HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

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HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:05 pm

So I'm pretty moderately left when it comes to politics but, knowing nothing else, find some appeal in textualism / cringe a little bit at left legal philosophy that gets too postmodern. I'm turned off by ACS and how blatantly political it is, using the law as an instrumental means for left policy goals, instead of really developing their own legal philosophy. At the same time, I doubt I have the conservative bona fides to really stand out at FedSoc and I don't have conservative *political* beliefs.

So, any "influential" (god I hate that) profs at HLS who I should maybe look at who might share my views and be able to speak for me positively, assuming my performance is good, clerkship-wise?

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:05 pm
So I'm pretty moderately left when it comes to politics but, knowing nothing else, find some appeal in textualism / cringe a little bit at left legal philosophy that gets too postmodern. I'm turned off by ACS and how blatantly political it is, using the law as an instrumental means for left policy goals, instead of really developing their own legal philosophy. At the same time, I doubt I have the conservative bona fides to really stand out at FedSoc and I don't have conservative *political* beliefs.

So, any "influential" (god I hate that) profs at HLS who I should maybe look at who might share my views and be able to speak for me positively, assuming my performance is good, clerkship-wise?

I think you're thinking about this in slightly the wrong way. There are plenty of influential HLS professors who would "speak positively" for you w/r/t clerkship apps and rec letters and phone calls if you perform well in law school, and they do not care AT ALL about your politics. Sharing your views is not a necessarily ingredient in this process (though it can help with certain professors).

Right off the bat, Goldsmith, Manning, and Fallon have a huge amount of influence with elite federal judges and would not refuse to support you, or even be lukewarm in their support, just because you're not a conservative (Goldsmith, Manning) or a liberal (Fallon). Now, these are professors who everyone knows have this influence, so the top students will be flocking to them. So what matters is your performance, not your politics. (A minority of professors may not be like this, like Crespo on the liberal side and Glendon on the conservative; and who knows wtf Vermuele is about these days...)

HLS, like all institutions, has an incentive to place as many clerks as possible in prestigious clerkship positions (and they are very, very good at it). They're not going to not be helpful, if you have the credentials, just because of your political views.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:41 pm

OP here, and appreciate the response. I think you're right and my mindset may have been off about this. Thanks!

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Libya » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:46 pm

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:05 pm
I'm turned off by ACS and how blatantly political it is, using the law as an instrumental means for left policy goals, instead of really developing their own legal philosophy.
This probably isn't the place for this and is admittedly a bit cynical, but it's no different with the Federalist Society. To the extent they claim a legal philosophy, it's simply shrouding a way to get to their preferred answer in a facade of principle. "Originalists" haven't hesitated to abandon that ideology when it became politically convenient in certain cases. Anyways, this post isn't helpful, but fuck it, a spade is a spade.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:27 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:19 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:05 pm
I'm turned off by ACS and how blatantly political it is, using the law as an instrumental means for left policy goals, instead of really developing their own legal philosophy.
This probably isn't the place for this and is admittedly a bit cynical, but it's no different with the Federalist Society. To the extent they claim a legal philosophy, it's simply shrouding a way to get to their preferred answer in a facade of principle. "Originalists" haven't hesitated to abandon that ideology when it became politically convenient in certain cases. Anyways, this post isn't helpful, but fuck it, a spade is a spade.
Op here--don't disagree with any of this in theory. I was just turned off by how *explicitly* non-philosophical / outcome-oriented ACS was comparatively. I do have doubts about FedSoc in practice like those you mention that will probably prevent me from joining / really waving their flag if I do join.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:14 pm

Getting back to the main question here, when I talked to one of my more supposedly "political" professors (although I think they may disagree with that notion), they offered to help in whatever way they could, even before I told them which side I was applying to. I have found law professors are generally nice people who want to see their students succeed. There may be a few bad apples, but I suspect they will out themselves quickly. I wouldn't worry about having professors write you lukewarm letters based on your politics. Just my two cents.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:14 pm
Getting back to the main question here, when I talked to one of my more supposedly "political" professors (although I think they may disagree with that notion), they offered to help in whatever way they could, even before I told them which side I was applying to. I have found law professors are generally nice people who want to see their students succeed. There may be a few bad apples, but I suspect they will out themselves quickly. I wouldn't worry about having professors write you lukewarm letters based on your politics. Just my two cents.

