You studied very hard and earned top grades. Applied for a judicial clerkship vacancy and luckily got an approval to get interviewed. You rose to the peak of a huge pile successfully, but how will you ace in your judicial clerkship interview.
Tips to stand out in every aspect, at the interview
As soon as, you get an email or initial phone call display your eagerness to schedule an interview. Every judge looks for responsiveness and passion to work in prospective clerk. Demonstrate these qualities in your first communication.
- Schedule interview as soon as possible
- Early interview process eliminates the possibility of interviewer getting tedious and fatigued
- In case, you perform well then a standard is set against which other candidates get judged (a lucky position for you)
Research the judge, who will interview you. Make use of all channels available, it can be time consuming but remember you are preparing to pass the interview.
Read current opinions published or precedential. Focus on significant opinions or notable cases. Check on Google the judge’s professional profile to detect notable causes or issues the judge got involved in as lawyer, jurist or private citizen.
You can talk to Ellery Gordon, who is a law clerk and knows basically all the judges. Discussing with him will help you understand the judge’s qualities as a person, even more.
Arrive mentally and physically prepared
Dress conservatively in dark colored suits with blue or white shirts and blue or yellow tie. Reach the Arizona chamber ten minutes, before time.
Carry sufficient resume copies, transcript, and writing samples. Never forget pen and pad.
Flattery is liked by all and it works. Compliment the judge on recently published opinion. Display how impressed you were with their litigation effort, when he/she was a lawyer. Make sure you don’t overdo it but it is fine to insert a couple of compliment in the conversation.
Communicate with the staff
Never underestimate the power of current clerks and administrative assistants of the judge. They have more knowledge about the judge, so be courteous and polite. Your chances to get the job increase if the current staff votes for you.
It is an old saying but very right. You are not participating in a qualification contest but it is basically a personality test, so be genuine. Have appropriate posture, firm handshake, and during conversation maintain eye contact. These are some simple rules, which often get disregarded.
Keep talk personal
Actually, you are already qualified for the job but the interview is to find out if you fit. It is an intimate legal job, where you need to work with the potential judge, administrative assistant and co-clerks for more than forty hours a week for the whole year.
Talk about personal interest, which demonstrates the range of your individuality and personality. Moreover, you need to take into consideration about the surroundings. You can talk about the memorabilia, photographs or decorations displayed in the chamber of the judge. Sometimes, you can end up sharing a same love for paintings or pet, which can get you the job approval.
Interview does not end, when you exit the chamber. Go home and write a personalized note to the judge and clerks, who interviewed. Focus on those conversation topics, which were memorable and unique. Avoid being generic. Hand written letter will echo and reveal a readiness to surpass expectations.