The Hiring and Utilization of Federal District Court Law Clerks
Todd C. Peppers
Micheal W. Giles
Emory University - Department of Political Science
Washington and Lee School of Law
While a number of recent books and articles have closely examined the hiring and utilization of United States Supreme Court law clerks, much less is known about the selection and employment of lower federal court law clerks. This lack of knowledge is particularly pronounced for federal district court law clerks, and the shortage of basic information about such law clerks, combined with the large number of cases processed each year by the federal district courts, suggests that a careful study of federal district court law clerks is long overdue. Using original survey data of 311 active and senior federal district court judges, we take the first step in delineating the institutional rules and norms surrounding the selection and use of law clerks in the federal district courts. Our findings reveal that federal district court judges assign their law clerks a number of substantive job duties, findings which raise important new questions about law clerk influence in the lower federal courts.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 27
Keywords: law courts, federal courts
JEL Classification: C80working papers series
Date posted: October 19, 2007 ; Last revised: October 23, 2007
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