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Elliot Spitzer's Old Teammates Move On to Bigger and More Lucrative Things

This New York Times article, What’s Happened to the Lawyers Who Worked for Spitzer? updates us on the comings, and mostly goings, of the lawyers who worked under Eliot Spitzer when he served as New York attorney general. The article leads off with the question:

After reining in Wall Street analysts, curbing mutual fund trading abuses and corralling some of the biggest insurance companies in the industry, what do you do for an encore?

Answer: You cash out, just like many of Spitzer's former colleagues. For example, Michele Hirshman, Spitzer's first deputy, accepted a position at Paul. Weiss. Dietrich Snell, another deputy attorney general, heads to Proskauer, and Caitlin Halligan just secured a partnership at Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

With so many lucrative opportunities for former prosecutors after putting in a few years in service, I wonder whether the loan forgiveness bill now under consideration is really necessary, at least insofar as it applies to prosecutors. As the experience of these attorneys bears out, service in an AG's office is a smart career path that offers terrific hands on training early on (while Biglaw associates are toiling in document review) and a well-paying job down the line. Thus, many smart law students will opt for a position at an AGs office even without loan forgiveness to bypass the drudgery of a Biglaw associate job. Nor does loan forgiveness ensure that prosecutors will remain at a job instead of cashing out. Ten thousand dollars is a substantial amount, but it's not going to prevent a prosecutor earning a five-figure salary to trade up for one double or triple that size later on.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on May 18, 2007 at 05:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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