HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

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Iowahawk

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Iowahawk » Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:33 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:51 pm
The idea that white males can always just "get another professor", when top clerkships are so competitive, everyone wants as many good LORs as possible, and certain professors are *known* to carry more weight is so insidious.

Look, at the end of the day, let's just call this what it is: progressive stacking. It's straight up "double-counting" affirmative action on top of the hiring process, where judges should be looking to hire diverse candidates anyway. The idea that LORs are written arbitrarily is so laughable, and it's easy to name concrete things that matter: class performance, engagement / participation, scholarship, RA-ing, personality, etc. NONE of those are tied to URM status. I am all for supporting qualified diverse candidates, but if we're going to mess with the hard data, whether it's grades or recs (it's already happened for LR elections, which, shocker, is why masthead doesn't mean shit to most judges beyond LR membership), I'm sorry but you've lost me and probably the majority of any law school's attendees.

I'm not attacking you for expressing these views. In fact, I want every single professor who plans to progressively stack their letters of recommendation to be totally and publicly open about that philosophy. It'll save men, white kids, and ORMs a ton of time deciding among what RA projects to apply for, what office hours to show up at more regularly, and frankly even who to chat up for lunch or coffee when they know that they're not doing it for any potential professional impact from the progressive stackers.
What's kind of weird about this rant is that it's pretty accepted that-- by far-- the biggest "affirmative action" benefit for clerkships is for FedSoc conservative kids from flyover states. Like a white FedSoc conservative from Idaho with above median grades at a T6 is basically guaranteed a clerkship before the end of 1L.... I mean, i get the argument that, in theory, being in FedSoc and from flyover country is not the same as being white or black, so it's a different type of 'discrimination' or 'stacking' or whatever you want to call it, but in reality it's somewhat of a distinction without a difference....
The idea that being from a flyover state is an advantage in the clerkship market is strange.
1. Everyone has advantages in clerkships in places they have ties, including students from NYC, DC, LA, etc. Students from Idaho without ties will be disadvantaged versus e.g. Californians for CDCA.
2. It's odd to view students from Idaho who often lack connections to and social comfort with the types of bicoastal, multigenerational elites that dominate elite academia and the judiciary as advantaged by a process that heavily rewards students with connections to elite academia and the judiciary.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jackshunger » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:03 pm

Iowahawk wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:44 pm


The idea that being from a flyover state is an advantage in the clerkship market is strange.
1. Everyone has advantages in clerkships in places they have ties, including students from NYC, DC, LA, etc. Students from Idaho without ties will be disadvantaged versus e.g. Californians for CDCA.
2. It's odd to view students from Idaho who often lack connections to and social comfort with the types of bicoastal, multigenerational elites that dominate elite academia and the judiciary as advantaged by a process that heavily rewards students with connections to elite academia and the judiciary.
We have derailed off topic at this point, but everything said in the prior discussion about FedSoc clerkships was entirely incorrect. It's easier for FedSoc members to get clerkships. Easier, not easy, as opposed to the inane statement that every FedSoc member with median grades somehow has a clerkship by the end of 1L summer. 30-40% of judges in the country like having members that share their views, and FedSoc members comprise like 5% of students. Thus, it will be easier to get a clerkship when the number of people you are competing against is so much smaller. This isn't "affirmative action" - FedSoc judges hire the top local students and counter-ideological clerks much more than hiring median level grads, and the judges people are applying to aren't the same either.

Anyway, the people most hurt by "progressive stacking" would be white liberals; I doubt white FedSoc members would be asking a professor like Litman for a recommendation. Part of the reason why FedSoc placement is strong at certain schools is because the alums and 3Ls tell you who to ask for good recs.
Last edited by jackshunger on Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Joachim2017

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Joachim2017 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:05 pm

nixy wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:24 pm


[...] I have a hard time thinking anything that the prof said actually damaged the student in question in any way or that this is something that should lead people to freak out about some mythical "progressive stacking." No prof is obligated to write for any one student.

