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BigLaw Firm Offers Six-Figure Bonus to Former Federal Circuit Clerks

By William Vogeler, Esq. on April 09, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Fish & Richardson is like a flying fish.

One year, the law firm is flying with more than 400 lawyers. The next year it's down in the low 300s.

Now the lawyers are trying to make a big leap again. And this time they're recruiting with some serious bait -- a six-figure bonus.

The Six-Figure Bonus

Of course, there's a catch. We talking fish here.

The big bonus is offered to former judicial clerks of the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. That would be "patent lawyers" to the uninitiated.

Not everybody can do that. Even fewer can get clerk jobs at the federal appeals court. But six-figure bonuses for law clerks who have never practiced law?!

Well, yeah. That's because the the Federal Circuit is a world apart. It's not just the intellectual challenge of intellectual property.

The Federal Circuit has its own specific and unique rules. It is the clearing house for patent cases from across the nation. Cases may come from district courts, special courts, and administrative agencies.

Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader

Frequent flyers to the appeals court come from the the Patent and Appeal Board, and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. If you think you got this, read the Federal Circuit opinions on this blog for a month and think again.

The only way you are going to get a six-figure bonus from Fish & Richardson is through a clerkship at the Federal Circuit, and they are very picky. You don't have to be from a top-five law school to get a clerkship, but you better be smarter than the average top-five graduate to get the bonus.

Apologies to Jeff Foxworthy and the Great Seal of the United States.

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