Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

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Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:10 pm

I can't imagine I'm the first one to have this happen to....but isn't it pretty low class to schedule an interview, have the applicant rely on that scheduled interview to make travel arrangements (expensive ones at that), and then just write an email saying a hiring decision has been made...i realize federal judges can kind of do whatever they want in this regard....but isn't this pretty disappointing...I'd ask for a reimbursement on the court's part, but 1) that won't happen, and 2) I'd be picking a fight with a federal judge.....am i at least entitled to a conversation? Boy, this is a disappointing outcome, one that I thought was well beneath the court

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby minnbills » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:15 pm

That really sucks - and yes it is really bad form on the part of the Court. You will not get reimbursed though.

If there are any other judges in the city you were applying to, send emails letting them know you'll be in town - maybe you can make some lemonade.

Otherwise, guess you've got a vacation?

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby Goldie » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:22 pm

If you're still willing to clerk for this judge, and you're flexible time-wise, ask if (s)he would still like to interview you for the following year.

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:13 pm

minnbills wrote:That really sucks - and yes it is really bad form on the part of the Court. You will not get reimbursed though.

If there are any other judges in the city you were applying to, send emails letting them know you'll be in town - maybe you can make some lemonade.

Otherwise, guess you've got a vacation?


I like this idea....do you think it's a good idea to try to explain the situation to the secretaries of the other judges? I wouldn't name the offending judge of course, but it seems to me like there'd be a good chance that at least one judge (there are several at this location) would be embarassed by this development (or maybe they could care less - who knows really?)

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:23 pm

I think both of the suggestions made here are good ideas: ask if you can interview for the next available term, noting that you've already paid for a nonrefundable ticket, and if that doesn't pan out, reach out to the other chambers and let them know your situation to see if that creates any movement.

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby minnbills » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
minnbills wrote:That really sucks - and yes it is really bad form on the part of the Court. You will not get reimbursed though.

If there are any other judges in the city you were applying to, send emails letting them know you'll be in town - maybe you can make some lemonade.

Otherwise, guess you've got a vacation?


I like this idea....do you think it's a good idea to try to explain the situation to the secretaries of the other judges? I wouldn't name the offending judge of course, but it seems to me like there'd be a good chance that at least one judge (there are several at this location) would be embarassed by this development (or maybe they could care less - who knows really?)


I would just say that you were invited out for an interview. If they want any more details, you can let them know you got a notification that the position was filled after you scheduled the interview but before you actually got in front of the judge - no one will hold that against you.

As far as whether the judges will talk amongst themselves about clerkship candidates - I've seen some courts that basically rank their applicants and then the most senior judges pick first, and I've seen some where there is virtually no communication amongst the judges about this sort of thing. There is no way to tell from the outside.

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:50 pm

minnbills wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
minnbills wrote:That really sucks - and yes it is really bad form on the part of the Court. You will not get reimbursed though.

If there are any other judges in the city you were applying to, send emails letting them know you'll be in town - maybe you can make some lemonade.

Otherwise, guess you've got a vacation?


I like this idea....do you think it's a good idea to try to explain the situation to the secretaries of the other judges? I wouldn't name the offending judge of course, but it seems to me like there'd be a good chance that at least one judge (there are several at this location) would be embarassed by this development (or maybe they could care less - who knows really?)


I would just say that you were invited out for an interview. If they want any more details, you can let them know you got a notification that the position was filled after you scheduled the interview but before you actually got in front of the judge - no one will hold that against you.

As far as whether the judges will talk amongst themselves about clerkship candidates - I've seen some courts that basically rank their applicants and then the most senior judges pick first, and I've seen some where there is virtually no communication amongst the judges about this sort of thing. There is no way to tell from the outside.


I just received a voice message from the office secretary asking for me to give a call back...I have not responded to anybody yet, and perhaps the secretary just wants to make sure I got the message to not report to the interview....but maybe I can leverage the call? boy do i feel manipulative here...but i kind of owe it to myself, right?

