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From Hyderabad to Harvard: How U.S. Law Schools Make Clerking on India's Supreme Court Worthwhile

35 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2014  

Abhinav Chandrachud

Stanford Law School

Date Written: March 24, 2014

Abstract

Since the 1990s, judges of the Supreme Court of India have hired law clerks to help them perform some of their routine tasks. However, while clerkships on the U.S. Supreme Court are considered very prestigious and are extensively written about, clerkships on India’s Supreme Court are considered to be of significantly lower value by the local legal profession and teaching market in India. Instead, ironically, clerkships on the Supreme Court of India are most often pursued by students interested in getting an advanced law degree (usually an LL.M.) at a U.S. law school. Relying on interviews conducted with law clerks and interns who have served on the Supreme Court of India, and using India as a case study, this paper argues that advanced degree programs at elite U.S. law schools, meant for foreign students, have inadvertently encouraged students in other countries to “Americanize” themselves by doing the things that stellar American law students do.

Suggested Citation

Chandrachud, Abhinav, From Hyderabad to Harvard: How U.S. Law Schools Make Clerking on India's Supreme Court Worthwhile (March 24, 2014). HLS Program on the Legal Profession Research Paper No. 2014-15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2413576 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2413576

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