How do judges determine pay rank?

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
Anonymous User
Posts: 325757
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

How do judges determine pay rank?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:17 am

From Oscar:
The Judiciary Salary Plan (JSP) provides the salary coverage for law clerks. The federal judiciary uses the same locality rates as the executive branch. [...]

The hiring judge, as the appointing authority, assigns a selectee's grade and step, and thus sets the salary, at the time of appointment. A law clerk’s salary depends upon legal work experience subsequent to graduation from law school, bar membership, and applicable locality pay adjustments:

JSP-11, step 1 – Law school graduates with academic excellence and no legal work experience. Annual base salary is $51,298 (plus applicable locality rate).
JSP-12, step 1 – One or more years of post-graduate legal work experience and bar membership. Annual base salary is $61,486 (plus applicable locality rate).
JPS-13, step 1 – Two or more years of post-graduate legal work experience and bar membership. Annual base salary is $73,115 (plus applicable locality rate).


(1) why would a judge not appoint you at the highest appropriate level? Do they face the decision, say, of hiring 3 clerks at a high met salary or 4 at a lower one? Do they have a limited budget? Or will the judiciary approve the funds for the highest possible salary if appropriately approved be the individual judge?

(2) If one clerks after one or two "years" at a firm (really 11 or 23 months if an Aug clerkship but Sept firm start) does that count as "one" or "two" years, respectively, for pay scale calculation? Or does being one month short mean pay at the lower scale? Presumably you studied for the bar for more than a month so I guess that might count to round out the 1/2 year(s)....

Anonymous User
Posts: 325757
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do judges determine pay rank?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:28 am

curious about this stuff as well. If I qualify for "more" than JSP-13 (3 years experience) but not JSP-14, do I start off at like step 5 or whatever?

Anonymous User
Posts: 325757
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do judges determine pay rank?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:From Oscar:
The Judiciary Salary Plan (JSP) provides the salary coverage for law clerks. The federal judiciary uses the same locality rates as the executive branch. [...]

The hiring judge, as the appointing authority, assigns a selectee's grade and step, and thus sets the salary, at the time of appointment. A law clerk’s salary depends upon legal work experience subsequent to graduation from law school, bar membership, and applicable locality pay adjustments:

JSP-11, step 1 – Law school graduates with academic excellence and no legal work experience. Annual base salary is $51,298 (plus applicable locality rate).
JSP-12, step 1 – One or more years of post-graduate legal work experience and bar membership. Annual base salary is $61,486 (plus applicable locality rate).
JPS-13, step 1 – Two or more years of post-graduate legal work experience and bar membership. Annual base salary is $73,115 (plus applicable locality rate).


(1) why would a judge not appoint you at the highest appropriate level? Do they face the decision, say, of hiring 3 clerks at a high met salary or 4 at a lower one? Do they have a limited budget? Or will the judiciary approve the funds for the highest possible salary if appropriately approved be the individual judge?

(2) If one clerks after one or two "years" at a firm (really 11 or 23 months if an Aug clerkship but Sept firm start) does that count as "one" or "two" years, respectively, for pay scale calculation? Or does being one month short mean pay at the lower scale? Presumably you studied for the bar for more than a month so I guess that might count to round out the 1/2 year(s)....


You want a judge to set your pay at a level you aren't technically entitled to receive? Um, no.

The pay scale is determined by full years. Nothing gets rounded. It has to be 365 days to count. So if you start with, say, 20 months of work experience as a lawyer you'll be JSP-12 for the first 4 months of the clerkship then JSP-13 thereafter.

ETA: sorry, missed that you said "highest appropriate" :oops:
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Emma.

Gold
Posts: 2408
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: How do judges determine pay rank?

Postby Emma. » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:curious about this stuff as well. If I qualify for "more" than JSP-13 (3 years experience) but not JSP-14, do I start off at like step 5 or whatever?


I don't think you can start down the steps unless you have a prior federal position where you were already like JSP-13 step 2 or something and then you might (?) get to start at that level. A chambers can't have more than one staff member above JSP-13 so often no matter what your experience when you start you'd be no more that JSP-13 step 1 for the entire clerkship.

Anonymous User
Posts: 325757
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do judges determine pay rank?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:From Oscar:
The Judiciary Salary Plan (JSP) provides the salary coverage for law clerks. The federal judiciary uses the same locality rates as the executive branch. [...]

