Clerkship Study Tables 46-66

Courting Clerkships:
The NALP Judicial Clerkship Study

Table 46. Demographics of Alumni Law Clerk Survey Respondents
Table 47. Courts Represented by Alumni Law Clerk Survey Respondents
Table 48. Comparison of Demographics by Type of Court
Table 49. Comparison of Demographics by Level of Court
Table 50. Comparison of Demographics by Court Combination
Table 51. Comparison of Demographics by Status of Judge
Table 52. Characteristics or Activities in Law School
Table 53. Importance of Factors or Student Characteristics in Judges' Selection of Law Clerks
Table 54. Factors Influencing Decision to Apply for a Clerkship
Table 55. Factors Influencing Decision to Apply to Particular Courts
Table 56. Factors Influencing Selection of Judges to Whom to Apply
Table 57. Effect of Costs Related to Application Process on Choices
Table 58. Skills the Clerkship Helped to Enhance or Develop
Table 59. Comparison of Development of Skills by Type of Court
Table 60. Relationships/Contacts the Clerkship Helped to Enhance or Develop
Table 61. Comparison of Development of Relationships by Type of Court
Table 62. Comparison of Working Relationship with Judge by Type of Court
Table 63. Rating of Overall Clerkship Experience
Table 64. Current Career Plans Following Clerkship
Table 65. Effect of Clerkship on Success in Obtaining Post-Clerkship Position
Table 66. Comparison of Ease/Degree of Success in Handling Duties by Type of Court


Table 46. Demographics of Alumni Law Clerk Survey Respondents

 

Percent

Number

Overall

100.0%

931

Gender:

    Men

462

50.1

    Women

460

49.9

Race/ethnicity:

    American Indian

5

0.6

    Asian/Pacific Islander

44

5.4

    African American/Black

24

2.7

    White

797

88.6

    Hispanic

20

2.2

    Other

10

1.1

Age:

    20-25

131

14.3

    26-30

627

68.2

    31-35

112

12.2

    36 and older

49

5.3

Sexual orientation:

    Heterosexual

872

96.8

    Other

29

3.2

Disability Status:

    Not disabled

886

98.2

    Disabled

16

1.8

Note: Counts of individual categories do not add to the total because some respondents did not provide the information requested.

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Table 47. Courts Represented by Alumni Law Clerk Survey Respondents

Level/Type of Court

Number Responding

Percent Responding

Federal Appellate

206

22.3%

Federal Trial

303

32.8

Local Trial

12

1.3

State Appellate

132

14.3

State Trial

243

26.3

Other

27

2.9

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Table 48. Comparison of Demographics by Type of Court

 

Federal

State

Local

Other (Agency)

Overall

56.7%

41.1%

1.5%

1.2%

Gender:

    Women

45.6

54.1

71.4

72.7

    Men

54.4

45.9

28.6

27.3

Age:

    20-25 years

12.7

16.9

7.7

0.0

    26-30 years

71.0

65.0

53.8

72.7

    31-35 years

12.1

11.4

23.1

27.3

    36 and older

4.3

6.6

15.2

0.0

Sexual Orientation:

    Heterosexual

96.4

97.3

100.0

90.9

    Other

3.6

2.7

0.0

9.1

Race/Ethnicity:

    American Indian/Alaska Native

0.2

0.8

0.0

0.0

    Asian/Pacific Islander

6.0

3.2

0.0

9.1

    Black/African American

2.0

3.2

14.3

0.0

    Caucasian

88.2

89.5

85.7

90.1

    Hispanic/Latino

2.4

2.2

0.0

0.0

    Other

1.2

1.1

0.0

0.0

Disability Status:

    Not Disabled

98.2

98.4

92.9

100.0

    Disabled

2.8

1.61

7.1

0.0

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Table 49. Comparison of Demographics by Level of Court

 

Appellate

Trial

District

Magistrate

Bankruptcy

Admin. Law Judge

Other

Overall

36.8%

19.8%

36.7%

2.1%

1.2%

0.2%

2.1%

Gender:

    Women

48.3

59.3

43.5

72.0

60.0

66.7

63.2

    Men

51.6

40.7

56.5

28.0

40.0

33.3

36.8

Age:

    20-25 years

13.5

20.0

11.9

8.0

33.3

0.0

10.5

    26-30 years

67.1

62.8

73.8

60.0

46.7

100.0

68.4

    31-35 years

13.5

11.1

10.7

16.0

6.7

0.0

21.1

    36 and older

6.0

6.1

3.6

16.0

13.3

0.0

0.0

Sexual Orientation:

