Article III Groupie doesn't just dish judicial dirt -- hey, say that ten times fast -- here at UTR. Occasionally she does something that is vaguely helpful for her readers (assuming, of course, you don't believe gossip is good for you).
Recently a longtime fan of this blog emailed A3G asking for some advice. A3G did not know what to tell this reader, but she would like to turn over the query to her large and knowledgeable readership. Here it is:
Most [district court] chambers are allowed two full-time law clerks, as well as a deputy clerk and secretary. Instead of having a deputy clerk, however, my judge has three law clerks (a permanent and two rotating), who share deputy clerk duties along with the secretary. Unfortunately, one of us must have the title of "deputy clerk" for purposes of payroll in Washington.
While I did not realize this when hired, it has recently come to my attention that serving as a law clerk under the title of "deputy clerk" will not count as a year of legal experience. As such, and to my complete dismay, I will not obtain a pay raise next year. As this is a more recent practice, that determination was just handed down from our clerk's office.
I know from researching judges last summer that at least a few Court of Appeals Judges have the practice of hiring four law clerks and doing without a secretary. [A3G note: Circuit judges are actually entitled to five staff members, either three clerks and two secretaries or four clerks and one secretary.] And I surmise that at least a few other district court judges participate in similar practices as my judge.
I would like to know if others in a similar situation have found a way around this problem.
This situation strikes A3G as unfortunate and unfair. Can anyone offer advice or insight about how to deal with it? If so, please add a comment to this post, or email A3G (and please let her know if, contrary to this blog's default rule regarding the confidentiality of UTR reader email, she can forward your message to the reader who posed this question). Thanks!
P.S. In case you're wondering, yes, the title of this post is a reference to the old television advertisement for this product -- you know, the commercial with the mother and the daughter, walking along the beach...