Let's talk 9th Circuit!

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:23 pm

Updates? Anything shaking in Alaska?

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:46 pm

Hurwitz is done.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:34 am

Any word on Tallman or Gould? I noticed Tallman's window for applications expired, but haven't heard anything re: hires.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:Any word on Tallman or Gould? I noticed Tallman's window for applications expired, but haven't heard anything re: hires.


Tallman was interviewing as recently as last week; told people decisions in July.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:57 pm

Any 2015-2016 info?

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:33 pm

Thomas hired someone from my school for '14 in May.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:34 am

PDaddy wrote:
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.


Bea is a mixed bag. Appears to dislike women lawyers. Not only is this a widely-held perception, I have had the pleasure of seeing him on action. He's a very smart judge when it comes to civil rights and other legal issues.

Hawkins is probably the most liberal of the bunch. His easy demeanor in court probably translates to an easy working relationship between himself and his clerks, and vice versa.

I know he isn't on your list above, but avoid Bybee at all costs - unless you are ultra-conservative and support waterboarding. Also, his ethics have long been in question. He has been known to have conflicts of interest yet refuse to step down from cases, accept perceived "gifts", etc.

If you google these judges you can find all of this.


This, per usual, is hilariously wrong. Bybee is loved by his clerks (including his liberal ones, I have two friends who are wrapping up with him this term) and is far less conservative than some of the others on that list.

Fletcher is definitely to the left of Hawkins, but not by a ton. Graber and Wardlaw are probably more liberal than him too on a number of issues. He's in the court's moderate liberal wing, but he might not even be the most liberal judge sitting in Phoenix.

Bea was opposed by NOW when nominated for the bench, but I've gotten to watch him sit for argument twice, and haven't seen any condescension toward the women lawyers making argument. I'll check with one of his several female clerks this term just to double-check, though. (I'm guessing your "this is widely searchable" claim is because of the NOW opposition page that pops up in a google search).

Every time you give advice it hurts my head. I just had to say something.

To answer some of your other questions:
- Kleinfeld seems like a good, solid conservative. Seems to like clerks who want some adventure.
- Graber hires up to 3 years out sometimes, and seems incredibly hard-working (sort of like Holmes on the 10th).
- Wardlaw has insanely high standards and hires quite early (by April of my 2L year she had filled 3/4 spots for 2 years out and 1 spot for 3 years out).
- Berzon, Bea, and Fletcher are, as you'd expect, incredibly tough to get. I know a few people in those chambers and am currently in SF, and they've all struck me as really impressive, and all fairly personable people (esp. the ones with Fletcher).

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:47 am

The problem with googling judges is that there are various websites where anyone can post their opinion of the judges (one was referenced somewhere on this site recently), and even when it's an opportunity for lawyers to comment on the judges, you get some of the most ridiculous anonymous stuff posted. You get a lot of laypeople who decide the judge is horrible because they didn't win their case, and you get random political axe-to-grind fanatics (for instance, I was looking up Dist. AZ judges and there were lots who had tons of bad ratings, but they were all from people hating on AZ's immigration law, from either side - it was pretty clear these people had never appeared before the judge or even met the judge, they just disagreed with what they thought the judge had done/not done about the law). And even the lawyers who post ratings of judges - well, there are a lot of REALLY STUPID lawyers out there.

tl;dr - I would be pretty suspicious of assessments of a judge found by googling. Talk to people who've clerked for the judge, or who know people who've clerked for the judge.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:25 am

Fletcher is full for 2014.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby PDaddy » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
PDaddy wrote:
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.


Bea is a mixed bag. Appears to dislike women lawyers. Not only is this a widely-held perception, I have had the pleasure of seeing him on action. He's a very smart judge when it comes to civil rights and other legal issues.

Hawkins is probably the most liberal of the bunch. His easy demeanor in court probably translates to an easy working relationship between himself and his clerks, and vice versa.

I know he isn't on your list above, but avoid Bybee at all costs - unless you are ultra-conservative and support waterboarding. Also, his ethics have long been in question. He has been known to have conflicts of interest yet refuse to step down from cases, accept perceived "gifts", etc.

If you google these judges you can find all of this.


This, per usual, is hilariously wrong. Bybee is loved by his clerks (including his liberal ones, I have two friends who are wrapping up with him this term) and is far less conservative than some of the others on that list.