This is a perfect example of disingenuous equivocation and straw manning. No one is saying that that was the norm violation here.
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LBJ's Hair

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by LBJ's Hair » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:11 pm

No one thinks Leah Litman is obligated to write a letter for a student she doesn't like. They think she shouldn't share student grades or shit-talk them to other students.

nixy

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by nixy » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:11 pm

Of course. But the anecdote was originally raised as part of some kind of panic about a prof torpedoing someone’s clerkship chances, and that’s the damage I was addressing here. Shit talking to a student isn’t appropriate but I can’t see it having any effect on anything that would matter. So the only issue that can speak to sabotaging someone is the letter.

But LBJ’s Hair, I appreciate you responding as yourself rather than hiding behind anonymity to call me disingenuous and straw manning.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by pi.radians » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:15 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:11 pm
No one thinks Leah Litman is obligated to write a letter for a student she doesn't like. They think she shouldn't share student grades or shit-talk them to other students.
I've seen a few Title VII cases from a law clerk's perspective. Employers who are racist or sexist and keep their mouths shut, generally get away with it. It's MUCH easier to make a case that an adverse employment decision was on the basis of race or sex if the employer has a history of making "colorful" boomer-type comments. It tells a convincing story. Racists with an ounce of sophistication (perhaps some law firm partners?) know not to leave a paper trail.

Leah Litman is entitled (I guess?) to use her power arbitrarily because ultimately clerkship letters are relationship-driven, and relationships are always somewhat arbitrary. She can continue to use her influence in a racist or sexist manner and she'll probably get away with it (even though doing so would be morally bankrupt). But she'd be wise to keep it "on the DL."
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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nixy

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by nixy » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:18 pm

What on earth kind of lawsuit would you imagine someone bringing against her? She’s not an employer. Are you claiming she’s obligated to write letters for anyone who asks? (And people thought I was strawmanning, lol.)

Anyway, still no evidence of racism of sexism at play.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:23 pm

nixy wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:18 pm
What on earth kind of lawsuit would you imagine someone bringing against her? She’s not an employer. Are you claiming she’s obligated to write letters for anyone who asks? (And people thought I was strawmanning, lol.)

Anyway, still no evidence of racism of sexism at play.
She literally said it was his “identity” that made him entitled. I hope you bring this same energy if a prof decides not to write for a Black student with good grades in his class bc he thinks he “wouldn’t fit in” at a court. It’s all arbitrary who people relate with, right?

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:25 pm

nixy wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:18 pm
What on earth kind of lawsuit would you imagine someone bringing against her? She’s not an employer. Are you claiming she’s obligated to write letters for anyone who asks? (And people thought I was strawmanning, lol.)

Anyway, still no evidence of racism of sexism at play.
I wasn't literally suggesting that anyone should file a lawsuit. At a minimum, however, someone could bring a Title IX complaint to the university if they were turned down on the basis of a protected characteristic, and they'd have to at least take the complaint seriously.

And of course she doesn't have to write letters to anyone -- I said as much above. However, if she wants to wield her influence along racial or sex-based lines, she'd be wise to be VERY careful what she says and to whom.

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nixy

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by nixy » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:32 pm

I think that is an incredibly sinister reading of one anecdote demonstrating poor judgment. (Also I’m afraid I have no idea what you might have said above because I can’t keep the different anons straight.)

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:54 pm

I 100% agree with nixy's last few posts. (Which I realize is a slight walk-back from my earlier "Litman did nothing wrong" stance.)

With the exception of a couple of HLS posters upthread who were providing specific info, literally nobody in this discussion needs to be anon.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:05 pm

jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:03 pm
We have derailed off topic at this point, but everything said in the prior discussion about FedSoc clerkships was entirely incorrect. It's easier for FedSoc members to get clerkships. Easier, not easy, as opposed to the inane statement that every FedSoc member with median grades somehow has a clerkship by the end of 1L summer. 30-40% of judges in the country like having members that share their views, and FedSoc members comprise like 5% of students. Thus, it will be easier to get a clerkship when the number of people you are competing against is so much smaller. This isn't "affirmative action" - FedSoc judges hire the top local students and counter-ideological clerks much more than hiring median level grads, and the judges people are applying to aren't the same either.

