How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

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cigrainger
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How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby cigrainger » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:46 am

I'm just curious as to how this works for most people. I imagine if you have 180-200k worth of debt that payments are quite high, and several LRAP programs don't cover clerkships. Does IBR cover clerkships? Or must you basically (a) go to a school whose LRAP covers clerkships if you intend on going into public service afterwards or (b) have gotten a scholarship?

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Dick Whitman
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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby Dick Whitman » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:50 am

I think pretty much you suck it up because a clerkship is worth it. If you're only clerking for a year, your loan payments won't kick in until the second half of your clerkship. If you're somewhere cheap you should be able to squeek by. Otherwise, get a deferment.

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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby Anonymous Loser » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:09 am

The federal IBR program covers all federal loans; the nature of your employment is in no way determinative of eligibility. You don't "just suck it up," you take advantage of the repayment options that were designed to afford borrowers the flexibility to take on relatively low-paying positions such as clerkships.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:24 am

Anonymous Loser wrote:The federal IBR program covers all federal loans; the nature of your employment is in no way determinative of eligibility. You don't "just suck it up," you take advantage of the repayment options that were designed to afford borrowers the flexibility to take on relatively low-paying positions such as clerkships.


Not really. It would be completely idiotic to opt for a 25 year repayment (or even the 10 year PI repayment) if you are a clerk if you are planning on working at a large law firm afterwords (because you will be paying your entire loan back anyway if you are making $160K in a year)... IBR wasn't designed for this type of a low-paying job -- i.e. one that only lasts a year and then turns into a really high paying job.

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underdawg
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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby underdawg » Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:44 am

have you heard anyone say "i wanted to clerk but couldn't afford to!"?

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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:46 pm

Well, for what it's worth, taking a clerkship costs you $100k or more (depending on what the firm's clerkship stipend is, and whether they put you on year 2 of the pay scale when you come in). Deciding that the experience isn't worth that much money isn't completely out of the question. There are plenty of partners out there that didn't clerk, and something tells me that making partner/getting kept on through layoffs isn't going to be assisted too much by a clerkship.

Amazing experience? Absolutely. A "gimmie" that one would choose to clerk when it costs over $100k? Not really. Particularly considering that there are stories out there of clerks not being offered their "deferred" positions.

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dresden doll
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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby dresden doll » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:58 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:Well, for what it's worth, taking a clerkship costs you $100k or more (depending on what the firm's clerkship stipend is, and whether they put you on year 2 of the pay scale when you come in). Deciding that the experience isn't worth that much money isn't completely out of the question. There are plenty of partners out there that didn't clerk, and something tells me that making partner/getting kept on through layoffs isn't going to be assisted too much by a clerkship.

Amazing experience? Absolutely. A "gimmie" that one would choose to clerk when it costs over $100k? Not really. Particularly considering that there are stories out there of clerks not being offered their "deferred" positions.


Somewhat off topic, but I am sincerely irritated at the extent to which our CSO keeps hyping up the awesomeness that is 1L summer judicial internship. Yeah, I'm sure the experience is invaluable, but the fact that said positions are, you know, unpaid is a bit of a goddamn damper when you're incurring as much debt as some of us are. Not to even mention the fact that unpaid positions pretty much preclude the possibility of relocating elsewhere (unless elsewhere is a place where you've got family that's happy to take you in for the summer).

I really don't think I'd take a clerkship out of law school if a biglaw position were available. Money fucking matters.

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BradyToMoss
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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby BradyToMoss » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:50 pm

dresden doll wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:Well, for what it's worth, taking a clerkship costs you $100k or more (depending on what the firm's clerkship stipend is, and whether they put you on year 2 of the pay scale when you come in). Deciding that the experience isn't worth that much money isn't completely out of the question. There are plenty of partners out there that didn't clerk, and something tells me that making partner/getting kept on through layoffs isn't going to be assisted too much by a clerkship.

Amazing experience? Absolutely. A "gimmie" that one would choose to clerk when it costs over $100k? Not really. Particularly considering that there are stories out there of clerks not being offered their "deferred" positions.


Somewhat off topic, but I am sincerely irritated at the extent to which our CSO keeps hyping up the awesomeness that is 1L summer judicial internship. Yeah, I'm sure the experience is invaluable, but the fact that said positions are, you know, unpaid is a bit of a goddamn damper when you're incurring as much debt as some of us are. Not to even mention the fact that unpaid positions pretty much preclude the possibility of relocating elsewhere (unless elsewhere is a place where you've got family that's happy to take you in for the summer).