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby minnbills » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:58 pm

Well call her back and see what it's about - could be anything. But don't try to leverage anything out of the chambers that rejected you - that won't end well.

Hopefully they're calling to invite you to interview for the next term or maybe for another position.

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I can't imagine I'm the first one to have this happen to....but isn't it pretty low class to schedule an interview, have the applicant rely on that scheduled interview to make travel arrangements (expensive ones at that), and then just write an email saying a hiring decision has been made...i realize federal judges can kind of do whatever they want in this regard....but isn't this pretty disappointing...I'd ask for a reimbursement on the court's part, but 1) that won't happen, and 2) I'd be picking a fight with a federal judge.....am i at least entitled to a conversation? Boy, this is a disappointing outcome, one that I thought was well beneath the court


If it's any consolation to you, a judge scheduled an interview with me, I rented a hotel room, drove 5 hours in bad weather, and showed up at the interview only to be told that the judge had pretty much finalized who he/she would be offering the position to and that the interview was essentially a courtesy dead end. So I wasted two days of my life and fees for the hotel and gas for absolutely nothing. Keep in mind that judges can and do do whatever they like throughout the hiring process no matter what they may post or say. That's why the clerkship hiring process is an absolute crapshoot and you are never a shoe-in or auto-reject no matter what your stats or pedigree are.

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby radio1nowhere » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I can't imagine I'm the first one to have this happen to....but isn't it pretty low class to schedule an interview, have the applicant rely on that scheduled interview to make travel arrangements (expensive ones at that), and then just write an email saying a hiring decision has been made...i realize federal judges can kind of do whatever they want in this regard....but isn't this pretty disappointing...I'd ask for a reimbursement on the court's part, but 1) that won't happen, and 2) I'd be picking a fight with a federal judge.....am i at least entitled to a conversation? Boy, this is a disappointing outcome, one that I thought was well beneath the court

If it's any consolation to you, a judge scheduled an interview with me, I rented a hotel room, drove 5 hours in bad weather, and showed up at the interview only to be told that the judge had pretty much finalized who he/she would be offering the position to and that the interview was essentially a courtesy dead end. So I wasted two days of my life and fees for the hotel and gas for absolutely nothing. Keep in mind that judges can and do do whatever they like throughout the hiring process no matter what they may post or say. That's why the clerkship hiring process is an absolute crapshoot and you are never a shoe-in or auto-reject no matter what your stats or pedigree are.

Yeah I feel like as tough as OP's situation is, it's better to be told ahead of time if the judge wants to offer someone else as opposed to the judge making you fly out there and do a courtesy interview when there's little to no chance you'll actually get the job. And it's possible that the judge had good reason for making an offer earlier than expected -- for instance, it might be that one of the judge's top applicants got an interview/offer with another judge, so your judge had to offer that applicant on the spot or else lose him/her entirely. In that situation, it would be weird to tell the judge that they should let the top applicant go just so a future interviewee gets a chance to make a good impression.

But either way, sorry to hear that happened OP! I hope you have better luck going forward, and the fact that you're getting interviews makes me hopeful for your chances.

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:52 am

I spent an enormous amount of money on this trip and it has left me in tears tonight. I have no particular desire to visit this area other than for the possibility of working for a federal judge there. Ugh this sucks

I'd rather eat the major cancellation fees and just recoup 20 percent of the very high fees I paid. The judge said she would meet with me to discuss future opportunities, but I feel like it's kind of a waste of time unless there's a real good shot at it leading to a position. The judge didn't ask to meet with me. Her secretary just said "hope you can still cancel your flight". But the judge said she would
Meet with me after I suggested it. I feel like this whole ordeal is a huge red flag, and if I weren't more desperate for prestige, I'd just say it's their loss. But I'm realistic that these opportunities don't come around often.

I saved for nearly three months to afford this trip, and given that the judge clearly didn't care, I'm not sure why she would all of a sudden be crazy about me for a future position.