Anyway, the people most hurt by "progressive stacking" would be white liberals; I doubt white FedSoc members would be asking a professor like Litman for a recommendation. Part of the reason why FedSoc placement is strong at certain schools is because the alums and 3Ls tell you who to ask for good recs.
What are the essential characteristics of "affirmative action"? Conservative Republicans (through their membership in FedSoc) are given preferential treatment in the clerkship hunt based on identity. People will argue that it's apples to oranges because it's "ideology" instead of race. Putting aside the flawed assumption there, conservative Republicans are disproportionately white and male. People can justify it to themselves however they want, but it's an advantage based on identity. I wonder if the same posters here complaining about Litman not writing letters for white men (assuming arguendo that's true) have any issue with the FedSoc network.
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:23 pm
Would you be ok with extra GPA points for URMs to counter their historical oppression?
Apples to oranges. Grades are supposed to be based purely on merit. Clerkships are not.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:11 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:05 pm
jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:03 pm
We have derailed off topic at this point, but everything said in the prior discussion about FedSoc clerkships was entirely incorrect. It's easier for FedSoc members to get clerkships. Easier, not easy, as opposed to the inane statement that every FedSoc member with median grades somehow has a clerkship by the end of 1L summer. 30-40% of judges in the country like having members that share their views, and FedSoc members comprise like 5% of students. Thus, it will be easier to get a clerkship when the number of people you are competing against is so much smaller. This isn't "affirmative action" - FedSoc judges hire the top local students and counter-ideological clerks much more than hiring median level grads, and the judges people are applying to aren't the same either.

Anyway, the people most hurt by "progressive stacking" would be white liberals; I doubt white FedSoc members would be asking a professor like Litman for a recommendation. Part of the reason why FedSoc placement is strong at certain schools is because the alums and 3Ls tell you who to ask for good recs.
What are the essential characteristics of "affirmative action"? Conservative Republicans (through their membership in FedSoc) are given preferential treatment in the clerkship hunt based on identity. People will argue that it's apples to oranges because it's "ideology" instead of race. Putting aside the flawed assumption there, conservative Republicans are disproportionately white and male. People can justify it to themselves however they want, but it's an advantage based on identity. I wonder if the same posters here complaining about Litman not writing letters for white men (assuming arguendo that's true) have any issue with the FedSoc network.
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:23 pm
Would you be ok with extra GPA points for URMs to counter their historical oppression?
Apples to oranges. Grades are supposed to be based purely on merit. Clerkships are not.
You’ve missed the boat on both fronts.

FedSoc is much more of a selection effect than an app boost, unless you know of many minority liberals applying to off-plan conservative judges in the 6th or 11th. There’s no evidence median FedSoc kids have a boost for, say, Garland.

And no one is arguing that there shouldn’t be affirmative action for clerkship hiring. The argument is whether base entry “stats”, such as grades or rec letters, should ceteris paribus be themselves boosted by race or gender alone. And I keep coming back to the point that though profs can do whatever disagreeable things they want, they should be open about their philosophies instead of Litman-style shady about what drives their decisions. Say the quiet part out loud.

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jackshunger

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jackshunger » Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:23 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:05 pm
jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:03 pm
We have derailed off topic at this point, but everything said in the prior discussion about FedSoc clerkships was entirely incorrect. It's easier for FedSoc members to get clerkships. Easier, not easy, as opposed to the inane statement that every FedSoc member with median grades somehow has a clerkship by the end of 1L summer. 30-40% of judges in the country like having members that share their views, and FedSoc members comprise like 5% of students. Thus, it will be easier to get a clerkship when the number of people you are competing against is so much smaller. This isn't "affirmative action" - FedSoc judges hire the top local students and counter-ideological clerks much more than hiring median level grads, and the judges people are applying to aren't the same either.