I really don't think I'd take a clerkship out of law school if a biglaw position were available. Money fucking matters.


My CSO acted like I was out of my mind when I told them I would be working as a chef at my old summer job before I'd be working for free. They seem to have no understanding of financial realities that students deal with.

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Aeroplane
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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby Aeroplane » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:52 pm

IBR aside, I believe the federal loan repayment options include other options where you can have substantially lower monthly payments (but end up paying more over the life of the loan). Like "Graduated" repayment (interest only) and Income-contingent (ICR, not the same thing as IBR). Maybe you could do the Graduated plan for the duration of your clerkship, then pay off loans at a decent pace once you get a firm job.

http://www.dlssonline.com explains it all in the repayment estimator section.

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Aeroplane
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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby Aeroplane » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:58 pm

BradyToMoss wrote:
dresden doll wrote:Somewhat off topic, but I am sincerely irritated at the extent to which our CSO keeps hyping up the awesomeness that is 1L summer judicial internship. Yeah, I'm sure the experience is invaluable, but the fact that said positions are, you know, unpaid is a bit of a goddamn damper when you're incurring as much debt as some of us are. Not to even mention the fact that unpaid positions pretty much preclude the possibility of relocating elsewhere (unless elsewhere is a place where you've got family that's happy to take you in for the summer).

I really don't think I'd take a clerkship out of law school if a biglaw position were available. Money fucking matters.


My CSO acted like I was out of my mind when I told them I would be working as a chef at my old summer job before I'd be working for free. They seem to have no understanding of financial realities that students deal with.

I don't know to what extent it's true, but I constantly hear that lacking "something law-related" on your resume from 1L summer will make it substantially harder to find a 2L job. If that is true and unpaid jobs are your only options in the legal field for 1L summer, then working for free makes more sense financially. If that is generally untrue, or you have some circumstances that make it untrue for you, then it's a different story.


Edit to add: you could always take an unpaid legal job for part of the summer, or on a part-time basis and work somewhere paid doing non-law stuff too. I'd be very hesitant to do absolutely nothing law-related the entire summer.

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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:49 pm

dresden doll wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:Well, for what it's worth, taking a clerkship costs you $100k or more (depending on what the firm's clerkship stipend is, and whether they put you on year 2 of the pay scale when you come in). Deciding that the experience isn't worth that much money isn't completely out of the question. There are plenty of partners out there that didn't clerk, and something tells me that making partner/getting kept on through layoffs isn't going to be assisted too much by a clerkship.

Amazing experience? Absolutely. A "gimmie" that one would choose to clerk when it costs over $100k? Not really. Particularly considering that there are stories out there of clerks not being offered their "deferred" positions.


Somewhat off topic, but I am sincerely irritated at the extent to which our CSO keeps hyping up the awesomeness that is 1L summer judicial internship. Yeah, I'm sure the experience is invaluable, but the fact that said positions are, you know, unpaid is a bit of a goddamn damper when you're incurring as much debt as some of us are. Not to even mention the fact that unpaid positions pretty much preclude the possibility of relocating elsewhere (unless elsewhere is a place where you've got family that's happy to take you in for the summer).

I really don't think I'd take a clerkship out of law school if a biglaw position were available. Money fucking matters.


You guys don't get a living stipend from UChi? ... *Cough-university-of-shitcago-cough*

No but in all seriousness, getting paid this summer as a 1L is going to be pretty hard (especially if you are talking about a 1L SA), and doing an unpaid government gig or a judicial internship isn't a bad deal when your choices are an unpaid job or an unpaid job.

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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby dresden doll » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:40 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:Well, for what it's worth, taking a clerkship costs you $100k or more (depending on what the firm's clerkship stipend is, and whether they put you on year 2 of the pay scale when you come in). Deciding that the experience isn't worth that much money isn't completely out of the question. There are plenty of partners out there that didn't clerk, and something tells me that making partner/getting kept on through layoffs isn't going to be assisted too much by a clerkship.

Amazing experience? Absolutely. A "gimmie" that one would choose to clerk when it costs over $100k? Not really. Particularly considering that there are stories out there of clerks not being offered their "deferred" positions.