    Heterosexual

95.7

97.2

97.6

100.0

100.0

100.0

94.4

    Other

4.3

2.8

2.4

0.0

0.0

0.0

5.6

Race/Ethnicity:

    American Indian/Alaska Native

0.6

0.6

0.0

4.6

0.0

0.0

0.0

    Asian/Pacific Islander

4.9

3.9

5.4

0.0

6.7

0.0

5.6

    Black/African American

2.1

2.8

3.3

0.0

6.7

0.0

0.0

    Caucasian

88.1

88.1

90.0

81.8

86.7

100.0

88.9

    Hispanic/Latino

2.1

2.8

1.2

13.6

0.0

0.0

5.6

    Other

2.1

1.7

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Disability Status:

    Not Disabled

98.5

98.9

97.6

100.0

100.0

100.0

94.4

    Disabled

1.5

1.1

2.4

0.0

0.0

0.0

5.6

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Table 50. Comparison of Demographics by Court Combination

 

Total #

Federal Appellate

Federal Trial

State Appellate

State Trial

Local Trial

Other Court

Overall

923

22.3%

32.8%

14.3%

26.3%

1.3%

2.9%

Gender:

    Women

456

44.5

46.0

54.2

53.7

75.0

66.7

    Men

458

55.5

54.0

45.8

46.3

25.0

33.3

Age:

    20-25 years

130

12.9

12.6

14.5

18.3

9.1

7.4

    26-30 years

622

70.2

71.4

61.8

66.7

54.5

70.4

    31-35 years

110

12.4

11.6

15.3

9.2

18.2

22.2

    36 and older

49

4.5

4.3

8.4

5.8

18.2

0.0

Sexual Orientation:

    Heterosexual

864

95.9

96.9

95.4

98.3

100.0

92.3

    Other

29

4.1

3.0

4.6

1.7

0.0

7.7

Race/Ethnicity:

    American Indian/Alaska Native

4

0.0

0.3

1.5

0.4

0.0

0.0

    Asian/Pacific Islander

43

7.2

5.4

1.5

3.8

0.0

7.7

    Black/African American

24

1.0

2.7

3.8

3.0

16.7

0.0

    Caucasian

791

86.7

88.8

90.0

89.8

83.3

88.5

    Hispanic/Latino

20

2.6

2.4

1.5

2.1

0.0

3.8

    Other

10

2.6

0.3

1.5

0.8

0.0

0.0

Disability Status:

    Not Disabled

879

98.4

98.0

98.5

98.7

91.7

96.4

    Disabled

16

1.5

2.0

1.5

1.3

8.3

3.8

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Table 51. Comparison of Demographics by Status of Judge

 

Active Judge

Senior Judge

Chief Judge

Overall

74.9%

15.1%

9.9%

Gender:

    Women

50.9

42.1

49.4

    Men

49.1

57.9

50.5

Age:

    20-25 years

13.1

16.3

14.1

    26-30 years

68.1

69.5

66.3

    31-35 years

12.6

8.5

13.0

    36 and older

5.5

5.7

6.5

Sexual Orientation

    Heterosexual

97.5

96.4

95.4

    Other

2.5

3.6

4.6

Race/Ethnicity

    American Indian/Alaska Native

0.3

0.7

1.2

    Asian/Pacific Islander

4.8

6.5

0.0

    Black/African American

3.2

0.7

1.2

    Caucasian

87.8

90.6

92.9

    Hispanic/Latino

2.3

0.7

4.7

    Other

1.5

0.7

0.0

Disability Status

    Not Disabled

98.4

96.4

96.6

    Disabled

1.6

3.6

3.4

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Table 52. Characteristics or Activities in Law School

Characteristic/Activity

Percentage Responding

Had top grades/high class rank

48.6%

Had been a teaching or research assistant

44.1

On the law review/law journal

44.0

Had significant professional work experience prior to law school

36.2

Participated substantially in the a law clinic

34.6

Did a summer or academic year judicial internship/externship

32.4

Participated in another journal in the law school

30.6

Member of moot court team or barristers union

24.8

Held other advanced degrees

14.1

Had some special connection to a judge

10.9

None of the above

1.7

Based on 930 responses. Percentages add to more than 100 because more than one item could be checked.

