motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

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motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:26 pm

What good are clerkships from a very practical standpoint (job) if one already secures their #1 choice for 2L SA?
So firms love clerks, and some firms REALLY love clerks.
But if a firm has a near 100% offer rate, plus is my absolute #1 choice for work, what kind of "resume building" is required here on out, I already got the gig.
My question remains same for 2L, 3L grades.

Anon bec. I wouldn't want my firm to know that I have a "resume building" perspective on clerkships.

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vanwinkle
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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:35 pm

I've brought up clerking during interviews in order to get feedback from practicing partners and associates, and almost always the feedback I got was that people who clerked made better lawyers than people who didn't, because it gave them a different perspective on the law and forced them to spend a year doing nothing but considering how to apply the law and what future effects it might have on future cases. I heard comments from associates that said they liked learning from partners who'd clerked and comments from partners saying they felt associates who clerked had an edge over those who didn't.

It might not make that much of a difference if you're planning on going and doing work on the transactional side, but I've never run into a person who told me anything other than that I absolutely should clerk when asked.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:36 pm

vanwinkle wrote:I've brought up clerking during interviews in order to get feedback from practicing partners and associates, and almost always the feedback I got was that people who clerked made better lawyers than people who didn't, because it gave them a different perspective on the law and forced them to spend a year doing nothing but considering how to apply the law and what future effects it might have on future cases. I heard comments from associates that said they liked learning from partners who'd clerked and comments from partners saying they felt associates who clerked had an edge over those who didn't.

It might not make that much of a difference if you're planning on going and doing work on the transactional side, but I've never run into a person who told me anything other than that I absolutely should clerk when asked.

cool. Isn't what you're describing law school though? "thinking about law and future effects/future cases" - that's what professors/students seem to be engaged in day in/out.

+1 on the "perspective" thing - all lawyers have told me the same thing.

I guess one thing that would motivate me is if this matters @ partnership decisions, or for clients. I'm assuming clients might like a CoA clerk staffed on their cases, wtf do I know though. Sometimes I get the feeling clerking has a nobility plus factor because you've forfeited income post-law school to do something outside the private sector, but that's all b/s because most people clerk for the private sector payout, much like the AUSA passion for justice.

P.S. is that karl rove on your tar?

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vanwinkle
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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:cool. Isn't what you're describing law school though?

Law school is learning the law for four months and then trying your best to apply it to one particular set of facts, and getting a grade that tells you whether you did better or worse than your peers as your only feedback.

Clerking is constantly being given new law and facts to learn and to figure out how they should apply with each new case, having a very limited amount of time to do it, and then getting feedback from the judge in terms of him telling you what you did wrong and how you need to think about the issues in the future. And then making you do it again with the next case. Over and over.

You get an incredible amount of feedback from a judge on your own legal thinking, from what I understand. It might make a difference at the partner stage, because being a more effective lawyer will allow you to get more work done, get more positive feedback from the partners you're working with, and make you look more competent at selection time.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:45 pm

vanwinkle wrote:You get an incredible amount of feedback from a judge on your own legal thinking, from what I understand.

Sounds like a crapshoot dep on which judge you get, but if what you're saying is true for a couple of judges I'm considering throwing apps to, sounds like a hell of a deal.

TY for your perspective

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Pablo Ramirez » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:48 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:cool. Isn't what you're describing law school though?

Law school is learning the law for four months and then trying your best to apply it to one particular set of facts, and getting a grade that tells you whether you did better or worse than your peers as your only feedback.

Clerking is constantly being given new law and facts to learn and to figure out how they should apply with each new case, having a very limited amount of time to do it, and then getting feedback from the judge in terms of him telling you what you did wrong and how you need to think about the issues in the future. And then making you do it again with the next case. Over and over.

You get an incredible amount of feedback from a judge on your own legal thinking, from what I understand.


This is completely wrong. You obviously have yet to clerk, Winkle. Judges typically don't give a shit about your professional/intellectual development. They want you to think and reason like they do. So, instead of pressing you to think about the issues, they force you to "think" like they do. It's more regurgitation than anything else. This isn't law school, it's back to college-style brain dump.

OP, clerk because it will make others think you're more accomplished/capable, not because it will, in fact, make you so.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:52 pm

Pablo Ramirez wrote: Judges typically don't give a shit about your professional/intellectual development.


