Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

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dbt
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Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby dbt » Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:58 pm

I just wanted to tell anyone who may be factoring in Covington's clerkship policy (which held that you had to complete your clerkship before coming to the firm) that it has been amended as of yesterday, per the hiring partner, and that it now only establishes a preference that you complete your clerkship before coming to the firm. It in no way should affect your ability to apply to clerkships, leave after being at the firm, or get support from the firm. They're just trying to get students to clerk first, as has always been the case, but they understand the new clerkship market and its stress of work experience before clerking.

Just know this was an important thing to me so want others who may be struggling with Covington vs. some other firm to have the right information.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:32 pm

dbt wrote:I just wanted to tell anyone who may be factoring in Covington's clerkship policy (which held that you had to complete your clerkship before coming to the firm) that it has been amended as of yesterday, per the hiring partner, and that it now only establishes a preference that you complete your clerkship before coming to the firm. It in no way should affect your ability to apply to clerkships, leave after being at the firm, or get support from the firm. They're just trying to get students to clerk first, as has always been the case, but they understand the new clerkship market and its stress of work experience before clerking.

Just know this was an important thing to me so want others who may be struggling with Covington vs. some other firm to have the right information.


This is great news. Is this an official policy change? It would be great to have concrete confirmation (do you know if they have made an official announcement). I'd feel like an idiot if I detrimentally relied on an internet message post.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby mitchz19 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:36 pm

From the website: "We strongly encourage law students to apply for clerkships in their third year of law school and, where feasible, to complete their clerkships prior to beginning as associates with the firm. We encourage this timing because we have found that, despite our best efforts, starting at the firm for a limited time period with a fixed departure date for a clerkship can meaningfully diminish an associate’s experience and development. Nonetheless, we understand that an increasing number of judges are hiring clerks to begin a year or more after law school graduation, and thus not all of our incoming associates will able to obtain a clerkship immediately following law school, even when they have applied during the normal cycle in their third year of law school. For this reason, we recognize that some of our incoming associates will unavoidably start at the firm for a period of time prior to beginning their clerkships."

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:32 am

Covington isn't at a level where it could have sustained its former policy without turning candidates off - as was communicated by myself and several others who did callbacks there (among a bunch of other things about the DC office that turned me off that I didn't mention during my callback).

Either the old policy was disconnected with reality, or Covington thought that it was a good enough firm that they could have the logistics of clerkships the way they wanted. There are many firms that can be that fussy, but they're miles above Covington.

Great things about Cov-DC though, some of the associates on my callback schedule were really cool people (one of them was totally candid with me when I told him that I wasn't going to pick them), overall, the more I learned about the office (esp the people who run it), the less I wanted to work there.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby dbt » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:20 am

There are many firms that can be that fussy, but they're miles above Covington.


I'm not sure what the many firms miles above Covington are, but I wouldn't have gone to any firm with such a policy, so I understand at least that much.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:Covington isn't at a level where it could have sustained its former policy without turning candidates off - as was communicated by myself and several others who did callbacks there (among a bunch of other things about the DC office that turned me off that I didn't mention during my callback).

Either the old policy was disconnected with reality, or Covington thought that it was a good enough firm that they could have the logistics of clerkships the way they wanted. There are many firms that can be that fussy, but they're miles above Covington.

Great things about Cov-DC though, some of the associates on my callback schedule were really cool people (one of them was totally candid with me when I told him that I wasn't going to pick them), overall, the more I learned about the office (esp the people who run it), the less I wanted to work there.


Curious what some of those things are. I have an offer from Covington and I am seriously considering the office, but it would be good to hear an additional viewpoint.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:05 pm

happy to pm if you post your username on here, its a great place to go btw, if you happen to have other options though, take em, even if they're lower ranked on the b/s vault rankings.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby mightyaphrodite » Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:happy to pm if you post your username on here, its a great place to go btw, if you happen to have other options though, take em, even if they're lower ranked on the b/s vault rankings.


