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May 13, 2014


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Former Alum Clerk

As more and more judges only hire alums with two-plus years of experience, I'd be very hesitant to rely on these figures. Most of these alum-only judges preference attorneys with biglaw experience, which in turn favors the top schools. My guess is that if you looked five years out or so, you'd see a much greater break between the top 10-15 schools and everyone else than you see on here.

Derek Muller

Former Alum Clerk, the data don't actually bear out your theory on the first sentence. I did another post where I analyzed the ABA employment data among graduates over the last four years and found that the number of graduates hired as full-time, long-term federal clerks has remained essentially unchanged in the last four years:

Now, there are probably nuances in the data--some schools probably include magistrate judges in Article III clerks; maybe there are more senior judges overall; maybe more newly-appointed appellate judges are hiring 4 clerks + 1 administrative assistant instead of 3 clerks + 2 administrative assistants like some of the older judges are inclined to have; and so on. There might be some changes in the data.

But I do think the last sentence is interesting--would the hiring patterns for judges who hire alumni clerks differ? That's something I don't have the data for!

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