I have no idea whether this is true or not, my leaning is that human beings in general couldn't give two shits about other human beings, but I'll say this much: I had occasion (honor? nah, occasion) to chit chat with several federal d. ct. judges recently at an event.

I don't think I've met a more abnoxious, condescending, arrogant-prick personality than a judge. And I'm in law school people. I have a very selfish personal utility take on clerkships, so I'm curious whether you think they give me any edge with clients/partner stuff down the line. I'm going to a firm where lateralling ain't gonna be a problem unless the world turns upside down (or so I'd like to think).

I'm reeeally considering taking it easy on myself for 2L/3L year (not slacking, but not gunning for top grades to get a c'ship) and enjoying the law school experience before the law firm hellhole.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:P.S. is that karl rove on your tar?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3IhBf1rWx8&NR=1

Also, for additional lulz:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8vGLiH5ge4

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vanwinkle
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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:55 pm

Pablo Ramirez wrote:Judges typically don't give a shit about your professional/intellectual development. They want you to think and reason like they do. So, instead of pressing you to think about the issues, they force you to "think" like they do.

Even if that's the way you look at it, you're still being taught for a year how to think like a judge on a number of different legal applications, no?

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:59 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Pablo Ramirez wrote:Judges typically don't give a shit about your professional/intellectual development. They want you to think and reason like they do. So, instead of pressing you to think about the issues, they force you to "think" like they do.

Even if that's the way you look at it, you're still being taught for a year how to think like a judge on a number of different legal applications, no?

I think what he's describing is shittier. He's saying as a clerk, you're pigeonholed intellectually into thinking like ONE PERSON, who happens to be your boss - and who happens to be a judge, versus thinking like a judge in the generic.

Sounds AWFUL! Can anyone else drop $.02 on this take on clerking?

Before this, the most pessimistic thing I heard about clerking was its like trying to learn how to play baseball by landing dugout tickets, you never actually get to swing, but you get a hell of a view.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous Abuser » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:07 pm

I want to clerk because it sounds fun and it gives you more opportunities without hurting your current opportunity. So you start there a year later -- the job will still be waiting.

And plus, you can use it as a mini-vacation. I plan to get back to one of the most fun cities in America for a clerkship, if at all possible.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:25 pm

Anonymous Abuser wrote:I want to clerk because it sounds fun and it gives you more opportunities without hurting your current opportunity. So you start there a year later -- the job will still be waiting.

And plus, you can use it as a mini-vacation. I plan to get back to one of the most fun cities in America for a clerkship, if at all possible.


I am clerking for a court of appeals judge that sits in one of the main circuits I'll be practicing in.

He writes probably 60% of the opinions on the kinds of cases I will be working on.

Having the opportunity to really learn how he ticks will make me immeasurably more valuable to my firm.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous Abuser » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous Abuser wrote:I want to clerk because it sounds fun and it gives you more opportunities without hurting your current opportunity. So you start there a year later -- the job will still be waiting.

And plus, you can use it as a mini-vacation. I plan to get back to one of the most fun cities in America for a clerkship, if at all possible.


I am clerking for a court of appeals judge that sits in one of the main circuits I'll be practicing in.

He writes probably 60% of the opinions on the kinds of cases I will be working on.

Having the opportunity to really learn how he ticks will make me immeasurably more valuable to my firm.


Another good reason.

I plan to do District Court clerkship. No real desire for CoA. I was told that, w/r/t District Court, it doesn't matter where it is since the odds of you having a case before that judge are fairly slim, or at least it won't happen often.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby bigben » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:30 pm

From everything I have heard, a clerkship is less inherently useful to a career in a law firm than an extra year of working at a firm.

Out of the former clerks I have talked to, the vast majority recommended it just because they enjoyed the experience. They said that even though they made less money, they really enjoyed the quality of life and found the work interesting. Although the experience is also relevant to practicing litigation, it seems that it's not as relevant to firm life as actually working at a firm.

Law firms as an institution might encourage clerking because it adds to the prestige of your bio that they're planning to put up on their website. However, it definitely won't be a factor when it comes to partnership or pretty much any of your firm career, with the possible exception of an early lateral move.

Outside of law firms, clerking is of course very important for a career in academia and probably more useful for govt jobs as well.