Somewhat off topic, but I am sincerely irritated at the extent to which our CSO keeps hyping up the awesomeness that is 1L summer judicial internship. Yeah, I'm sure the experience is invaluable, but the fact that said positions are, you know, unpaid is a bit of a goddamn damper when you're incurring as much debt as some of us are. Not to even mention the fact that unpaid positions pretty much preclude the possibility of relocating elsewhere (unless elsewhere is a place where you've got family that's happy to take you in for the summer).

I really don't think I'd take a clerkship out of law school if a biglaw position were available. Money fucking matters.


You guys don't get a living stipend from UChi? ... *Cough-university-of-shitcago-cough*

No but in all seriousness, getting paid this summer as a 1L is going to be pretty hard (especially if you are talking about a 1L SA), and doing an unpaid government gig or a judicial internship isn't a bad deal when your choices are an unpaid job or an unpaid job.


Some funding is available. That said, it probably wouldn't be enough to cover costs of relocation - and I really was hoping to be outside of Chicago for the summer for the sake of building some out-of-Midwest ties (I have zero intention of staying in this area, but have never really lived elsewhere).

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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:58 am

Well, the chances of finding something paid for the summer is awfully low. I was 100% unpaid for my 1L summer--no funding for judicial internships from my original school--I just worked enough at a separate paid gig to cover my bills for the summer.

Brady--not doing some kind of legal internship in the summer is career suicide. If you don't have a summer internship to talk about at OCI, you are absolutely sunk. Career services offices are frequently wrong, but they aren't here. Working no legal job really isn't an option that you should have on the table. Economic realities aren't relevant--if you need to do something paid to live over the summer, then you need to do it and an internship simultaneously, and that is the reality of it.

Look at it this way: a full-time internship (most unpaid internships can be less than full time, and you don't need to be working a full-time internship to fill the resume line) + a 30-40 hour/week waitstaff/etc. job isn't much worse than biglaw hours. It's one summer. Failure to do it could very well sink any biglaw chances you have. This is not a logical investment, even if failure to worka summer internship lowered your OCI chances by, say, 25%. Considering that you're talking about a lot more than 25%...

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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby BradyToMoss » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:26 am

Aeroplane wrote:
BradyToMoss wrote:
dresden doll wrote:Somewhat off topic, but I am sincerely irritated at the extent to which our CSO keeps hyping up the awesomeness that is 1L summer judicial internship. Yeah, I'm sure the experience is invaluable, but the fact that said positions are, you know, unpaid is a bit of a goddamn damper when you're incurring as much debt as some of us are. Not to even mention the fact that unpaid positions pretty much preclude the possibility of relocating elsewhere (unless elsewhere is a place where you've got family that's happy to take you in for the summer).

I really don't think I'd take a clerkship out of law school if a biglaw position were available. Money fucking matters.


My CSO acted like I was out of my mind when I told them I would be working as a chef at my old summer job before I'd be working for free. They seem to have no understanding of financial realities that students deal with.

I don't know to what extent it's true, but I constantly hear that lacking "something law-related" on your resume from 1L summer will make it substantially harder to find a 2L job. If that is true and unpaid jobs are your only options in the legal field for 1L summer, then working for free makes more sense financially. If that is generally untrue, or you have some circumstances that make it untrue for you, then it's a different story.


Edit to add: you could always take an unpaid legal job for part of the summer, or on a part-time basis and work somewhere paid doing non-law stuff too. I'd be very hesitant to do absolutely nothing law-related the entire summer.


It does hurt to some extent. I did end up working as a chef again for last summer, with no legal experience. This fall my lack of legal-related work this summer was discussed at every interview I did (only about 5-6, but still). It definitely seemed to turn off a couple employers and cost me an offer. Others seemed to understand when I explained the financial realities I dealt with.

Fortunately I got an offer early on at my firm of choice, but the lack of legal experience post-1L is definitely viewed as problematic by most employers.

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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby TTT-LS » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:00 am

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kurama20
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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby kurama20 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:10 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:Well, for what it's worth, taking a clerkship costs you $100k or more (depending on what the firm's clerkship stipend is, and whether they put you on year 2 of the pay scale when you come in). Deciding that the experience isn't worth that much money isn't completely out of the question. There are plenty of partners out there that didn't clerk, and something tells me that making partner/getting kept on through layoffs isn't going to be assisted too much by a clerkship.

