Lawyer Pay

Law firm increases clerkship signing bonus to $75K; will others follow?

Hands holding money aloft

Image from Shutterstock.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has increased its signing bonus for federal law clerks to $75,000, according to a letter from the law firm obtained by two publications.

The figure is a $25,000 increase in the amount previously offered by the law firm, report the National Law Journal (sub. req.) and Above the Law. Though a few firms paid more, $50,000 was the going rate for clerkship bonuses among Quinn Emanuel’s peer law firms, Above the Law says.

Figures from the National Association for Law Placement show a lower median amount paid by 220 law firms responding to its salary survey in 2015. The median signing bonus for federal circuit clerks was $25,000, and the median for district court clerks was $20,000.

NALP executive director James Leipold told the National Law Journal that clerk bonuses have been stable for quite a while, and “there doesn’t seem to be any market pressure on clerk bonuses.”

But recruiter Sarah Van Steenburg of Major, Lindsey & Africa told the NLJ that demand could produce an increase in clerkship bonuses.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.