Good judges in Southern District of California?

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Good judges in Southern District of California?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:11 pm

I am looking to apply there potentially. Can anyone with knowledge inform me as to how this court is perceived? I'd imagine that it's very competitive and that clerking with any judge there would be a really good experience. Does anyone know how hard it is to get a spot on this court vs any other district court?

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Re: Good judges in Southern District of California?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:40 am

I can tell you for a fact that some judges on that court are astonishingly bad. Extremely poorly written and reasoned opinions/orders and just generally intellectually not what you want in federal judges. Pretty easy to tell which ones those are by looking at their bios.

Also the docket isn’t very interesting so it may not be that competitive. Then again there aren’t that many judges on the court and San Diego is awesome.

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Re: Good judges in Southern District of California?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can anyone with knowledge inform me as to how this court is perceived? I'd imagine that it's very competitive and that clerking with any judge there would be a really good experience.
From a 9th Circuit perspective you’re mostly right. It’s competitive because lots of people want to live in San Diego and because there are relatively few term clerkships available because a larger than usual number of judges have career clerks. But as the previous poster said it’s not the most interesting docket (drugs, illegal re-entry, other border-related crimes) and it’s certainly seen as less of a high-end clerkship than NDCA or CDCA (even though all other things being equal I would much rather clerk in San Diego than LA or the Bay Area). I can’t speak much to individual judges but I interacted some with Larry Burns when he sat by designation on the 9th and I found him to be pretty impressive.

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Re: Good judges in Southern District of California?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:01 pm

As a local extern, I have heard good things about many of the judges. Also, while the majority of cases are pertaining to the border, from what I have heard, most judges handle criminal matters on their own, leaving the civil matters to their clerks. So the clerks do get a big variety of cases. But since I am just a 2L with little first-hand experience, I will not comment further.

I just wanted to chime in that very few of the judges in this court use Oscar and the majority of positions are filled by word-of-mouth and paper applications. Also, they hire in the Fall and early Spring. And it is pretty competitive among pretty much all Southern California law schools.

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