HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

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Necho2

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Necho2 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:49 pm

Haha I'm the anon above- no idea how I clicked anon post but that was definitely an accident.

@Aegor- no worries at all.

@JackShunger- glad you're not stressing, I have no idea what you're talking about with questioning officers and tripe and whatnot though. I formed an opinion based on my own 3 years at a school with a strong FedSoc chapter, and while as Beep points out all of us have relatively limited views of the network, I feel confident in my own assessment.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jackshunger » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:26 pm

Necho2 wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:49 pm
Haha I'm the anon above- no idea how I clicked anon post but that was definitely an accident.

@Aegor- no worries at all.

@JackShunger- glad you're not stressing, I have no idea what you're talking about with questioning officers and tripe and whatnot though. I formed an opinion based on my own 3 years at a school with a strong FedSoc chapter, and while as Beep points out all of us have relatively limited views of the network, I feel confident in my own assessment.

No worries - I wasn’t directing that remark at your comments

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by FrenchPrince » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:39 am

Phew this has gotten toasty since my last viewing. Look let’s just segment the universe of judges:

1. Off-plan, flyover conservative, ideological hiring: FedSoc has an informational advantage, but hard to say it’s affirmative action since few liberals will apply

2. Off-plan, flyover conservative, open hiring: FedSoc has an informational advantage *maybe*, but it’s hard to keep this under wraps if they’re blasting to the listserv. Few liberals probably apply due to location and ideological self-selection (they think working in this environment is “exhausting”).

3. 2 but less flyover: same deal as 2 with slightly more liberal applicants but still not many due to selection.

4. On-plan libs, ideological: FedSoc a disadvantage.

5. On-plan, open: If it’s a lib, there’s certainly no fedsoc boost. If it’s most conservatives, there’s no fedsoc boost and it’s credentials and interview. For *some* conservatives in this category, they will necessitate an ideological mix or at least some ideological presence of conservatives, and this will truly result in FedSoc affirmative action.

So we have anecdata for that one subset in (5) but clearly, most FedSoc applicants locking stuff down / coming out “ahead” with similar grades are applying to situations that don’t qualify as affirmative action in the least.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by FrenchPrince » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:49 am

On the broader communications point mentioned, most pro-AA / justice types (and I’m very pro-AA myself) really fuck up the messaging when talking to people who they want to persuade. If you want to argue Black and minority candidates should be given more clerkships, there’s positive ways to promote that (the main anti-Litman anon even said they wanted AA in hiring) that don’t demean people who aren’t systematically disadvantaged.

Creating this fairy tale world where undeserving people get clerkships through shadowy undefinable “connections” (the Heritage comment made me laugh out loud) that no one else could ever comprehend or break into isn’t very productive. It creates a Big Bad Problem to be attacked, but honestly it strikes as not reality-based; there’s not some FedSoc or “rich white guy” cigar-and-secret-handshake party where clerkships just get handed out. Insinuating that it’s that easy is such a turn-off to any persuadable party.

If you want to argue that minority candidates deserve a fair shot, then phrase it that way; don’t frame relative advantage as “privilege” because that word is just going to set people off to a conversation-ending degree. If you want to argue that minorities face systemic racism beyond pure prejudice, then say that; don’t redefine racism as “prejudice plus power” because you saw some viral video content that did so.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:59 am

FrenchPrince wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:39 am
Phew this has gotten toasty since my last viewing. Look let’s just segment the universe of judges:

1. Off-plan, flyover conservative, ideological hiring: FedSoc has an informational advantage, but hard to say it’s affirmative action since few liberals will apply

2. Off-plan, flyover conservative, open hiring: FedSoc has an informational advantage *maybe*, but it’s hard to keep this under wraps if they’re blasting to the listserv. Few liberals probably apply due to location and ideological self-selection (they think working in this environment is “exhausting”).

3. 2 but less flyover: same deal as 2 with slightly more liberal applicants but still not many due to selection.

4. On-plan libs, ideological: FedSoc a disadvantage.

5. On-plan, open: If it’s a lib, there’s certainly no fedsoc boost. If it’s most conservatives, there’s no fedsoc boost and it’s credentials and interview. For *some* conservatives in this category, they will necessitate an ideological mix or at least some ideological presence of conservatives, and this will truly result in FedSoc affirmative action.