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Table 53. Importance of Factors or Student Characteristics in Judges' Selection of Law Clerks

Factor

Extremely Important

Moderately Important

Not Very Important

Academic record

72.0%

25.8%

2.2%

Cover letter

11.9

42.8

45.2

Demographic characteristics (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation)

3.6

32.0

64.3

Evaluation of the interview

81.3

17.8

0.9

Faculty recommendations

35.2

47.1

17.7

Geographic/regional factors

16.1

39.7

44.2

Law clinic experience

3.2

29.2

67.6

Law journal membership

35.0

44.1

20.8

Law school attended

47.1

40.2

12.7

Moot court participation

3.6

36.7

59.6

Prior work experience

17.4

57.5

25.1

Personal character traits

73.3

24.3

2.4

Personal connection to judge

24.0

30.3

45.6

Summer of academic year judicial internship/externship

8.5

33.7

57.8

Writing sample

37.3

42.9

19.8

Other

64.1

15.4

20.5

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Table 54. Factors Influencing Decision to Apply for a Clerkship

Reason

Percent Responding

Desire to gain work the work experience of a clerkship

90.2%

Impact of clerkship on future career

81.5

Discussions with others

66.0

    Lawyers in practice

57.8

    Law students

42.9

    Faculty member

33.1

    Career services professional

21.8

    Other person (parent, mentor, friend)

18.3

    Member of faculty clerkship committee

14.9

Prestige of clerkships

63.8

Academic performance in law school

20.1

Journal/moot court membership

4.9

Programs in the law school

2.7

Based on 926 responses. Note that the secondary reason percentages (indented) are percentages of those who answered the primary reason.

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Table 55. Factors Influencing Decision to Apply to Particular Courts

Factor

Percent Responding

Geographical considerations

70.4%

Level of court — trial/appellate

54.9

Type of court — federal/state/local

47.5

Prestige of court

34.5

Future career plans

30.9

Other

8.4

Specialized subject matter (e.g., bankruptcy, tax, military)

8.2

Financial (e.g., salary, differential in future clerkship bonus)

6.3

Based on 919 responses. Percentages add to more than 100 because more than one item could be checked.

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Table 56. Factors Influencing Selection of Judges to Whom to Apply

Factor

Percent Responding

Reputation of the judge

55.2%

Atmosphere in chambers/working conditions

52.1

Length of clerkship term (one year vs. two years)

33.4

Mentor relationship

27.6

Judicial ideology

24.1

Judge hired clerks from law school before

22.7

Personal connection to judge

11.5

Political affiliation of the judge

11.1

Judge is a graduate of law school

8.7

Special status of the judge (e.g., chief, senior, new appointee)

7.3

Race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability status of the judge

4.5

Status as a "feeder judge" for U.S. Supreme Court

3.3

Based on 866 responses.

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Table 57. Effect of Costs Related to Application Process on Choices

Effect

Percentage Responding

Costs did not affect my choices

66.7%

Applied to fewer judges

17.3

Applied or interviewed primarily with local judges

16.5

Accepted fewer invitations to interview

5.7

Based on 924 responses. Percentages add to more than 100 because more than one item could be checked.

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Table 58. Skills the Clerkship Helped to Enhance or Develop

Skills

Significantly Enhanced

Moderately Enhanced

Not Significantly Enhanced

Did Not Use or Learn

Percent

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Number

Research skills

47.5%

440

47.5%

440

4.9%

45

0.1%

1

Writing/drafting opinions or memoranda

85.3

789

13.7

127

1.0

9

0.0

0

Writing/drafting speeches or articles

8.3

76

16.7

153

21.8

200

53.3

489

Editing skills

42.4

391

47.8

441

7.9

73

1.9

18

Knowledge of court procedure

81.1

750

17.6

163

1.3

12

0.0

0

Knowledge of case law/statutes

65.5

605

32.2

297

2.2

20

0.1

1

Knowledge of administrative matters

26.3

238

29.6

268

20.2

183

23.8

215

Legal reasoning and analysis

61.8

572

35.9

332

2.2

20

0.1

1

Trial advocacy or appellate skills

32.7

302

45.5

420

14.0

129

7.8

72

Settlement techniques

16.1

148

19.6

180

24.3

224

40.0

368

Oral communication

23.8

220

45.7

422

25.3

234

5.1

47

Organizational skills/juggling tasks

32.3

299

43.2

399

22.8

211

1.7

16

Working under pressure/handling deadlines

30.3

281

43.6

404

23.8

220

2.3

21

Professional responsibility/ethics

28.1

259

46.4

428

22.9

211

2.7

25

General legal ability/judgment

62.3

576

36.0

333

1.7

16

0.0

0

General knowledge/experience

67.5

623

30.4

281

1.9

18

0.1

1

Other

71.1

32

11.1

5

13.3

6

4.4

2

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Table 59. Comparison of Development of Skills by Type of Court

