How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

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02082010
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How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby 02082010 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:05 pm

I'm curious as to the process of clerking for a COA circuit and then moving on to biglaw.

Do you go through 2L OCI, secure your summer position, get a job offer at the end of the summer and then at the beginning of 3L apply for clerkships and tell your firm you want to clerk before starting? I have no idea how it works so if someone could enlighten me I'd appreciate it. Current 0L here.

Thanks.

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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:27 pm

Do you go through 2L OCI, secure your summer position, get a job offer at the end of the summer and then at the beginning of 3L apply for clerkships and tell your firm you want to clerk before starting? I have no idea how it works so if someone could enlighten me I'd appreciate it. Current 0L here.


Yes, that's exactly how it works. Most firms are very supportive of summer associates who decide to clerk after graduation. In many cases, they'll even pay you a sizable clerkship bonus when you return to the firm.

02082010
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby 02082010 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Do you go through 2L OCI, secure your summer position, get a job offer at the end of the summer and then at the beginning of 3L apply for clerkships and tell your firm you want to clerk before starting? I have no idea how it works so if someone could enlighten me I'd appreciate it. Current 0L here.


Yes, that's exactly how it works. Most firms are very supportive of summer associates who decide to clerk after graduation. In many cases, they'll even pay you a sizable clerkship bonus when you return to the firm.


What if your SA position is for a V25 firm and then after clerking you think you want a V10 firm. Can you apply to the V10 and then decline the V25 if you get it?

Why are you posting anonymously?

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bees
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby bees » Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:40 pm

I was also curious if you could strike out at OCI but land a clerkship somewhere later on and use that to make firms think again (not necessarily the same ones, but I know the firms like to get most/all of their people while they are 2Ls) about hiring you?

Thanks.

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NewHere
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby NewHere » Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:51 pm

What if your SA position is for a V25 firm and then after clerking you think you want a V10 firm. Can you apply to the V10 and then decline the V25 if you get it?


I'll answer more generally, for what if you were a summer associate at a firm you didn't like, and you want to go to another firm after clerking. (Because V25/V10 doesn't say everything.)

If you're leaving to clerk for a year, usually you 'technically' don't accept your position at the law firm, and you are free to apply elsewhere. It is possible to go through OCI after 2L summer (i.e., at the beginning of your 3L year), and if you get hired by a firm where you would rather work, you tell them you will be clerking and will join them a year out. And you decline your SA firm's offer.

But this is not something you can count on. Very few firms hire people in 3L OCI, even in a normal economy. Generally they only use 3L OCI to fill up gaps in their hiring, i.e. if based on the incoming class they know they are going to need one more person for their employment practice group, they'll hire a person specifically for that practice.

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bees
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby bees » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:00 pm

Thank you that was helpful. And equally depressing.

02082010
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby 02082010 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:01 pm

NewHere wrote:
What if your SA position is for a V25 firm and then after clerking you think you want a V10 firm. Can you apply to the V10 and then decline the V25 if you get it?


I'll answer more generally, for what if you were a summer associate at a firm you didn't like, and you want to go to another firm after clerking. (Because V25/V10 doesn't say everything.)

If you're leaving to clerk for a year, usually you 'technically' don't accept your position at the law firm, and you are free to apply elsewhere. It is possible to go through OCI after 2L summer (i.e., at the beginning of your 3L year), and if you get hired by a firm where you would rather work, you tell them you will be clerking and will join them a year out. And you decline your SA firm's offer.

But this is not something you can count on. Very few firms hire people in 3L OCI, even in a normal economy. Generally they only use 3L OCI to fill up gaps in their hiring, i.e. if based on the incoming class they know they are going to need one more person for their employment practice group, they'll hire a person specifically for that practice.


Thanks for the response.

