Workload variation across circuits/districts Forum

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Yeti

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Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Yeti » Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:07 am

I want to start a discussion about how much the workload in a clerkship varies depending on which circuit or district you work in.

For instance, the FJC statistics show that out of all the courts of appeals, the D.C. Circuit had the lowest number of active appeals per judgeship.

Are D.C. Circuit clerks working from like 9am–3pm every day?

How does their job compare to that of say a clerk on the Second, Fifth, or Ninth Circuits (which take approximately 5 times more actions per panel in any given year according to the latest statistics)?

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:12 am

The CA2 workload is low because it has a ton of senior judges, virtually all of them (even Newman) sit regularly, it tends to summary order everything, and it rarely goes en banc. Not DC low but pretty low.

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:31 am

Yeti wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:07 am
I want to start a discussion about how much the workload in a clerkship varies depending on which circuit or district you work in.

For instance, the FJC statistics show that out of all the courts of appeals, the D.C. Circuit had the lowest number of active appeals per judgeship.

Are D.C. Circuit clerks working from like 9am–3pm every day?

How does their job compare to that of say a clerk on the Second, Fifth, or Ninth Circuits (which take approximately 5 times more actions per panel in any given year according to the latest statistics)?
DC Circuit clerks, aside from Pillard, do not work particularly long hours.

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:31 am
Yeti wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:07 am
I want to start a discussion about how much the workload in a clerkship varies depending on which circuit or district you work in.

For instance, the FJC statistics show that out of all the courts of appeals, the D.C. Circuit had the lowest number of active appeals per judgeship.

Are D.C. Circuit clerks working from like 9am–3pm every day?

How does their job compare to that of say a clerk on the Second, Fifth, or Ninth Circuits (which take approximately 5 times more actions per panel in any given year according to the latest statistics)?
DC Circuit clerks, aside from Pillard, do not work particularly long hours.
Odd post. Srinivasan, Millett, and Katsas all have longer hours than Pillard.

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:33 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:31 am
Yeti wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:07 am
I want to start a discussion about how much the workload in a clerkship varies depending on which circuit or district you work in.

For instance, the FJC statistics show that out of all the courts of appeals, the D.C. Circuit had the lowest number of active appeals per judgeship.

Are D.C. Circuit clerks working from like 9am–3pm every day?

How does their job compare to that of say a clerk on the Second, Fifth, or Ninth Circuits (which take approximately 5 times more actions per panel in any given year according to the latest statistics)?
DC Circuit clerks, aside from Pillard, do not work particularly long hours.
Odd post. Srinivasan, Millett, and Katsas all have longer hours than Pillard.
Been a long day - mixed up Pillard and Millett.

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PerplexedSpecter

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by PerplexedSpecter » Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:15 am

OP, can you link the stats you mentioned? I'm curious.

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:19 am

Yeti wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:07 am
I want to start a discussion about how much the workload in a clerkship varies depending on which circuit or district you work in.

For instance, the FJC statistics show that out of all the courts of appeals, the D.C. Circuit had the lowest number of active appeals per judgeship.

Are D.C. Circuit clerks working from like 9am–3pm every day?

How does their job compare to that of say a clerk on the Second, Fifth, or Ninth Circuits (which take approximately 5 times more actions per panel in any given year according to the latest statistics)?
I don't think the number of cases necessarily predicts one's workload. For one, the complexity of cases might differ between circuits. But more importantly, if Judge A has x cases and Judge B has 2x cases, the chambers' workloads might be the same, but Judge A's clerks will have the luxury of being able to spend twice the amount of time on each case as Judge B's clerks. I would sooner expect Judge A's opinions to be more thorough, well-researched, flowery, etc., than Judge B's opinions than for Judge A's clerks to get out after lunch.

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:12 am
The CA2 workload is low because it has a ton of senior judges, virtually all of them (even Newman) sit regularly, it tends to summary order everything, and it rarely goes en banc. Not DC low but pretty low.
The caseload may be low, but the workload is not. If you're clerking for an active judge who presides most of the time, be prepared for a brutal year.