So the decision doesn't seem like a no-brainer, even for a litigation associate. (For corporate work, it's completely irrelevant). While most former clerks recommend it for the enriching experience, people generally don't consider it particularly useful to a firm career.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:35 pm

bigben wrote:From everything I have heard, a clerkship is less inherently useful to a career in a law firm than an extra year of working at a firm.

Out of the former clerks I have talked to, the vast majority recommended it just because they enjoyed the experience. They said that even though they made less money, they really enjoyed the quality of life and found the work interesting. Although the experience is also relevant to practicing litigation, it seems that it's not as relevant to firm life as actually working at a firm.

Law firms as an institution might encourage clerking because it adds to the prestige of your bio that they're planning to put up on their website. However, it definitely won't be a factor when it comes to partnership or pretty much any of your firm career, with the possible exception of an early lateral move.

Outside of law firms, clerking is of course very important for a career in academia and probably more useful for govt jobs as well.

So the decision doesn't seem like a no-brainer, even for a litigation associate. (For corporate work, it's completely irrelevant). While most former clerks recommend it for the enriching experience, people generally don't consider it particularly useful to a firm career.


It's basically a job requirement for app. lit, if that's what you're going for. Statement couresy of the father of app. lit practices, by the way.


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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
Pablo Ramirez wrote:Judges typically don't give a shit about your professional/intellectual development. They want you to think and reason like they do. So, instead of pressing you to think about the issues, they force you to "think" like they do.

Even if that's the way you look at it, you're still being taught for a year how to think like a judge on a number of different legal applications, no?

I think what he's describing is shittier. He's saying as a clerk, you're pigeonholed intellectually into thinking like ONE PERSON, who happens to be your boss - and who happens to be a judge, versus thinking like a judge in the generic.

Sounds AWFUL! Can anyone else drop $.02 on this take on clerking?

Before this, the most pessimistic thing I heard about clerking was its like trying to learn how to play baseball by landing dugout tickets, you never actually get to swing, but you get a hell of a view.


Maybe Pablo had a bad experience clerking, but I can tell you that what he described is certainly not in the ordinary course of events, from what I have seen and heard. I interned for a Federal District Judge over my 1L summer, and my judge specifically wanted his clerks to think for themselves, challenge him, and debate him on difficult issues. And they very often changed his mind when they stood up and argued for a position that they believed was the correct interpretation and application of the law.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous Abuser » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:49 pm

bigben wrote:From everything I have heard, a clerkship is less inherently useful to a career in a law firm than an extra year of working at a firm.

Out of the former clerks I have talked to, the vast majority recommended it just because they enjoyed the experience. They said that even though they made less money, they really enjoyed the quality of life and found the work interesting. Although the experience is also relevant to practicing litigation, it seems that it's not as relevant to firm life as actually working at a firm.

Law firms as an institution might encourage clerking because it adds to the prestige of your bio that they're planning to put up on their website. However, it definitely won't be a factor when it comes to partnership or pretty much any of your firm career, with the possible exception of an early lateral move.

Outside of law firms, clerking is of course very important for a career in academia and probably more useful for govt jobs as well.

So the decision doesn't seem like a no-brainer, even for a litigation associate. (For corporate work, it's completely irrelevant). While most former clerks recommend it for the enriching experience, people generally don't consider it particularly useful to a firm career.


It still sounds like a no brainer.

1. Firms don't care that you do it (meaning it might be less valuable then life at the firm, but they don't care, and your offer will still be there).

2. It won't be a positive factor in advancing within a law firm, but it won't be a negative either.

3. Clerking opens options outside of law firm world (and actually, quite a few within the law firm world, if you look beyond the Vault).

So firms don't care, it can't hurt, and it gives you more options.

Why not?

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:55 pm

Anonymous Abuser wrote:
bigben wrote:From everything I have heard, a clerkship is less inherently useful to a career in a law firm than an extra year of working at a firm.

Out of the former clerks I have talked to, the vast majority recommended it just because they enjoyed the experience. They said that even though they made less money, they really enjoyed the quality of life and found the work interesting. Although the experience is also relevant to practicing litigation, it seems that it's not as relevant to firm life as actually working at a firm.