Anyway, the people most hurt by "progressive stacking" would be white liberals; I doubt white FedSoc members would be asking a professor like Litman for a recommendation. Part of the reason why FedSoc placement is strong at certain schools is because the alums and 3Ls tell you who to ask for good recs.
What are the essential characteristics of "affirmative action"? Conservative Republicans (through their membership in FedSoc) are given preferential treatment in the clerkship hunt based on identity. People will argue that it's apples to oranges because it's "ideology" instead of race. Putting aside the flawed assumption there, conservative Republicans are disproportionately white and male. People can justify it to themselves however they want, but it's an advantage based on identity. I wonder if the same posters here complaining about Litman not writing letters for white men (assuming arguendo that's true) have any issue with the FedSoc network.

The essential nature of affirmative action is that you prioritize one set of individuals for limited spots over another set of individuals based on immutable characteristics. Not only is judicial ideology not an immutable characteristic, FedSoc students aren't getting clerkships at the expense of non-FedSoc students. Non-FedSoc students aren't applying for the same clerkships. In fact, as I've mentioned before, FedSoc judges often hire non-FedSoc students that choose to apply early, or whenever they are hiring, because plenty of them like waiting for 2L grades, value ideologically diverse chambers, or don't actually care what their clerk's ideologies are. This affirmative action analogy fails on two separate accounts.

Second, the "FedSoc network" is not really comparable to Litman thinking that white people don't deserve her recommendation (although I too doubt that is the full story). It is not a magic method that tells students how to get a clerkship regardless of grades or circumstances. Actually, it barely exists insofar as a thing outside of a school's FedSoc chapter's previously made connections to chambers - much the same way many school's law reviews have connections to certain judge's chambers. Its main benefit is that it allows students to know when judges are hiring, if they choose to apply their 1L year. This benefit is vastly overstated on this forum - most people applying to judges after 1L still just send letters at random to judges they might like to clerk for. It doesn't get you letters of recommendation, you still have to do well in classes and know professors, and it doesn't automatically get unqualified people clerkships, as you seem to believe, rather it aids some already qualified students in getting a clerkship earlier than otherwise. Most students still have to wait until 2L to get hired.

Another addendum is that many professors refuse to write letters of recommendation for FedSoc students applying off-plan, which is why more judges are hiring people without them.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:34 pm

jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:23 pm
The essential characteristic of affirmative action is that you prioritize one set of individuals for limited spots over another based on immutable characteristics.
So basically, it's affirmative action, but instead of race or gender or sexual orientation, it is based on political identity, which is mutable. (And that's without getting into unconscious bias.)
Not only is judicial ideology not an immutable characteristic, FedSoc students aren't getting clerkships at the expense of non-FedSoc students.


Incorrect.
Non-FedSoc students aren't applying for the same clerkships.
Incorrect. And to the extent they aren't with some judges, it is because those judges aren't making applications available.
Second, the "FedSoc network" is not really comparable to Litman thinking that white people don't deserve her recommendation (although I too doubt that is the full story).
It's directly comparable. They use their influence to get people clerkships based on identity.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jackshunger » Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:49 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:34 pm
jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:23 pm
The essential characteristic of affirmative action is that you prioritize one set of individuals for limited spots over another based on immutable characteristics.
So basically, it's affirmative action, but instead of race or gender or sexual orientation, it is based on political identity, which is mutable. (And that's without getting into unconscious bias.)
Not only is judicial ideology not an immutable characteristic, FedSoc students aren't getting clerkships at the expense of non-FedSoc students.


Incorrect.
Non-FedSoc students aren't applying for the same clerkships.
Incorrect. And to the extent they aren't with some judges, it is because those judges aren't making applications available.
Second, the "FedSoc network" is not really comparable to Litman thinking that white people don't deserve her recommendation (although I too doubt that is the full story).
It's directly comparable. They use their influence to get people clerkships based on identity.
There's really not much to say about this breathtaking display of ignorance/avoiding facts except to once again point out that ideology is not immutable, unlike race, gender, and sexual orientation, etc., and I have serious doubts about your knowledge of FedSoc judge hiring, although if you stated illogical rubbish like this to a FedSoc judge or their clerks, I'm not surprised you wouldn't have been hired by one.

I am curious as to what you think the "FedSoc network" is though. An email listserv where judges say "Only hiring FedSoc officers from T6 schools, send in apps in the next 10 minutes?" A facebook group where Adam Mortara asks random FedSoc members to send materials into him for him to mass mail to every judge he knows? The Intellectual Dark Web where Thomas and Alito clerks and the Presidents of different chapters get together and plot how to place every single above-median member 1L with a Trump-appointed judge?