I asked the above question, so please do PM me with insights.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:14 pm

Cov-DC is band 3 in its own CITY for litigation according to one commercial publication (Chambers). Its not a band 1 firm in its own city for anything other than Healthcare, so if you're interested in that - yeah, go for it. These are published "rankings," seemingly "made up" by one website; which can be non-anonymously posted on here. But Chambers is a commercial publication which should be taken for what its worth, and I am posting anonymously because I was offering pure hearsay based on email exchanges with associates who I interviewed with; after my callback. So its more than "someone who spent a half day on a callback" - I'm very grateful to these guys in being absolutely candid with me about the pluses AND minuses of their experiences there, and the minuses were big negatives for me. I have zero interest in outing myself, and therefore outing who was on my callback schedule (if partners even check message boards like these, other associates might?)

I'll speak generally; the firm's associates were not happy at all with how the firm was run, they felt that they had less control over their progress and development than their friends at peer firms, and one of them cited the departure of some bigwigs recently as a big negative which was causing them to want to move out. They loved the partners, but thought that they just didn't know how to manage associates at all (again, relative to their peers at other firms). Not one of them mentioned the "salary freeze" or whatever stuff that has been posted on Vault and on other places, they were fine with that because its just ITE.

There's nothing they said to me that cannot be said about other firms (usual gripings about big law firm life), but that they were really down on their own seniors (both mid-levels and partners) was a first for me outta any firm I've callback'd with.

I was originally responding to the unfriendly policy regarding clerkships, which has apparently been taken down, a point that I brought up with every single person on my interviewing roster at Cov-DC.

I'll say this though - they are very selective, they are a good brand name for some practices, and offer good exit options, but if I had choices between Covington and peer firms like Wilmer, Hogan, Kirkland, Sidley, Jones Day, (yes, their DC offices), I'd take them over Covington even though it is said that Cov-DC is very selective. Its easy to just "generalize" big law problems as big law problems common to all law firms, and then treat peer firms like they're cut out of the same cloth, in the end - if you guys liked the group you interviewed with, for whatever thats worth (frankly, your interviewers might not even be there by the time you start a job there), then go for it. To each his own.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:11 pm

okay, I concede this point, while emphasizing that regional strength is an important factor to consider if you're going to work in that office. For example, I absolutely loved a Kirkland office; but they weren't a big name for what I wanted to do in that state; is Kirkland a national firm? Heck yeah, they've got top status in Chicago for a buttload of things, but not where I was offered. Even if you're looking to go in and jump out in 2-3 years, it DOES matter what office you're working in, for instance - working for Simpson Thacher's Palo Alto office is not going to give you nearly the exit options as working for their NY office will. (this is advice I got from my career office person at my law school, so take it fwiw)

Frankly, we're all working with very, very limited information - whatever I shared is contained wholly in 1 gmail chat with a guy there, and 2 emails.

I'm making a career decision with whatever "vibe" i get from the firm, whatever rankings are published (I take these with a half-grain of salt), and whatever anecdotal info I get from 3Ls at my school + random people (like these candid associates).

Anyone who goes to work @ Cov-DC is obviously bright enough to be a great lawyer, we're all trying to make decisions on imperfect info, I'm just dropping my $.02

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby dbt » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:okay, I concede this point, while emphasizing that regional strength is an important factor to consider if you're going to work in that office. For example, I absolutely loved a Kirkland office; but they weren't a big name for what I wanted to do in that state; is Kirkland a national firm? Heck yeah, they've got top status in Chicago for a buttload of things, but not where I was offered. Even if you're looking to go in and jump out in 2-3 years, it DOES matter what office you're working in, for instance - working for Simpson Thacher's Palo Alto office is not going to give you nearly the exit options as working for their NY office will. (this is advice I got from my career office person at my law school, so take it fwiw)

Frankly, we're all working with very, very limited information - whatever I shared is contained wholly in 1 gmail chat with a guy there, and 2 emails.

I'm making a career decision with whatever "vibe" i get from the firm, whatever rankings are published (I take these with a half-grain of salt), and whatever anecdotal info I get from 3Ls at my school + random people (like these candid associates).

Anyone who goes to work @ Cov-DC is obviously bright enough to be a great lawyer, we're all trying to make decisions on imperfect info, I'm just dropping my $.02


While I think it's important to have opinions on the firm out there for everyone to see, I will say that my point of this thread wasn't to offer a forum for a discussion on the merits and weaknesses of Covington. I think the vibe you get should play a big role in your decision - I got a very good vibe from Covington and a good, but not as good, vibe from the other offer that I was weighing it against.

