I'd prefer to not reveal which judge I worked for and what cases I worked on (which would easily identify the judge). But other than that, ask me whatever.

Comments: 94 • Responses: 15  • Date: 

FourCounters10 karma

In your humble opinion, how corrupt is the legal system from you POV?

JudgesBitch48 karma

I don't think the judiciary is corrupt. Judges are usually lawyers who have made their money and now want to give back. They have a high view of the profession and what their role is, and would frankly be insulted by anything unethical. I think the biggest problem is with the making of laws, where lawmakers carve out loopholes for their friends. Judges don't change rules, just interpret them.

NinjaPW9 karma

What does your typical day look like? For example when do you wake up and when do you go to sleep. And everything in between. Particularly interested in your work life balance.

JudgesBitch3 karma

It will depend on how the caseload is, but in general my work was not as stressful as my colleagues in the private sector.I would usually get into work around 8 and leave at 5:30 or 6.

Roninspoon9 karma

Did your judge ever team up with a race car driving excon to track down and solve the cases he couldn't in the court room? If so, what was the deal with gambling on cars exploding?

JudgesBitch12 karma

Only once, but I vowed never to speak of that incident again.

bad_jew8 karma

Take us through how you work on a case. Does the judge tell you how she wants to rule and leave it to you how to justify it, or does she come in with the exact cases and laws she wants to make his decision with. How much flexibility do you have in creating the logic of the decision?

JudgesBitch14 karma

I would start by reading the documents that the parties had filed. Then I would find out what the applicable law is. The parties are supposed to say what the law is in their briefs, but they will frame it in a way that favors their side, so I would try and distill it down to what it really is. Then I would write a summary of it for the judge and what my thoughts were. Whether the law applies will depend on the facts in the case, so if there are factual issues, then we have to work with the parties (conference, hearing whatever) to figure out the facts. Ultimately, the judge decides what the law means and whether the facts fit the law. I give recommendations, but the judge doesn't have to follow them.

captainali4 karma

Do you think that judges are actually appointed or voted for based on credentials or simply for partisan reasons?

JudgesBitch7 karma

I think it is a combination. Judges who are able to make themselves shine can get appointed. That can be done by either being an amazing judge that really stands out, or by knowing all the right people so that they can speak on your behalf. But the vast majority of the time, it is a combination of both; even if you know all the right people, they'll have a much easier time selling your qualifications if you're actually decent.

OrganizingForMoloch2 karma

Have you witnessed cases/verdicts that followed the law but upset your sense of morality?

JudgesBitch7 karma

Yes, there were sometimes where I felt that one side clearly had a valid issue but they were barred in some way from pursuing their claim.

lmdmx2 karma

How do you stop yourself from being bias in a case?

What's the most severe sentence you've given?

Do you ever feel guilt or pity for the convicts?

JudgesBitch4 karma

Being biased how? Normally we have not met the parties or anything like that when we first read the complaint and the response, so our first impression of the case is their argument. And there are multiple clerks in the office, in addition to the judge. So even if I was biased in my work, then those other clerks and the judge would also go over my work.

rendeld2 karma

I'm sure you are a fan of legal writing at this point, what SCOTUS Judges writing do you admire most and why?

JudgesBitch6 karma

In terms of writing style, I enjoy Kennedy opinions. He is eloquent and lofty and his high-minded ideals of what a judge should do really permeate his writing. I particularly dislike Scalia, who can be snide, rude, and insulting in his opinions.

EdrawdSnowden1 karma

What is your least favorite part of working for a jugde?

JudgesBitch9 karma

Constantly doing the same thing over and over again. Writing a draft, getting it edited, rewriting it, then getting it edited again, over and over. We have to be meticulous in our writing so everything has to be very carefully checked, multiple times.

EdrawdSnowden1 karma

What would happen if you got a little sloppy and some spelling erorrs made it through? Like would pepole go to jail or would it be ok?

JudgesBitch5 karma

It would depend on what the error was; if it was something very significant, like a case precedent used improperly or something, then it could be used to question the judge's decision in a higher court. But I think that most of it is just for the judge's reputation; no one wants to be known for putting out inferior work. Because the cases are cited to later, you know that people will read the writing and will see the error.

chucktownmafia0 karma

I have learned that the whole mandatory minimum thing is bs ..judges can overturn that if they want to. .what is your stance on drug dealing. I think feds prosecute it when the income is a great enough amount that they want their fair share of taxes from it and they get jealous and that's why its illegal. Are u for or againt war on drugs

JudgesBitch11 karma

I think mandatory minimums in general are a bad idea, because many cases are fact specific and really depend on the circumstances and what the person has done. They prevent the judge from being biased (consciously or subconsciously) and awarding tougher sentences on some than others. There are lots of statistical studies done that show higher sentences for racial minorities, and laws like mandatory minimums try to limit a judge's discretion to let someone off.

I think that alleging that the feds prosecute someone for income is, frankly, bullshit. Conducting a court case is expensive. If they were prosecuting for the money, no one would ever touch drug cases, and would go for political corruption cases, white collar crimes and securities violations.

I am against the war on drugs; it's wasteful and misguided.

Quonsoe000 karma

I am currently going to be starting law school in the fall and would like to try to obtain a federal clerkship when I graduate. Is there any advice that you can give that would help someone follow the same path that you did?

JudgesBitch6 karma

Learn legal writing. Start right now. Most of what clerks do is writing, so a judge isn't going to hire you if you're not good at it.

Also, go to a good school. Judges can be pretty snobby when selecting their clerks. But if you're starting in the fall then you've already decided on your school.

talltroll30 karma

Has being a clerk made you more or less interested in being a judge vs a lawyer? Explain. Thank you!

JudgesBitch3 karma

It did not really change my opinion either way. I would love to be a judge someday.

Kiwi8080 karma

do you regret it? (I basically pulled out my clerkship applications when I got hired at a big firm. I tell myself that I made the right decision, but some ppl say I made a bad decision.)

JudgesBitch11 karma

I absolutely loved working there and I am very glad that I did. My judge was awesome and really helped me with everything. I think that my writing and research improved, and I am terrible at networking so it was great to have him to introduce me to people and kind of take me under his wing.

paravescheno0 karma


JudgesBitch1 karma

I've never worked for a defense lawyer.