Clerkships, Federal Judges, Job Searches

Rejection Letter Of The Day: You’re Not Prestigious Enough To Clerk In My Less-Than-Prestigious Court

As we all know, a federal clerkship is the salve that cures all employment ills, even in a depressed job market. But now that the Law Clerk Hiring Plan is dead, everyone and their mother and their dog has been applying for these clerkships. Come August 2014, even students completing their 1L summer jobs will be able to apply for clerkships. It’s a frustrating process that just got even more chaotic.

As much as we wish that clerkships were doled out Oprah-style — And YOU get a clerkship! And YOU get a clerkship! — the competition is going to be that much stiffer now that anyone and everyone can apply, in any which way they so choose.

Aww, did you think you were going to be able to land a clerkship just because you applied to a less-than-prestigious district court, one not located in a major city? Think again….

We received this rejection letter from a tipster, and it reminded us of the rejection letters unintentionally designed to lower applicants’ self-esteem sent out by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook (7th Cir.), Judge Lawrence L. Block (Fed. Cl.), and Judge James O. Browning (D.N.M.), but with a little less flair.

From Judge Clay Land of the Middle District of Georgia (i.e., the “What What District of Where Now?”):

Good afternoon.

Thank you for your interest in a clerkship with Judge Land. I am writing to let you know that Judge Land has filled the position. We had a record number of applications this year from exceptionally qualified law students and lawyers, and it was a difficult decision. Ultimately, Judge Land hired a candidate who is ranked third in the class at a first tier law school and serves on the Law Review.

I wish you well in your future endeavors.

Says our tipster, “Because, as we all know, the Middle District of Georgia is just f*cking swell, right?”

For the record, it’s good to know that federal judges are still using the traditional law school tiers as opposed to the new U.S. News designations of first tier (1-144) and second tier (the rest of the law schools without published ranks). Then again, maybe only judges from TTT district courts are doing that.

Either way, Judge Land is sorry he’s not sorry, bro.

UPDATE (9:00 p.m.): Professor Ann Althouse polled her readers about this rejection letter. The Althouse audience is not impressed.

Earlier: Rejection Letter Potpourri: It’s Not You, It’s Me, And How Many Awesome People Want To Work For Me
Ouch! So What Does That Make Magistrate Judges?

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