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Munger, Tolles & Olson’s incoming class will include four of the past year’s 35 U.S. Supreme Court clerks, an unprecedented feat for the Los Angeles-based firm. “It’s an unheard of bonanza for one West Coast firm of a moderate size to get that many,” said Thomas Goldstein, a Supreme Court expert who teaches at Stanford and Harvard law schools. The additions bring the total number of former Supreme Court clerks at the 167-lawyer firm to 19. As the firm builds its network of former clerks, there’s optimism that clerkship recruiting will continue to gain momentum, said David Dinielli, co-chairman of the firm’s recruiting committee. Maintaining connections with the judicial system and esteemed law schools is key, he said. “We’ve been able to get the word out about our firm in a relatively personal way,” Dinielli said. “It’s a personal method of contact that’s different from a mass mailing.” Munger was also willing to cut the checks for the hefty signing bonuses that former Supreme Court clerks can demand. In recent years, bonuses for former clerks have “gone through the roof,” often surpassing $150,000, Goldstein said. Dinielli would not comment on the size of the bonuses but acknowledged that “we were competitive and we try to match the market.” Knowing that Munger had close ties with other former clerks played a role in the decision-making process for new associate Daniel Powell, who just completed a clerkship with Justice John Paul Stevens. “It suggested the people of similar background have been happy here — that they found the work interesting and engaging,” Powell said. “I think the Supreme Court clerks and clerks more generally tend to be people who can think through and solve the toughest problems for our clients,” according to Co-Managing Partner Mark Helm. Also joining Powell in San Francisco is former high court clerk Aimee Feinberg. Daniel Levin and Katherine Ku will be in the Los Angeles office.

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