Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

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Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:12 pm

I know there are varying versions of this topic addressed in other threads but I am curious as to what anecdotes/stories former clerks or people with knowledge might have.

jackshunger

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Re: Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by jackshunger » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:12 pm
I know there are varying versions of this topic addressed in other threads but I am curious as to what anecdotes/stories former clerks or people with knowledge might have.
You need to be more specific for what you consider to be an easy/hard clerkship - nor is that a good reason to choose a clerkship. Alsup (ND Cal) for example tells his clerks in his OSCAR posting they will be working 80 hrs a week, and his clerks love him. Jerry Smith is known to be a great judge because he's laissez-faire, cares about his clerks, and gives his clerks a lot of freedom, but his clerks still have to do substantive work, it's not an "easy" job. Easterbrook could be "easy" because I doubt he allows his clerks to write a single opinion, but that's not a good reason to work for him, or a mark in his favor.

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Re: Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:00 pm

From what I hear, Easterbrook lets you write one opinion.

Also (and take this with several grains of salt since I'm a 3L), I disagree that hours should not factor into the calculus. QOL should not be the most important factor; BUT, if you have other options, I think it's reasonable to not want to work 80 hours a week for a clerk's pay, especially for a non-feeder. I will be clerking in a less prestigious district than N.D. Cal. (think N.D. Tex., N.D. Ohio, E.D. La.) for a good judge and would not trade that offer for one with Alsup or Koeltl or any other of the non-feeders that have hours as bad or worse than biglaw (I purposefully did not apply to those judges even though I was competitive). On the other hand, I think it could make sense to take a very busy COA clerkship (like with Judge Friedland) over a year with Judge Easterbrook.

Ultimately, I think it's a personal choice. And if it is between not clerking or clerking for a judge with crazy hours, a host of other factors would come into play for me (like whether the judge is a good boss, whether it would actually help with career goals, whether I want to practice in that jurisdiction, etc.).

Lastly, there is an entire thread on best and worst judges which covers QOL for many of the judges discussed. If someone is not there you could post about them or ask alumni that clerk for other judges on the court (people will be much less frank about their own judge).

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Re: Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:00 pm
From what I hear, Easterbrook lets you write one opinion.
This is true. By all accounts he has a great relationship with his clerks and they still do a lot of research/develop other skills, but I think it's reasonable to factor into your decision whether not to apply that you would only get to write one opinion.

Anonymous User
Posts: 357873
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:13 am

jackshunger wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:37 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:12 pm
I know there are varying versions of this topic addressed in other threads but I am curious as to what anecdotes/stories former clerks or people with knowledge might have.
You need to be more specific for what you consider to be an easy/hard clerkship - nor is that a good reason to choose a clerkship. Alsup (ND Cal) for example tells his clerks in his OSCAR posting they will be working 80 hrs a week, and his clerks love him. Jerry Smith is known to be a great judge because he's laissez-faire, cares about his clerks, and gives his clerks a lot of freedom, but his clerks still have to do substantive work, it's not an "easy" job. Easterbrook could be "easy" because I doubt he allows his clerks to write a single opinion, but that's not a good reason to work for him, or a mark in his favor.
Fun fact about Jerry Smith: all of his clerks have Nerf guns and do little Nerf wars during the day

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Anonymous User
Posts: 357873
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:00 pm
From what I hear, Easterbrook lets you write one opinion.

Also (and take this with several grains of salt since I'm a 3L), I disagree that hours should not factor into the calculus. QOL should not be the most important factor; BUT, if you have other options, I think it's reasonable to not want to work 80 hours a week for a clerk's pay, especially for a non-feeder. I will be clerking in a less prestigious district than N.D. Cal. (think N.D. Tex., N.D. Ohio, E.D. La.) for a good judge and would not trade that offer for one with Alsup or Koeltl or any other of the non-feeders that have hours as bad or worse than biglaw (I purposefully did not apply to those judges even though I was competitive). On the other hand, I think it could make sense to take a very busy COA clerkship (like with Judge Friedland) over a year with Judge Easterbrook.

Ultimately, I think it's a personal choice. And if it is between not clerking or clerking for a judge with crazy hours, a host of other factors would come into play for me (like whether the judge is a good boss, whether it would actually help with career goals, whether I want to practice in that jurisdiction, etc.).

