Let's talk 9th Circuit!

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Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:54 pm

Anyone know anything about the 9th Circuit judges that may still be hiring according to Oscar, either hiring status or what the clerking experience with them would be like?

I assume none are quite so crazy like Kozinski, but one of the listings says specifically that the clerks have a lot of work. Not sure how to interpret that.

A quick look through Oscar reveals: Berzon, Bea, Callahan, Fisher, Fletcher, Gould, Graber, Hawkins, Kleinfeld, Nelson, Paez, Smith (N. or M.), Tallman, Wallace, Wardlaw.

Especially interested in the SF ones.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know anything about the 9th Circuit judges that may still be hiring according to Oscar, either hiring status or what the clerking experience with them would be like?

I assume none are quite so crazy like Kozinski, but one of the listings says specifically that the clerks have a lot of work. Not sure how to interpret that.

A quick look through Oscar reveals: Berzon, Bea, Callahan, Fisher, Fletcher, Gould, Graber, Hawkins, Kleinfeld, Nelson, Paez, Smith (N. or M.), Tallman, Wallace, Wardlaw.

Especially interested in the SF ones.


See the general 2014-15 thread for more information on who has hired or not. Reinhardt is also supposedly an intense experience, second to Kozinski on the 9th probably.

Berzon strongly prefers those with public interest backgrounds and career goals.
Fisher prefers those with post-graduate experience and/or a district court clerkship first.
Kleinfeld, I think, prefers those with a connection to Alaska or else some other reason to clerk for him or be in Alaska besides just a clerkship in general.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:27 am

Sidney Thomas hired on the plan last year. He is the next Chief Judge of the 9th. He is, overwhelmingly, the 9th Cir. judge I have heard the most positive things about. Everyone who would consider living anywhere for a year should consider applying to him in Billings.

Anonymous User wrote:Especially interested in the SF ones.


Getting a 9th Cir. clerkship in SF is about as hard as it gets. There are only three active judges, and two are incredibly picky.

Fletcher: Supposed to be amazing to work for, but incredibly picky for grades. He almost always hires the #1 student at Boalt. Very competitive; more competitive than most other feeders, even.

Berzon: Almost as grade-picky as Fletcher, with the added requirement of having strong public interest focus. Apparently can be a tough boss, but her clerks seem to like her.

Bea: Read his OSCAR listing to get a flavor of the sort of attitude in his chambers. Also, he is quite conservative, but I don't know if he requires conservative credentials in his clerks.

Noonan is on senior status, but has already hired through 2014-2015 term. I think he has a 25% caseload.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Fletcher: Supposed to be amazing to work for, but incredibly picky for grades. He almost always hires the #1 student at Boalt. Very competitive; more competitive than most other feeders, even.


Fletcher has hired three of four 2014-'15 clerks. The rumor is that he disliked being pressured to move early and intends to wait to hire his fourth--possibly until the Plan dates.

If OP is interested in clerking in SF, Judge Hawkins has chambers in both Phoenix and SF and generally spends May - September in SF. Clerks are welcome to split as well. But Hawkins is senior and hires only two term clerks (often from T6 schools).

Edited to add info about Hawkins.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:50 pm

Can anyone in the know anonymously help read between the lines of Bea's OSCAR posting? This seems relatively non-ideological but maybe a very intense workload?

If you believe in the judicial system, and are willing to apply the law to the record before the court even if you do not like the outcome in a given case, please apply. If, however, you have a strict ideology and you think it would be difficult for you to recommend a result that is antithetical to that ideology, then please go apply to Congress.

Judge Bea will teach you to be a more precise thinker and writer than you can imagine. He is one of the most active judges, especially in the en banc process, which means more work, and more experience, for his clerks. We work very hard; we also like to have a good time, and definitely appreciate a sense of humor.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby bk1 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:52 pm

If those words weren't on OSCAR I would swear that whoever wrote them was being sarcastic.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:47 pm

What's the scoop on the non-Koz Pasadena judges, Paez and Wardlaw in particular?

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:59 pm

Paez is interviewing/hiring. He, like Berzon, has a strong preference for applicants with public interest career paths. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about him.

Judge Wardlaw used to have a reputation for being a tough boss in hear early days (late 90s/early 00s). In more recent years, I have heard that she's "mellowed out." She often hires far in advance. I would be surprised if she still had 2014-2015 spots, but maybe she does.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:02 am

Is Judge S. Thomas really staying on plan?

Maybe I'm projecting but surely people have to be chomping at the bit to apply to him.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is Judge S. Thomas really staying on plan?

Maybe I'm projecting but surely people have to be chomping at the bit to apply to him.


I don't know. For what it's worth, he's *mostly* stayed on plan in previous years. He would occasionally interview early, but usually not make offers until the week of interviews (even if it was technically a few days early). So he was very technically "off plan," but not by much at all.

One reason Judge Thomas likes the Plan is because he can centralize his interviewing timeline. He usually interviews candidates in San Francisco when he is there on court business. I think it is pretty rare for applicants to fly to Billings for an interview.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:17 am

Is anyone able to rank the most competitive judges in Pasadena?

I am top 15% at Boalt, working for a top LA firm. Class of 2013 but will probably not apply for appellate clerkships until the 2015 cycle.