The hiring judge, as the appointing authority, assigns a selectee's grade and step, and thus sets the salary, at the time of appointment. A law clerk’s salary depends upon legal work experience subsequent to graduation from law school, bar membership, and applicable locality pay adjustments:

JSP-11, step 1 – Law school graduates with academic excellence and no legal work experience. Annual base salary is $51,298 (plus applicable locality rate).
JSP-12, step 1 – One or more years of post-graduate legal work experience and bar membership. Annual base salary is $61,486 (plus applicable locality rate).
JPS-13, step 1 – Two or more years of post-graduate legal work experience and bar membership. Annual base salary is $73,115 (plus applicable locality rate).


(1) why would a judge not appoint you at the highest appropriate level? Do they face the decision, say, of hiring 3 clerks at a high met salary or 4 at a lower one? Do they have a limited budget? Or will the judiciary approve the funds for the highest possible salary if appropriately approved be the individual judge?

(2) If one clerks after one or two "years" at a firm (really 11 or 23 months if an Aug clerkship but Sept firm start) does that count as "one" or "two" years, respectively, for pay scale calculation? Or does being one month short mean pay at the lower scale? Presumably you studied for the bar for more than a month so I guess that might count to round out the 1/2 year(s)....


You want a judge to set your pay at a level you aren't technically entitled to receive? Um, no.

The pay scale is determined by full years. Nothing gets rounded. It has to be 365 days to count. So if you start with, say, 20 months of work experience as a lawyer you'll be JSP-12 for the first 4 months of the clerkship then JSP-13 thereafter.

ETA: sorry, missed that you said "highest appropriate" :oops:


This seems like the wrong answer to me. Would seem weird to take a ~10k pay cut because of like 3 days experience

User avatar
Emma.

Gold
Posts: 2408
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: How do judges determine pay rank?

Postby Emma. » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:From Oscar:
The Judiciary Salary Plan (JSP) provides the salary coverage for law clerks. The federal judiciary uses the same locality rates as the executive branch. [...]

The hiring judge, as the appointing authority, assigns a selectee's grade and step, and thus sets the salary, at the time of appointment. A law clerk’s salary depends upon legal work experience subsequent to graduation from law school, bar membership, and applicable locality pay adjustments:

JSP-11, step 1 – Law school graduates with academic excellence and no legal work experience. Annual base salary is $51,298 (plus applicable locality rate).
JSP-12, step 1 – One or more years of post-graduate legal work experience and bar membership. Annual base salary is $61,486 (plus applicable locality rate).
JPS-13, step 1 – Two or more years of post-graduate legal work experience and bar membership. Annual base salary is $73,115 (plus applicable locality rate).


(1) why would a judge not appoint you at the highest appropriate level? Do they face the decision, say, of hiring 3 clerks at a high met salary or 4 at a lower one? Do they have a limited budget? Or will the judiciary approve the funds for the highest possible salary if appropriately approved be the individual judge?

(2) If one clerks after one or two "years" at a firm (really 11 or 23 months if an Aug clerkship but Sept firm start) does that count as "one" or "two" years, respectively, for pay scale calculation? Or does being one month short mean pay at the lower scale? Presumably you studied for the bar for more than a month so I guess that might count to round out the 1/2 year(s)....


You want a judge to set your pay at a level you aren't technically entitled to receive? Um, no.

The pay scale is determined by full years. Nothing gets rounded. It has to be 365 days to count. So if you start with, say, 20 months of work experience as a lawyer you'll be JSP-12 for the first 4 months of the clerkship then JSP-13 thereafter.

ETA: sorry, missed that you said "highest appropriate" :oops:


This seems like the wrong answer to me. Would seem weird to take a ~10k pay cut because of like 3 days experience


Your salary isn't fixed for the year. You'd get paid at the lower level for 3 days then get the promotion.

Anonymous User
Posts: 325757
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do judges determine pay rank?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:11 am

Emma. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:From Oscar:
The Judiciary Salary Plan (JSP) provides the salary coverage for law clerks. The federal judiciary uses the same locality rates as the executive branch. [...]

The hiring judge, as the appointing authority, assigns a selectee's grade and step, and thus sets the salary, at the time of appointment. A law clerk’s salary depends upon legal work experience subsequent to graduation from law school, bar membership, and applicable locality pay adjustments:

JSP-11, step 1 – Law school graduates with academic excellence and no legal work experience. Annual base salary is $51,298 (plus applicable locality rate).
JSP-12, step 1 – One or more years of post-graduate legal work experience and bar membership. Annual base salary is $61,486 (plus applicable locality rate).
JPS-13, step 1 – Two or more years of post-graduate legal work experience and bar membership. Annual base salary is $73,115 (plus applicable locality rate).


(1) why would a judge not appoint you at the highest appropriate level? Do they face the decision, say, of hiring 3 clerks at a high met salary or 4 at a lower one? Do they have a limited budget? Or will the judiciary approve the funds for the highest possible salary if appropriately approved be the individual judge?