Fletcher is definitely to the left of Hawkins, but not by a ton. Graber and Wardlaw are probably more liberal than him too on a number of issues. He's in the court's moderate liberal wing, but he might not even be the most liberal judge sitting in Phoenix.

Bea was opposed by NOW when nominated for the bench, but I've gotten to watch him sit for argument twice, and haven't seen any condescension toward the women lawyers making argument. I'll check with one of his several female clerks this term just to double-check, though. (I'm guessing your "this is widely searchable" claim is because of the NOW opposition page that pops up in a google search).

Every time you give advice it hurts my head. I just had to say something.

To answer some of your other questions:
- Kleinfeld seems like a good, solid conservative. Seems to like clerks who want some adventure.
- Graber hires up to 3 years out sometimes, and seems incredibly hard-working (sort of like Holmes on the 10th).
- Wardlaw has insanely high standards and hires quite early (by April of my 2L year she had filled 3/4 spots for 2 years out and 1 spot for 3 years out).
- Berzon, Bea, and Fletcher are, as you'd expect, incredibly tough to get. I know a few people in those chambers and am currently in SF, and they've all struck me as really impressive, and all fairly personable people (esp. the ones with Fletcher).


I think we're dealing with two issues that are not mutually exclusive. I am speaking to the politics and ethics of the judges with whom I am most familiar, not only via following their decisions, but speaking with several attorneys.

Bybee probably takes great care of his clerks, and I wouldn't say to avoid him if you don't mind having his brand stamped on you. He's one of the least ethical judges in the Ninth Circuit from what I have read and heard from attorneys.

His being courteous and professional with clerks and officers of the court makes this no less true.

I will admit that there could be some value in clerking for a judge whose politics oppose your own...lots of value in fact. However, it's Bybee's ethics that I take issue with. I couldn't give a rat's ass about how courteously he treats his clerks or how well he mentors them. If his ethics are questionable, no aspiring attorney should want to clerk for him. Do some research.

As far as my advice being bad, try telling the applicants that I have helped get into law schools and secure big law jobs that my advice sucks. You may not agree with the advice I give, but it is grounded in experience. Unlike most of the posters on this board I can actually back il what I say with EVIDENCE.

One last thing: never call out another poster when you post anonymously. It makes you look like a coward.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby PDaddy » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:43 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:The problem with googling judges is that there are various websites where anyone can post their opinion of the judges (one was referenced somewhere on this site recently), and even when it's an opportunity for lawyers to comment on the judges, you get some of the most ridiculous anonymous stuff posted. You get a lot of laypeople who decide the judge is horrible because they didn't win their case, and you get random political axe-to-grind fanatics (for instance, I was looking up Dist. AZ judges and there were lots who had tons of bad ratings, but they were all from people hating on AZ's immigration law, from either side - it was pretty clear these people had never appeared before the judge or even met the judge, they just disagreed with what they thought the judge had done/not done about the law). And even the lawyers who post ratings of judges - well, there are a lot of REALLY STUPID lawyers out there.

tl;dr - I would be pretty suspicious of assessments of a judge found by googling. Talk to people who've clerked for the judge, or who know people who've clerked for the judge.


I agree with this. But I don't remember anyone directing readers to look solely at robbingroom.com, etc. that would be stupid. Again, we could all be right. It's really an issue of what qualities are most important in a mentor, and most important on MY list would be ethics. I do not doubt that Bybee treats his clerks well, but just like lawyers can be stupid, clerks can be as well.

Read articles on the judges. Talk to the other clerks. Talk to other judges. Talk to court reporters. Talk to any officer of the court who can give insight into these judges. Nobody would call that bad advice. All I am saying is that Bybee's ethics would preclude me from even applying for his clerkship.

Being a good mentor and coach, and having encyclopedic knowledge of the law, is not enough. It's what a judge stands for that counts. Bybee stands for everything Bush stood for. I personally would not clerk for him. I tend to prefer judges that believe in human rights, recuse themselves when warranted and don't take bribes.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:45 pm

Are you responding to his actions as a judge, or his role in the torture memos?

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:06 am

PDaddy wrote:Bybee probably takes great care of his clerks, and I wouldn't say to avoid him if you don't mind having his brand stamped on you. He's one of the least ethical judges in the Ninth Circuit from what I have read and heard from attorneys.

