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September 22, 2005



Uh... Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson? He's in Charlottesville, and I'm pretty sure it's not a top 10 city.

Th. Br.

Don't forget about the very smart and courteous Diana Murphy (8th cir.) of Minneapolis!


I would like to second the listing of Judge Michael. Working for him was, without a doubt, the best law-related job I ever had (and I've had many).

A friend of mine had the best year of her life clerking in Boise, Idaho, for the fabulous Judge Trott...


Don't forget about Judge Selya (1st Cir.) in Providence, RI--a great judge with a fantastic clerkship.


I'd add two -- Judge Wesley of the Second Circuit, whose chambers are in Geneseo, NY, and Judge Pryor of the Eleventh Circuit, whose chambers are in Birmingham, AL.


Stefan Underhill (D. Conn.) is fantastic. Totally smart -- Rhodes Scholar, YLS, former Newman (2d Cir.) clerk -- and a super guy. His clerks rave about him and the praise is completely warranted. He is a great judge.


Speaking of the Arnolds, do check out this article:


Richard Arnold was indeed very intelligent; he won the Fay Diploma (i.e., graduated first in his class from Harvard) in 1960 (putting him in the same HLS class as -- and academically ahead of -- Justice Scalia). I believe Arnold was also at the top of his class at Yale College and Phillips Exeter.

Happy Fun Lawyer

New Haven (CT) is home to three of the brightest lights of the federal judiciary: Second Circuit Chief Judge John Walker, Jr. and Circuit Judges Guido Calabresi and Jose Cabranes. Of course, there's a pretty obvious reason for such an impressive array of talent residing in New Haven, but it's notable nonetheless. And the rest of the teeny tiny Nutmeg State is also disproportionately represented: there's Judge Newman in Hartford, Judge Parker in Stamford, and Judge Meskill in New Britain.


I'm glad you mentioned Judge M.S. Arnold. He is, imho, the most underrated federal judge. There's no doubt if he were in a "sexier" circuit like the 7th or 9th, he'd been mentioned in the same breath as Posner and Easterbrook. His opinions are clearly written (and short!), and he avoids pretense. Plus, he always gets the law right. Like his late brother (and unlike some other more popular jurists), he appeals to reason rather than authority.

Sadly, becoming a popular federal judge requires someone to write flashy catch-phrases or mention economics. The judges who actually labor in the law rarely get props.


Judge Paul J. Kelly, Jr. of the Tenth Circuit is located in Santa Fe, N.M. and has to be included in this list. He has a reputation for treating his clerks way better than they deserve. Not only do you learn a ton and get to work with a great legal mind, you have a ton of fun doing it. No offense to Judge Ebel, but anyone who has clerked for the Tenth Circuit knows Judge Kelly's clerks have the good life.


Though Ohioans may consider Columbus to be a major city, most Americans don't. Former classmates from U Chicago have nothing but great things to say about working for him.

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