Met or Exceeded Expectations

Total Responses

Federal Appellate

Federal Trial

State Appellate

State Trial

Local Trial

Other Court

Overall

Strongly agree

583

58.8%

67.8%

59.1%

66.1%

50.0%

51.8%

63.4%

Somewhat agree

298

33.3

29.9

37.9

29.4

50.0

40.7

32.4

Somewhat disagree

31

6.9

1.7

1.5

3.4

0.0

7.4

3.4

Strongly disagree

7

1.0

0.7

1.5

0.4

0.0

0.0

0.8

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Table 60. Relationships/Contacts the Clerkship Helped to Enhance or Develop

Relationship

Significantly Enhanced

Moderately Enhanced

Not Significantly Enhanced

Did Not Have Contact

Percent

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Number

Your judge

87.3%

807

10.7%

99

1.3%

16

0.2%

2

Other judges

26.4

243

44.3

408

25.5

235

3.8

35

Law clerks in your chambers

71.4

633

13.6

121

3.8

34

11.2

99

Law clerks in other chambers

34.8

321

44.9

414

15.6

144

4.6

42

Administrative staff in your chambers

66.9

614

25.9

238

6.2

57

1.0

9

Staff from other chambers

16.0

147

35.5

326

36.0

330

12.4

114

Court personnel (e.g., Clerks' Office)

31.2

289

36.1

334

28.2

261

4.4

41

Attorneys

19.6

180

30.8

283

26.4

243

23.2

213

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Table 61. Comparison of Development of Relationships by Type of Court

Met or Exceeded Expectations

Total Responses

Federal Appellate

Federal Trial

State Appellate

State Trial

Local Trial

Other Court

Overall

Strongly agree

431

38.4%

46.8%

37.9%

58.7%

58.3%

44.4%

46.8%

Somewhat agree

396

47.3

43.8

50.8

34.2

33.3

44.4

43.0

Somewhat disagree

81

12.8

8.4

9.1

5.4

8.3

11.1

8.8

Strongly disagree

13

1.5

1.0

2.3

1.7

0.0

0.0

1.4

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Table 62. Comparison of Working Relationship with Judge by Type of Court

Met or Exceeded Expectations

Total Responses

Federal Appellate

Federal Trial

State Appellate

State Trial

Local Trial

Other Court

Overall

Strongly agree

573

51.7%

67.7%

54.2%

70.7%

66.7%

52.0%

62.4%

Somewhat agree

253

32.5

25.0

33.6

21.7

16.7

40.0

27.6

Somewhat disagree

72

11.3

6.3

9.2

5.4

16.7

8.0

7.8

Strongly disagree

20

4.4

1.0

2.3

2.1

0.0

0.0

2.2

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Table 63. Rating of Overall Clerkship Experience

Rating*

Percent Responding

10

33.1%

9

32.6

8

20.6

7

8.3

6

1.5

5

1.1

4

0.5

3

1.4

2

0.4

1

0.3

* Former clerks were asked to rate their clerkship experience on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best possible rating. This table is based on 920 responses.

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Table 64. Current Career Plans Following Clerkship

Plan

Percent Responding

Private practice/law firm

60.4%

Government — Federal

7.6

Undecided

7.5

Public interest law

6.6

Another clerkship

6.3

Government — State

4.4

Government — Local

2.3

Non-law

1.3

Academia

1.1

Government

1.0

Additional degree

0.54

In-house lawyer

0.3

Judgeship or other court position

0.0

Based on 921 responses.

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Table 65. Effect of Clerkship on Success in Obtaining Post-Clerkship Position

Response

Percentage Responding

Helped a great deal

46.7%

Helped somewhat

24.4

Did not substantially affect

28.2

Affected negatively

0.6

Based on 634 responses. These percentages represent the portion of respondents who answered the question with an answer other than "unknown."

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Table 66. Comparison of Ease/Degree of Success in Handling Duties by Type of Court

Effect of Clerkship

Total Responses

Federal Appellate

Federal Trial

State Appellate

State Trial

Local Trial

Other Court

Overall

Helped a great deal

129

14.8%

53.6%

42.4%

70.7%

80.0%

57.1%

50.4%

Helped somewhat

103

66.7

37.7

51.5

25.6

20.0

14.3

40.2

Did not substantially affect

23

16.7

8.7

6.1

3.7

0.0

28.6

9.0

Affected negatively

1

1.8

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.4

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