His being courteous and professional with clerks and officers of the court makes this no less true.

I will admit that there could be some value in clerking for a judge whose politics oppose your own...lots of value in fact. However, it's Bybee's ethics that I take issue with. I couldn't give a rat's ass about how courteously he treats his clerks or how well he mentors them. If his ethics are questionable, no aspiring attorney should want to clerk for him. Do some research.


Can you tell me exactly what he does that is unethical? I tried doing some research like you said, and I haven't found anything credible. I would think that if there really was anything unethical, he would be taken before some state bar disciplinary board or a judicial ethics review.

I've met Bybee, and he struck me as anything but unethical. I also know two of his former clerks, and none of them have said anything close to what you're saying. Do you actually have some specific information, or are you just defaming someone whose politics you take issue with?

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby PDaddy » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:46 am

Some people in the legal community who wanted him disbarred back in 2009. Bybee is brilliant, but his politics and his ethics make him an undesirable option for me.

I am merely offering a piece of calculus that I feel should be relevant: the ethics and reputation of the judge. It gets ignored because federal clerkships are so prestigious; student just want to land one and generally don't care whom they clerk for.

I did some research on Bybee last year because a client at a law firm (where I was working at the time) had her case go before Bybee on appeal. She won her appeal even though Bybee dissented. That is irrelevant to the issue.

Like I said before, being "courteous" and a good teacher of black letter law is not enough.

Latham & Watkins represented Bybee to the tune of $3.4M. He accepted those services pro bono after having heard cases involving Latham attorneys. He recused himself from all future Latham cases indefinitely, but only after having been called out.

It was also widely suspected that he signed the torture memos (supporting waterboarding) to ensure his confirmation into the ninth circuit, which reeks of quid pro quo for Bush's resubmission of his candidacy for the Ninth Circuit.

So...not only does he write a faulty memo (based on flawed research by UC Berkeley's John Yoo) that enables the Bush Administration to engage in egregious human rights violations, he does it as a trade off for his seat on the Ninth Circuit. Then he allows a firm that had cases in his court to provide him with $3.4M in pro bono services, recusing himself from future cases involving the firm only after he got called out.

http://www.change.org/petitions/discipl ... mo-lawyers

http://m.dailykos.com/story/2009/02/17/ ... ture-memos

http://www.velvetrevolution.us/torture_ ... /index.php

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2009/04/17/jud ... s-mahoney/
Last edited by PDaddy on Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Citizen Genet » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:16 am

So really its the torture memo stuff. Which goes to politics, not precisely ethics. As I understand it, Bybee has done a fairly good job recusing himself when warranted. (Eg Latham has taken care of his defense for the torture memo investigation and he has recused himself from all skadden cases.)

Is there something else you are referring to?

EDIT: I originally said Skadden; as the edited post above mine (edited after I submitted) points out, it was Latham. My full response will come later.
Last edited by Citizen Genet on Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:36 am

PDaddy wrote:You found nothing? Ok, I will post it. There are people in the legal community who wanted him disbarred back in 2009.

I did some research on Bybee last year because a client at a law firm (where I was working at the time) had her case go before Bybee on appeal.

Like I said before, being courteous and a good teacher of black letter law is not enough.

So you think he's unethical because he took a position you disagree with? Are you now backing off your earlier claim that "He has been known to have conflicts of interest yet refuse to step down from cases, accept perceived "gifts", etc."? Did you only make that apparently unsupported claim about gifts and conflicts because you knew your real reasoning would make it clear you're a partisan halfwit?

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby jd20132013 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:44 am

PDaddy wrote:You found nothing? Ok, I will post it. There are people in the legal community who wanted him disbarred back in 2009.

I did some research on Bybee last year because a client at a law firm (where I was working at the time) had her case go before Bybee on appeal.

Like I said before, being courteous and a good teacher of black letter law is not enough.


you realize you didn't actually provide any sources or backing for your statement aside from "some people agree with me"

or is that the joke?

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Citizen Genet » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:32 am

PDaddy wrote:Latham & Watkins represented Bybee to the tune of $3.4M. He accepted those services pro bono after having heard cases involving Latham attorneys. He recused himself from all future Latham cases indefinitely, but only after having been called out.