But on the point of national/regional and exit opportunities, I think this is kinda silly. Exit opps are going to be determined in large part based on the caliber of the firm and the contacts that the firm has (and that you develop via the firm), rather than based on the firm's perceived strength in some niche area. This is precisely because the vast majority of law students don't go to a firm with a very specific area in mind.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:23 pm

dbt wrote:Exit opps are going to be determined in large part based on the caliber of the firm and the contacts that the firm has (and that you develop via the firm), rather than based on the firm's perceived strength in some niche area. This is precisely because the vast majority of law students don't go to a firm with a very specific area in mind.

ok, frankly - I don't think discussing exit options makes much sense when you're talking about V10 firms, unless you go to a satellite office of a V10, which is not the case with Cov DC. While I regard Covington's strengths in specialty areas rather than as a general litigation powerhouse - which I don't think it is - its still a fantastic name to have on one's resume just because of their hiring selectivity.

I think the clerkship point is a moot point now. /thread

P.S. - I'm contemplating about this thread and realizing that some of us might have accepted a Cov-DC offer and are headed there, and so feel strongly about the firm because its their future home. So maybe I've been a bit callous about criticizing this firm without thinking of what you guys' situation is. I think Covington DC is a fantastic group of sick, sick legal talent. I don't have that much "anecdotal info" about any firm, so I get excited about having SOME about ONE firm, that's why I posted on this Covington DC thread. I think anyone with a job offer there is SET, I just have some data on gmail/gchat from some people who work there, so I felt compelled to share it, because I used that to make my decision, I'm 100% sure you can squeeze trash talk from any overworked junior associate, so please take my comments as exactly what they are, HEARSAY FROM A BIG LAW JUNIOR ASSOCIATE.

Frankly, I think the only time I've ever heard a junior associate speak favorably about their big law experience is during callbacks, lol, all the other junior associates I know can't stop shittalking their own firm and partners.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby 270910 » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Frankly, I think the only time I've ever heard a junior associate speak favorably about their big law experience is during callbacks


Amen to that.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby dbt » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dbt wrote:Exit opps are going to be determined in large part based on the caliber of the firm and the contacts that the firm has (and that you develop via the firm), rather than based on the firm's perceived strength in some niche area. This is precisely because the vast majority of law students don't go to a firm with a very specific area in mind.

ok, frankly - I don't think discussing exit options makes much sense when you're talking about V10 firms, unless you go to a satellite office of a V10, which is not the case with Cov DC. While I regard Covington's strengths in specialty areas rather than as a general litigation powerhouse - which I don't think it is - its still a fantastic name to have on one's resume just because of their hiring selectivity.

I think the clerkship point is a moot point now. /thread

P.S. - I'm contemplating about this thread and realizing that some of us might have accepted a Cov-DC offer and are headed there, and so feel strongly about the firm because its their future home. So maybe I've been a bit callous about criticizing this firm without thinking of what you guys' situation is. I think Covington DC is a fantastic group of sick, sick legal talent. I don't have that much "anecdotal info" about any firm, so I get excited about having SOME about ONE firm, that's why I posted on this Covington DC thread. I think anyone with a job offer there is SET, I just have some data on gmail/gchat from some people who work there, so I felt compelled to share it, because I used that to make my decision, I'm 100% sure you can squeeze trash talk from any overworked junior associate, so please take my comments as exactly what they are, HEARSAY FROM A BIG LAW JUNIOR ASSOCIATE.

Frankly, I think the only time I've ever heard a junior associate speak favorably about their big law experience is during callbacks, lol, all the other junior associates I know can't stop shittalking their own firm and partners.


Yes naturally I'm going to attempt to defend the place since I have accepted there, but like I said I think it's very helpful to get comments on the firm for people still making a decision. That just wasn't the point of this thread. And as I said, I pushed myself to choose Covington in part because the callback/interview process was so enjoyable.

