District Judges

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District Judges

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:49 pm

I'm struggling with my clerkship list and I have two questions:

1) Is clerking for a senior district judge more or less problematic than clerking for a senior circuit judge? Is it a legitimate job? Will I learn and do cool things?

2) This is obviously masturbatory and a symptom of the prestige obsession which poisons the law in general (and I'm embarrassed to ask, which is why I'm posting anonymously), but which district judges do you think of as belonging to the top tier of nationally recognized judges? Rakoff (SDNY), Breyer (NDCA), Nathan (SDNY) maybe? Others?

3) Are there any district judges who have particularly good reputations? This is something I haven't done good research on so I thought I would check.

Anonymous User
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Re: District Judges

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm struggling with my clerkship list and I have two questions:

1) Is clerking for a senior district judge more or less problematic than clerking for a senior circuit judge? Is it a legitimate job? Will I learn and do cool things?


Depends on the judge. Some senior judges still take full case loads and they occasionally sit by designation on various circuit courts. Talk to people how have clerked for the judge before, or talk to someone who has clerked in the same courthouse.

Anonymous User wrote:2) This is obviously masturbatory and a symptom of the prestige obsession which poisons the law in general (and I'm embarrassed to ask, which is why I'm posting anonymously), but which district judges do you think of as belonging to the top tier of nationally recognized judges? Rakoff (SDNY), Breyer (NDCA), Nathan (SDNY) maybe? Others?

3) Are there any district judges who have particularly good reputations? This is something I haven't done good research on so I thought I would check.


First, there are the top districts - i.e., the places that have the coolest dockets: SDNY, EDNY, NDCA, EDVA, CDCA (maybe DDC). SDNY is kind of obvious, EDNY gets a broad mix of cases, EDVA is the original rocket docket + lots of national security cases, NDCA gets lots of patent cases, etc.

Second, there are a number of well-respected judges. Ask people who have clerked in the various districts who the best known judges are, e.g., off the top of my head: Rakoff, Kimba Wood, Weinstein, Brinkema, Ellis, Nathan, etc.

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Re: District Judges

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:07 pm

1. Totally depends on the judge. Some senior judges are extremely active and carry caseloads just as busy as active judges. Other senior judges have much lighter caseloads.

2. Not sure why Nathan (SDNY) is on the list, given that she was just recently appointed. I don't think she's been on the bench long enough to have cultivated a very "prestigious" reputation. Rakoff definitely belongs. Judge Weinstein (EDNY) is definitely at the top.




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