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:29 am

Yeti wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:07 am
I want to start a discussion about how much the workload in a clerkship varies depending on which circuit or district you work in.

For instance, the FJC statistics show that out of all the courts of appeals, the D.C. Circuit had the lowest number of active appeals per judgeship.

Are D.C. Circuit clerks working from like 9am–3pm every day?

How does their job compare to that of say a clerk on the Second, Fifth, or Ninth Circuits (which take approximately 5 times more actions per panel in any given year according to the latest statistics)?
This is so much more judge dependent than circuit. The 9th is super busy but I was working 9:30 to 6 without weekends for an active judge, and I think that was typical of many chambers. Some chambers had, IMHO, needlessly long hours.

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Yeti

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Yeti » Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:03 pm

PerplexedSpecter wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:15 am
OP, can you link the stats you mentioned? I'm curious.
Reports on federal court management statistics are available here: https://www.uscourts.gov/statistics-rep ... statistics

The specific stats I referenced regarding caseloads for the D.C. Circuit vis-à-vis the Second, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits came from this publication: https://www.uscourts.gov/sites/default/ ... 1.2022.pdf

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:47 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:12 am
The CA2 workload is low because it has a ton of senior judges, virtually all of them (even Newman) sit regularly, it tends to summary order everything, and it rarely goes en banc. Not DC low but pretty low.
The caseload may be low, but the workload is not. If you're clerking for an active judge who presides most of the time, be prepared for a brutal year.
It depends on the judge, like if you’re with RJS, or apparently MP, it’ll be rough, but there are active, regularly presiding CA2 chambers with a fairly light workload (e.g. RJL, MHP, SJM). And CA2 hours across the board aren’t bad compared to really tough clerkships like SDNY across the street.

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 04, 2022 9:52 pm

Myself and other clerks who work in certain chambers in D. Ariz. and D. Nev. can report 9:30-5:30pm work days with WFH 1-2x/week encouraged

There are other clerks in the same districts who have strict 9-6 or later 5d/week facetime requirements and occasionally have to work weekends to deal with the volume of work

Both groups' hours go up during trial of course

Also (a few) district judges in the ninth are notorious for never being in their office, giving most of their work to clerks, and generally having horrible backlog. Some are otherwise great people and mentors, others less so. Be careful about where you apply

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:47 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:12 am
The CA2 workload is low because it has a ton of senior judges, virtually all of them (even Newman) sit regularly, it tends to summary order everything, and it rarely goes en banc. Not DC low but pretty low.
The caseload may be low, but the workload is not. If you're clerking for an active judge who presides most of the time, be prepared for a brutal year.
It depends on the judge, like if you’re with RJS, or apparently MP, it’ll be rough, but there are active, regularly presiding CA2 chambers with a fairly light workload (e.g. RJL, MHP, SJM). And CA2 hours across the board aren’t bad compared to really tough clerkships like SDNY across the street.
Anyone who's clerked on CA2 knows an RJL clerkship is not a "light workload" experience.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:30 am

Sullivan on CA2 apparently works his clerks to death. They work 70-80 hours a week minimum it appears.

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:30 am
Sullivan on CA2 apparently works his clerks to death. They work 70-80 hours a week minimum it appears.
Weekends are the norm.

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:11 pm
It depends on the judge, like if you’re with RJS, or apparently MP, it’ll be rough, but there are active, regularly presiding CA2 chambers with a fairly light workload (e.g. RJL, MHP, SJM). And CA2 hours across the board aren’t bad compared to really tough clerkships like SDNY across the street.
Really? I externed for RJS and the clerks seemed to have a pretty chill workload. Overall a very friendly chambers to work in.

