D.C. Circuit Clerkships: Who is Still Hiring?

by Aaron Nielson — Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016@Aaron_L_Nielson

I have written more than my share about clerkship hiring and the collapse of the national hiring plan.* Long story short, about three years ago, the D.C. Circuit abandoned the plan because it had become an open secret that judges and applicants around the country were not abiding by it. Following the D.C. Circuit’s decision, the plan formally collapsed. The upshot is that although there is now much less standardization in the hiring process, at least there is not a false façade of standardization. My motto when it comes to clerkship hiring is this: “If we can’t have order, we can at least have transparency.”

Clerkship applicants, therefore, should be on notice that many judges have already hired clerks for 2017, and many others will begin to do so shortly. This means that if you want to clerk, you should apply very, very soon—if you haven’t already. To illustrate, based on a quick glance at OSCAR, only the following D.C. Circuit judges might even still be hiring for 2017-18:

Judge A. Raymond Randolph

Judge Cornelia Pillard

Judge David Tatel

Judge Douglas Ginsburg

For 2018-19, the following judges have posted openings (and some have begun hiring):

Judge Thomas Griffith

Judge Brett Kavanaugh

Judge Patricia Millett

Judge Cornelia Pillard

Judge Srikanth Srinivasan

Judge Stephen Williams

(Judges Brown, Henderson, and Rogers also might still be accepting applications by mail for 2017-18, but their OSCAR profiles don’t specify.)

Hopefully this post will serve as a helpful reminder to clerkship applicants, law school career services offices, and recommenders that the clock is ticking.

* See The Future of Federal Law Clerk Hiring and Reflections on the End of the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan.

This entry was categorized in D.C. Circuit Review and tagged .

About Aaron Nielson

Professor Nielson is an associate professor at Brigham Young University Law School, where he teaches and writes in the areas of administrative law, civil procedure, federal courts, and antitrust. He currently serves as a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a federal agency that studies the administrative process and makes recommendations on ways to improve it. He also co-chairs the Rulemaking Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice. Previously he chaired the Section's Antitrust & Trade Regulation Committee. Before joining the academy, Professor Nielson was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP (where he remains of counsel). He also has served as a law clerk to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Follow him on Twitter @Aaron_L_Nielson.

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