Clerkships

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).

Confirmed news of two more firms raising their clerkship bonus amounts:

1. Williams & Connolly: From $25K to $35K.

2. Orrick: From $15K to $40K.

If you get wind of clerkship bonus news, please send it our way (subject line: “Clerkship Bonus”). Thanks.

100 dollar bill Abovethelaw Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGWe’re back. It’s Monday. We don’t like Mondays. We’re feeling sluggish today.
So we’ll take the path of least resistance, and start a thread about an ATL staple: clerkship bonuses. We have some good news about two new (and non-New York) firms.
First, the rumor about O’Melveny & Myers can be treated as confirmed. We received lots of emails about OMM. Here are two:

“O’Melveny and Myers has raised their federal clerkship bonus to 50k. District Court and Appellate. Not sure about second year bonus of 70k.”

“O’Melveny and Myers just raised their clerkship bonus from 35k to 50k. As far as I know, they’re the first non-NY based firm (aside from Susman) to go to 50k. And it’s straight 50k — it doesn’t include a bar stipend like that Latham nonsense.”

Second — from just one source, so let us know if it’s erroneous — we hear that Morrison & Foerster has joined the $50K Club:

“Noticed the clerkship bonus list of shame (7/02/07). A co-clerk of mine is joining MoFo this fall and the clerkship bonus is listed as 50K (nationwide) in the documents he has received.”

If you have clerkship bonus information not previously reported on ATL, please email us (subject line: “Clerkship Bonus”). Thanks.

Dolores Sloviter Judge Dolores K Sloviter Chambermaid Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgCheck out the woman at right. She is the Honorable Dolores K. Sloviter, and she sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Judge Sloviter seems like a kindly old lady, doesn’t she? We’ve seen her on the bench, at multiple oral arguments. Based on her grandmotherly appearance, we once quipped to a colleague: “She seems so nice! When is she going to descend from the bench and feed us homemade cookies?”
Answer: not anytime soon (unless the cookies are laced with arsenic). From one of Judge Sloviter’s former clerks, Professor Mike Rappaport:

In 1985, having just graduated from law school, I arrived for my first day of work as a law clerk to Dolores K. Sloviter of the Third Circuit….

My two co-clerks, who had arrived a week earlier, took me to lunch. I asked how things were going, and they looked kind of uncomfortable. They explained that on their first day, a week earlier, they had gone to lunch with the holdover clerk, and had asked her, almost making small talk, how her year had been. [T]hey listened as she spent the next hour and a half detailing the horrors of the experience, and how she wasn’t sure how she had gotten through it.

That law clerk’s year of hell turned out to be quite similar to our year….

(That’s just an excerpt. You can read the entire post by clicking here.)
But should any of this come as a surprise? As regular ATL readers surely recall, Dolores Sloviter is the alleged inspiration for the nightmarish Judge Helga Friedman, central villain of Saira Rao’s delightful new novel, Chambermaid.
Additional thoughts on hellacious clerkships, plus a call for reader tips, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judicial Clerkships From Hell: Submissions, Please”

100 dollar bills clerk clerkship bonuses Abovethelaw Above the Law legal tabloid.jpgIn our recent New York Times op-ed piece praising lavish signing bonuses for Supreme Court clerks, we wrote that the bonuses “are expected to reach $250,000 this year — paid on top of starting salaries approaching $200,000.”

Some people have inquired into the factual basis for our statement. As it turns out, we did some actual reporting to support it. The reporting never made it into the final op-ed piece, but we’re happy to provide the details here.

If you’re curious, read the rest of this post, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Bonuses to $250K?”

Shearman Logo.gif
A reader e-mails:

please do a post of shearman’s pathetic clerkship bonus, currently at $15,000!!!!!!!

