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As the new millennium dawned, the market for federal judicial law clerks was in a state of near crisis. The final two clerkship applicants and federal appellate judge quoted above, as well as many others like them, expressed deep and wide-ranging concerns with the functioning of this market in 1998-2000. In an attempt to gain some control of the market, in March of 2002 a group of prominent federal appellate judges organized a one-year moratorium on the hiring of federal judicial law clerks; federal judges were requested to skip hiring entirely in 2002 and were then to resume hiring in the fall of 2003, with the primary pool of candidates the third-year law students who under past practice would have been hired as second-year students in the fall of 2002. Likewise, in subsequent years judges were to hire students during the fall of their third year of law school. This new system for the hiring of clerks is presently structured around a set of "start dates" for the transmission of applications, the scheduling and conducting of interviews, and the making of offers.
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