Agreed. I will however add that, as a caution, you should try to suss out who these "bad apples" may be because they can be on both sides of the aisle and they can be the younger professors as well as the older cranky ones. Somewhat notoriously, a few years ago an HLS professor who's now at Michigan badmouthed an HLS student who asked for a clerkship rec letter (badmouthed to another student, who then told a bunch of others and word got around); the student who asked for the letter ended up asking a different professor and got a great clerkship eventually, but it was something that caught a bunch of us by surprise and was shocking to say the least.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by imonaroll » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:14 pm
Getting back to the main question here, when I talked to one of my more supposedly "political" professors (although I think they may disagree with that notion), they offered to help in whatever way they could, even before I told them which side I was applying to. I have found law professors are generally nice people who want to see their students succeed. There may be a few bad apples, but I suspect they will out themselves quickly. I wouldn't worry about having professors write you lukewarm letters based on your politics. Just my two cents.

Agreed. I will however add that, as a caution, you should try to suss out who these "bad apples" may be because they can be on both sides of the aisle and they can be the younger professors as well as the older cranky ones. Somewhat notoriously, a few years ago an HLS professor who's now at Michigan badmouthed an HLS student who asked for a clerkship rec letter (badmouthed to another student, who then told a bunch of others and word got around); the student who asked for the letter ended up asking a different professor and got a great clerkship eventually, but it was something that caught a bunch of us by surprise and was shocking to say the least.
Was this professor a full (tenure-track) professor at HLS at the time?

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:07 pm

imonaroll wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:41 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:14 pm
Getting back to the main question here, when I talked to one of my more supposedly "political" professors (although I think they may disagree with that notion), they offered to help in whatever way they could, even before I told them which side I was applying to. I have found law professors are generally nice people who want to see their students succeed. There may be a few bad apples, but I suspect they will out themselves quickly. I wouldn't worry about having professors write you lukewarm letters based on your politics. Just my two cents.

Agreed. I will however add that, as a caution, you should try to suss out who these "bad apples" may be because they can be on both sides of the aisle and they can be the younger professors as well as the older cranky ones. Somewhat notoriously, a few years ago an HLS professor who's now at Michigan badmouthed an HLS student who asked for a clerkship rec letter (badmouthed to another student, who then told a bunch of others and word got around); the student who asked for the letter ended up asking a different professor and got a great clerkship eventually, but it was something that caught a bunch of us by surprise and was shocking to say the least.

Was this professor a full (tenure-track) professor at HLS at the time?

I don't want to get too off topic, but IIRC this was a Climenko Fellow at the time who is now a full professor. (I'm posting this anon because the information was revealed in a confidential setting.)

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:07 pm
imonaroll wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:41 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:14 pm
Getting back to the main question here, when I talked to one of my more supposedly "political" professors (although I think they may disagree with that notion), they offered to help in whatever way they could, even before I told them which side I was applying to. I have found law professors are generally nice people who want to see their students succeed. There may be a few bad apples, but I suspect they will out themselves quickly. I wouldn't worry about having professors write you lukewarm letters based on your politics. Just my two cents.

Agreed. I will however add that, as a caution, you should try to suss out who these "bad apples" may be because they can be on both sides of the aisle and they can be the younger professors as well as the older cranky ones. Somewhat notoriously, a few years ago an HLS professor who's now at Michigan badmouthed an HLS student who asked for a clerkship rec letter (badmouthed to another student, who then told a bunch of others and word got around); the student who asked for the letter ended up asking a different professor and got a great clerkship eventually, but it was something that caught a bunch of us by surprise and was shocking to say the least.

Was this professor a full (tenure-track) professor at HLS at the time?

I don't want to get too off topic, but IIRC this was a Climenko Fellow at the time who is now a full professor. (I'm posting this anon because the information was revealed in a confidential setting.)
I assume this is talking about Leah Litman for future students who miss the subtext. I really doubt conservatives at Michigan would ask her in particular anyway, as she's a pretty special case in how openly she loathes conservative students/judges/profs, but the general advice to be careful even with young profs is good.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:03 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:07 pm
imonaroll wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:41 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:14 pm
Getting back to the main question here, when I talked to one of my more supposedly "political" professors (although I think they may disagree with that notion), they offered to help in whatever way they could, even before I told them which side I was applying to. I have found law professors are generally nice people who want to see their students succeed. There may be a few bad apples, but I suspect they will out themselves quickly. I wouldn't worry about having professors write you lukewarm letters based on your politics. Just my two cents.

