In 1951, fresh out of law school, I was paid an annual salary of $5,000. That was the high end of the earning curve for beginners. It was one of the many reasons why I thought that clerking for a judge was the best job I’d ever had.

Indeed, when I finished my clerkship and entered the private practice of law, my new employers were not eager to match that lofty salary. They finally agreed, but it required them to raise the compensation of the other associate — and even the junior partner.

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