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:03 pm

jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:49 pm
There's really not much to say about this breathtaking display of ignorance/avoiding facts except to once again point out that ideology is not immutable, unlike race, gender, and sexual orientation, etc., and I have serious doubts about your knowledge of FedSoc judge hiring, although if you stated illogical rubbish like this to a FedSoc judge or their clerks, I'm not surprised you wouldn't have been hired by one.
LOL. Basically, what I said was exactly right, and you're angry about that. It's no different than "affirmative action" except political identity is mutable, as I said. My knowledge of FedSoc judge hiring is directly on point. You think the judges who hire pretty much exclusively from FedSoc don't have non-FedSoc law students and lawyers interested in clerking for them? I hope not. That would be an insanely ignorant thing to believe.
I am curious as to what you think the "FedSoc network" is though. An email listserv where judges say "Only hiring FedSoc officers from T6 schools, send in apps in the next 10 minutes? A facebook group where Adam Mortara asks random FedSoc members to send materials into him for him to mass mail to every judge he knows? The Intellectual Dark Web where FedSoc SCOTUS clerks and the Presidents of different chapters get together and plot how to place every single above-median member 1L with a Trump appointed judge?
Do you not understand how networks work? People who know the judges use their influence to boost their chosen FedSoc applicants. That doesn't mean every FedSoc applicant is getting the boost or the help. But it certainly means that a person with lesser credentials than a non-FedSoc applicant is capable of landing a "more prestigious" clerkship based on the network.

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Joachim2017

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Joachim2017 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:17 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:03 pm
jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:49 pm
There's really not much to say about this breathtaking display of ignorance/avoiding facts except to once again point out that ideology is not immutable, unlike race, gender, and sexual orientation, etc., and I have serious doubts about your knowledge of FedSoc judge hiring, although if you stated illogical rubbish like this to a FedSoc judge or their clerks, I'm not surprised you wouldn't have been hired by one.
LOL. Basically, what I said was exactly right, and you're angry about that. It's no different than "affirmative action" except political identity is mutable, as I said. My knowledge of FedSoc judge hiring is directly on point. You think the judges who hire pretty much exclusively from FedSoc don't have non-FedSoc law students and lawyers interested in clerking for them? I hope not. That would be an insanely ignorant thing to believe.
I am curious as to what you think the "FedSoc network" is though. An email listserv where judges say "Only hiring FedSoc officers from T6 schools, send in apps in the next 10 minutes? A facebook group where Adam Mortara asks random FedSoc members to send materials into him for him to mass mail to every judge he knows? The Intellectual Dark Web where FedSoc SCOTUS clerks and the Presidents of different chapters get together and plot how to place every single above-median member 1L with a Trump appointed judge?
Do you not understand how networks work? People who know the judges use their influence to boost their chosen FedSoc applicants. That doesn't mean every FedSoc applicant is getting the boost or the help. But it certainly means that a person with lesser credentials than a non-FedSoc applicant is capable of landing a "more prestigious" clerkship based on the network.

The bolded statement is not really responsive to the poster's point though. It does seem like some people around here think FedSoc is some dark sinister mothership of evil conservatives that places mediocre candidates in amazing clerkship positions, like Tammany Hall from 19th century NYC. In reality, it may be just another network (one that is well-publicized, especially by those who want to erect a boogeyman to demonize, or to try to justify their own thumb-on-the-scale selection preferences). I mean, what you're describing is true of all networks, on the left as well as the right.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jackshunger » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:25 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:03 pm

LOL. Basically, what I said was exactly right, and you're angry about that. It's no different than "affirmative action" except political identity is mutable, as I said. My knowledge of FedSoc judge hiring is directly on point. You think the judges who hire pretty much exclusively from FedSoc don't have non-FedSoc law students and lawyers interested in clerking for them? I hope not. That would be an insanely ignorant thing to believe.

