Friday, April 07, 2006

Breaking the Silence

Well, it has been quite a while since I last posted. I do not know how long it will be before I post again. I just wanted to put some thoughts down to let “all the rest of you” out there know how I see it from where I sit. Here’s what you should know: No matter how hard some of you try, you are closed off from some initial opportunities. That is not to say you are precluded from future endeavors, but getting that initial jump will not be easy. Two things transpired this week that solidifies what we always thought, but couldn’t know for sure… Federal Judges:
The Federal Circuit judges who came to speak with us this week had a few choice words to say. I really did appreciate their candor, and I in no way want to be disparaging—I just want to make sure that all those students at some other schools know that when their Harvard and Yale professors tell them that they can go anywhere they want so long as they just work hard enough, well… let’s just say, sure, there is always that one exception to the rule. Judge1: When I get the 400 or so applications for clerkships I make a few piles. The first pile is from students at <8 of the Top 10 Law Schools>. I pick from that pile first. If I cannot find a clerk from that pile, I move on to the next piles. I’ve never moved on to those next piles. Judge2: I hired two students from <Not Top 10 Law School> add <Another Not Top Ten Law School>. I will not make that mistake ever again.
And, in my seminar course, when I questioned why everyone in the class seemed to have such disdain for the job state appellate courts do, this was the reply:
Come on. You know who screens most of these cases and makes recommendations to the judges, right? Clerks. And, come on, who takes a state court clerkship? Students from lesser law schools.
So, soldier on. But, when your professors tell you that you maybe don’t have a job because you aren’t trying hard enough… what they really mean might be: well, not that job, you silly.

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