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Wilkinson Walsh and Eskovitz Sets New High for Clerkship Bonus
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Supreme court clerkships

Summary: Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz not only was the first to announce the first 2016-17 Supreme Court term clerks hired on but did so with a big hiring bonus.

Trial boutique Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz is willing to pay big bucks to gain associates with valuable experience gained through clerkships. The National Law Journal reported that the firm will be awarding hiring bonuses of $350,000 to two incoming associates with U.S. Supreme Court clerkships.

  
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The new associates, Elizabeth “Betsy” Henthorne and John James “JJ” Snidow,” clerked for Justices Elena Kagan and Anthony Kennedy. They will be part of the Washington D.C. office. Name partner Sean Eskovitz explained that the firm will be offering a $350,000 hiring bonus to each associate. Previous years topped out at $330,000 and $300,000 for the hiring bonuses.

Eskovitz said, “Our value pitch here is we’re going to recruit and continue to recruit and train the best lawyers of this generation. If we think they’ve got the talent and work ethic to succeed, we are more than willing to pay the market.” He added that he believed their bonus is in line with other firms, keeping them competitive.

Generally, Supreme Court clerks join a law firm as a midlevel or third-year associate since they have been out of law school for several years by that time.

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The firm added several other new associates with federal appellate court clerkships. They announced the hires of Angela Cai to the New York office, Roxana Guidero in Los Angeles and Sarah Neuman, Brian Czarnecki and Anastasia Pastan in the Washington office.

Of Supreme Court clerks, Henthorne and Snidow are the first to announce their new positions from the 2016-2017 term, although more announcements are anticipated soon. There are three dozen clerks for the Supreme Court each year. Those clerks become highly sought after by Big Law firms. Last year, Kirkland & Ellis snatched up six of them, the most by any single law firm that year. In 2015, Jones Day picked up the most Supreme Court clerks of any firm that year with 10 added to their team.



Wilkinson Walsh is a relatively new law firm that opened in January 2016. There were six lawyers that founded the trial litigation boutique, most of which came from top law firms.  Now with the new hires, the firm has about three lawyers for every partner. There are nine partners working from Washington and Los Angeles with a New York office set to open in a few months. Eskovitz says they hope to add two more lawyers by the end of the year, bringing their total to 38.

Of those at Wilkinson Walsh, four senior attorneys clerked for Supreme Court Justices, including name partner Alexandra Walsh.

The firm’s clients include the National Collegiate Athletic Association for a matter regarding college athlete compensation, the National Football League for an antitrust lawsuit, Facebook for a trade secret dispute, Altria Group Inc. as their class action defense, and more.

Do you think that is a reasonable bonus for a supreme court clerk? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about clerkships, read these articles:

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org



 

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