In 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…
Here 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.
The 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’
About 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?
Just 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
People, 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).
We’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.
Check 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 surelyrecall, 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.
In our recent New York Times op-edpiece 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.
As part of a nationwide tour, Above the Law is coming to the great city of Chicago.
Join preeminent law firm management consultant Bruce MacEwen, Katten Muchin Chicago managing partner Gil Sofer, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. assistant general counsel Jason Shaffer for a panel discussion (sponsored by Pangea3) on the evolutionary and market forces bearing down on the law firm business model. Come on by Thursday, November 20, at 6 p.m., for thought-provoking discussion, food, drink, and networking.
Space is limited and there will be no on-site registration, so please RSVP
Average law school debt for graduates of private universities hovered around $122,000 last year. With only 57% of new attorneys actually obtaining real lawyer jobs, recent graduates have a lot to consider when it comes to managing their student loan payments. Thanks to our friends at SoFi, today’s infographic takes a look at student loan debt, including the possible benefits of refinancing for JDs…
Kinney Recruiting’sEvan Jowers is currently in Hong Kong for client meetings and still has a few slots available through October 22. Evan will also be in Hong Kong November 14 to December 15. Further, Robert Kinney has been in Frankfurt and Munich this week and is available for meetings with our Germany based readers.
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer.
Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
This position will have a lot of responsibility and include supervision of eight attorneys underneath them in the Asia in-house team. The new hire will report directly to the global general counsel and global chief compliance officer, who is based in the US. The new hire’s ability to make judgement calls is going to be as important as their technical skill set background.
The position is based in Shanghai and will deal with the company’s operations all over Asia and also in India, including frequent acquisitions in the region.
It is expected that the new hire will come from a top US firm’s Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong offices, currently in a top flight corporate practice at the senior associate, counsel or partner level. Of course, the candidate can be currently in a relevant in-house role.