So we have anecdata for that one subset in (5) but clearly, most FedSoc applicants locking stuff down / coming out “ahead” with similar grades are applying to situations that don’t qualify as affirmative action in the least.
Let's take a step back from the "affirmative action" issue for a second. You're making a couple extremely flawed assumptions:
1. You're treating political ideology as binary. You're either liberal or conservative. That's not accurate. It's a spectrum (and there are even people who aren't overly ideological). Additionally, you assume that every conservative is joining the Federalist Society. I would be surprised if that's true, even if many/most do.

2. You're assuming that not many people outside of FedSoc members would apply to FedSoc judges in flyover country. That's not a sound assumption, especially with COA judges.

Again, once you have the benefit of seeing the application process from chambers, you recognize that these neat lines don't exist. It's a gold star, and there are plenty of people who aren't in FedSoc who would love to clerk for a conservative Republican to get that gold star. If you want that gold star and aren't such a stellar applicant that you can write your own ticket, you're likely not going to be that picky about where you spend a year (unless you have personal considerations limiting where you can go).

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:11 am

lavarman84 wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:59 am
FrenchPrince wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:39 am
Phew this has gotten toasty since my last viewing. Look let’s just segment the universe of judges:

1. Off-plan, flyover conservative, ideological hiring: FedSoc has an informational advantage, but hard to say it’s affirmative action since few liberals will apply

2. Off-plan, flyover conservative, open hiring: FedSoc has an informational advantage *maybe*, but it’s hard to keep this under wraps if they’re blasting to the listserv. Few liberals probably apply due to location and ideological self-selection (they think working in this environment is “exhausting”).

3. 2 but less flyover: same deal as 2 with slightly more liberal applicants but still not many due to selection.

4. On-plan libs, ideological: FedSoc a disadvantage.

5. On-plan, open: If it’s a lib, there’s certainly no fedsoc boost. If it’s most conservatives, there’s no fedsoc boost and it’s credentials and interview. For *some* conservatives in this category, they will necessitate an ideological mix or at least some ideological presence of conservatives, and this will truly result in FedSoc affirmative action.

So we have anecdata for that one subset in (5) but clearly, most FedSoc applicants locking stuff down / coming out “ahead” with similar grades are applying to situations that don’t qualify as affirmative action in the least.
Let's take a step back from the "affirmative action" issue for a second. You're making a couple extremely flawed assumptions:
1. You're treating political ideology as binary. You're either liberal or conservative. That's not accurate. It's a spectrum (and there are even people who aren't overly ideological). Additionally, you assume that every conservative is joining the Federalist Society. I would be surprised if that's true, even if many/most do.

2. You're assuming that not many people outside of FedSoc members would apply to FedSoc judges in flyover country. That's not a sound assumption, especially with COA judges.

Again, once you have the benefit of seeing the application process from chambers, you recognize that these neat lines don't exist. It's a gold star, and there are plenty of people who aren't in FedSoc who would love to clerk for a conservative Republican to get that gold star. If you want that gold star and aren't such a stellar applicant that you can write your own ticket, you're likely not going to be that picky about where you spend a year (unless you have personal considerations limiting where you can go).
Yeah this is far too neat a list. I am a FedSoc member who clerked for a flyover conservative COA judge and I was the only FedSoc-ish clerk in my class who fits the description. My co-clerks were two (brilliant, top of their class) liberals from schools outside the T14 who took advantage of the general lack of interest in our judge's city from T14 students, and one conservative from a mid-T14 who was from the area and chose the judge because of location, not ideology. Hiring was non-ideological and we hired a mix of liberals and conservatives to replace us.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by FrenchPrince » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:11 am
lavarman84 wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:59 am
FrenchPrince wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:39 am
Phew this has gotten toasty since my last viewing. Look let’s just segment the universe of judges:

1. Off-plan, flyover conservative, ideological hiring: FedSoc has an informational advantage, but hard to say it’s affirmative action since few liberals will apply

2. Off-plan, flyover conservative, open hiring: FedSoc has an informational advantage *maybe*, but it’s hard to keep this under wraps if they’re blasting to the listserv. Few liberals probably apply due to location and ideological self-selection (they think working in this environment is “exhausting”).

3. 2 but less flyover: same deal as 2 with slightly more liberal applicants but still not many due to selection.

