blowhard wrote:Yeah, except I know several people from Michigan top 1/4 that clerked in the DC Circuit over the past few years. You're not compensating for self-selection. For your assertion to be true, you're assuming every single student wants to clerk...and in the DC Cir. Otherwise the numbers wouldn't add up. You're also not compensating for the idiosyncrasies of judge hiring. One particular CoA judge in the 6th told us at lunch one day that he takes all of his applications, throws out everyone except people who went to his UG/LS alma matter, people that interned for people he knew, people who shared interests (he gives a list to his current clerks to sort), etc. Then he starts reading those 20-25 apps. Several district court judges present nodded their heads in agreement.
I'm by no means saying grades don't matter but your assertion is unduly restrictive. They may even be the majority of hiring...but definitely not top 5-10.
I would be very surprised if there were several people from UM who were only top 1/4 who landed D.C. Circuit clerkships in recent years. Not saying it did not happen, but all of the D.C. Circuit clerks I know -- and I know quite a few -- were magna from T10 types (or better). A significant percentage of any given year's D.C. Circuit clerks go on to clerk on SCOTUS. That percentage goes even higher when you exclude a few of the judges who make no effort to feed to the Court, but instead focus on hiring from particular schools or a particular region. What this means is that if you do not have SCOTUS type credentials, and you do not hail from those specific schools or regions, the number of D.C. Circuit seats open to you is in the single digits. And you are fighting for those with hundreds of insanely well-qualified people. If anything, the difficulty of getting a D.C. Circuit clerkship is understated on TLS, not overstated. The same is not necessarily true of clerkships on other
circuits, but those are not what people have been talking about.