Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:56 pm

I experienced both - my first judge was all about mentorship wrt the writing and analysis and would spend as long as I needed talking over issues in a case, every draft went through like 5 versions, s/he was happy to explain exactly why s/he'd changed everything he'd changed, and s/he'd talk about oral argument and what was effective and wasn't. S/he didn't usually tell me how a case *should* come out, but s/he did tell me what s/he thought was the likely outcome. My second judge relied on the clerks to do the research and writing so s/he could do all the rest of the stuff. If s/he had questions about your analysis s/he'd discuss it with you and of course s/he read everything and wouldn't send it out if s/he didn't agree, but the expectation was that you were there to take care of the bulk of the analysis/writing without needing a lot of guidance.

Maybe pertinent that the first judge was an appeals judge and the second was a district court judge - I think that the different courts lend themselves to different approaches. (That said, I know of a judge on the appeals court whose clerks would get given a case, research and draft the opinion, turn it in to the judge, and then never see it or hear about it again until the opinion came out, sometimes pretty much as they'd given it to the judge, sometimes completely transformed. So it's certainly not just about level of court.)

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ggocat
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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby ggocat » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:11 pm

Yeah Nony, I think that has less to do with the court and more with the person wearing the robe. I've worked for, and heard many stories about, both types of people in appellate.

Quichelorraine
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Re: Does anyone just *hate* their clerkship?

Postby Quichelorraine » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:20 pm

ggocat wrote:Yeah Nony, I think that has less to do with the court and more with the person wearing the robe. I've worked for, and heard many stories about, both types of people in appellate.


Precisely. And I think both approaches are completely valid. As long as there isn't a complete dereliction of duty--clerks write the opinion, judges issue it without even so much as taking a glance--all is fine. Nobody expects partners to have written the briefs their names adorn; nobody thinks that United States Senators actually draft every Eagle Scout letter or ceremonial address. (Posner's criticism here is unrealistic.)




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