One might thing it would be a little conflict-y to put deferred (and still salaried) biglaw associates to work in courtrooms. But Legal Blog Watch is reporting that the Massachusetts Judicial Ethics Committee of the Supreme Judicial Court approved the practice last week. The chief administrator of the state's courts appealed to the governing body for permission to hire deferrees as "volunteer interns" while these "interns" remain on the payrolls of biglaw firms. The committee agreed it would be ok, sending images of corporate-sponsored court employees rippling through the heads of the blogosphere.
What makes it ok for these "interns" to be biglaw associates, you ask? Only this gargantuan catch: they must keep their associations secret, in what strikes me as a bit of Fight Club trickery.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're a deferred associate right now, don't most of your friends know? Your family? Your blog's readers? Are you supposed to un-tell them to get a job with Massachusetts' courts?
Although the judicial ethics committee handed down its approval, despite outrage from members of the legal community, the plan will not go into effect until the State Ethics Commission issues its opinion on the matter. As Legal Blog Watch notes, it could be so long until this happens that "deferrals may well expire before the plan can ever be implemented."
And in other clerkship news, check out this Above the Law item on whether or not $250K signing bonuses for SCOTUS clerks are outrageous in this economy.