Firms & Clerkships

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273566
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Firms & Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:54 am

(Please respect that I have reasons for posting this anonymously)

I'm wondering given the current economic climate how firms will view prospective clerks. I'm more and more attracted to the idea of pursuing one or possibly multiple clerkships (d. court -> COA sounds like a delightful 2 year entry into the legal world). I'm a little concerned about how that will interface w/ firms. I know the conventional wisdom is that you can get a bonus, firms love clerks, you can even have a 'second round' of applications to firms if you don't want go back to your SA firm. ITE, would it be wise to keep your lips sealed about such plans during OCI, or would it be seen as a boon for the firms to be considering a potential clerk-to-be?

I only wonder because in the tight economic times, with news on ATL of uncertain clerkship bonuses, I worry that firms might not want to commit to flight risks - even if the risk of flight comes as a result of being a strong candidate.

So the long and short of it: if we have clerkship aspirations, are they a positive talking point, a negative talking point, or a neutral talking point when it comes to OCI?

Thanks TLS!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273566
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Firms & Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:07 pm

(similar reasons for staying anon)

I have no idea what the best approach is, but here's what I did: at OCI, I made no mention of clerkships. Nobody really asked, and I didn't volunteer. It might have come up once, but really didn't seem to be a big deal (I replied something like "I haven't given clerkships much thought yet"). I got my offer, accepted, and then showed up in May. At this time, early interviews were starting up and I was a little nervous about sending the wrong signals to the firm. Anyhow, I sucked it up, asked for an unpaid day off to travel for my 1st interview, and the firm was completely fine with it -- they even told me I'd be taking the day as paid leave, not unpaid as it was common for this to occur. The firm was very supportive from there on out, both in terms of networking with former clerks and in terms of taking time off for other off-plan interviews. When I was hired by my judge, the summer program chairs congratulated me and seemed genuinely happy that I was clerking. I ended up with an offer and accepted, with a standard clerkship bonus waiting in the wings when I return (though this was not mentioned in my letter, it was over the phone).

So, long story short, In my experience clerkships are one of those things that are best left until you've been hired for the summer. Then you can bring it up. There's no need to raise the subject during OCI, so why do so?

gollymolly
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:32 pm

Re: Firms & Clerkships

Postby gollymolly » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:14 pm

It was my experience during callbacks that many/most of my interviewers had clerked and were not just supportive of the idea but thought it was crazy that anyone would consider not clerking. I'm sure it will vary by firm, but I think for the most part, firms recognize the value of clerkships and will not be put off by you wanting to do one.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273566
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Firms & Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:42 pm

Same story here. My firm is thrilled I'll be clerking. At OCI and over the summer, I saw no reason to mention my clerkship aspirations to the firm. But last fall when I landed the clerkship, I told them right away. If anything, they've become even nicer to me since then. I think they're happy they don't have to pay me next year; my first year of legal training will be paid for by the U.S. taxpayers. And the firm likes being able to brag on their website about how many of their attorneys clerked.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273566
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Firms & Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:01 pm

(OP here) This thread proves what a valuable resource TLS can be. Answered, in great detail, quickly, completely, and by those with first hand experience. Thanks!




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.