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Thanks to the eye-popping salary wars of recent months, associates just out of law school now have a chance to earn more than the nation’s top jurists. In response, Judge J. Michael Luttig of the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals proposed (tongue in cheek) that he sign on at D.C.’s Hogan & Hartson as a first-year associate. In a letter to longtime friend and Hogan partner John Roberts Jr., the judge detailed his experience as a former assistant attorney general under President George Bush and his clerkships with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia when Scalia sat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Luttig also included some writing samples of opinions he had authored over the past nine years. Alas, Roberts replied gently but firmly: “You may be under a misimpression concerning the demands of the position for which you have applied. Our associates are expected to work more than one week each month, and we do not give them the entire summer off. While it is always a possibility, we do not guarantee our associates life tenure. And while we offer a wide range of support, few of our associates are assigned three full-time law clerks to assist them. Finally, although we have adopted a ‘casual Friday’ policy, black robes do not qualify as appropriate attire.”

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