olive16 wrote:What exactly is your point? That Ruth Payne might have helped a few people during her career?
Unlike you, my friends and I have been through the clerkship application process. I haven't surveyed the entire 3L class, but I haven't encountered a single person who thought Ruth Payne was helpful. What's more, her advice has actually harmed several people (told them they weren't competitive for clerkships they eventually got, told them a particular judge wasn't hiring when she was, etc.).
Feel free to respond with more delightful generalities like, "Just because your personal experience was bad doesn't mean others didn't find her helpful." But until you and your friends have been through the CS application process, stfu.
This is a bit overly harsh, and I disagree with y'all's take on Ruth. Unlike you and your friends, I have been through BOTH SIDES of the clerkship hiring process. Although Ruth may occasionally have some misses with her advice, I think her advice was pretty good. And, a lot of her job is (a) coordinating the process and (b) giving advice.
A couple thoughts about your specific complaints:
(1) "they weren't competitive for clerkships they eventually got" - Look, it costs nothing to apply, so you should apply to any judge you're going to work for, but its helpful to know who you're competitive for. Guess what, the only thing that anyone on the outside can use to gauge whether someone is competitive is past placement data for a particular judge. Sometimes things will work out such that someone who is radically outside of a judge's typical clerk profile will get hired... But, you can't blame Ruth for that happening. On average, I think her advice (at least in the past) is pretty spot on.
(2) "told them a particular judge wasn't hiring" - It's hard to get information from chambers, and sometimes (a) chambers lie and (b) chambers end up being wrong about whether a particular judge is hiring. Outside a couple judges who always hiring UVA clerks (e.g. Wilkinson, Ellis), it can sometimes be really hard to determine when a judge is hiring. And, even among clerks, advice differs as to when and whether to send an application. There are nearly 1000 Article 3 judges, you can't expect Ruth to be right 100% of the time. And the past year was quite confusing given the collapse of the plan.
I'm just a '12 grad with no skin in the game, but I think UVA as a whole, and Ruth specifically, does a far better job at shepherding students through the clerkship process than most other T14 schools.