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Deluged with Clerkship Apps, Some Federal Judges Don’t Look at All of Them

Posted Jan 19, 2010 4:51 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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After news of an avalanche of online applications for federal judicial clerkships, it occurred to one reporter to wonder how judges and their staffs were finding time to look at all of them.

The answer: Some don't. Although the Online System for Clerkship Application and Review allows judges to sort applications by characteristics such as law school and law journal experience, a number of judges prefer to look only at applications from individuals who come recommended by others they know or review mailed applications only, reports the New Jersey Law Journal in an article reprinted by New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

A 66 percent increase in the number of online applications for federal judicial clerkships last year was fueled by a record number of law graduates seeking jobs that traditionally have been largely the focus of law students, as detailed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post.

Because of the difficult economy, they are "part of a small army of accomplished lawyers who are unable to find work in the private sector who are seeking work in the public sector," U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman tells the New Jersey Law Journal. He sits in Camden, N.J.

Slightly more than 400,000 applications were made for 1,244 clerkships, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. However, many applicants submitted dozens of applications.

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