by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A dozen federal judges say they are no longer hiring clerks from Yale Law School, citing a slew of scandals that they say have undermined free speech and intellectual diversity.
In addition to Fifth Circuit judge James Ho, who announced on Thursday that he would no longer hire law clerks from the nation’s top-ranked law school, 12 federal judges—both circuit and district court jurists—told the Washington Free Beacon they are joining the boycott.
“Students should be mindful that they will face diminished opportunities if they go to Yale,” said a prominent circuit court judge, whose clerks have gone on to nab Supreme Court clerkships. “I have no confidence that they’re being taught anything.”
With one exception, the judges made clear this is a policy they are imposing on future—not current—Yale Law School students.
A spokeswoman for the law school did not respond to a request for comment.
If the boycott catches on among other right-leaning judges, it could deal a serious blow to Yale Law School, which has maintained the top spot in the U.S. News and World Report rankings since the publication began ranking law schools in the 1980s. Clerkships, particularly on the federal bench, are coveted jobs in the legal profession, and many students choose Yale over other elite law schools because its graduates have historically had the best shot of clerking for prominent judges. A boycott could change that calculus, forcing Yale administrators to rein in activist students and colleagues if they want to keep attracting the best and brightest—and if they want to maintain even a fig leaf of ideological diversity.
The judges joining the boycott, all of whom requested anonymity in order to speak freely, cited a series of incidents where they say free speech has come under attack at Yale Law. …