Law firms as an institution might encourage clerking because it adds to the prestige of your bio that they're planning to put up on their website. However, it definitely won't be a factor when it comes to partnership or pretty much any of your firm career, with the possible exception of an early lateral move.

Outside of law firms, clerking is of course very important for a career in academia and probably more useful for govt jobs as well.

So the decision doesn't seem like a no-brainer, even for a litigation associate. (For corporate work, it's completely irrelevant). While most former clerks recommend it for the enriching experience, people generally don't consider it particularly useful to a firm career.


It still sounds like a no brainer.

1. Firms don't care that you do it (meaning it might be less valuable then life at the firm, but they don't care, and your offer will still be there).

2. It won't be a positive factor in advancing within a law firm, but it won't be a negative either.

3. Clerking opens options outside of law firm world (and actually, quite a few within the law firm world, if you look beyond the Vault).

So firms don't care, it can't hurt, and it gives you more options.

Why not?


$100k, having to move (most people won't end up getting a clerkship in the city they want to practice in - I was really lucky tr.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous Abuser » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:06 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
Anonymous Abuser wrote:
bigben wrote:From everything I have heard, a clerkship is less inherently useful to a career in a law firm than an extra year of working at a firm.

Out of the former clerks I have talked to, the vast majority recommended it just because they enjoyed the experience. They said that even though they made less money, they really enjoyed the quality of life and found the work interesting. Although the experience is also relevant to practicing litigation, it seems that it's not as relevant to firm life as actually working at a firm.

Law firms as an institution might encourage clerking because it adds to the prestige of your bio that they're planning to put up on their website. However, it definitely won't be a factor when it comes to partnership or pretty much any of your firm career, with the possible exception of an early lateral move.

Outside of law firms, clerking is of course very important for a career in academia and probably more useful for govt jobs as well.

So the decision doesn't seem like a no-brainer, even for a litigation associate. (For corporate work, it's completely irrelevant). While most former clerks recommend it for the enriching experience, people generally don't consider it particularly useful to a firm career.


It still sounds like a no brainer.

1. Firms don't care that you do it (meaning it might be less valuable then life at the firm, but they don't care, and your offer will still be there).

2. It won't be a positive factor in advancing within a law firm, but it won't be a negative either.

3. Clerking opens options outside of law firm world (and actually, quite a few within the law firm world, if you look beyond the Vault).

So firms don't care, it can't hurt, and it gives you more options.

Why not?


$100k, having to move (most people won't end up getting a clerkship in the city they want to practice in - I was really lucky tr.


$100k? Don't firms give a $50k bonus for a fed clerkship? And don't fed clerkships pay somewhere around $40 or $50k?

The having to move thing could be a concern, but shouldn't be that big of a deal. If you're married or have children it might be problematic (although I'd say that if it's just a husband/wife and no kids, 8 months away can be done without major problems), but if it's just a concern about being away from familiarity...c'mon man.

I'm not saying everyone should clerk, but there don't seem to be any real negatives to it.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:21 am

Anonymous Abuser wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
Anonymous Abuser wrote:
bigben wrote:From everything I have heard, a clerkship is less inherently useful to a career in a law firm than an extra year of working at a firm.

Out of the former clerks I have talked to, the vast majority recommended it just because they enjoyed the experience. They said that even though they made less money, they really enjoyed the quality of life and found the work interesting. Although the experience is also relevant to practicing litigation, it seems that it's not as relevant to firm life as actually working at a firm.

Law firms as an institution might encourage clerking because it adds to the prestige of your bio that they're planning to put up on their website. However, it definitely won't be a factor when it comes to partnership or pretty much any of your firm career, with the possible exception of an early lateral move.

Outside of law firms, clerking is of course very important for a career in academia and probably more useful for govt jobs as well.

So the decision doesn't seem like a no-brainer, even for a litigation associate. (For corporate work, it's completely irrelevant). While most former clerks recommend it for the enriching experience, people generally don't consider it particularly useful to a firm career.


It still sounds like a no brainer.

1. Firms don't care that you do it (meaning it might be less valuable then life at the firm, but they don't care, and your offer will still be there).

2. It won't be a positive factor in advancing within a law firm, but it won't be a negative either.

3. Clerking opens options outside of law firm world (and actually, quite a few within the law firm world, if you look beyond the Vault).

So firms don't care, it can't hurt, and it gives you more options.

