learn more about the judge’s hiring process through them. Also, keep working hard to impress your current judge. In all but the largest of courthouses the district and circuit judges will know and at least occasionally interact with one another. Even if they aren’t close friends, the circuit judge will likely pay more attention to an in-person recommendation from your district judge than he or she would to a professor phone call or a glowing letter.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby HarrisonK » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:34 pm

I have a question. I'm clerking with the NJ Tax Court next year after completing my LLM in Taxation this year. If I wanted a second clerkship after the NJ Tax Court, how difficult would it be to get a Federal District Court clerkship or a State Supreme Court clerkship? Would the State Tax Court clerkship have any benefit for the State Supreme Court or Federal District Court assuming I'm an average 3.0 curve student?

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby BulletTooth » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:05 pm

HarrisonK wrote:I have a question. I'm clerking with the NJ Tax Court next year after completing my LLM in Taxation this year. If I wanted a second clerkship after the NJ Tax Court, how difficult would it be to get a Federal District Court clerkship or a State Supreme Court clerkship? Would the State Tax Court clerkship have any benefit for the State Supreme Court or Federal District Court assuming I'm an average 3.0 curve student?


I don't know how much weight the NJ Tax Clerkship is going to carry with district court or state supreme court judges. It might help a little, but the judges will care far more about what law school you went to and what your class rank was. I'd say the same thing about your LLM--I might even go so far as to guess that some judges might view the LLM as a con. They might see it as odd that you're applying to clerk at a court that doesn't handle a significant amount of tax cases and assume that you don't know what you want to do with your career.

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Re: Clerks Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:27 pm

Is there a strategy to applying to multiple cities for big law? I worked in biglaw in two cities before my current clerkship, and I'm open to returning to either. I have a slight preference, but I'm much more concerned with getting an offer. I'm also open to going to a third because it's home/where I want to settle and I wouldn't mind returning sooner if it were the only place I got an offer. The threads in previous years on this topic make me nervous so maybe I'm being overly cautious and pessimistic.



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