I can definitely agree that there may be things about the firm that aren't so admirable, including the fact that they initiated this clerkship policy in the first place - in that sense I agree too that the firm overstepped its bounds since no firm, not even W&C or what have you, is so superior that I would hinder my future prospects (particularly regarding clerking). But I know also from speaking with the hiring partner extensively regarding the policy that they at least had a very legitimate reason (even from the perspective of the well-being of associates) for enacting it, and when they had enough push-back and realized that it wasn't best overall to make clerking first a requirement, they revoked the policy (which was not in place for even a year). So I do have some faith in the firm so far, and I had a positive experience in numerous respects, but I appreciate your opinion to the contrary because I think that the negative aspects are intrinsic to the biglaw environment - they exist, and they should be brought to light.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby wiseowl » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:27 pm

this is one of the douchier threads of the season.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby dbt » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:28 pm

wiseowl wrote:this is one of the douchier threads of the season.


why?

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby wiseowl » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:34 pm

dbt wrote:
wiseowl wrote:this is one of the douchier threads of the season.


why?


if I have to explain it, uh, don't worry about it.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby dbt » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:38 pm

wiseowl wrote:
dbt wrote:
wiseowl wrote:this is one of the douchier threads of the season.


why?


if I have to explain it, uh, don't worry about it.


I'm just not sure how my disclosing the clerkship policy would be considered douchy, or how my responses would be either. If you're talking about the anonymous poster reply, yes I thought the fact that he told callback interviewers that he'd be turning them down was pretty douchy.

But whatever.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:Cov-DC is band 3 in its own CITY for litigation according to one commercial publication (Chambers). Its not a band 1 firm in its own city for anything other than Healthcare, so if you're interested in that - yeah, go for it. These are published "rankings," seemingly "made up" by one website; which can be non-anonymously posted on here. But Chambers is a commercial publication which should be taken for what its worth, and I am posting anonymously because I was offering pure hearsay based on email exchanges with associates who I interviewed with; after my callback. So its more than "someone who spent a half day on a callback" - I'm very grateful to these guys in being absolutely candid with me about the pluses AND minuses of their experiences there, and the minuses were big negatives for me. I have zero interest in outing myself, and therefore outing who was on my callback schedule (if partners even check message boards like these, other associates might?)

I'll speak generally; the firm's associates were not happy at all with how the firm was run, they felt that they had less control over their progress and development than their friends at peer firms, and one of them cited the departure of some bigwigs recently as a big negative which was causing them to want to move out. They loved the partners, but thought that they just didn't know how to manage associates at all (again, relative to their peers at other firms). Not one of them mentioned the "salary freeze" or whatever stuff that has been posted on Vault and on other places, they were fine with that because its just ITE.

There's nothing they said to me that cannot be said about other firms (usual gripings about big law firm life), but that they were really down on their own seniors (both mid-levels and partners) was a first for me outta any firm I've callback'd with.

I was originally responding to the unfriendly policy regarding clerkships, which has apparently been taken down, a point that I brought up with every single person on my interviewing roster at Cov-DC.

I'll say this though - they are very selective, they are a good brand name for some practices, and offer good exit options, but if I had choices between Covington and peer firms like Wilmer, Hogan, Kirkland, Sidley, Jones Day, (yes, their DC offices), I'd take them over Covington even though it is said that Cov-DC is very selective. Its easy to just "generalize" big law problems as big law problems common to all law firms, and then treat peer firms like they're cut out of the same cloth, in the end - if you guys liked the group you interviewed with, for whatever thats worth (frankly, your interviewers might not even be there by the time you start a job there), then go for it. To each his own.



Basically your opinion is this:

1) You didn't like Covington during your callback;

2) Therefor, anyone who got an offer from Covington should turn it down

3) When pushed for reasons, you cite Chambers rankings for the city while ignore the Chambers rankings for the ENTIRE U.S.

So, how about you spare all that typing and say this instead:

"I didn't like Covington on my callback, so it wasn't right for me."

Your posts have been absolutely useless and seem like your trying to justify your decision to everyone else. I think that all of us here understand that what might be a right fit for one person may not be a right fit for another. There is no reason to trash a firm just because it wasn't the right fit for you.

Disclaimer - I accepted with Covington, but it was because it felt right for me after my callback.

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Re: Covington's Revised Clerkship Policy

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:48 am

Do you guys know whether my offer will be held open at another firm if I go clerk after 1 year of practice? Is there a general rule here? Anon. because I'm considering doin exactly this, but I don't want my firm to find out bec. I don't want them to think that I'm going to leave and never come back!




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