Lastly, there is an entire thread on best and worst judges which covers QOL for many of the judges discussed. If someone is not there you could post about them or ask alumni that clerk for other judges on the court (people will be much less frank about their own judge).
I am a big proponent of clerking in general, but if I had the choice of getting paid BigLaw $ out of school or clerking for someone who makes their clerks work that hard or is a generally a huge pain to work with (and isn't directly putting me on the path to clerking at the S.Ct. or something), I'd take the $. I spent years in BigLaw and can count on one hand the number of 80 weeks I put in.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:13 am
jackshunger wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:37 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:12 pm
I know there are varying versions of this topic addressed in other threads but I am curious as to what anecdotes/stories former clerks or people with knowledge might have.
You need to be more specific for what you consider to be an easy/hard clerkship - nor is that a good reason to choose a clerkship. Alsup (ND Cal) for example tells his clerks in his OSCAR posting they will be working 80 hrs a week, and his clerks love him. Jerry Smith is known to be a great judge because he's laissez-faire, cares about his clerks, and gives his clerks a lot of freedom, but his clerks still have to do substantive work, it's not an "easy" job. Easterbrook could be "easy" because I doubt he allows his clerks to write a single opinion, but that's not a good reason to work for him, or a mark in his favor.
Fun fact about Jerry Smith: all of his clerks have Nerf guns and do little Nerf wars during the day
This is literally the "funnest" of facts. No wonder everyone on TLS (and everyone in general) loves Jerry Smith.

Anonymous User
Posts: 357873
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:00 pm
From what I hear, Easterbrook lets you write one opinion.
This is true. By all accounts he has a great relationship with his clerks and they still do a lot of research/develop other skills, but I think it's reasonable to factor into your decision whether not to apply that you would only get to write one opinion.
is there a known roster of judges who operate like this (i.e., write almost all their own opinions)?

Anonymous User
Posts: 357873
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:00 pm
From what I hear, Easterbrook lets you write one opinion.
This is true. By all accounts he has a great relationship with his clerks and they still do a lot of research/develop other skills, but I think it's reasonable to factor into your decision whether not to apply that you would only get to write one opinion.
is there a known roster of judges who operate like this (i.e., write almost all their own opinions)?
Kethledge, for one. I don't think it's a terribly long list.

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Anonymous User
Posts: 357873
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:00 pm
From what I hear, Easterbrook lets you write one opinion.
This is true. By all accounts he has a great relationship with his clerks and they still do a lot of research/develop other skills, but I think it's reasonable to factor into your decision whether not to apply that you would only get to write one opinion.
is there a known roster of judges who operate like this (i.e., write almost all their own opinions)?
Kethledge, for one. I don't think it's a terribly long list.
I believe Posner used to be on this list before he retired. Rumor has it one of his clerks went to every single Cubs home game during their clerkship without shirking any responsibilities.

Anonymous User
Posts: 357873
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:18 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:00 pm
From what I hear, Easterbrook lets you write one opinion.
This is true. By all accounts he has a great relationship with his clerks and they still do a lot of research/develop other skills, but I think it's reasonable to factor into your decision whether not to apply that you would only get to write one opinion.
is there a known roster of judges who operate like this (i.e., write almost all their own opinions)?
Kethledge, for one. I don't think it's a terribly long list.
I believe Posner used to be on this list before he retired. Rumor has it one of his clerks went to every single Cubs home game during their clerkship without shirking any responsibilities.
Selya apparently writes all of his own opinions too.

Anonymous User
Posts: 357873
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:20 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:18 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:00 pm
From what I hear, Easterbrook lets you write one opinion.
This is true. By all accounts he has a great relationship with his clerks and they still do a lot of research/develop other skills, but I think it's reasonable to factor into your decision whether not to apply that you would only get to write one opinion.
is there a known roster of judges who operate like this (i.e., write almost all their own opinions)?
Kethledge, for one. I don't think it's a terribly long list.
I believe Posner used to be on this list before he retired. Rumor has it one of his clerks went to every single Cubs home game during their clerkship without shirking any responsibilities.
Selya apparently writes all of his own opinions too.
I can believe that, his style is so distinctive.

Anonymous User
Posts: 357873
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:20 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:18 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:00 pm
From what I hear, Easterbrook lets you write one opinion.
This is true. By all accounts he has a great relationship with his clerks and they still do a lot of research/develop other skills, but I think it's reasonable to factor into your decision whether not to apply that you would only get to write one opinion.
is there a known roster of judges who operate like this (i.e., write almost all their own opinions)?
Kethledge, for one. I don't think it's a terribly long list.
I believe Posner used to be on this list before he retired. Rumor has it one of his clerks went to every single Cubs home game during their clerkship without shirking any responsibilities.
Selya apparently writes all of his own opinions too.
I can believe that, his style is so distinctive.
I heard that Judge Owens (9th) wrote all of his opinions when he first came on the bench. Idk if he still does.

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polareagle

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Re: Hardest/easiest coa judges to work for?

Post by polareagle » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:20 pm
Selya apparently writes all of his own opinions too.
I mean, looking up new, ridiculous synonyms in the thesaurus for him is probably a full time clerk job in and of itself.

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