It was also widely suspected that he signed the torture memos (supporting waterboarding) to ensure his confirmation into the ninth circuit, which reeks of quid pro quo for Bush's resubmission of his candidacy for the Ninth Circuit.

So...not only does he write a faulty memo (based on flawed research by UC Berkeley's John Yoo) that enables the Bush Administration to engage in egregious human rights violations, he does it as a trade off for his seat on the Ninth Circuit. Then he allows a firm that had cases in his court to provide him with $3.4M in pro bono services, recusing himself from future cases involving the firm only after he got called out.

http://www.change.org/petitions/discipl ... mo-lawyers

http://m.dailykos.com/story/2009/02/17/ ... ture-memos

http://www.velvetrevolution.us/torture_ ... /index.php

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2009/04/17/jud ... s-mahoney/


Note for future readers: The posts between PDaddy and this one might seem nonsensical because they accused him out for not posting any useful information. The edited portion above is what he added after these critiques.

Here's what you're saying:
1. Bybee signed off on the torture memo
2. "It was... widely suspected" he did it to ensure his confirmation in the Ninth Circuit
3. Latham and Watkins gave him 3.4 million in pro bono defense and you allege that Bybee "recus[ed] himself from future cases involving hte firm only after he got called out"

Here's the problems with what you're saying.
1. Right. Everybody knows. That's why there was an ethics investigation which decided that no further action should be taken. No governmental agency or bar has taken action against Bybee or Yoo. I'll also point out that Harold Koh secretly signed off on drone killings of American citizens abroad. Democratic appointees have signed off on the PRISM taps. There's a bunch of crazy stuff that goes on that a lot of people find unsavory. The main reason Yoo and Bybee were excoriated was because the political climate was right for it. If the Koh memo had been written under the Bush administration and uncovered in 2007, then Harold Koh would be the one that liberals were after.

Regardless of what you think of the torture memo, you can recognize that Bybee had a job to do, he did it, and disagreeing with him is a matter of politics and not ethics.

2. It's widely suspected? Really? By who? Your sources on the subject, like Daily KOs, a Change.org petition, or Velvet Revolution? (Note that none of those sources ACTUALLY say it, but I am trying to draw attention to the fact that you're citing a seriously slanted set of sources.) If you're going to levy that accusation, then source it. Furthermore, even if you had neutral sources who suspect it, suspicion is a pretty low bar. I suspect that Serena Williams is on steroids of some sort. And I guarantee you my inferences for it are a lot stronger than what people have supporting this supposed suspicion on Bybee. But that doesn't get anybody anywhere.

3. This is the only real accusation that merits serious attention. The only support you have for this is a WSJ article saying that Bybee did accept pro bono services from LW. This is pretty common knowledge. But he is also recusing himself and I have never heard that he had to be "called out" to do it. Do you have any source for that? I mean, even Think Progress said, "To his credit, Bybee is recusing himself from cases that Latham & Watkins participates in." (Source: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/1 ... ?mobile=nc) I mean, that's Think Progress - any where they are giving credit to Bybee, probably isn't a bone you should pick with him. After extensive Googling, the only thing related to this that I can find some no-name blogger on blogspot complaining about is that Bybee should state now that he should recuse himself from all future LW cases. (Even then the blogger admits there is no actual judicial ethics violation. Source: http://kanbaroo.blogspot.com/2011/11/in ... bybee.html - And note again that this blogger seems about as credible as as the doomsday crier on the corner of the street.) Now, to be fair, I'm sure you could have mis-remembered the parts about Bybee's recusal. But unless you have some source you can point to about Point 3, I don't think your critique holds any weight at all.

EDIT: And I will add this. Not wanting to clerk for a judge because of their political reputation is completely fine. For some people that matters. And really, if you clerk for Judge Bybee, you can guarantee that you'll have a difficult time applying for professorships at most law schools due to liberal bias. (You'd be fine at most conservative ones.) So that's a totally valid concern. But all of the unsupported accusations about Judge Bybee being unethical should not deter anyone from applying to him, mainly because they aren't true. I'll reinforce what others have said and I have also heard: the quality of life, mentoring, and tutoring in a Bybee clerkship is phenomenal.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:20 am

Yeah, I was going to say what CG added: If you don't want to clerk for Bybee because of his role in the torture memos, that's totally cool. And you can even say "I don't think other people should clerk for him because he acted unethically wrt the torture memos." But that's really different from saying he acts unethically as Ninth Circuit judge, so just say the former rather than making what are purported politics-neutral pronouncements.

