Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Circuit Judge Edward Becker, and Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi deserve kudos for helping to craft, implement, and publicize an efficacious solution to the increasing difficulties engendered by the selection of federal judicial law clerks. The jurists' essay, The Federal Judicial Law Clerk Hiring Problem and the Modest March 1 Solution, which recently appeared in the Yale Law Journal, is a must read for all those who participate in the process of law clerk hiring.
The concerted efforts of Justice Breyer and Judges Becker and Calabresi have apparently succeeded in bringing considerable order out of chaos, judging from the first two years following the implementation of the "March 1 Solution." My purposes here, however, are to illustrate how the March 1 Solution may unfairly favor judges, law schools and students situated on the coastlines, particularly the Northeast corridor between Washington, D.C. and Boston, and to explore certain measures which could limit those advantages. I offer these mid-continental perspectives on clerkship hiring at the risk of appearing populist or insufficiently grateful for the three judges' valuable contributions.
First, I briefly describe the recent essay written by Justice Breyer and Judges Becker and Calabresi, emphasizing the March 1 Solution. My response then evaluates the substantial benefits that judges and students located on the seaboards have traditionally enjoyed and how the Solution accentuates those advantages. Many federal judges presently consider unpalatable the most obvious change, namely an autumn benchmark starting date, which might reduce those benefits. I offer several recommendations for ameliorating this situation.
Carl Tobias, Forum, Stuck Inside the Heartland With Those Coastline Clerking Blues Again, 1995 Wis. L. Rev. 919