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:37 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:11 pm
It depends on the judge, like if you’re with RJS, or apparently MP, it’ll be rough, but there are active, regularly presiding CA2 chambers with a fairly light workload (e.g. RJL, MHP, SJM). And CA2 hours across the board aren’t bad compared to really tough clerkships like SDNY across the street.
Really? I externed for RJS and the clerks seemed to have a pretty chill workload. Overall a very friendly chambers to work in.
I wouldn’t be surprised if RJS’s workload has died down some as his trial docket has died down. For a while he had both a full circuit judge load and kept like half of his SDNY docket, and half of an SDNY docket alone is enough to keep you busy from 9 to 5. But he is an superhuman-level hard worker and I know his first couple of CA2 classes worked SDNY hours.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:09 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:37 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:11 pm
It depends on the judge, like if you’re with RJS, or apparently MP, it’ll be rough, but there are active, regularly presiding CA2 chambers with a fairly light workload (e.g. RJL, MHP, SJM). And CA2 hours across the board aren’t bad compared to really tough clerkships like SDNY across the street.
Really? I externed for RJS and the clerks seemed to have a pretty chill workload. Overall a very friendly chambers to work in.
I wouldn’t be surprised if RJS’s workload has died down some as his trial docket has died down. For a while he had both a full circuit judge load and kept like half of his SDNY docket, and half of an SDNY docket alone is enough to keep you busy from 9 to 5. But he is an superhuman-level hard worker and I know his first couple of CA2 classes worked SDNY hours.
I actually misread the initials and read it as RDS, so my apologies! I know nothing about RJS, lol.

Anonymous User
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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Aug 06, 2022 9:20 pm

CA10 probably has the lightest caseload. There is term of court once every two months, with judges sitting an average of maybe 2-2.5 days per sitting.

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 07, 2022 12:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:47 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:12 am
The CA2 workload is low because it has a ton of senior judges, virtually all of them (even Newman) sit regularly, it tends to summary order everything, and it rarely goes en banc. Not DC low but pretty low.
The caseload may be low, but the workload is not. If you're clerking for an active judge who presides most of the time, be prepared for a brutal year.
It depends on the judge, like if you’re with RJS, or apparently MP, it’ll be rough, but there are active, regularly presiding CA2 chambers with a fairly light workload (e.g. RJL, MHP, SJM). And CA2 hours across the board aren’t bad compared to really tough clerkships like SDNY across the street.
What makes MP’s workload so unwieldy compared to other CA2 judges? Do we think it’s primarily bc she’s a new judge and the work will die down soon?

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 07, 2022 2:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:29 am
Yeti wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:07 am
I want to start a discussion about how much the workload in a clerkship varies depending on which circuit or district you work in.

For instance, the FJC statistics show that out of all the courts of appeals, the D.C. Circuit had the lowest number of active appeals per judgeship.

Are D.C. Circuit clerks working from like 9am–3pm every day?

How does their job compare to that of say a clerk on the Second, Fifth, or Ninth Circuits (which take approximately 5 times more actions per panel in any given year according to the latest statistics)?
This is so much more judge dependent than circuit. The 9th is super busy but I was working 9:30 to 6 without weekends for an active judge, and I think that was typical of many chambers. Some chambers had, IMHO, needlessly long hours.
Can you speak to which chambers in the Ninth had needlessly long hours?

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Anonymous User
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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 07, 2022 3:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Aug 07, 2022 2:03 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:29 am
Yeti wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:07 am
I want to start a discussion about how much the workload in a clerkship varies depending on which circuit or district you work in.

For instance, the FJC statistics show that out of all the courts of appeals, the D.C. Circuit had the lowest number of active appeals per judgeship.

Are D.C. Circuit clerks working from like 9am–3pm every day?

