The Supreme Court: The Job No Young Lawyer Can Afford to Turn Down

When Mr. Justice Holmes ascended from the Massachusetts Supreme Court to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1902, he brought along his custom of each year picking a bright young clerk from Harvard Law School. Himself childless, he explained that his clerks gave him the fun of fatherhood without the pain, since his "sons" changed every year. Holmes's legal family became so popular that it soon grew into a sort of Rhodes scholarship of U.S. law. Clerking for the Supreme Court is now a launching pad for all kinds of later fame —be it heading the State Department (Dean Acheson),...

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