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:I spent an enormous amount of money on this trip and it has left me in tears tonight. I have no particular desire to visit this area other than for the possibility of working for a federal judge there. Ugh this sucks

I'd rather eat the major cancellation fees and just recoup 20 percent of the very high fees I paid. The judge said she would meet with me to discuss future opportunities, but I feel like it's kind of a waste of time unless there's a real good shot at it leading to a position. The judge didn't ask to meet with me. Her secretary just said "hope you can still cancel your flight". But the judge said she would
Meet with me after I suggested it. I feel like this whole ordeal is a huge red flag, and if I weren't more desperate for prestige, I'd just say it's their loss. But I'm realistic that these opportunities don't come around often.

I saved for nearly three months to afford this trip, and given that the judge clearly didn't care, I'm not sure why she would all of a sudden be crazy about me for a future position.


If anybody can give me any encouragement to speak to the secretary and say something along the lines of "I'd love to still come, but I think it's important that I have an idea of where I stand going in. This new opening is a few years out, and I don't really have the means to afford something that is a longshot." I obviously would;ve never said anything like that previously, but given the circumstances of the judge basically giving an F-you to me after I had booked the flight, I'm not sure that that's totally unreasonable if presented in a classy manner.

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby minnbills » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:39 am

I'm really sorry you're going through this. Unfortunately, as you said, judges can do what they want. Offering a clerkship to a candidate while others are still waiting to interview is a fairly common practice, especially for federal judges.

I don't think you will be well-served if you broach the subject of how much this is costing you or anything like that. What you might want to do is just ask straight up whether the judge is considering making a hire for the next available term.

If you were to get that offer, at least you'd have something lined up for the future, which will make getting a job in the short term a little easier too. (You might be able to snag a state court clerkship for the gap year.)

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby jd20132013 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I spent an enormous amount of money on this trip and it has left me in tears tonight. I have no particular desire to visit this area other than for the possibility of working for a federal judge there. Ugh this sucks

I'd rather eat the major cancellation fees and just recoup 20 percent of the very high fees I paid. The judge said she would meet with me to discuss future opportunities, but I feel like it's kind of a waste of time unless there's a real good shot at it leading to a position. The judge didn't ask to meet with me. Her secretary just said "hope you can still cancel your flight". But the judge said she would
Meet with me after I suggested it. I feel like this whole ordeal is a huge red flag, and if I weren't more desperate for prestige, I'd just say it's their loss. But I'm realistic that these opportunities don't come around often.

I saved for nearly three months to afford this trip, and given that the judge clearly didn't care, I'm not sure why she would all of a sudden be crazy about me for a future position.


If anybody can give me any encouragement to speak to the secretary and say something along the lines of "I'd love to still come, but I think it's important that I have an idea of where I stand going in. This new opening is a few years out, and I don't really have the means to afford something that is a longshot." I obviously would;ve never said anything like that previously, but given the circumstances of the judge basically giving an F-you to me after I had booked the flight, I'm not sure that that's totally unreasonable if presented in a classy manner.


No this is a bad idea, try to parlay it into other interviews in the same region.

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby anon sequitur » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:24 pm

Very sorry about this, you are right to be upset. Given this judge's hiring practices, I don't think anything useful will come out of a conversation with chambers, they're not going to tell you whether you have a legitimate shot at a future position with the judge or not. Based on what you've said about the expense, I think you're probably right to just cancel the trip and save the cost of hotel, cab, etc. Unless one of the other local judges is interested in an interview, I guess.

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Re: Judge made hiring decision just days before I was set to fly out to meet with him/her....already paid for flight

Postby JusticeJackson » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:33 pm

0% chance bringing up costs helps you any. More likely the secretary will berate you for not buying refundable tickets and tell you the judge did you a favor by not having you come interview for a job that no longer existed. If you can get another interview, then great. But otherwise I think I’d just cancel the whole thing.



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