(As for the pro bono/recusal thing - of course he took pro bono services from a firm that appears before him. Because all big firms will appear before him. And when you're looking for pro bono services you don't always get to pick and choose your firm. The only issue would be if he didn't recuse - which, of course, he did, and I agree that none of the sources you've cited said that he needed to be called out on it, and unless you talked to his clerks or chambers staff about it, I'd be leery of accepting attorneys' characterizations of the process - what goes on inside chambers is usually not clear to those outside chambers. There's also no reason to state on the record that he will never hear cases by LW ever again, because that's just not how recusal works. There's no public announcement of "I will never hear cases by these parties again;" LW would just go on the recusal list and he won't hear those cases. That list gets revisited periodically and people can move on/off it, but there's no indication LW would move off it, unless it really is far enough down the road that it wouldn't matter.)

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby sundance95 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:38 am

You guys are bad at the internet, I found what PDaddy was talking about right away

Image

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:47 am

Citizen Genet wrote:EDIT: And I will add this. Not wanting to clerk for a judge because of their political reputation is completely fine. For some people that matters. And really, if you clerk for Judge Bybee, you can guarantee that you'll have a difficult time applying for professorships at most law schools due to liberal bias. (You'd be fine at most conservative ones.) So that's a totally valid concern. But all of the unsupported accusations about Judge Bybee being unethical should not deter anyone from applying to him, mainly because they aren't true. I'll reinforce what others have said and I have also heard: the quality of life, mentoring, and tutoring in a Bybee clerkship is phenomenal.

Would clerking for Bybee really make it hard to become a prof? It's not something I'm interested in but I'm a bit surprised to hear that. Do you think there are any other job areas where clerking for Bybee or a similar a judge could make things difficult?

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Citizen Genet wrote:EDIT: And I will add this. Not wanting to clerk for a judge because of their political reputation is completely fine. For some people that matters. And really, if you clerk for Judge Bybee, you can guarantee that you'll have a difficult time applying for professorships at most law schools due to liberal bias. (You'd be fine at most conservative ones.) So that's a totally valid concern. But all of the unsupported accusations about Judge Bybee being unethical should not deter anyone from applying to him, mainly because they aren't true. I'll reinforce what others have said and I have also heard: the quality of life, mentoring, and tutoring in a Bybee clerkship is phenomenal.

Would clerking for Bybee really make it hard to become a prof? It's not something I'm interested in but I'm a bit surprised to hear that. Do you think there are any other job areas where clerking for Bybee or a similar a judge could make things difficult?

One of my professors, who is awesome, clerked for Bybee. I really think people are overestimating how much clerking for a conservative judge will hurt you.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:36 pm

(1) I'm a former 9th Circuit clerk. I can confirm that Bybee is very polite and that his clerks love him.

(2) I've read at least 50 memos sent out by Bybee. He has typical religious conservative views (he's Mormon). If you can't handle clerking for a religious conservative, don't apply to Bybee.

(3) If anything, clerking for Bybee helps for professor positions. He actively tries to hire people that are looking to be professors, and a lot of his clerks become professors.

(4) My opinion is that PDaddy is hysterically turning a political opinion into an ethical issue. Conservatives have conservative opinions. That doesn’t make conservatives unethical any more than liberal opinions make a liberal unethical.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby Citizen Genet » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:(3) If anything, clerking for Bybee helps for professor positions. He actively tries to hire people that are looking to be professors, and a lot of his clerks become professors.


I'll retract what I said about becoming a professor. Sounds like this anon and the poster above have better information than I do. I was working from generalities about biases against conservative applicants (that I thought hiring committees would attach to Bybee clerks). But their real world experience trumps my thoughts on it.

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Re: Let's talk 9th Circuit!

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:51 pm

Academia obviously swings liberal, but legal academia less so than academia more generally. I also think that schools recognize the best clerkship you get, prestige/career-wise, may not reflect your personal politics. (I mean, I violently disagree with a number of Supreme Court justices but I'd suck that up in a heartbeat if one of them was willing to hire me.)




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