Several circuits, I know, get lots of immigration cases. (This 2006 item reports that immigration cases made up 40% of the Ninth Circuit's caseload; I imagine that many of these cases would get handled by staff attorneys, but many end up in the clerks' hands.) Yet my sense is that many incoming law clerks haven't taken immigration law, which is a pretty complicated subject.
This made me wonder: Are there circuit judges who give some preference -- not a huge preference, I'm sure, but some -- to applicants who have shown substantial knowledge of immigration law, for instance by taking a class on the subject and by writing their student Note on it? Obviously, the judges would still expect such applicants to have high grades. But my thought was that some judges might relax their grade standards in some measure if the applicant has this valuable knowledge base. If you know of some such, please mention this in the comments, or e-mail me at volokh at law.ucla.edu. Many thanks!