With Biglaw salary news sweeping the industry, it’s easy for those on the outside looking in to feel left out. But there’s good news for those who aspire to clerk for federal judges: there’s a ton of money waiting for you on the other side of your clerkship — six figures of it! — should you decide to become a Biglaw associate.
It’s well known that federal clerkships are incredibly prestigious, and many high-end law firms really want people with that experience to work for them. That’s why the high end of bonuses for federal clerks who decide to join Biglaw firms post-clerkship reach six figures. Another firm has hit that threshold, and upped the financial ante, which other Biglaw firms eager for clerk firepower may soon match or even exceed.
Boies Schiller Flexner, a litigation-focused firm that brought in $250,000,000 gross revenue in 2020, recently announced that it would be offering a $110,000 signing bonus to federal law clerks. Law.com has the details:
In a letter to clerks from managing partners Matthew Schwartz, Sigrid McCawley and Alan Vickery, … the firm wrote that “because judicial clerks are crucial to our success, BSF has increased the signing bonus for all federal district and appellate law clerks to $110,000 for one clerkship.”
The managing partners went on to say that clerks joining the firm can choose their own compensation structure.
“When joining BSF, you will also be able to opt into BSF’s unique formula compensation system, which often results in performance-based bonuses far surpassing the market,” the letter stated.
So, why did the firm increase its signing bonus for federal clerks? According to Schwartz, having former judicial clerks among their ranks provides a “competitive advantage” to Boies Schiller. “We want to be sure we continue to position ourselves as one of the law firms where judicial clerks most want to go when they begin practicing law,” he said.
While other firms offer six-figure signing bonuses for federal clerks (averaging $100-105K), the Boies bonus is on the higher end of what’s currently out on the market. In fact, most Biglaw clerkship signing bonuses hover around $50- $75K.
With the rush on salaries in a hot lateral market, what are the other firms waiting for? Don’t they want to capture some of the magic that former federal clerks can offer? If you have information about any firm’s clerkship bonuses, you should email us or text us (646-820-8477) with all the details. Thanks.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.