(2) If one clerks after one or two "years" at a firm (really 11 or 23 months if an Aug clerkship but Sept firm start) does that count as "one" or "two" years, respectively, for pay scale calculation? Or does being one month short mean pay at the lower scale? Presumably you studied for the bar for more than a month so I guess that might count to round out the 1/2 year(s)....


You want a judge to set your pay at a level you aren't technically entitled to receive? Um, no.

The pay scale is determined by full years. Nothing gets rounded. It has to be 365 days to count. So if you start with, say, 20 months of work experience as a lawyer you'll be JSP-12 for the first 4 months of the clerkship then JSP-13 thereafter.

ETA: sorry, missed that you said "highest appropriate" :oops:


This seems like the wrong answer to me. Would seem weird to take a ~10k pay cut because of like 3 days experience


Your salary isn't fixed for the year. You'd get paid at the lower level for 3 days then get the promotion.


Op

This is great news and makes sense. Is there any reason why I judge wouldn't approve your raise? I guess I'm thinking it's one of two sceniors: (a) judge gets a budget and has to divide it up and pay out of pocket any overages or (b) a chambers budget is as high as the JSP chart allows for

Eta: just saw other poster said this too, I misread

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Diamond
Posts: 29312
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: How do judges determine pay rank?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:35 am

Totally anecdotally, I have heard of at least one judge setting the salary at the start of the year and not doing raises. But I think that was during/in districts with hiring freezes and I don't think it's common. I was 10 days short of 1 years' experience when I started as a federal clerk and the judge had no problem signing off on the promotion after the 10 days.

Anonymous User
Posts: 325757
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do judges determine pay rank?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:12 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Totally anecdotally, I have heard of at least one judge setting the salary at the start of the year and not doing raises. But I think that was during/in districts with hiring freezes and I don't think it's common. I was 10 days short of 1 years' experience when I started as a federal clerk and the judge had no problem signing off on the promotion after the 10 days.

In my experience, the judges' role in setting law clerk pay tends to be fairly perfunctory -- it's the HR staff in the circuit / district who really matter. If you can get the relevant HR person to sign off on your salary, the judge will almost always sign off as well.

Anonymous User
Posts: 325757
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do judges determine pay rank?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:From Oscar:
The Judiciary Salary Plan (JSP) provides the salary coverage for law clerks. The federal judiciary uses the same locality rates as the executive branch. [...]

The hiring judge, as the appointing authority, assigns a selectee's grade and step, and thus sets the salary, at the time of appointment. A law clerk’s salary depends upon legal work experience subsequent to graduation from law school, bar membership, and applicable locality pay adjustments:

JSP-11, step 1 – Law school graduates with academic excellence and no legal work experience. Annual base salary is $51,298 (plus applicable locality rate).
JSP-12, step 1 – One or more years of post-graduate legal work experience and bar membership. Annual base salary is $61,486 (plus applicable locality rate).
JPS-13, step 1 – Two or more years of post-graduate legal work experience and bar membership. Annual base salary is $73,115 (plus applicable locality rate).


(1) why would a judge not appoint you at the highest appropriate level? Do they face the decision, say, of hiring 3 clerks at a high met salary or 4 at a lower one? Do they have a limited budget? Or will the judiciary approve the funds for the highest possible salary if appropriately approved be the individual judge?

(2) If one clerks after one or two "years" at a firm (really 11 or 23 months if an Aug clerkship but Sept firm start) does that count as "one" or "two" years, respectively, for pay scale calculation? Or does being one month short mean pay at the lower scale? Presumably you studied for the bar for more than a month so I guess that might count to round out the 1/2 year(s)....


You want a judge to set your pay at a level you aren't technically entitled to receive? Um, no.

The pay scale is determined by full years. Nothing gets rounded. It has to be 365 days to count. So if you start with, say, 20 months of work experience as a lawyer you'll be JSP-12 for the first 4 months of the clerkship then JSP-13 thereafter.

ETA: sorry, missed that you said "highest appropriate" :oops:


This seems like the wrong answer to me. Would seem weird to take a ~10k pay cut because of like 3 days experience


Happened to me. Started clerking back in Sept after leaving firm in August. Was 18 days shy of the 1 year of employment credit according to my Fed Ct's HR. My increased pay as a 2nd year didn't kick in until the third week of October.

User avatar
Redamon1

Bronze
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: How do judges determine pay rank?

Postby Redamon1 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:58 am

I looked into this as well to plan ahead and FYI the rates per locality are publicly available:

http://www.uscourts.gov/careers/compens ... -pay-rates



Return to “Judicial Clerkships?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.