Supreme Court Clerk Feeder Judges And Snaring Those Clerkships When You Didn’t Go To Yale

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9 Responses

  1. Plainsman says:

    On the current Court, Justice Thomas has displayed a willingness to hire clerks from schools “outside the club.”

  2. Bubba says:

    Plainsman is right – Justice Thomas bemoaned the “Ivy Curtain” when he spoke here at Alabama last fall… And he did hire a UGA alum for the upcoming term (but the others were from UVA and Yale – almost-complete list here:

  3. Amber says:

    Gump’s Law’s list is actually copied from my list at Prettier Than Napoleon. An updated version is available here.

  4. Shrimp Boat says:

    Don’t worry Amber. I gave you credit when I put up the list. Thanks for the update.

  5. Mike says:

    Don’t worry Amber. I gave you credit when I put up the list.

    Not to threadjack, but you copied Ms. Taylor’s list to keep the people at your blog, rather than sending them to Ms. Taylor’s – even though Ms. Taylor did the work in compiling the list. Although I don’t think Ms. Taylors’ list would be copyrightable, I do think your copy-and-paste job was in poor form.

  6. Mike S. says:

    Is there any record of aspirant High Court clerks coming out of state supreme court clerkships? Or are state court clerkships stepping stones to federal clerkships?

    Or, perhaps most poignantly, is the state court system unton itself and useless when making one’s way to a federal clerkship?

  7. Nick Saccone says:

    Do lower federal judges typically take their clerks with them when they get appointed up from a lower court to a higher court?

  8. Dan Filler says:

    Mike, I think that there are rare instances of state supreme court justices producing SCOTUS clerks. I think it happened at least once in the 1990’s. A more likely (but perhaps not common) scenario is a person following a state supreme clerkship with a circuit clerkship and then going to the Supremes. State courts are important, and many justices may be better than circuit judges, but they just don’t have status.

    Nick, my sense is that most federal trial court judges do take along their clerks when they get promoted to the circuit. Judges moving to the Supreme Court are a bit different. In most cases, they attempt to get their clerks placed with other circuit judges, sometimes offering them a Supreme Court gig a year later. There are exceptions; I think that Justice Souter took one of his circuit clerks directly to the Supreme Court when he was promoted.

  9. datapoint says:

    Rachel Brand (currently an assistant AG) went directly from the state supreme court in (IIRC) Massachusetts to a (again, IIRC) Kennedy clerkship in the late 90s/early 00s.