Why not?


$100k, having to move (most people won't end up getting a clerkship in the city they want to practice in - I was really lucky tr.


$100k? Don't firms give a $50k bonus for a fed clerkship? And don't fed clerkships pay somewhere around $40 or $50k?

The having to move thing could be a concern, but shouldn't be that big of a deal. If you're married or have children it might be problematic (although I'd say that if it's just a husband/wife and no kids, 8 months away can be done without major problems), but if it's just a concern about being away from familiarity...c'mon man.

I'm not saying everyone should clerk, but there don't seem to be any real negatives to it.


Yeah... firms give a $50 clerkship bonus. CoA pays $60k. So, you have $60k + $50k = $110k. Vs. $160k + $whatever your bonus is + whatever money you save not having to defer loan payments for a year/whatever you save on interest because you were able to plug more in to loan payments/interest gained on $401k contribution. -extra taxes though, I guess. So not $100k, but something well over $50k, depending on your first-year bonus.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous Abuser » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:24 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous Abuser wrote:$100k? Don't firms give a $50k bonus for a fed clerkship? And don't fed clerkships pay somewhere around $40 or $50k?

The having to move thing could be a concern, but shouldn't be that big of a deal. If you're married or have children it might be problematic (although I'd say that if it's just a husband/wife and no kids, 8 months away can be done without major problems), but if it's just a concern about being away from familiarity...c'mon man.

I'm not saying everyone should clerk, but there don't seem to be any real negatives to it.

Federal clerks the first year out of law school earn between 60k and 70k depending on the location. With the $50k bonus, that's $115, ballpark. But clerks pay down fewer loans than a biglaw associate, causing more loan interest to capitalize. So let's treat that like another -5k, which strikes me as a very, very high estimate. If you include tax eligibility for the student loan interest deduction, etc. then that might offset some of the -5k.

160+10 (bonus estimate) = 170 in biglaw; 115-5 = 110 via clerkship, so difference is approximately 60k.


The trade off may not be worth it to some, I guess. But for those who want options, or to potentially move into a more lucrative legal job (there are quite a few which req clerkships)...small price to pay, I think.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:26 am

What "more lucrative jobs" require a clerkship? You're talking to someone who will be clerking - but I have just about the most lucrative legal paths possible, and it's in spite of the clerkship, not because of it.

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:What "more lucrative jobs" require a clerkship? You're talking to someone who will be clerking - but I have just about the most lucrative legal paths possible, and it's in spite of the clerkship, not because of it.


Plaintiffs side lit boutiques.

Very hard to land a job with some of the top ones without a clerkship.

But if you can land such a job, odds are pretty you'll be bringing in well over $1 mill before you're 35, with a much higher ceiling than big law (one case that springs to mind from a few years ago...partner who brought it in took home over $30 million).

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Re: motivation for clerkships died after landing dream job

Postby Kohinoor » Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:36 am

Anonymous Abuser wrote:
bigben wrote:From everything I have heard, a clerkship is less inherently useful to a career in a law firm than an extra year of working at a firm.

Out of the former clerks I have talked to, the vast majority recommended it just because they enjoyed the experience. They said that even though they made less money, they really enjoyed the quality of life and found the work interesting. Although the experience is also relevant to practicing litigation, it seems that it's not as relevant to firm life as actually working at a firm.

Law firms as an institution might encourage clerking because it adds to the prestige of your bio that they're planning to put up on their website. However, it definitely won't be a factor when it comes to partnership or pretty much any of your firm career, with the possible exception of an early lateral move.

Outside of law firms, clerking is of course very important for a career in academia and probably more useful for govt jobs as well.

So the decision doesn't seem like a no-brainer, even for a litigation associate. (For corporate work, it's completely irrelevant). While most former clerks recommend it for the enriching experience, people generally don't consider it particularly useful to a firm career.


It still sounds like a no brainer.

1. Firms don't care that you do it (meaning it might be less valuable then life at the firm, but they don't care, and your offer will still be there).

2. It won't be a positive factor in advancing within a law firm, but it won't be a negative either.

3. Clerking opens options outside of law firm world (and actually, quite a few within the law firm world, if you look beyond the Vault).

So firms don't care, it can't hurt, and it gives you more options.

Why not?
ITT: It is 2006.




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