Obviously Kozinski is not a possibility. Seems like Watford and Wardlaw are the next two most competitive; but what about beyond them? Would Milan Smith or Jacqueline Nguyen be attainable?

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is anyone able to rank the most competitive judges in Pasadena?

I am top 15% at Boalt, working for a top LA firm. Class of 2013 but will probably not apply for appellate clerkships until the 2015 cycle.

Obviously Kozinski is not a possibility. Seems like Watford and Wardlaw are the next two most competitive; but what about beyond them? Would Milan Smith or Jacqueline Nguyen be attainable?


After Kozinski, I'd say Reinhardt (Los Angeles) is the pickiest, and then maybe Ikuta and Watford, both of whom seem to be positioning themselves as feeders. Not sure about Wardlaw and Smith's hiring practices (but note Smith is in El Segundo, not Pasadena).

Targeting judges who like work experience (Fisher, Nguyen) might make most sense for you. To be honest top 15% from Boalt sounds like a longshot for SoCal 9th Circuit. I also keep hearing Nguyen's name mentioned for Obama SCOTUS picks, but I don't know if that necessarily means she will start acting like a feeder judge.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is anyone able to rank the most competitive judges in Pasadena?

I am top 15% at Boalt, working for a top LA firm. Class of 2013 but will probably not apply for appellate clerkships until the 2015 cycle.

Obviously Kozinski is not a possibility. Seems like Watford and Wardlaw are the next two most competitive; but what about beyond them? Would Milan Smith or Jacqueline Nguyen be attainable?


After Kozinski, I'd say Reinhardt (Los Angeles) is the pickiest, and then maybe Ikuta and Watford, both of whom seem to be positioning themselves as feeders. Not sure about Wardlaw and Smith's hiring practices (but note Smith is in El Segundo, not Pasadena).

Targeting judges who like work experience (Fisher, Nguyen) might make most sense for you. To be honest top 15% from Boalt sounds like a longshot for SoCal 9th Circuit. I also keep hearing Nguyen's name mentioned for Obama SCOTUS picks, but I don't know if that necessarily means she will start acting like a feeder judge.


What schools did Watford hire from? Also don't forget McKeown in SD, who likes clerks with work experience.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is anyone able to rank the most competitive judges in Pasadena?

I am top 15% at Boalt, working for a top LA firm. Class of 2013 but will probably not apply for appellate clerkships until the 2015 cycle.

Obviously Kozinski is not a possibility. Seems like Watford and Wardlaw are the next two most competitive; but what about beyond them? Would Milan Smith or Jacqueline Nguyen be attainable?


After Kozinski, I'd say Reinhardt (Los Angeles) is the pickiest, and then maybe Ikuta and Watford, both of whom seem to be positioning themselves as feeders. Not sure about Wardlaw and Smith's hiring practices (but note Smith is in El Segundo, not Pasadena).

Targeting judges who like work experience (Fisher, Nguyen) might make most sense for you. To be honest top 15% from Boalt sounds like a longshot for SoCal 9th Circuit. I also keep hearing Nguyen's name mentioned for Obama SCOTUS picks, but I don't know if that necessarily means she will start acting like a feeder judge.


What schools did Watford hire from? Also don't forget McKeown in SD, who likes clerks with work experience.

Watford has hired a 2014 and a 2015 clerk from Michigan.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:45 am

He also hired clerks from Berkeley for 2013 and 2014.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:17 pm

Pregerson wants PI. Probably one of the "easier to get" 9th cir. judges, but still very, very, very difficult to get. 2014-15 is probably full.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:What's the scoop on the non-Koz Pasadena judges, Paez and Wardlaw in particular?


Spoke to a Paez clerk from my school who had wonderful things to say about him. One of the less GPA-selecive 9th Cir. judges in CA. Interested in PI backgrounds, but even more than that, interested in phone calls from recommenders. My impression was that you need someone to make a call to be considered, but I was never explicitly told that.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:Spoke to a Paez clerk from my school who had wonderful things to say about him.


Are other 9th Circuit judges known to be especially good to work for? Obviously Kozinski and Berzon can be demanding. (Someone also mentioned that Wardlaw used to have a reputation as a tough boss.) What about Fisher, Fletcher, Nguyen, Pregerson, Thomas, Watford, and the other people mentioned in this thread?

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:23 am

Thomas is supposed to be very kind and a wonderful boss. However, I also hear that his clerks work quite hard, and I wouldn't be surprised if the workload increased when he becomes chief judge.

Fletcher is also supposed to be great to work for, but is perhaps the most competitive judge on the 9th Circuit. At least as competitive as Kozinski, if not moreso.

Watford is too new to have any reliable info about. His current clerks are his first clerks.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:44 am

I met Judge Bea a few times at school events and he seemed like a very nice guy. My friend interned with him and said the same, but from my experience, the way judges treat their clerks vs. their interns can be very different.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:16 am

Wardlaw is interviewing now for 2014-'15.

Edited to add year.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:14 am

Anyone have any info on the senior judges not listed on Oscar?

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:13 pm

Paez's Oscar posting says that he is done.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:10 am

Any info on Graber?

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 01, 2013 10:59 pm

Welp, just got my start date. Weirdly nervous.




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