Agreed. I will however add that, as a caution, you should try to suss out who these "bad apples" may be because they can be on both sides of the aisle and they can be the younger professors as well as the older cranky ones. Somewhat notoriously, a few years ago an HLS professor who's now at Michigan badmouthed an HLS student who asked for a clerkship rec letter (badmouthed to another student, who then told a bunch of others and word got around); the student who asked for the letter ended up asking a different professor and got a great clerkship eventually, but it was something that caught a bunch of us by surprise and was shocking to say the least.

Was this professor a full (tenure-track) professor at HLS at the time?

I don't want to get too off topic, but IIRC this was a Climenko Fellow at the time who is now a full professor. (I'm posting this anon because the information was revealed in a confidential setting.)
I assume this is talking about Leah Litman for future students who miss the subtext. I really doubt conservatives at Michigan would ask her in particular anyway, as she's a pretty special case in how openly she loathes conservative students/judges/profs, but the general advice to be careful even with young profs is good.
Didn't she clerk for Judge Sutton and Justice Kennedy??

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:06 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:03 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:07 pm
imonaroll wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:41 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:14 pm
Getting back to the main question here, when I talked to one of my more supposedly "political" professors (although I think they may disagree with that notion), they offered to help in whatever way they could, even before I told them which side I was applying to. I have found law professors are generally nice people who want to see their students succeed. There may be a few bad apples, but I suspect they will out themselves quickly. I wouldn't worry about having professors write you lukewarm letters based on your politics. Just my two cents.

Agreed. I will however add that, as a caution, you should try to suss out who these "bad apples" may be because they can be on both sides of the aisle and they can be the younger professors as well as the older cranky ones. Somewhat notoriously, a few years ago an HLS professor who's now at Michigan badmouthed an HLS student who asked for a clerkship rec letter (badmouthed to another student, who then told a bunch of others and word got around); the student who asked for the letter ended up asking a different professor and got a great clerkship eventually, but it was something that caught a bunch of us by surprise and was shocking to say the least.

Was this professor a full (tenure-track) professor at HLS at the time?

I don't want to get too off topic, but IIRC this was a Climenko Fellow at the time who is now a full professor. (I'm posting this anon because the information was revealed in a confidential setting.)
I assume this is talking about Leah Litman for future students who miss the subtext. I really doubt conservatives at Michigan would ask her in particular anyway, as she's a pretty special case in how openly she loathes conservative students/judges/profs, but the general advice to be careful even with young profs is good.
Didn't she clerk for Judge Sutton and Justice Kennedy??
Yeah, she's living proof that Sutton will hire even some very liberal students. Not sure if she was a counterclerk or if she was radicalized at some point. She has said good things about Sutton on her podcast and might be useful for him in particular fwiw, I'm not a Michigan or Harvard student and don't have inside knowledge, I just know enough academia gossip + stories from Fed Soc friends at Mich to read these tea leaves.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:03 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:07 pm
imonaroll wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:41 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:14 pm
Getting back to the main question here, when I talked to one of my more supposedly "political" professors (although I think they may disagree with that notion), they offered to help in whatever way they could, even before I told them which side I was applying to. I have found law professors are generally nice people who want to see their students succeed. There may be a few bad apples, but I suspect they will out themselves quickly. I wouldn't worry about having professors write you lukewarm letters based on your politics. Just my two cents.

Agreed. I will however add that, as a caution, you should try to suss out who these "bad apples" may be because they can be on both sides of the aisle and they can be the younger professors as well as the older cranky ones. Somewhat notoriously, a few years ago an HLS professor who's now at Michigan badmouthed an HLS student who asked for a clerkship rec letter (badmouthed to another student, who then told a bunch of others and word got around); the student who asked for the letter ended up asking a different professor and got a great clerkship eventually, but it was something that caught a bunch of us by surprise and was shocking to say the least.

Was this professor a full (tenure-track) professor at HLS at the time?

I don't want to get too off topic, but IIRC this was a Climenko Fellow at the time who is now a full professor. (I'm posting this anon because the information was revealed in a confidential setting.)
I assume this is talking about Leah Litman for future students who miss the subtext. I really doubt conservatives at Michigan would ask her in particular anyway, as she's a pretty special case in how openly she loathes conservative students/judges/profs, but the general advice to be careful even with young profs is good.

