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The latest plan for fixing the system for hiring federal judicial law clerks has gained more support. On March 28, the board of directors of the American Law Deans Association (ALDA) endorsed the proposal, which commits appeals judges not to start recruiting for clerks until a candidate’s third year of law school. The deans said they would discourage law students from applying and professors from providing references before the third year. The plan, initiated by Judge Harry Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Edward Becker, had already won the support or acquiescence of nearly 200 federal appeals judges. “We note that previous efforts by judges and schools to address this problem have unraveled” because judges, faculty, and students jumped the gun, wrote University of Michigan Law School Dean Jeffrey Lehman in a letter on behalf of the ALDA. Lehman wrote that the deans “bear a special responsibility” to adhere to the new plan even if they hear of people who fail to do so.

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