Amazing experience? Absolutely. A "gimmie" that one would choose to clerk when it costs over $100k? Not really. Particularly considering that there are stories out there of clerks not being offered their "deferred" positions.


This is seriously undervaluing the career advantages of a clerkship. I get the vibe that the vast majority of those interested in firm work on here are interested in transactional work. For those of us interested in litigation it's very very helpful. Actually if you are interested in a lit boutique it's basically required (W&C, Boies, Munger, Keker, Irell, Susman, Robbins Russell, etc.). I doubt people doing COA clerkships feel like they weren't worth the money (especially when they see their 70K clerkship bonus and the higher salaries that these firms tend to pay).

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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby Oblomov » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:13 am

dresden doll wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:Well, for what it's worth, taking a clerkship costs you $100k or more (depending on what the firm's clerkship stipend is, and whether they put you on year 2 of the pay scale when you come in). Deciding that the experience isn't worth that much money isn't completely out of the question. There are plenty of partners out there that didn't clerk, and something tells me that making partner/getting kept on through layoffs isn't going to be assisted too much by a clerkship.

Amazing experience? Absolutely. A "gimmie" that one would choose to clerk when it costs over $100k? Not really. Particularly considering that there are stories out there of clerks not being offered their "deferred" positions.


Somewhat off topic, but I am sincerely irritated at the extent to which our CSO keeps hyping up the awesomeness that is 1L summer judicial internship. Yeah, I'm sure the experience is invaluable, but the fact that said positions are, you know, unpaid is a bit of a goddamn damper when you're incurring as much debt as some of us are. Not to even mention the fact that unpaid positions pretty much preclude the possibility of relocating elsewhere (unless elsewhere is a place where you've got family that's happy to take you in for the summer).

I really don't think I'd take a clerkship out of law school if a biglaw position were available. Money fucking matters.


This seems to be pretty consistent throughout career services and is fucking infuriating. There seem to be this attitude that everyone must be able to float 5-6k and that everyone somehow has these mysterious networks. I worked for several years between UG and law school and have no money nor networks that are going to get me a job (oddly, they would probably be great if I had a few years biglaw experience, but not as I am).

My institution has competitive funding for 1L gigs. One of the things they take into account is the scholarship/grants from the school you are already receiving on the grounds that the school is assisting you with your debt. Aside from the fact that I (theoretically) earned that by academic achievement (or by being a poor bastard) and the contradiction that creates, it's not like it gives me more cash. The amount you can borrow is reduced by the scholarship award. Shit, I'd take on the damn debt via grad plus happily. It's a lot cheaper than taking it from visa gold.

Dear CSO,

Some of us are not well off. That is why we are here.

Fuck you.

Oblomov

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dresden doll
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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby dresden doll » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:22 am

Oblomov wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:Well, for what it's worth, taking a clerkship costs you $100k or more (depending on what the firm's clerkship stipend is, and whether they put you on year 2 of the pay scale when you come in). Deciding that the experience isn't worth that much money isn't completely out of the question. There are plenty of partners out there that didn't clerk, and something tells me that making partner/getting kept on through layoffs isn't going to be assisted too much by a clerkship.

Amazing experience? Absolutely. A "gimmie" that one would choose to clerk when it costs over $100k? Not really. Particularly considering that there are stories out there of clerks not being offered their "deferred" positions.


Somewhat off topic, but I am sincerely irritated at the extent to which our CSO keeps hyping up the awesomeness that is 1L summer judicial internship. Yeah, I'm sure the experience is invaluable, but the fact that said positions are, you know, unpaid is a bit of a goddamn damper when you're incurring as much debt as some of us are. Not to even mention the fact that unpaid positions pretty much preclude the possibility of relocating elsewhere (unless elsewhere is a place where you've got family that's happy to take you in for the summer).

I really don't think I'd take a clerkship out of law school if a biglaw position were available. Money fucking matters.


This seems to be pretty consistent throughout career services and is fucking infuriating. There seem to be this attitude that everyone must be able to float 5-6k and that everyone somehow has these mysterious networks. I worked for several years between UG and law school and have no money nor networks that are going to get me a job (oddly, they would probably be great if I had a few years biglaw experience, but not as I am).

