One Judge, One Career Clerk

Federal judges will be limited to one career law clerk under a new rule adopted by the U.S. Judicial Conference yesterday.

The move is expected to save the courts tens of millions of dollars over the next decade, Legal Times reports. Career clerks make an annual salary of around $100,000 while term clerks make $50,000 to $80,000 a year.

Current career clerks will not lose their jobs if their judges choose to keep them, according to a press release issued by the Judicial Conference, the policy-making arm of the federal judiciary.

Twenty-two judges had signed a letter disagreeing with the limit, ABAJournal.com noted in an earlier post. They contend experienced clerks help them produce the best opinions.

Under the old guidelines, federal appeals judges could have five staff members in any combination of secretaries, term law clerks and career clerks. District judges were allowed three staffers.

In other action yesterday, the Judicial Conference voted to put transcripts of district and bankruptcy court proceedings online, ABAJournal.com reported yesterday.

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