How does their job compare to that of say a clerk on the Second, Fifth, or Ninth Circuits (which take approximately 5 times more actions per panel in any given year according to the latest statistics)?
This is so much more judge dependent than circuit. The 9th is super busy but I was working 9:30 to 6 without weekends for an active judge, and I think that was typical of many chambers. Some chambers had, IMHO, needlessly long hours.
Can you speak to which chambers in the Ninth had needlessly long hours?
Rawlinson is the first who comes to mind, but also anyone else who doesn't participate in the bench memo pool with the exception of Watford, who has his own system and doesn't overwork his clerks. I'm not sure who beyond Rawlinson and Watford doesn't participate--I clerked before most of the Trump/Biden judges came on. It's well known that Kozinski and Reinhardt worked their clerks insane hours, I don't believe anyone today approaches that. Friedland and Ikuta participate in the memo pool but also seemed to have longer hours than the rest.

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 07, 2022 3:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 9:20 pm
CA10 probably has the lightest caseload. There is term of court once every two months, with judges sitting an average of maybe 2-2.5 days per sitting.
CA1 is close. They sit once a month for 3 days, but only half the court or so sits per month.

Both are about half of CA9, where judges typically sit every other month (or otherwise 6 times per year) for 4-5 days.

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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2022 1:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Aug 07, 2022 3:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Aug 07, 2022 2:03 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:29 am
Yeti wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:07 am
I want to start a discussion about how much the workload in a clerkship varies depending on which circuit or district you work in.

For instance, the FJC statistics show that out of all the courts of appeals, the D.C. Circuit had the lowest number of active appeals per judgeship.

Are D.C. Circuit clerks working from like 9am–3pm every day?

How does their job compare to that of say a clerk on the Second, Fifth, or Ninth Circuits (which take approximately 5 times more actions per panel in any given year according to the latest statistics)?
This is so much more judge dependent than circuit. The 9th is super busy but I was working 9:30 to 6 without weekends for an active judge, and I think that was typical of many chambers. Some chambers had, IMHO, needlessly long hours.
Can you speak to which chambers in the Ninth had needlessly long hours?
Rawlinson is the first who comes to mind, but also anyone else who doesn't participate in the bench memo pool with the exception of Watford, who has his own system and doesn't overwork his clerks. I'm not sure who beyond Rawlinson and Watford doesn't participate--I clerked before most of the Trump/Biden judges came on. It's well known that Kozinski and Reinhardt worked their clerks insane hours, I don't believe anyone today approaches that. Friedland and Ikuta participate in the memo pool but also seemed to have longer hours than the rest.
I don't know about "needlessly," but Bress clerks work very hard, in large part because he writes more than almost anyone else on the circuit.

Anonymous User
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Re: Workload variation across circuits/districts

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 08, 2022 1:38 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Aug 07, 2022 3:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Aug 07, 2022 2:03 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:29 am
Yeti wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:07 am
I want to start a discussion about how much the workload in a clerkship varies depending on which circuit or district you work in.

For instance, the FJC statistics show that out of all the courts of appeals, the D.C. Circuit had the lowest number of active appeals per judgeship.

Are D.C. Circuit clerks working from like 9am–3pm every day?

How does their job compare to that of say a clerk on the Second, Fifth, or Ninth Circuits (which take approximately 5 times more actions per panel in any given year according to the latest statistics)?
This is so much more judge dependent than circuit. The 9th is super busy but I was working 9:30 to 6 without weekends for an active judge, and I think that was typical of many chambers. Some chambers had, IMHO, needlessly long hours.
Can you speak to which chambers in the Ninth had needlessly long hours?
Rawlinson is the first who comes to mind, but also anyone else who doesn't participate in the bench memo pool with the exception of Watford, who has his own system and doesn't overwork his clerks. I'm not sure who beyond Rawlinson and Watford doesn't participate--I clerked before most of the Trump/Biden judges came on. It's well known that Kozinski and Reinhardt worked their clerks insane hours, I don't believe anyone today approaches that. Friedland and Ikuta participate in the memo pool but also seemed to have longer hours than the rest.
I don't know about "needlessly," but Bress clerks work very hard, in large part because he writes more than almost anyone else on the circuit.
Doesn't Bress have his clerks prepare memos for all the potential en banc cases or something? I didn't agree much with Bress when I was clerking, but bench memos from his chambers always had the fewest errors.

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