My institution has competitive funding for 1L gigs. One of the things they take into account is the scholarship/grants from the school you are already receiving on the grounds that the school is assisting you with your debt. Aside from the fact that I (theoretically) earned that by academic achievement (or by being a poor bastard) and the contradiction that creates, it's not like it gives me more cash. The amount you can borrow is reduced by the scholarship award. Shit, I'd take on the damn debt via grad plus happily. It's a lot cheaper than taking it from visa gold.

Dear CSO,

Some of us are not well off. That is why we are here.

Fuck you.

Oblomov


Plus fucking infinity.

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cigrainger
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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby cigrainger » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:07 am

Thanks for the responses everyone. I feel dumb because I forgot to mention that I meant IF you want to go into PI afterwards.

Esc
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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby Esc » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:04 pm

dresden doll wrote:
Oblomov wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:Well, for what it's worth, taking a clerkship costs you $100k or more (depending on what the firm's clerkship stipend is, and whether they put you on year 2 of the pay scale when you come in). Deciding that the experience isn't worth that much money isn't completely out of the question. There are plenty of partners out there that didn't clerk, and something tells me that making partner/getting kept on through layoffs isn't going to be assisted too much by a clerkship.

Amazing experience? Absolutely. A "gimmie" that one would choose to clerk when it costs over $100k? Not really. Particularly considering that there are stories out there of clerks not being offered their "deferred" positions.


Somewhat off topic, but I am sincerely irritated at the extent to which our CSO keeps hyping up the awesomeness that is 1L summer judicial internship. Yeah, I'm sure the experience is invaluable, but the fact that said positions are, you know, unpaid is a bit of a goddamn damper when you're incurring as much debt as some of us are. Not to even mention the fact that unpaid positions pretty much preclude the possibility of relocating elsewhere (unless elsewhere is a place where you've got family that's happy to take you in for the summer).

I really don't think I'd take a clerkship out of law school if a biglaw position were available. Money fucking matters.


This seems to be pretty consistent throughout career services and is fucking infuriating. There seem to be this attitude that everyone must be able to float 5-6k and that everyone somehow has these mysterious networks. I worked for several years between UG and law school and have no money nor networks that are going to get me a job (oddly, they would probably be great if I had a few years biglaw experience, but not as I am).

My institution has competitive funding for 1L gigs. One of the things they take into account is the scholarship/grants from the school you are already receiving on the grounds that the school is assisting you with your debt. Aside from the fact that I (theoretically) earned that by academic achievement (or by being a poor bastard) and the contradiction that creates, it's not like it gives me more cash. The amount you can borrow is reduced by the scholarship award. Shit, I'd take on the damn debt via grad plus happily. It's a lot cheaper than taking it from visa gold.

Dear CSO,

Some of us are not well off. That is why we are here.

Fuck you.

Oblomov


Plus fucking infinity.


To the nth power.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:51 am

kurama20 wrote:Actually if you are interested in a lit boutique it's basically required (W&C, Boies, Munger, Keker, Irell, Susman, Robbins Russell, etc.). I doubt people doing COA clerkships feel like they weren't worth the money (especially when they see their 70K clerkship bonus and the higher salaries that these firms tend to pay).


Yeah, this depends seriously on what practice area you are thinking about. There are a few clerkships that are highly deseriable for transactional lawyers (and everyone knows which ones). It's more a litigation boost and either pretty much required or nonnegotiable for boutique practice and appellate work.

The clerkship bonuses that were being given out mostly retroactively defrayed the foregone income. Of course, that turned into "clerk lucky to get a job" so we'll see if that comes back.

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Re: How do law clerks pay their loan? Does IBR cover clerkships?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:22 pm

I mean, law school costs north of $150,000 (even if part of it is defrayed by scholarship). At top schools, getting a good looking legal job for your 1L summer will help you pull down 5 figures your second summer. I really don't think career services is too far off base in suggesting that people strongly consider good positions that are unpaid over the summer. Sure, it sucks, but it strikes me as a 'short term loss, long term gain' situation in many respects.

Particularly given that in many professions, paid substantive summer work is basically unheard of. It's crappy, but it's the way of the world, so I don't really see what harm career services does in encouraging it. Particularlly at schools where it's like to pave the way to a biglaw gig.

If I'm remembering correctly, BradyToMoss had absolutely stellar 1L grades. My intuition is that it wold be basically fatal to forgo legal work 1L summer without having some other major trump card (grades, strong network, luck).




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