Percent of UC Irvine Law Students Holding Judicial Clerkships Puts School Among the Nation’s Elite

12-03-2012

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 3,2012—Nearly 36 percent of UC Irvine School of Law’s first graduating class have received coveted judicial clerkships, putting the Law School among the most elite in the country in percentage of clerkships.

Twenty students – or 35.7 percent – of the 56-member inaugural Class of 2012 have obtained federal or state judicial clerkships throughout the country as of Nov. 30.

While 2012 statistics from other law schools are not yet available for comparison, UC Irvine’s clerkship percentage tops that of all other law schools last year. In 2011, 35.1 percent of Yale’s graduating class had clerkships, 25 percent of Stanford’s, and 20.8 percent of Harvard’s, according to statistics compiled by the American Bar Association.

“The impressive strength of our first graduating class is fully evident in the large number of judicial clerkships they’ve received,” said UCI Law’s Dean Erwin Chemerinsky. “These clerkships are among the most highly sought-after jobs a new law graduate can get, and there is a tremendous amount of competition for these spots.”

Fourteen students have clerkship positions with federal district court or appellate court judges, so-called Article III judges with lifetime appointments. Six others will clerk for a justice of the Alaska Supreme Court, a Nevada bankruptcy judge, two California bankruptcy judges, and two U.S. magistrate judges--one in New York and one in Los Angeles. (Four of the 20 students have also accepted clerkships with a second judge in a successive year, bringing the total number of clerkships to 24.)

Law clerks conduct research in cases before the court and help judges write decisions. Their input is often sought on cases, so their potential power is enormous – especially for individuals typically in their mid-20s.

The competition to fill such positions is fierce not only for students but also for judges themselves, who’ve been known to jump the gun on the suggested hiring timeline in order to secure the best students. In addition, top law firms pay big premiums to attract former clerks.

“I applied for clerkships because I learned from former clerks that working for a judge is a wonderful way to gain insight into the judiciary, become exposed to various areas of law, and develop valuable mentor relationships,” said Class of 2012 graduate Jillian Cook, who is clerking for a federal district judge this year and a federal appellate judge next year. “I’m eager to gain experience to supplement what I’ve learned through law school classes and practical training."

The following is a list of federal and state court judges that students in the Class of 2012 will work for:

U.S. COURT OF APPEALS

Andre M. Davis Fourth Circuit Baltimore, MD
Boyce F. Martin Jr. Sixth Circuit Louisville, KY
Gilbert S. Merritt Sixth Circuit Nashville, TN
Thomas M. Reavley Fifth Circuit Houston, TX
Stephen R. Reinhardt Ninth Circuit Los Angeles, CA
Barry G. Silverman Ninth Circuit Phoenix, AZ
Jane B. Stranch Sixth Circuit Nashville, TN

U.S. DISTRICT COURTS

Deborah A. Batts Southern District of New York New York, NY
Cormac J. Carney Central District of California Santa Ana, CA
Andrew J. Guilford Central District of California Santa Ana, CA
John E. Jones III Middle District of Pennsylvania Harrisburg, PA
John A. Mendez Eastern District of California Sacramento, CA
John T. Nixon Middle District of Tennessee Nashville, TN
Dean D. Pregerson Central District of California Los Angeles, CA
Kevin Hunter Sharp Middle District of Tennessee Nashville, TN
C. Lynwood Smith Jr. Northern District of Alabama Huntsville, AL
Josephine Tucker Central District of California Santa Ana, CA
Frances Tydingco-Gatewood District of Guam Hagatna, GU
Magistrate Suzanne Segal Central District of California Los Angeles, CA
Magistrate Sarah Netburn Southern District of New York New York, NY

U.S. BANKRUPTCY COURTS

Catherine E. Bauer Central District of California Santa Ana, CA
Bruce A. Markell District of Nevada Las Vegas, NV
Maureen A. Tighe Central District of California Woodland Hills, CA

STATE SUPREME COURTS

Dana A. Fabe Supreme Court of Alaska Anchorage, AK