Marquette Law Review
Using original survey data, we explore how federal courts of appeals judges select and use their law clerks—a question that we answered in an earlier article about federal district court clerks. As with that first article, we do not intend to tackle such normative issues as whether courts of appeals law clerks possess too much influence over the judicial process or whether the selection criteria used by these judges is appropriate. What we will present, however, is descriptive data on the criteria that courts of appeals judges use to pick their law clerks as well as the tasks assigned to those clerks. We believe that our findings, namely, that courts of appeals judges delegate substantial job duties to their clerks, should serve as the springboard for a future debate over the wisdom of such delegation.
Todd C. Peppers, Micheal W. Giles & Bridget Tainer-Parkins, Surgeons or Scribes? The Role of United States Court of Appeals Law Clerks in "Appellate Triage", 98 Marq. L. Rev. 313 (2014).