Correct, it's referring to Litman. I think it's worth sharing because a non-negligible percentage of especially 1Ls who have assigned rather than chosen professors may not be as fully aware of those professors' views and beliefs outside the classroom. It seems like everyone is on Twitter these days, but that is only if you yourself are on Twitter. There's a modest amount of people who aren't hyper-vigilant about this. For them, it is especially important to know that someone like Litman will not align with the norm that professors will support you if you do well in law school, and that other factors will be involved. (Also this student that got shafted was NOT conservative, but did superficially fit the type of profile that younger professors like Litman would not support in the way they'll support others.)

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:13 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:03 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:07 pm
imonaroll wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:41 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:14 pm
Getting back to the main question here, when I talked to one of my more supposedly "political" professors (although I think they may disagree with that notion), they offered to help in whatever way they could, even before I told them which side I was applying to. I have found law professors are generally nice people who want to see their students succeed. There may be a few bad apples, but I suspect they will out themselves quickly. I wouldn't worry about having professors write you lukewarm letters based on your politics. Just my two cents.

Agreed. I will however add that, as a caution, you should try to suss out who these "bad apples" may be because they can be on both sides of the aisle and they can be the younger professors as well as the older cranky ones. Somewhat notoriously, a few years ago an HLS professor who's now at Michigan badmouthed an HLS student who asked for a clerkship rec letter (badmouthed to another student, who then told a bunch of others and word got around); the student who asked for the letter ended up asking a different professor and got a great clerkship eventually, but it was something that caught a bunch of us by surprise and was shocking to say the least.

Was this professor a full (tenure-track) professor at HLS at the time?

I don't want to get too off topic, but IIRC this was a Climenko Fellow at the time who is now a full professor. (I'm posting this anon because the information was revealed in a confidential setting.)
I assume this is talking about Leah Litman for future students who miss the subtext. I really doubt conservatives at Michigan would ask her in particular anyway, as she's a pretty special case in how openly she loathes conservative students/judges/profs, but the general advice to be careful even with young profs is good.

Correct, it's referring to Litman. I think it's worth sharing because a non-negligible percentage of especially 1Ls who have assigned rather than chosen professors may not be as fully aware of those professors' views and beliefs outside the classroom. It seems like everyone is on Twitter these days, but that is only if you yourself are on Twitter. There's a modest amount of people who aren't hyper-vigilant about this. For them, it is especially important to know that someone like Litman will not align with the norm that professors will support you if you do well in law school, and that other factors will be involved. (Also this student that got shafted was NOT conservative, but did superficially fit the type of profile that younger professors like Litman would not support in the way they'll support others.)
Yeah, this kind of thing is hard to tell. Like I know John Rappaport at Chicago, who's another rockstar young prof with a blatantly lefty CV, has solid Fed Soc connections and no compunctions pushing his students to some very conservative judges. Talking to 3Ls is probably the best way to find this stuff out.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:13 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:03 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:07 pm
imonaroll wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:41 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:14 pm
Getting back to the main question here, when I talked to one of my more supposedly "political" professors (although I think they may disagree with that notion), they offered to help in whatever way they could, even before I told them which side I was applying to. I have found law professors are generally nice people who want to see their students succeed. There may be a few bad apples, but I suspect they will out themselves quickly. I wouldn't worry about having professors write you lukewarm letters based on your politics. Just my two cents.

Agreed. I will however add that, as a caution, you should try to suss out who these "bad apples" may be because they can be on both sides of the aisle and they can be the younger professors as well as the older cranky ones. Somewhat notoriously, a few years ago an HLS professor who's now at Michigan badmouthed an HLS student who asked for a clerkship rec letter (badmouthed to another student, who then told a bunch of others and word got around); the student who asked for the letter ended up asking a different professor and got a great clerkship eventually, but it was something that caught a bunch of us by surprise and was shocking to say the least.

Was this professor a full (tenure-track) professor at HLS at the time?

I don't want to get too off topic, but IIRC this was a Climenko Fellow at the time who is now a full professor. (I'm posting this anon because the information was revealed in a confidential setting.)
I assume this is talking about Leah Litman for future students who miss the subtext. I really doubt conservatives at Michigan would ask her in particular anyway, as she's a pretty special case in how openly she loathes conservative students/judges/profs, but the general advice to be careful even with young profs is good.