Do biglaw firms accept unsolicited resumes? Let's say you have 6months to go in your clerkship for a 7th curcuit judge, could I just shoot a cover letter/resume to Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago? Would I be likely to be interviewed/hired if I have good grades, SA work in biglaw and a prestigious clerkship? Or do they strictly hire through OCI and lateral transfers?

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TTT-LS
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby TTT-LS » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:18 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

02082010
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby 02082010 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:21 pm

TTT-LS wrote:Yes, most firms will accept unsolicited resumes from current clerks. The timing varies, but my understanding is that clerks applying to other firms (I.e., firms other than their 2L firm) generally do so between Dec. and Feb., since that's after the fall 22L hiring process is done.

Also, some judges, like mine, will let you accept your offer before clerking. In those cases, clerks are simply screened off from cases involving their firm.


Thanks for the info.

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underdawg
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby underdawg » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:50 pm

pretty early to be a prestige whore

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CE2JD
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby CE2JD » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:44 pm

underdawg wrote:pretty early to be a prestige whore


+1

You're missing a few steps like:

1) getting into law school
2) getting amazing grades at said law school

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kurama20
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby kurama20 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:46 pm

CE2JD wrote:
underdawg wrote:pretty early to be a prestige whore


+1

You're missing a few steps like:

1) getting into law school
2) getting amazing grades at said law school


I'm pretty sure he already took care of step 1. As far as step 2 is concerned, let's be real, most people who end up doing these things go into school with the intent to do well enough to do them. You don't exactly just fall ass backwards into doing well. It's something you go into attempting to do.

02082010
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby 02082010 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:06 pm

Not prestige-whoring, in so many word, just curious.

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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby Alexandria » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:11 pm

ITE, I'm not sure how much this is happening (not much), but I also know current attorneys who summered at one firm after 2L, summered another firm after 3L (so didn't take the bar before clerking), then clerked, then went to one of the firms.

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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby CE2JD » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:42 pm

kurama20 wrote:
CE2JD wrote:
underdawg wrote:pretty early to be a prestige whore


+1

You're missing a few steps like:

1) getting into law school
2) getting amazing grades at said law school


I'm pretty sure he already took care of step 1. As far as step 2 is concerned, let's be real, most people who end up doing these things go into school with the intent to do well enough to do them. You don't exactly just fall ass backwards into doing well. It's something you go into attempting to do.


I hate to break it to you dooder, but pretty much everyone at my law school was convinced they'd get good enough grades to get a COA clerkship. The reality is that only about 5% of them will at UVA.

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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby uvalaw2013 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:45 pm

CE2JD wrote:
underdawg wrote:pretty early to be a prestige whore


+1

You're missing a few steps like:

1) getting into law school
2) getting amazing grades at said law school


I hate to disagree with kaurama, but you don't know how your always going to face competition... :)

02082010
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby 02082010 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:25 pm

CE2JD wrote:
kurama20 wrote:
CE2JD wrote:
underdawg wrote:pretty early to be a prestige whore


+1

You're missing a few steps like:

1) getting into law school
2) getting amazing grades at said law school


I'm pretty sure he already took care of step 1. As far as step 2 is concerned, let's be real, most people who end up doing these things go into school with the intent to do well enough to do them. You don't exactly just fall ass backwards into doing well. It's something you go into attempting to do.


I hate to break it to you dooder, but pretty much everyone at my law school was convinced they'd get good enough grades to get a COA clerkship. The reality is that only about 5% of them will at UVA.


I saw in another thread than top 10% at NU will get you a COA clerkship while you would need top 5% to be competitive for a feeder judge. Is the competition really that fierce?

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kurama20
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby kurama20 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:27 pm

CE2JD wrote:
kurama20 wrote:
CE2JD wrote:
underdawg wrote:pretty early to be a prestige whore


+1

You're missing a few steps like:

1) getting into law school
2) getting amazing grades at said law school


I'm pretty sure he already took care of step 1. As far as step 2 is concerned, let's be real, most people who end up doing these things go into school with the intent to do well enough to do them. You don't exactly just fall ass backwards into doing well. It's something you go into attempting to do.


