Clerkships

Chambermaid 2 Saira Rao Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg(And if you’re REALLY good, we’ll reward you with more Nina Totenberg stories. Ask and you shall receive!)
Another day, another blog post about Chambermaid, the controversial clerkship novel by lawyer-turned-writer Saira Rao. The latest post is by Professor Scott Burris, who clerked for Third Circuit Judge Dolores K. Sloviter — Rao’s former boss, widely rumored to be the basis for the central villain of Chambermaid, the tyrannical Judge Helga Friedman.
But Burris — unlike, say, fellow law prof and ex-Sloviter clerk Mike Rappaport — takes issue with the scuttlebutt equating Sloviter and Friedman:

What I really object to in the whole affair is the way Rao and some of her blogging readers have negotiated the delicate question of Judge Friedman’s correspondence with Judge Sloviter, and the rationale offered in several quarters for “outing” mean judicial bosses….

Aside from a couple of tics, Helga Friendman is not a portrait, nor even a recognizable caricature, of Dolores Sloviter. Hell, I didn’t even recognize Rao’s Center City Philadelphia.

Additional discussion — if this issue doesn’t interest you, just stop reading here — appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Chambermaid: ‘Cause We Know You Want Another Post About This”

Kramer Levin Naftalis Frankel LLP logo Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgFirms continue to raise their clerkship bonuses, although the pace of announcements seems to be slowing.
Here’s the latest addition to the $50K/$70K Club:

“Kramer Levin increased its clerkship bonus to $50,000 for one year and $70,000 for two years. The info is on their NALP page.”

Indeed it is. You can access the firm’s form by running a search on this page.
And if you’re looking for a continually updated compilation of clerkship bonus information, we refer you to this list, over at the Law Clerk Addict blog. Very helpful!
P.S. Random factoid about Kramer Levin: it’s the former Biglaw home of the WSJ Law Blog’s Peter Lattman, who practiced litigation there for two years in the 1990s.
Vault 100 clerkship salary bonus chart [Law Clerk Addict Blog]

plantains bananas fried plantains Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Do you believe in life after law? Five Biglaw escapees — a writer, a baker, a stand-up joke-maker — discuss life on the outside. [New York Observer] [FN1]
* Some helpful clerkship application advice. [Infirmation] [FN2]
* Monica Goodling, to the Lido Deck! [What About Clients?]
* Fun fact of the day: Did you know that Peter Lattman likes fried plantains? [WSJ Law Blog]
[FN1] Yes, this is a shameless plug for the easy-to-miss sidebar to our New York Observer piece from last month.
[FN2] We’re not sure we concur with the view that “[a] generic cover letter is a tragically wasted opportunity.” Having seen some laughably bad “creative” cover letters over the years, we usually recommend a “do no harm” approach. If your application is strong, res ipsa loquitur.

Dewey Ballantine LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgPlease welcome a new member to the $50K Club:

Dewey Ballantine just raised its clerkship bonus. $50K for a federal clerkship or the highest court of any state.”

If you’re aware of any judicial clerkship bonus news that hasn’t previously appeared here, please email us (subject line: “Clerkship Bonus”).
In addition, if you’re planning to apply for a clerkship next month, we reiterate our earlier plug for the Clerkship Notification Blog.

law clerk judicial clerkship Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIn addition to fall recruiting season for law firms, clerkship application season is almost upon us. The “season” officially starts in September, when current law students are allowed to submit their applications for federal judicial clerkships.
But, as reported by the WSJ Law Blog, a fair number of judges are cheating moving faster than the official timetable. In addition, the timing rules don’t apply to law school graduates. So judges are free to interview, for example, recent law school grads now at law firms.
If you’re in the hunt for a judicial clerkship, whether state or federal, here’s a great website that you should be aware of. From a tipster:

The new Clerkship Notification Blog is finally up and running. Please advertise this amazing resource to your readers and encourage them to quickly begin posting there. Some judges have already started interviewing grads…

Please take a look — and contribute to the pool of information, by commenting early and often.
To all clerkship applicants: Good luck!
The Clerkship Notification Blog (2007-08 Season) [official website]
Judges Behaving Badly: The Clerkship Edition [WSJ Law Blog]

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGHere are two updates about clerkship bonuses (a subject of interest to a limited group of readers — but those who care REALLY care):

1. Willkie Farr & Gallagher: The rumor that Willkie pays a $50,000 clerkship bonus has been confirmed. We understand this applies to both New York and Washington.

