TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, July 2, 2018

Muller: Federal Judicial Clerkship Report Of Recent Law School Graduates

Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Federal Judicial Clerkship Report of Recent Law School Graduates, 2018 Edition:

This Report offers an analysis of the overall hiring of recent law school graduates into federal judicial clerkships between 2015-2017 for each law school. It includes an overall hiring report, regional reports, overall hiring trends, an elite hiring report, and trends concerning judicial vacancies.

Here are the ten law schools with federal judicial clerkship rates of over 10%:

Top 10

Pepperdine is 5th among the 21 ABA-accredited California law schools:

California

The last few years have yielded a noticeable downturn in the total graduates securing placements in federal judicial clerkships upon graduation. The Class of 2017 had 1,151 clerks, a recent low—that’s 9% lower raw placement than the Class of 2013 at 1,259 clerks.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2018/07/muller-federal-judicial-clerkship-report-of-recent-law-school-graduates.html

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Comments

This tells us all we need to know about how the judiciary really feels about diversity and providing equal opportunities and reaching out to under-represented parts of the legal community.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Jul 2, 2018 10:11:07 AM

Who is hiring the clerks out of the super-low rated law schools? Maybe this includes magistrates and bankruptcy judges?

Posted by: Andy Patterson | Jul 2, 2018 10:32:55 AM

So just 10 of the nation's ~200 law schools accounted for 1,414 of the ~3,500 federal clerkships from 2015-17. Or to put it another way, <5% of the law schools claimed 40% of the federal clerkships, and just one school, Harvard, captured more than 9%. So much for those notions some have of all law degrees being created equal or giving rise to equal opportunity.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 2, 2018 11:56:58 AM

Who in the world ever said "all law degrees are created equal"? I've never heard ANYONE say that. Nor should they.

Posted by: Diane J Klein | Jul 3, 2018 12:07:09 AM

A quote and two comments.
"Schools report whether a student has secured a “federal clerkship.” That includes court of appeals clerks and district court clerks. It can include “those who perform duties for two or more judges on a court,” which may include staff attorneys. It can also extend to magistrate judges and other non-Article III judges."
1. Looks like Tax Court clerks are included, but not ALJ clerks.
2. School-reported, but would be better reported from a Federal government source, such as payroll for the particular positions which are counted. This would be a more accurate and reliable count, and easily audited.

Posted by: Old Ruster | Jul 3, 2018 6:20:21 AM

@Diane J Klein,

I can think of several people who frequent this site, in comments and in articles, who aver that all law degrees are equal, give rise to equal outcomes, and that where one went to law school plays no role in employment outcomes or even long-term ROI on the degree.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 3, 2018 7:21:21 AM

As usual, UNE reverts to strawman arguments, rather than utilize the logic and reasoning skills he was taught by his law professors. No one has ever argued that all law degrees are equal. Law graduates of elite institutions deserve more challenging and prestigious jobs with large law firms and Federal Clerkships. Although average law graduates are not qualified for prestigious jobs, they can still have successful legal careers. Multiple peer reviewed studies have proven that even though law graduates from average institutions earn less money initially, their incomes substantially increase over time to levels comparable to graduates of elite institutions. In fact, graduates of mediocre law schools tend to have more stable careers than graduates of elite institutions.

Posted by: strawman | Jul 5, 2018 8:06:50 PM

"Multiple peer reviewed studies have proven that even though law graduates from average institutions earn less money initially, their incomes substantially increase over time to levels comparable to graduates of elite institutions. "

Except 1) the ACS data underpinning those controversial study (only one received peer review) does not include alma mater and 2) even if ACS did include alma maters, well, a sampling of ~1100 grads across 200 law schools and 15 years means that you have about one graduate per law school per five years, which barely rises to the level of the anecdotal.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 9, 2018 2:21:52 PM