Here’s a twist on clerkship bonus news, from a reader:
With all the talk about rising bonuses for domestic clerkships, I was wondering if any firms were extending bonuses for foreign clerkships. I am clerking at a major foreign supreme court in a common law country and my BigLaw firm says it only offers bonuses for US or Canadian clerkships.
So, does anyone know if firms that provide bonuses for foreign clerkships? We’re not really aware of any. But if anyone can help out this reader, please pass along info in the comments.
Since we’re smack dab in the middle of clerkship application season, let’s turn the spotlight to clerkly compensation and benefits. We hear that some changes may be in the works. From a tipster:
[H]ave you heard anything about progress on a proposal to end/limit/change the salary “matching” program for federal clerks with private sector experience? Several judges I interviewed with mentioned that the salaries for clerks coming from jobs in the private sector (e.g., after a year or more working for a firm) are in flux pending a proposal to eliminate or change the bump that clerks coming from (higher paying) private sector jobs traditionally receive. My understanding is that these clerks traditionally received an increase in their step level within the applicable salary grade. Supposedly a decision on this issue was expected in September.
As a matter of fact, yes, we have. Nothing definitive. But more discussion appears after the jump.
As noted yesterday, we’re smack in the middle of clerkship hiring season. Perhaps some of you are applying to judges based in Miami. Clerking in a tropical paradise — what’s not to like?
Possibly deadly toxic mold, that’s what. From an article by Julie Kay in the Daily Business Review (via SDFLA Blog):
Two studies performed at the historic David W. Dyer federal courthouse in downtown Miami show there are significant mold and air safety issues at one of Miami-Dade County’s oldest courthouses and suggest parts of the building are beyond repair.
The studies… were commissioned by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida after U.S. Magistrate Judge Ted Klein became ill and died last year of a mysterious respiratory illness, and his fellow magistrate judges raised concerns about the building’s environment.
It’s September, which means that it’s clerkship application season. According to the law clerk hiring plan — which some judges follow, and some judges don’t — today’s the first day federal judges can call to set up clerkship interviews with current law students.
You can find out where various courts and judges are in the hiring process over at the Clerkship Notification Blog. But they may be having some issues, according to one tipster:
[T]he Clerkship Notification Blog appears to have no posts on it today at all. People on XOXO are saying that the clerkship blog started moderating comments just yesterday, meaning that no comment shows up until the blog owners approve it first. See here and here.
Kind of defeats the whole point of getting information out there quickly, doesn’t it? What the hell are they thinking over there?
Not too long ago, we said we had a “gut feeling” that some Supreme Court clerk hiring was going on (despite the Court being in recess). We were right.
Meet Porter Wilkinson. And don’t hate her because she’s beautiful. Or brilliant. Or rich. Or the daughter of a top feeder judge and frequent Supreme Court short-lister, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson (4th Cir.).
Or, for that matter, a future Supreme Court clerk. We hear that Judge Wilkinson’s daughter — yes, Porter is a girl’s name, if you’re a WASP — just landed an October Term 2008 clerkship with Chief Justice John Roberts. Congratulations, Porter!
Not surprisingly, we hear that the young Ms. Wilkinson is fairly conservative — in case you couldn’t have guessed that from the fact that she’s currently clerking for Judge Brett Kavanaugh (D.C. Cir.) (alongside the lovely, and recently married, Zina Gelman).
And where did we hear about Porter’s politics? From Judge Wilkinson himself!
In late July, we attended the excellent national convention of the American Constitution Society, in Washington, DC. Judge Wilkinson was on one of the panels. In thanking the ACS for inviting him, he noted that his son is a member of the liberal organization — but that he’s balanced out by his sister Porter, a card-carrying member of the Federalist Society. We bet the Wilkinsons must have interesting dinner table conversations.
Porter Wilkinson continues the trend of fathers and daughters who both clerked for the Court (as noted by Tony Mauro). See here. Update: A tipster tells us, “FYI, Porter was an All-American lacrosse player at UNC. See here. Her husband [Christian Cook] was lacrosse Defenseman of the Year at Princeton and three-time national champion. Formerly of the Secret Service. See here. They got married this past summer in Charlottesville.”
With Porter Wilkinson added, the current list of OT 2008 clerks thus far appears after the jump. Graduation Awards: Four in the Class of 2007: Porter Wilkinson [Virginia Law] Carter Phillips’ Kin Is Alito Clerk [Legal Times]
We realize that it’s still summer. Many of the justices are still traipsing around Europe (or hanging out in the Hampshire, as in the case of Justice David Souter).
It’s also the last week of August, leading into the Labor Day holiday weekend – traditionally one of the slowest, most dead weeks of the year. As some of you have noticed, we’ve been phoning it in taking it easy here at ATL, too.
But even though nothing is supposed to be happening, it appears that some things are afoot. We’ve been hearing all sorts of cryptic rumors about recent Supreme Court clerk hiring. As former SCOTUS clerk Michael Chertoff might say, we have a “gut feeling” that some hiring has been going on.
Our last open thread on this subject didn’t yield much, but that was over a month ago. Have you heard any Supreme Court clerk hiring news that hasn’t already appeared on ATL? If so, please contact us, by email (subject line: “Supreme Court clerk hiring”). (You can also post a comment, but we prefer email for this subject, so we can pose follow-up questions to you if we have them.)
Thanks for any and all info!
A week has passed since our last bit of clerkship bonus news.
Have you heard anything on this subject that we haven’t previously reported? If so, please note it in the comments, or email us (subject line: “Clerkship Bonus Watch”). Bonus question: With respect to the Dewey Ballantine / LeBoeuf Lamb merger, whose clerkship bonus policy will the new entity adopt? Dewey pays a flat $50,000 clerkship bonus, while LeBoeuf pays a $50K bonus for one clerkship and a $70K bonus for two years of clerkship experience.
To all of you who have been complaining about the clerkship bonus policy of Latham & Watkins, the firm has heard your pleas. And it has taken action. But if you’re starting at the firm in 2007, you might not reap the benefits of your whining advocacy.
An LW offeree passed along this information to us:
Beginning in 2008, L & W will award on year of partnership progression credit plus $50,000 to clerks at federal court, the highest court in any state and the District of Columbia, and Delaware Chancery Courts. The firm will pay $70,000 to attorneys who clerk for more than one year in eligible clerkships.
We contacted a firm spokesman for confirmation. His comments appear after the jump. Update: Also after the jump, for those of you who are curious: Latham & Watkins’s Policies, Benefits & Compensation for US-Based Associates.
Sidley has just announced that they have raised clerkship bonuses to $50k! YES!
We’ve confirmed this raise with sources at the firm. So you can treat it as confirmed. Update (2:55 PM): In response to some follow-up questions from us, the firm’s D.C. hiring partner, Joseph Guerra, explained:
“It applies to all domestic offices, and the bonus is the same for a one-year clerkship, a two-year clerkship or two one-year clerkships (provided one of the two isn’t a Supreme Court clerkship).”
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!
The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.