I hate to break it to you dooder, but pretty much everyone at my law school was convinced they'd get good enough grades to get a COA clerkship. The reality is that only about 5% of them will at UVA.



I think you guys misunderstood me. I'm not talking about his chances of actually landing said positions, I'm just saying that going into school with these ambitions/drive is probably better than just hoping you fall into them. Technically your chances of landing these COA spots is pretty low unless you attend Yale or Harvard.

I saw in another thread than top 10% at NU will get you a COA clerkship while you would need top 5% to be competitive for a feeder judge. Is the competition really that fierce?


Hell yes man. Outside of Yale it seems like you need top 10 percent at most top schools to have a shot. I will say that some circuits are less competitive than others, especially depending on your school.
Last edited by kurama20 on Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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CE2JD
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby CE2JD » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:27 pm

hopefulundergrad wrote:
CE2JD wrote:
kurama20 wrote:
CE2JD wrote:
+1

You're missing a few steps like:

1) getting into law school
2) getting amazing grades at said law school


I'm pretty sure he already took care of step 1. As far as step 2 is concerned, let's be real, most people who end up doing these things go into school with the intent to do well enough to do them. You don't exactly just fall ass backwards into doing well. It's something you go into attempting to do.


I hate to break it to you dooder, but pretty much everyone at my law school was convinced they'd get good enough grades to get a COA clerkship. The reality is that only about 5% of them will at UVA.


I saw in another thread than top 10% at NU will get you a COA clerkship while you would need top 5% to be competitive for a feeder judge. Is the competition really that fierce?


median GPA for those getting COA clerkships is a 3.7 at UVA (somewhere between the top 5-10% but probably closer to the top 5%)
median for a federal district court clerkship is a 3.5 which is between the top 24-20%

so yeah... it's not a piece of cake to get ANY federal clerkship. even from UVA

02082010
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby 02082010 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:31 pm

So you have to be a gunner from day 1?

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CE2JD
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby CE2JD » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:31 pm

kurama20 wrote:I think you guys misunderstood me. I'm not talking about his chances of actually landing said positions, I'm just saying that going into school with these ambitions/drive is probably better than just hoping you fall into them. Technically your chances of landing these COA spots is pretty low unless you attend Yale.


Just channel all of your energy and focus into getting good grades. Looking beyond the mark will only lead to a harder emotional epic-fail if you don't meet your grade expectations.

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kurama20
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby kurama20 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:34 pm

hopefulundergrad wrote:So you have to be a gunner from day 1?



LOL uh HELL YEAH. People will try to bullshit you but from the UVA peeps I've talked to you don't pull those types of grades by "balancing social life with study". Hell according to many, you have a good shot of getting average grades by "gunning", let alone getting top grades.

chevrondeference
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby chevrondeference » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:35 pm

It is pretty hard to get a clerkship these days. Focus very hard on getting good grades and also put serious effort into your law review application. Also think about starting to form relationships with professors. You will need 3 recommenders. Many people don't lay the groundwork for that early enough, and end up with weak recs.

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TTT-LS
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby TTT-LS » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:56 pm

.
Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kurama20
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Re: How does the clerkship --> biglaw jump work?

Postby kurama20 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:12 pm

TTT-LS wrote:
hopefulundergrad wrote:I saw in another thread than top 10% at NU will get you a COA clerkship while you would need top 5% to be competitive for a feeder judge. Is the competition really that fierce?

Which thread? Top 10% is often not good enough for COA, though there may be some narrow exceptions (maybe CA8 or 10). More like top 5% for most COA clerkships. And for feeders, you need top 1 or maaaaybe 2%. In a nutshell the competition is not "that fierce"--it is 5x *more* fierce than you think, when it comes to COA clerkships.


What about a circuit like the 11th where you aren't competing against as many HYS grads as most other circuits (especially for someone from UVA or Duke)?




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