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Posts Tagged ‘Ninth Circuit’

Ed. note: Apologies for the delay between this installment and the last one. As you can see, I’ve moved from a Wednesday/Sunday posting schedule to something more… sporadic.

I spent Tuesday morning reading the briefs and doing some research for Hamadani, an immigration case involving a Pakistani man seeking political asylum in the United States. The immigrant, who overstayed illegally years ago but went on to start a successful small business (a grocery store), as well as to raise two kids here, seemed sympathetic. But the legal standard for granting asylum struck me as stringent.

So immersed in my reading, I didn’t realize it was half past noon until James’s tall, slender figure materialized in the doorway of my windowless office.

“Lunch?”

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I spent the rest of my first day in chambers with Janet Lee, the outgoing clerk that I would be replacing. Janet, whom I had briefly met when I interviewed with the judge, was also originally from New York, although she had gone to law school out here in California, at Stanford. She was now moving back to New York to work at Wachtell Lipton.

After reviewing the general workings of the Ninth Circuit with me, Janet described my specific duties as a clerk. They could be divided up into three broad areas.

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As I arrived at the Ninth Circuit courthouse for my first day at work, I knew I was nervous. My grey Theory skirt suit, a pricey splurge from my summer at Cravath, wasn’t giving me the usual jolt of confidence. I don’t tend to sweat very much, but by the time I arrived at work, I was sweating — and it wasn’t from the seven-minute walk from my apartment to the courthouse, in a still-cool California morning.

This Monday marked the start of my Legal Career. And because I went straight though to law school from college, this was also the first day of my first Real Job. This was a Big Deal….

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Intrigued by my new neighbor, I didn’t notice how much I was leaning into the white gate — which swung open with a loud creaking noise. I fell forward for a second before regaining my footing. The young woman looked up, and our eyes met.

“Girl, what you looking at?”

Her aggressive tone caught me off guard. I was momentarily speechless.

“What,” she said, “are your ears as small as your tiny white ass?”

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October 17, 2011

Ms. Audrey Coyne
129 York Street
Apt. 5F
New Haven, Connecticut 06511

Dear Audrey:

I am writing in confirmation of our understanding that I have offered, and you have accepted, a clerkship in my chambers for the 2012-2013 judicial year. I am delighted to have you on board, and I look forward to working together.

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