Thursday, December 18, 2003


Check out this fascinating article about Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit. As a former law clerk, this bit interested me:
Law students line up to clerk for Kozinski because of his writing prowess, his network, and his pull. “Within three hours of accepting my clerkship, I got five calls from former clerks welcoming me aboard,” recalled Steven Engel, now a lawyer at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington. This year's clerks—three women, a Kozinski first—are all “going upstairs,” as the judge puts it, to work at the Supreme Court.

The downside of clerking for Kozinski is that he owns you. The hours are 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., with Friday nights and some Saturday nights off. There have been clerks who have been chewed up and spit out by the pressure. “He goes around telling clerks 'You're the gold medal clerk, you're the silver medal, you're the bronze medal,'” one professor said. “You subordinate yourself to him and maybe he gets you to the Supreme Court. It's a Faustian bargain.”
That's about right, I guess. A good friend of mine from law school (he ended up clerking for a Supreme Court justice) once asked Kozinski whether he could have the clerkship if he was only willing to work from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Kozinski told him no.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home