Correct, it's referring to Litman. I think it's worth sharing because a non-negligible percentage of especially 1Ls who have assigned rather than chosen professors may not be as fully aware of those professors' views and beliefs outside the classroom. It seems like everyone is on Twitter these days, but that is only if you yourself are on Twitter. There's a modest amount of people who aren't hyper-vigilant about this. For them, it is especially important to know that someone like Litman will not align with the norm that professors will support you if you do well in law school, and that other factors will be involved. (Also this student that got shafted was NOT conservative, but did superficially fit the type of profile that younger professors like Litman would not support in the way they'll support others.)
What do you mean that the student "superficially fit the type of profile that younger professors like Litman would not support in the way they'll support others." Does that mean race/gender/wealth/background? I've had limited interactions with Litman in the past, but not as my professor or anything (thankfully -- if these rumors are true).

To OP: For what it's worth, I was and still am a member of FedSoc. My clerkship recommenders at HLS were a closet conservative professor (by that I mean not very outspoken), a very well-known and outspoken liberal, and a clinical professor whose politics I don't know. I ended up on one of 2/9/DC Circuits. None of my recommenders cared about my ideology from what I could tell.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:31 pm

wrote:
I assume this is talking about Leah Litman for future students who miss the subtext. I really doubt conservatives at Michigan would ask her in particular anyway, as she's a pretty special case in how openly she loathes conservative students/judges/profs, but the general advice to be careful even with young profs is good.
wrote: Correct, it's referring to Litman. I think it's worth sharing because a non-negligible percentage of especially 1Ls who have assigned rather than chosen professors may not be as fully aware of those professors' views and beliefs outside the classroom. It seems like everyone is on Twitter these days, but that is only if you yourself are on Twitter. There's a modest amount of people who aren't hyper-vigilant about this. For them, it is especially important to know that someone like Litman will not align with the norm that professors will support you if you do well in law school, and that other factors will be involved. (Also this student that got shafted was NOT conservative, but did superficially fit the type of profile that younger professors like Litman would not support in the way they'll support others.)
wrote: What do you mean that the student "superficially fit the type of profile that younger professors like Litman would not support in the way they'll support others." Does that mean race/gender/wealth/background? I've had limited interactions with Litman in the past, but not as my professor or anything (thankfully -- if these rumors are true).

To OP: For what it's worth, I was and still am a member of FedSoc. My clerkship recommenders at HLS were a closet conservative professor (by that I mean not very outspoken), a very well-known and outspoken liberal, and a clinical professor whose politics I don't know. I ended up on one of 2/9/DC Circuits. None of my recommenders cared about my ideology from what I could tell.


Meaning the student she disparaged and sort of screwed over (in the short-term) was not conservative, and yes, based on race/gender. You can ask a whole bunch of people on HLR about this as many of them heard about it pretty soon after it happened. She's obviously a star on the left and a well-credentialed law professor who's popular in the places you'd expect, but if you look closely you'll see her treatment of students on the right, and even middle-right/center, is there to be seen, on campus as well as social media. If I'm a student who gets a good grade in her class, unless I'm a minority along race/gender lines, I wouldn't trust her for a clerkship letter. That's the type of worry than can generalize, in response to OP's original question.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:31 pm
wrote:
I assume this is talking about Leah Litman for future students who miss the subtext. I really doubt conservatives at Michigan would ask her in particular anyway, as she's a pretty special case in how openly she loathes conservative students/judges/profs, but the general advice to be careful even with young profs is good.
wrote: Correct, it's referring to Litman. I think it's worth sharing because a non-negligible percentage of especially 1Ls who have assigned rather than chosen professors may not be as fully aware of those professors' views and beliefs outside the classroom. It seems like everyone is on Twitter these days, but that is only if you yourself are on Twitter. There's a modest amount of people who aren't hyper-vigilant about this. For them, it is especially important to know that someone like Litman will not align with the norm that professors will support you if you do well in law school, and that other factors will be involved. (Also this student that got shafted was NOT conservative, but did superficially fit the type of profile that younger professors like Litman would not support in the way they'll support others.)
wrote: What do you mean that the student "superficially fit the type of profile that younger professors like Litman would not support in the way they'll support others." Does that mean race/gender/wealth/background? I've had limited interactions with Litman in the past, but not as my professor or anything (thankfully -- if these rumors are true).

To OP: For what it's worth, I was and still am a member of FedSoc. My clerkship recommenders at HLS were a closet conservative professor (by that I mean not very outspoken), a very well-known and outspoken liberal, and a clinical professor whose politics I don't know. I ended up on one of 2/9/DC Circuits. None of my recommenders cared about my ideology from what I could tell.