4. On-plan libs, ideological: FedSoc a disadvantage.

5. On-plan, open: If it’s a lib, there’s certainly no fedsoc boost. If it’s most conservatives, there’s no fedsoc boost and it’s credentials and interview. For *some* conservatives in this category, they will necessitate an ideological mix or at least some ideological presence of conservatives, and this will truly result in FedSoc affirmative action.

So we have anecdata for that one subset in (5) but clearly, most FedSoc applicants locking stuff down / coming out “ahead” with similar grades are applying to situations that don’t qualify as affirmative action in the least.
Let's take a step back from the "affirmative action" issue for a second. You're making a couple extremely flawed assumptions:
1. You're treating political ideology as binary. You're either liberal or conservative. That's not accurate. It's a spectrum (and there are even people who aren't overly ideological). Additionally, you assume that every conservative is joining the Federalist Society. I would be surprised if that's true, even if many/most do.

2. You're assuming that not many people outside of FedSoc members would apply to FedSoc judges in flyover country. That's not a sound assumption, especially with COA judges.

Again, once you have the benefit of seeing the application process from chambers, you recognize that these neat lines don't exist. It's a gold star, and there are plenty of people who aren't in FedSoc who would love to clerk for a conservative Republican to get that gold star. If you want that gold star and aren't such a stellar applicant that you can write your own ticket, you're likely not going to be that picky about where you spend a year (unless you have personal considerations limiting where you can go).
Yeah this is far too neat a list. I am a FedSoc member who clerked for a flyover conservative COA judge and I was the only FedSoc-ish clerk in my class who fits the description. My co-clerks were two (brilliant, top of their class) liberals from schools outside the T14 who took advantage of the general lack of interest in our judge's city from T14 students, and one conservative from a mid-T14 who was from the area and chose the judge because of location, not ideology. Hiring was non-ideological and we hired a mix of liberals and conservatives to replace us.
Were you plan?

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:22 am

FrenchPrince wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:49 am
Creating this fairy tale world where undeserving people get clerkships through shadowy undefinable “connections” (the Heritage comment made me laugh out loud) that no one else could ever comprehend or break into isn’t very productive. It creates a Big Bad Problem to be attacked, but honestly it strikes as not reality-based; there’s not some FedSoc or “rich white guy” cigar-and-secret-handshake party where clerkships just get handed out. Insinuating that it’s that easy is such a turn-off to any persuadable party.
You're a 0L. You have a lot to learn. :lol:

To some degree, that's what the game is (people with influence picking the applicants they will put in a position to get a top clerkship). I can attest to it because I benefited from it. I can attest to it because friends of mine benefited from it. And despite your amusement, yes, that includes the Heritage Foundation. One of the top people at the Foundation was a mentor to one of my friends and was able to get his application before prospective judges while they were still in the confirmation process. For me, a different friend of mine who is well connected was the reason why I was able to get out of the pile (and get an interview) with the COA judge who ultimately hired me.

Is it as centralized as the bold makes it seem? No. Maybe if you can get to the highest level, there's some centralization to it. But one of the points of the FedSoc as an organization is to create networks to help conservatives get clerkships. It's more decentralized than anything, but that doesn't make it any less effective. The point wasn't that it was some illuminati-like organization centrally controlling who gets which conservative clerkships. The point was that it is an organization that helps people who are disproportionately white and male get clerkships that aren't purely based on merit. (And before somebody gets offended, clerkship hiring isn't a pure meritocracy, but that doesn't mean you didn't work hard enough or have the credentials to deserve it.) So in the grand scheme of things, it's silly to get so worked up over Leah Litman's choice of how she uses her influence.

nixy

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by nixy » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:48 am

FrenchPrince wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:49 am
If you want to argue that minority candidates deserve a fair shot, then phrase it that way; don’t frame relative advantage as “privilege” because that word is just going to set people off to a conversation-ending degree. If you want to argue that minorities face systemic racism beyond pure prejudice, then say that; don’t redefine racism as “prejudice plus power” because you saw some viral video content that did so.
Lol. So there’s been one criticism of the definition I referenced because it comes from “masturbatory sociologists,” ignoring the fact that they’re in fact professionals who study this stuff for a living, and now you claim it came from a viral video. If you’re not familiar with scholarly discussions of these issues maybe don’t comment. (I understand your point about the communication issues with “privilege” but I don’t agree at all that understanding racism as systemic - and thus not something white people experience - is a problem. Racism is a system, not personal prejudice.)