Do you not understand how networks work? People who know the judges use their influence to boost their chosen FedSoc applicants. That doesn't mean every FedSoc applicant is getting the boost or the help. But it certainly means that a person with lesser credentials than a non-FedSoc applicant is capable of landing a "more prestigious" clerkship based on the network.
I'm hardly angry, more commenting so that anyone who comes across this trainwreck of a thread in the future doesn't leave with a wholly inaccurate depiction of how clerkship hiring works (or what affirmative action is).

Affirmative action is seen as unfair (in some circles) because it directly takes one person's place away to give to another based entirely on something like race or gender. Hence people are upset about what Litman supposedly did: she saw that the person who asked her for a recommendation was white, said no, there are too many white people clerking, and refused. As another poster earlier noted, that applicant could have been a white liberal from the Midwest that worked 3 jobs to put himself through school, and it wouldn't have mattered. Meanwhile, a Black student from a 1% family could get that recommendation. This would be affirmative action. That white student could not have done anything to change the reason why Litman supposedly wouldn't give him that recommendation. (Note: I am making no claims as to what actually happened between Litman and that HLS student, merely using the supposed story for an example).

A judge stating "I only want to hire students that believe in the tenets of originalism and textualism" and then hiring those students is not promoting affirmative action. First, students can change their ideology (or represent a false one), and second, that would be hiring based on something related to the job - if that judge constantly has to review their clerk's work to see if they are applying purposivism or living constitutionalism to all their assignments, it likely isn't going to be a pleasant experience for either party.

All that being said, yes, most non-FedSoc students have very little desire to work for ideologically aligned FedSoc judges. You can take a look around the forums for many examples of this, or just look at where the vast majority of students apply for clerkships. It isn't the flyover districts where most FedSoc aligned judges are. Or if clerking for FedSoc judges was such a draw for liberals who otherwise could not have gotten those posts, you would expect to see FedSoc be the most popular organization at most law schools. It is not.
Finally, Litman, the person who kicked off this entire conversation, was a liberal hired by a FedSoc judge early, so clearly there are judges open to hiring liberals, as I've stated numerous times. You've offered no evidence to support your assertion that liberals are getting rejected by the entirety of FedSoc judges, because not only is there no evidence to support that, there is quite a bit of evidence suggesting the opposite is true.

Your final complaint is just a complaint about clerkship hiring in general. Obviously, people with connections to the judge get their applications looked at more in-depth. This is as true for Sutton, Oldham, and Doug Ginsburg as it is for Watford, Sri, and Barron.

But there is no special "FedSoc connection" you get just by joining; chapters have different connections to different chambers, usually through previous clerks. These connections work the same way liberal organization connections work and the same way school clerkship office connections work. And judges aren't out there hiring nonqualified candidates because they have "FedSoc member" by their name. I already detailed how the FedSoc network actually works in practice as opposed to the conspiracy theory peddling you have offered.
Last edited by jackshunger on Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:30 pm

"Ideology = mutable, so it's a-OK to discriminate based on that factor" is a bit naive IMO. It's not unlike religion in that 1) most people stick to one or the other throughout adulthood, and 2) it tracks closely with a lot of immutable factors like ethnicity, gender, and nationality.

I assume/hope that no judge actually does this, but if someone wanted a facially-neutral means of filtering for UMC, American-born white men, FedSoc affiliation would be a great way to do it.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:33 pm

Joachim2017 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:17 pm
The bolded statement is not really responsive to the poster's point though. It does seem like some people around here think FedSoc is some dark sinister mothership of evil conservatives that places mediocre candidates in amazing clerkship positions, like Tammany Hall from 19th century NYC. In reality, it may be just another network (one that is well-publicized, especially by those who want to erect a boogeyman to demonize, or to try to justify their own thumb-on-the-scale selection preferences). I mean, what you're describing is true of all networks, on the left as well as the right.
Well, yes, it is just another network (that operates on identity, as many do). It simply is one of the most effective ones and has broad reach. My point is and always has been that white men (especially conservative white men) complaining about one professor choosing to use her influence to boost people from disadvantaged backgrounds/communities comes off as more than just a little tone deaf.

