Supreme Court Clerks Still Cashing In

Although there was speculation in the summer of last year that U.S. Supreme Court clerks might not be getting $250,000 signing on bonuses during a recession, that hasn’t been the case. While reporting on a feature about clerks (published in today’s Daily Journal), your blogger found out from senior partners at two different firms that they are still offering the full amount, at least for the time being. Recent law school graduates struggling to get hired and laid off associates might not be too pleased, but it certainly shows that Supreme Court clerks are still highly valued even in these difficult times. A signing on bonus would obviously pay for more than a year’s salary of an associate earning $160,000.

In today’s story your blogger attempted to track down a few former clerks in California who had not taken the obvious career path to BigLaw or academia. Perhaps not surprisingly, they turned out to be in the Bay Area. The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, for example, has two on staff: Vince Chhabria, who clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and Christine Van Aken, who clerked for Justice David H. Souter. By contrast, a spokesman said the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has no former SCOTUS clerks on its roster.

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