It seemed like a match made in heaven – thanks to a struggling economy, Massachusetts was unable to fill all of the judicial clerkships for the year, and there is a growing number of deferred associates in Massachusetts being paid a stipend but with no work to do. Why not pair them up? Massachusetts planned to do just that, with the blessings of the firms paying the stipends. But after an undisclosed letter from the state ethics commission reached Robert Mulligan, who is the chief justice for administration and management of the trial courts, Massachusetts has dropped the idea due to ethical concerns. Even with a proposed double blind system preventing judges from knowing which firms had donated deferred associates or who their clerks were paid by, concerns over favor currying and influence were enough to shut the idea down.
Unfortunately, this leaves the state’s court system short about 50 clerks and the state can’t afford to hire them.