Down-to-Earth Advice on Obtaining Judicial Clerkships
July 31, 2006 at 1:30 PM
Unless you have some special interest in or connection with a particular judge, use the standard form letter. The cover letter is not the place to recount all of your academic and professional accomplishments or to discuss your summer work experiences; that is the purpose of the resume. If you are the editor of a journal or rank highly in your class, you may note those achievements. Other than that, however, the cover letter should be straightforward and short.
And for those students who are enthusiastic users of social software, the authors give this cautionary advice:
Most judges may be unfamiliar with the power of the Internet, but their clerks are not. This past year, when there was a free moment or two in the chambers, the law clerks "Googled" several of our applicants’ names and, lo and behold, they found a treasure trove of information omitted from the carefully-crafted application packet. What does this tell you, the applicant? Be careful what you put on personal web pages, web logs, or other Internet sites such as Friendster, because a clerk with a couple of minutes on his or her hands could be researching you. Although clerks may find it fun to circulate a link to your website around the office, you may not appreciate what knowledge of your party antics may do to your job chances.