2. Akin Gump: In New York, the firm pays a $50,000 clerkship bonus. (We don’t know what they do in other offices.)

In addition, one tipster calls out WilmerHale for, well, trying to pull a Latham.
If you’d like to know why WilmerHale’s $35,000 clerkship bonus may not truly be a $35,000 clerkship bonus, read the rest of this post, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Clerkship Bonus Watch: Akin Gump and Willkie (and WilmerHale Pulls a Latham)”

Paul Hastings Tower 2 Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGThe rumor from the other day has been confirmed: Paul Hastings, of Transformers fame,* has raised its clerkship bonus to $50,000.
We’ve confirmed the news with two sources: an associate at the firm, and a law clerk with an outstanding offer. (We don’t know what PH pays for two clerkships, though; if you have that info, please email us.)
Update: Confirmed. Paul Hastings also pays a $70,000 bonus for two years of clerking.
* Guess the New York Times folks missed Transformers. In this article, they identify Paul Hastings as a San Francisco law firm — even though it’s really a national firm, headquartered in Los Angeles (housed in an iconic tower that looms large over the L.A. skyline).
Earlier: A Law Firm Cameo in ‘Transformers’

Supreme Court hallway Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law.JPGAbout a month has passed since our last post about Supreme Court clerk hiring for October Term 2008 (not OT 2007, whose clerks started just this month, but the following one). We were reminded that we hadn’t written about the subject in a while after we received this email:

“I heard that some dude from Calabresi just got hired on the court, then some other dude from Yale, but I can’t remember who he clerked for.”

Considering the frequency with which Guido-maniacs and Yalies troop off to One First Street, this is about as helpful as saying that “I heard someone with a law degree got hired to clerk for the Court.”
Despite the vagueness of this information, we’re sure we can get to the bottom of things — with help from you, our loyal readers.
Please check out the latest version of our list of OT 2008 law clerks, which appears after the jump. If you have more SCOTUS clerk hiring news to add, or a correction to anything on the list, please email us (subject line: “Supreme Court clerk hiring”).
We aren’t expecting to get that much hiring news this time around, since the Supreme Court Term is now over, and the justices are all traipsing around Europe (or New Hampshire). But we’re thinking we might hear about hires that were made some time ago but haven’t hit the rumor mill yet. For example, who is the mysterious fourth Thomas clerk for OT 2008?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: OT 2008 (Update #3)”

Chambermaid 2 Saira Rao Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgJust a quick follow-up to our recent post about Saira Rao and Chambermaid, her novel about a law clerk’s challenging year clerking for a federal judicial diva. A tipster writes:

I just left a lunch where Saira Rao spoke to the South Asian Bar Association of Delaware, and she clarified something [from the recent Philadelphia Inquirer article].

I believe the article said something to the effect that she was pushed out of Cleary once people found out what her book was about. [Ed. note: Here's the quote from the Inquirer: "[Rao] left her New York law firm, Cleary Gottlieb, in November when the subject of her book became known, and, she said, the firm made her feel unwelcome.”]

According to her, it appears the opposite was true. She mentioned that the firm was actually accommodating to her needs as a writer and essentially created a new position for her so that she could concentrate more on the book. She also said she received two months off to allow her to finish up some edits on the book as well. She actually said she loved the firm and had a wonderful experience…. [Ed. note: For more, see this comment.]

In addition, she also mentioned that the book was recently optioned to be turned into a television series, so be on the lookout. No word yet on how involved she will be beyond the title of “consultant”.

With respect to the account of Rao’s departure from Cleary, our understanding is that the “firm made her feel unwelcome” statement wasn’t based directly on anything said by Rao herself, but reflected the article writer’s interpretation of events.
We love to engage in juicy speculation about workplace departures as much as (if not more than) the next guy. But it’s best when the scuttlebutt is actually accurate.
Update: We have an email in to Carlin Romano, the Philly Inquirer book critic who wrote the article. We’ll let you now if and when we hear back from him.
Lifetime raises Sunday stakes [Variety]
Earlier: Chambermaid: Judge Sloviter Speaks

Kirkland Ellis LLP clerkship bonuses Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgPeople, please, be patient. We heard you the first time you asked us to confirm that Kirkland & Ellis has raised its clerkship bonus. It was not necessary to reiterate this request in the comments to every single post on ATL.
We reached out to Kirkland earlier this week, shortly after we started hearing this rumor, but we didn’t hear back from them until just now. From firm spokesman Brian Pitts:

I can confirm Kirkland’s clerkship bonus has increased to $50,000 and that it applies across all offices. As for serial clerkships and/or multi-year clerkships, Kirkland’s practice is to evaluate those on a case-by-case basis. Please let me know if you need anything else.

We thank Mr. Pitts and K&E for this information. We appreciate it greatly when firms respond to our requests for information that are relevant to prospective associates (many of whom read ATL).

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