Meaning the student she disparaged and sort of screwed over (in the short-term) was not conservative, and yes, based on race/gender. You can ask a whole bunch of people on HLR about this as many of them heard about it pretty soon after it happened. She's obviously a star on the left and a well-credentialed law professor who's popular in the places you'd expect, but if you look closely you'll see her treatment of students on the right, and even middle-right/center, is there to be seen, on campus as well as social media. If I'm a student who gets a good grade in her class, unless I'm a minority along race/gender lines, I wouldn't trust her for a clerkship letter. That's the type of worry than can generalize, in response to OP's original question.
Christ, I appreciate your sharing. Any other profs who are, for lack of a better term, “critical theorists” when it comes to the demographics of the students they recommend? It’s frankly disgusting.

nixy

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by nixy » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:57 pm

I’d imagine the purpose isn’t because she finds such students hateful as to counter the decades of history when the race/gender hiring went the other way.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:03 pm

nixy wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:57 pm
I’d imagine the purpose isn’t because she finds such students hateful as to counter the decades of history when the race/gender hiring went the other way.
Yes I understand the intent but the practice bugs me a lot (and I’m a big supporter of affirmative action).

A) She’s not a “selector”; it’s very different than a judge or school trying to diversify their chambers / class. She’s supposed to be an evaluator, and if she’s badmouthing students who performed objectively well bc their demographic doesn’t fit the causes she wants to performatively show allyship for, I think that’s very harmful. What’s next, adversity points instead of blind grading?

B) The shocking part to me was the backstabby nature of it. For her to talk behind the kid’s back like that, *especially* for demographic reasons outside of his control, is just so wrong.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jackshunger » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:06 pm

nixy wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:57 pm
I’d imagine the purpose isn’t because she finds such students hateful as to counter the decades of history when the race/gender hiring went the other way.
She could politely turn them down as opposed to apparently actively try and sabotage them based on immutable characteristics.

Off-topic, but she clerked with Justin Walker, I'd love to know how that chambers dynamic went.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:34 pm
Christ, I appreciate your sharing. Any other profs who are, for lack of a better term, “critical theorists” when it comes to the demographics of the students they recommend? It’s frankly disgusting.
Disparaging a student is absolutely wrong. But there's nothing wrong with a person using her influence to help those who have been historically disadvantaged (and quite arguably still are).

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:20 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:07 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:34 pm
Christ, I appreciate your sharing. Any other profs who are, for lack of a better term, “critical theorists” when it comes to the demographics of the students they recommend? It’s frankly disgusting.
Disparaging a student is absolutely wrong. But there's nothing wrong with a person using her influence to help those who have been historically disadvantaged (and quite arguably still are).
What does this mean in practice though? A Black woman only needs to get an H to get the same level of enthusiasm in a letter that’s white man would need to get a DS to earn?

lavarman84

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:20 pm
lavarman84 wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:07 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:34 pm
Christ, I appreciate your sharing. Any other profs who are, for lack of a better term, “critical theorists” when it comes to the demographics of the students they recommend? It’s frankly disgusting.
Disparaging a student is absolutely wrong. But there's nothing wrong with a person using her influence to help those who have been historically disadvantaged (and quite arguably still are).
What does this mean in practice though? A Black woman only needs to get an H to get the same level of enthusiasm in a letter that’s white man would need to get a DS to earn?
LOL. There's not a set standard for what will or won't evoke professor enthusiasm in a letter. It's all arbitrary. What it means in practice is that the person with influence can choose to use it how they will. There's no use complaining about one perfectly valid arbitrary use over another. And if your complaint is that it's unfair, I've got news for you. :lol:

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:09 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:05 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:20 pm
lavarman84 wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:07 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:34 pm
Christ, I appreciate your sharing. Any other profs who are, for lack of a better term, “critical theorists” when it comes to the demographics of the students they recommend? It’s frankly disgusting.
Disparaging a student is absolutely wrong. But there's nothing wrong with a person using her influence to help those who have been historically disadvantaged (and quite arguably still are).
What does this mean in practice though? A Black woman only needs to get an H to get the same level of enthusiasm in a letter that’s white man would need to get a DS to earn?
LOL. There's not a set standard for what will or won't evoke professor enthusiasm in a letter. It's all arbitrary. What it means in practice is that the person with influence can choose to use it how they will. There's no use complaining about one perfectly valid arbitrary use over another. And if your complaint is that it's unfair, I've got news for you. :lol:
Look it’s clear we’re going to disagree philosophically about this, but I’ll just end by saying if the postmodern view is literally true that all letters are arbitrarily strong, that’s bad news for judges who rely on letters, calls, outreach, etc. to differentiate applicants in their pool.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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