art vandelay wrote: OperaAttorney wrote:
art vandelay wrote:Speaking of politics, does anyone know how partisan judges are in the Austin area? I'm a Republican, and I have involvement in my undergrad college republicans chapter on my resume, as well as an internship with a Republican congressman. And I'll join the Federalists at UT, so that too. I can just delete the College Republicans and Federalists from my resume, but the work for the congressman is kind of important.
Anyway, for example, I assume that most of the state court of appeals judges in Travis county are Dems, so will that hurt me looking for judicial internships with them next summer? Understandably, they'll probably be more interested in grades, but to what extent would a Democratic judge look down on Republican activism?
Isn't Texas predominantly Repub? Isn't Wallace Jefferson, the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, and a few others on that court Rep?
Yeah, the broader state is more Repub than Dem, but I'm talking about state court of appeals judges in Austin. Supreme Court judges are elected on a statewide basis, but the various district court of appeals judges are elected ffrom within the various districts, I think. So as a result a look at the roster of court of appeals judges in the Austin / Travis County district reveals mostly Dems.
I haven't heard any anecdotes on whether or not one's partisan affiliation/activities are a direct factor in judicial internship (or clerkship) hiring, but I would certainly expect that a partisan Republican applicant would be dinged by a partisan Democratic judge, and vice versa. One would hope that judges of less partisan fervor would be more open to hiring those who might hold opposing views.
Of course, even if you could be hired by a partisan judge of the opposing party, would you want to? Many or most of their connections might be partisan and not of any use to you, and depending on the judge's personality, you might not be able to develop a good relationship with them. Considering the large number of Republican judges in Texas, I may very well apply to judges who are moderate conservatives for 1L summer, but I'm not going near partisan Republican or ultraconservative judges.
FYI: On the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals, there are 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans. The circuit includes not only Austin, but also many of the surrounding rural counties, so it is not dominated by Democrats. 3 of the 6 are UT Law grads, and one of them taught at UT from 1993-2000. Unfortunately (from my perspective) all justices on both the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals are Republicans. However, I have no idea how partisan the individual justices are.
Regarding the ACS and the FedSoc, posters on other TLS threads have said that members of both groups tend to be partisan enough that it is not recommended (or perhaps even possible) to join both. Their anecdotes suggested that joining one of these groups is best thought of as a commitment done to increase networking among like-minded individuals, rather than as a "debate club" or exploration into differing legal/political philosophy. I don't know if this holds true at UT. I agree with the ACS's perspective, but I'm not going to join until I meet the group for myself and see if I feel comfortable there and if I feel comfortable listing an ACS membership on my resume.