supreme court 1.jpgIf you’re wondering where your favorite October Term 2005 Supreme Court clerk wound up — like, for example, this Kathryn Judge groupie — the National Law Journal has the answers. Check out this juicy article (free access):

Latham & Watkins is the “in” spot this year for recent U.S. Supreme Court clerks leaving the rarified atmosphere of the highest court in the land for the hands-on practice of law.

The firm, home to more than 1,900 attorneys in 22 offices in the United States and abroad, hired six clerks from the October 2005 term — the largest number of hires from a single term by a single law firm in recent years.

Here are the six Lathamites:

Three of the six clerks hired by Latham are going to Washington: Lori Alvino (Ruth Bader Ginsburg), Dan Kearney (Roberts) and Jeff Pojanowski (Anthony M. Kennedy). Two are going to San Francisco: [Benjamin] Horwich (O’Connor / Alito) and Kathryn Judge (Stephen G. Breyer). And Dan Lenerz (John Paul Stevens) is going to San Diego.

As any owner of an NBA team can tell you, talent doesn’t come cheap. You could buy a nice house with the bonus money bestowed upon those six clerks:

[Latham partner] Richard Bress said that his firm paid the market-level hiring bonus for U.S. Supreme Court clerks — about $200,000 [per clerk] — and considers the money well spent. “We’ve found they can come in and immediately operate at a very high level,” said Bress.

High enough to earn out that bonus, plus the standard six-figure salary paid to an associate of the relevant seniority level? We have our doubts.
But let’s not look at this through an economic lens. The ability to boast of having a SCOTUS clerk at your firm — plus, of course, the ability to boss around said SCOTUS clerk — is priceless.*
(We recommend the full NLJ article to you. It also reports on clerks who have gone to other firms, legal academia, and government posts.)
* Of course, you can’t really abuse that power too much. If you force Supreme Court clerks to sully their hands with, say, document review, they may spread the word among the Elect that you’re a horrible place to work — and you’ll never bag another SCOTUS clerk again.
Latham is the ‘in’ spot for high court clerks [National Law Journal]


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