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The Judicial Clerkship Selection Process: An Applicant's Perspective on Bad Apples, Sour Grapes, and Fruitful Reform

Trenton H. Norris
California Law Review
Vol. 81, No. 3 (May, 1993), pp. 765-800
DOI: 10.2307/3480943
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3480943
Page Count: 36
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The Judicial Clerkship Selection Process: An Applicant's Perspective on Bad Apples, Sour Grapes, and Fruitful Reform
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Abstract

Judges have both criticized and praised the chaos that is the judicial clerkship process, and many have for years attempted to reform it. This essay by a recent law school graduate provides an applicant's perspective and recommendations for reform. The author analyzes the current unstructured process and criticizes its failure to fully account for the preferences of judges and students, as well as to mitigate the costs to students and the public. In place of the current process, the author sides with proponents of a computerized matching system, like that used to place medical students at hospitals, and discusses its practical implications. Furthermore, noting that past efforts aimed at reform have failed due primarily to lack of adequate enforcement, the author concludes that Congress has both the constitutional authority and the public duty to require judges to use a more rational process to select clerks.

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