Okay, you got our attention with the seven exclamation points.
Lat posted a clerkship bonus List o’ Shame last week that featured the top firms below the new standard of $50k:
1. Wachtell ($0)
8. Latham ($35k) [see update on Latham here]
10. Kirkland ($35k)
11. Covington ($35k outside NY)
14. Wilmer ($35k)
15. Shearman ($15k)
16. Sidley ($35k)
17. Williams & Connolly ($25k)
18. Gibson ($35k)
19. Arnold ($15k $35k)
20. OMM ($35k)
22. Jones Day ($35k)
23. MoFo ($35k)
24. Hogan ($35k)
25. Ropes & Gray ($35K outside NY but $70K for 2yr clerkship)
Shearman has really separated itself from the pack — and not in a good way. Again, the list above is itself a list of shame, so that $15k is really eye-catching. What gives?
Administrative note: The power just went out in our “office,” so in the grand tradition of ATL office hours, we’re hanging out at the Panera Bread in Greystone, Alabama. We trust we’ll be swamped with visitors soon!

Supreme Court hallway Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law.JPGHere’s a quick follow-up on Wednesday’s post, reporting on Supreme Court clerk hiring for October Term 2008. That’s not the Term whose clerks will start showing up for work next month — the October Term 2007 clerks are listed here — but the Term after that.
Interestingly enough, the two justices thought most likely to leave the Court next, Justice John Paul Stevens and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, are both done with their clerk hiring for OT 2008. And we also hear that RBG has hired at least one clerk for OT 2009 — very CT-esque of her to hire that far into the future.
Thanks to everyone who submitted SCOTUS clerk hiring info, by email and in the comments. We’ve folded them into our evolving list of OT 2008 law clerks. Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: OT 2008 (Update #2)”

Latham Watkins LLP Above the Law blog.JPGBefore those big Supreme Court opinions start drifting in, let’s put in a quick word about clerkship bonuses.
As several commenters suggested yesterday, we contacted Latham & Watkins to find out about their clerkship bonus policy. We confirmed that the firm effectively pays a clerkship bonus just shy of $50,000, which does not vary depending upon which office you work in, and we learned some additional information as well:

* Latham & Watkins pays federal clerk bonuses at approximately $50,000, which comprises a $35,000 bonus plus a $13,333 bar study / bar exam and review fees bonus.

* Clerks to federal magistrate judges do receive the federal clerkship bonus.

* Latham & Watkins paid its 2006 U.S. Supreme Court clerks a ‘signing bonus’ of $200,000. In 2006, six Supreme Court clerks joined Latham & Watkins in the firm’s Washington, D.C., San Diego and San Francisco offices.

* “As a leading global law firm with a diverse national presence in the U.S., Latham & Watkins regularly evaluates its compensation.”

We thank Latham for furnishing us with this helpful information.
Update: As for multiple clerkships or years of clerking experience, the firm does not have a fixed and easily summarized policy, since more factors come into play. If you’re in that boat, you should consult with Recruiting.
Further Update: Don’t shoot the messenger. If you don’t like Latham’s clerkship bonus policy, that’s fine, but don’t blame us for communicating it to you.
Commenters, you’ve ticked us off. We are no longer going to reach out to firms for information about their clerkship bonus policies, because (1) it doesn’t affect that many people, at least compared to base salary increases or year-end bonuses, and (2) we’re tired of your ingratitude and abuse.
We will still cover clerkship bonus news, by posting information that tipsters send in to us. But we’re no longer bothering with affirmative outreach to firms on this front, since such “sua sponte” efforts are not appreciated. In light of all the other things we cover, it’s just not worth our time and effort.

law clerk judicial clerkship Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWhile we’re on the subject of judicial clerkships (or clerkship bonuses), and with clerkship application season not that far off, we’d like to put in a quick plug for the Clerkship Notification Blog.
We’ve mentioned it in these pages before. It’s a great resource for clerkship applicants.
But it can’t go on without your help. The blog’s former editor, Katherine McDaniel, is leaving — to clerk, naturally. So she’s looking for two people to take over the site from her.
We encourage you to apply. For details, please click here. Thanks.
Now Accepting Applications [The Clerkship Notification Blog (2007-2008 Season)]

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