Penn Law School Is More Conservative Than You Thought

Of the top 11 Supreme Court clerk-producing schools, only Virginia graduates are more conservative, per an analysis.

A new analysis by FiveThirtyEight of Supreme Court clerks shows that Penn has some of the most conservative Supreme Court clerks of any elite school in the country.

Of the top 11 clerk-producing schools — Penn is tied for 10th with Northwestern — only the University of Virginia has more conservative clerks. The chart does show that all schools produce a wide range of conservative and liberal clerks.

Oliver Roeder writes:

We can now calculate that Columbia grads tend to clerk for justices of this ideological type, and Stanford grads for that type, and so on. And while we’re not measuring clerk ideology directly, there is strong evidence that, for better or worse, justices prefer clerks with ideologies similar to their own. Clarence Thomas has said: “I won’t hire clerks who have profound disagreements with me. It’s like trying to train a pig. It wastes your time, and it aggravates the pig.”

The school with the most liberal law clerks is, of course, Berkeley.