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by FrenchPrince » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:51 am

nixy wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:48 am
FrenchPrince wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:49 am
If you want to argue that minority candidates deserve a fair shot, then phrase it that way; don’t frame relative advantage as “privilege” because that word is just going to set people off to a conversation-ending degree. If you want to argue that minorities face systemic racism beyond pure prejudice, then say that; don’t redefine racism as “prejudice plus power” because you saw some viral video content that did so.
Lol. So there’s been one criticism of the definition I referenced because it comes from “masturbatory sociologists,” ignoring the fact that they’re in fact professionals who study this stuff for a living, and now you claim it came from a viral video. If you’re not familiar with scholarly discussions of these issues maybe don’t comment.
Scholarly redefinition does not change the plain meaning of words. Enjoy the echo chamber bud. Sucks how the Sanders / Warren thing didn’t work out, praying for you.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by nixy » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:24 am

FrenchPrince wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:51 am
nixy wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:48 am
FrenchPrince wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:49 am
If you want to argue that minority candidates deserve a fair shot, then phrase it that way; don’t frame relative advantage as “privilege” because that word is just going to set people off to a conversation-ending degree. If you want to argue that minorities face systemic racism beyond pure prejudice, then say that; don’t redefine racism as “prejudice plus power” because you saw some viral video content that did so.
Lol. So there’s been one criticism of the definition I referenced because it comes from “masturbatory sociologists,” ignoring the fact that they’re in fact professionals who study this stuff for a living, and now you claim it came from a viral video. If you’re not familiar with scholarly discussions of these issues maybe don’t comment.
Scholarly redefinition does not change the plain meaning of words. Enjoy the echo chamber bud. Sucks how the Sanders / Warren thing didn’t work out, praying for you.
I very much appreciate your good faith engagement in this discussion. Have a lovely day.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:15 am

FrenchPrince wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:14 am

Were you plan?
No, I was hired during the wild days before the Plan was revived, but I was basically hired on plan (right after my 2L spring grades came out).

Also, if you're a 0L, that needs to be noted on your tiers list. As I said in my last comment, it's too cookie-cutter of a list and it makes more sense now knowing that you haven't been through the clerkship hiring process on either side yet.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by FrenchPrince » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:15 am
FrenchPrince wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:14 am

Were you plan?
No, I was hired during the wild days before the Plan was revived, but I was basically hired on plan (right after my 2L spring grades came out).

Also, if you're a 0L, that needs to be noted on your tiers list. As I said in my last comment, it's too cookie-cutter of a list and it makes more sense now knowing that you haven't been through the clerkship hiring process on either side yet.
Fair enough but you’re basically bucket 5 then, for all intents and purposes that’s on-plan

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:32 am

FrenchPrince wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:18 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:15 am
FrenchPrince wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:14 am

Were you plan?
No, I was hired during the wild days before the Plan was revived, but I was basically hired on plan (right after my 2L spring grades came out).

Also, if you're a 0L, that needs to be noted on your tiers list. As I said in my last comment, it's too cookie-cutter of a list and it makes more sense now knowing that you haven't been through the clerkship hiring process on either side yet.
Fair enough but you’re basically bucket 5 then, for all intents and purposes that’s on-plan
:lol: now this is some exquisite 0L-posting

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by enoca » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:29 am

Another big problem with those lists is that it misunderstands Fed Soc at a foundational level; it is not just a law school affinity group where conservative students can commiserate and swap info about applying to unrelated conservative judges out in the ether. It is a professional lobbying organization of actively practicing lawyers with the express goal of increasing the proportion and power of like thinkers in the legal field.

Part of this explicit program has been getting more and more members actually onto the bench. When those member judges who (perhaps) owe their judgeship to Fed Soc turn around and favor other members of Fed Soc (be it through different GPA cutoff, networking, or in anyway whatever), it is just flatly untrue to characterize that as "ideological sorting" by the students.

This is not just a Trump era thing. It was a big deal in the W era as well.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:35 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:22 am

You're a 0L. You have a lot to learn. :lol:

To some degree, that's what the game is (people with influence picking the applicants they will put in a position to get a top clerkship). I can attest to it because I benefited from it. I can attest to it because friends of mine benefited from it. And despite your amusement, yes, that includes the Heritage Foundation. One of the top people at the Foundation was a mentor to one of my friends and was able to get his application before prospective judges while they were still in the confirmation process. For me, a different friend of mine who is well connected was the reason why I was able to get out of the pile (and get an interview) with the COA judge who ultimately hired me.

