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As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve been exploring different ways of finishing Supreme Ambitions. After a great deal of thought, I’ve concluded that the story would be best served by publication as a traditional book.

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve just signed a book contract with ABA Publishing, the publishing arm of the American Bar Association. I’m going to submitting my complete manuscript to them later this year, and Supreme Ambitions: A Novel will be published sometime in 2014.

One of the advantages of working with a traditional publisher is editorial support. I’ll be working on finishing my manuscript with Jon Malysiak, executive editor at the ABA’s Flagship book imprint. Jon has worked extensively with fiction writers before, as an editor, agent, and teacher, and he also writes fiction himself.

Those of you who have read all of the web installments of Supreme Ambitions will notice many changes in the book version. I’m in the process of extensively revising what I’ve previously written, in addition to producing new material. In the revision process, I’m taking into account many of the excellent suggestions that I’ve received from web readers in posted comments and by email.

Once again, my deepest gratitude to all of you for your interest, insights, and encouragement. If you have any other thoughts you’d like to share with me about this project, I welcome them by email. Thank you!

In response to some recent comments and tweets, no, Supreme Ambitions is not dead. But yes, it has been on extended hiatus (not unlike the Supreme Court itself, which takes off for the entire summer).

I do plan on finishing the story, which I already have fully outlined (even if not yet written). But I’m mulling over different possible approaches to doing so.

In any event, I thank everyone for their patience and their interest!

19: Breaking Bread

Ed. note: Apologies for the delay between this installment and the last one. As you can see, I’ve moved from a Wednesday/Sunday posting schedule to something more… sporadic.

I spent Tuesday morning reading the briefs and doing some research for Hamadani, an immigration case involving a Pakistani man seeking political asylum in the United States. The immigrant, who overstayed illegally years ago but went on to start a successful small business (a grocery store), as well as to raise two kids here, seemed sympathetic. But the legal standard for granting asylum struck me as stringent.

So immersed in my reading, I didn’t realize it was half past noon until James’s tall, slender figure materialized in the doorway of my windowless office.

“Lunch?”

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18: Training

I spent the rest of my first day in chambers with Janet Lee, the outgoing clerk that I would be replacing. Janet, whom I had briefly met when I interviewed with the judge, was also originally from New York, although she had gone to law school out here in California, at Stanford. She was now moving back to New York to work at Wachtell Lipton.

After reviewing the general workings of the Ninth Circuit with me, Janet described my specific duties as a clerk. They could be divided up into three broad areas.

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17: First Day

As I arrived at the Ninth Circuit courthouse for my first day at work, I knew I was nervous. My grey Theory skirt suit, a pricey splurge from my summer at Cravath, wasn’t giving me the usual jolt of confidence. I don’t tend to sweat very much, but by the time I arrived at work, I was sweating — and it wasn’t from the seven-minute walk from my apartment to the courthouse, in a still-cool California morning.

This Monday marked the start of my Legal Career. And because I went straight though to law school from college, this was also the first day of my first Real Job. This was a Big Deal….

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Greetings. It’s David Lat here, not Audrey Coyne. I just wanted to make a few quick administrative announcements.

First, two months and 16 installments (no longer “chapters”) into this project, I’d like to thank everyone for reading and for posting so many excellent comments. So far it has been a very interesting and enjoyable experience. I appreciate all of the feedback, both critical and complimentary, as well as the great fact-checking (and policing of typos)….

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16: Sassy

Intrigued by my new neighbor, I didn’t notice how much I was leaning into the white gate — which swung open with a loud creaking noise. I fell forward for a second before regaining my footing. The young woman looked up, and our eyes met.

“Girl, what you looking at?”

Her aggressive tone caught me off guard. I was momentarily speechless.

“What,” she said, “are your ears as small as your tiny white ass?”

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