Diversity and Federal Law Clerks
According to recent statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (May 2, 2012), efforts in improving diversity among federal court law clerks have not helped. (http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202551008298&slreturn=1) The percentage of clerks who reported as African American or Hispanic has stayed the same for the past fiscal year. The report noted that between 2006 and 2010, African American clerk numbers have decreased dramatically from 3.5% to 2.4% for 2011 and 2012. Similarly, Hispanic clerk numbers in the same period have dropped from 3.1% to 2%. Despite efforts of members of Congress, the Court has continued to refuse to tally or report its ethnic makeup. Julia Gibbons, chairwoman of the U.S. Judicial Conference’s budget committee, stated that the Court recognizes the need for diversity, and they will continue to “keep plugging at it.” The article recognizes a large problem with increasing diversity among clerks is the pipeline into clerkship is small, with minorities either receiving fewer educational opportunities or taking firm jobs to pay down law school debt.