Is it as centralized as the bold makes it seem? No. Maybe if you can get to the highest level, there's some centralization to it. But one of the points of the FedSoc as an organization is to create networks to help conservatives get clerkships. It's more decentralized than anything, but that doesn't make it any less effective. The point wasn't that it was some illuminati-like organization centrally controlling who gets which conservative clerkships. The point was that it is an organization that helps people who are disproportionately white and male get clerkships that aren't purely based on merit. (And before somebody gets offended, clerkship hiring isn't a pure meritocracy, but that doesn't mean you didn't work hard enough or have the credentials to deserve it.) So in the grand scheme of things, it's silly to get so worked up over Leah Litman's choice of how she uses her influence.
It boggles the mind why some of you keep misconstruing the original point about Leah Litman and clerkship letters. The post about Litman was made by me, anonymously, based on reliable insider information at HLS and experience about what to keep in mind when you ask for recommendation letters, generally. The information about Litman was responsive to OP (long gone by now probably). I did not object to Litman's "choice of how she uses her influence", as though we're saying she's not free to write letters for whoever she wants.

If you can't by now see what was problematic about her conduct, or why some people may be "worked up", why that's a concern for certain types of students, you really just don't want to, or for some odd reason think defending her conduct is needed in order to justify widescale policy like AA. And so you insist that it must be an isolated incident you really don't even believe. It's fine if you don't believe it, but don't mischaracterize why it was shared here.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by nixy » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:47 pm

It’s totally fair why you shared it in the context of the original question. But people did in fact proceed to freak out about mythical “progressive stacking.” And I’m a little confused about why you deny saying she can’t write letters for whoever she wants, at the same time you say her behavior was a concern for certain kinds of students. She declined to write for a student. Badmouthing to another student is a bad look, but not actually about clerkship applications.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:11 pm

nixy wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:47 pm
It’s totally fair why you shared it in the context of the original question. But people did in fact proceed to freak out about mythical “progressive stacking.” And I’m a little confused about why you deny saying she can’t write letters for whoever she wants, at the same time you say her behavior was a concern for certain kinds of students. She declined to write for a student. Badmouthing to another student is a bad look, but not actually about clerkship applications.

I'm saying she can and obviously does write or not write for whoever she wants. I'm also saying that from a student's perspective, it's good to know that doing well in class/RA work for a certain type of professor will be a reliable indicator that that professor will be a supporter of you, and you don't have to worry about self-selecting out of working with or for those profs based on their political views. But in other cases, like Litman's, it won't be, and you do need to consider other aspects about the professor outside the classroom. That is the concern, and what I believe to be responsive to OP.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by nixy » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:37 pm

That’s fair enough, and I understand students needing to consider such things. I think the conversation got muddled in different directions (not by you) for a variety of reasons.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:00 pm

That Litman anecdote seems either (1) wrong or (2) unrelated to that person's status as a white male and more related to them being entitled as a personality trait. I have personal knowledge that Litman wrote glowing recs for multiple privileged white male students at Michigan.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:43 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:32 pm
This dumpster fire of a thread certainly has been interesting. I can't say I expected to see some 1Ls appear to ardently contest what is conventional wisdom on this board and try to assert superior knowledge than people who have actually clerked. It made for an entertaining thread. :lol:
you must be an absolutely awful person in real life

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by nixy » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:43 pm
lavarman84 wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:32 pm
This dumpster fire of a thread certainly has been interesting. I can't say I expected to see some 1Ls appear to ardently contest what is conventional wisdom on this board and try to assert superior knowledge than people who have actually clerked. It made for an entertaining thread. :lol:
you must be an absolutely awful person in real life

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Not sure where this came from. (But then I'm probably an awful person too.)

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lawlorbust » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:48 pm

nah, you're fine

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:43 pm
lavarman84 wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:32 pm
This dumpster fire of a thread certainly has been interesting. I can't say I expected to see some 1Ls appear to ardently contest what is conventional wisdom on this board and try to assert superior knowledge than people who have actually clerked. It made for an entertaining thread. :lol:
you must be an absolutely awful person in real life

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by FrenchPrince » Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:15 pm

Begging the mods to burn this thread

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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