On Monday, the annual hiring cycle begins for perhaps the most prestigious starting job in the American legal world — the federal judicial clerkship. On that day, judges start picking law students (or recent graduates) as clerks to help them conduct research, talk through cases and draft briefs. Because a federal clerkship is an all-but-essential qualification for a U.S. attorney, law professor, federal judge or partner at a white-shoe law firm, these one- or two-year posts are highly coveted. How they are doled out shapes the legal profession for decades.
Yet female law students must approach the clerkship hiring process with a concern their male counterparts may not. Despite multiple revelations of sexual harassment involving federal judges, applicants today have no reliable way of knowing whether they are walking into a hostile environment. Those best placed to help them — their own law schools — do too little to help, despite valiant efforts by some professors and deans, who take it on themselves to warn students privately about specific bad actors whenever possible.
It doesn’t have to be that way. The American Bar Association, which is in charge of accrediting law schools, could force schools to develop an information-sharing system to stop judges from harassing or abusing young lawyers before their legal careers even begin.
Read more at The Washington Post