I'm not trying to justify only my thumb-on-the-scale preferences. Rather, I am recognizing that those preferences are common and more likely to favor white men than people of color. It's the game, and you play it. I'm simply not down for the pity party over Litman's alleged preferences. What the FedSoc does is fine. If Litman chooses only to write letters for people of color or women (doubtful), that's also fine.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:35 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:30 pm
"Ideology = mutable, so it's a-OK to discriminate based on that factor" is a bit naive IMO. It's not unlike religion in that 1) most people stick to one or the other throughout adulthood, and 2) it tracks closely with a lot of immutable factors like ethnicity, gender, and nationality.
Exactly.
I assume/hope that no judge actually does this, but if someone wanted a facially-neutral means of filtering for UMC, American-born white men, FedSoc affiliation would be a great way to do it.
Let's be honest, of course some judges do it. Some judges do it without even realizing it (unconscious bias and all).

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jackshunger » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:40 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:30 pm
"Ideology = mutable, so it's a-OK to discriminate based on that factor" is a bit naive IMO. It's not unlike religion in that 1) most people stick to one or the other throughout adulthood, and 2) it tracks closely with a lot of immutable factors like ethnicity, gender, and nationality.

I assume/hope that no judge actually does this, but if someone wanted a facially-neutral means of filtering for UMC, American-born white men, FedSoc affiliation would be a great way to do it.
Hiring clerks that share your judicial views for a job that requires a judge to apply their judicial views everyday is not "discrimination" in any logical sense of the term, and doesn't even happen very much for FedSoc judges, unlike vice versa. There was literally a post yesterday asking if there was a single liberal judge that hires FedSoc members as counterclerks and no one could name a single example.

That would also be a terrible way to distinguish identity seeing as most FedSoc chapters at top schools have quite a few Asian students. But again, Litman's supposed discrimination wouldn't even harm white UMC males in FedSoc anyway, so it's pretty moot.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:46 pm

jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:25 pm
I'm hardly angry, more commenting so that anyone who comes across this trainwreck of a thread in the future doesn't leave with a wholly inaccurate depiction of how clerkship hiring works (or what affirmative action is).
Correct me if I'm wrong, you're a law student, right? Didn't you just finish your 1L year? And you think that you, a 1L, know better than me, a person who clerked at both the federal D. Ct. and COA levels, how clerkship hiring actually works? Okay. :lol:
All that being said, yes, most non-FedSoc students have very little desire to work for ideologically aligned FedSoc judges. You can take a look around the forums for many examples of this, or just look at where the vast majority of students apply for clerkships. It isn't the flyover districts where most FedSoc aligned judges are. Or if clerking for FedSoc judges was such a draw for liberals who otherwise could not have gotten those posts, you would expect to see FedSoc be the most popular organization at most law schools. It is not.


That wasn't your assertion. You said: "Not only is judicial ideology not an immutable characteristic, FedSoc students aren't getting clerkships at the expense of non-FedSoc students."
Finally, Litman, the person who kicked off this entire conversation, was a liberal hired by a FedSoc judge early, so clearly there are judges open to hiring liberals, as I've stated numerous times. You've offered no evidence to support your assertion that liberals are getting rejected by the entirety of FedSoc judges, because not only is there no evidence to support that, there is quite a bit of evidence suggesting the opposite is true.
That wasn't my assertion. You said: "Non-FedSoc students aren't applying for the same clerkships." I didn't say that FedSoc judges only hire members of FedSoc. It was you who spoke in absolutes.
Your final complaint is just a complaint about clerkship hiring in general. Obviously, people with connections to the judge get their applications looked at more in-depth. This is as true for Sutton, Oldham, and Doug Ginsburg as it is for Watford, Sri, and Barron.


Glad to see you're finally with me. Focusing on Litman while ignoring the system as a whole isn't seeing the forest for the trees.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:51 pm

jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:40 pm
Hiring clerks that share your judicial views for a job that requires a judge to apply their judicial views everyday is not "discrimination" in any logical sense of the term
Except for the fact that sharing the judge's ideology isn't necessary to do the job. It is "discrimination." You're simply arguing that it is an acceptable form of it.

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