Clerkships, "ITE"

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Anonymous User
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Clerkships, "ITE"

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:25 pm

Anyone else who has a firm gig lined up getting weary of applying for clerkships because of the recent wave of economic craziness? I have always been clerkship-bound, but now that I have my firm offer, I am starting to question whether it would be a wise decision to put off the 160k salary in light of what is going on out there again. Anyone else feeling equally nervous about the clerkship route?

I want a clerkship, don't get me wrong....but I have a family to support. And if economic armageddon round 2 comes around, I at least want to have had some face time at my firm in the hopes that I will be liked enough to be spared from layoffs....I don't want to be the random person who is out clerking who they can rescind an offer to without feeling so bad.

Not sure what to do.

Edit: I'm a rising 3L, not a recent grad.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerkships, "ITE"

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:29 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Upsides and downsides to each potential path. If you go to the firm, you do get some time to establish a presence. You would be on the inside if stuff hit the fan, which might be an advantage in some circumstances. On the other hand, it might be good to be on the outside if your firm has to lay people off -- a later start date might give the economy more time to recover, etc.


Not so much worried about the later start date as I am the rescinded offer situation. I could handle a delayed entry into the work world (although with a family to support, this certainly isn't ideal, either), but potentially not having *any* income is a terrifying thought.

Is anyone else worried about this??

Citizen Genet
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Re: Clerkships, "ITE"

Postby Citizen Genet » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Upsides and downsides to each potential path. If you go to the firm, you do get some time to establish a presence. You would be on the inside if stuff hit the fan, which might be an advantage in some circumstances. On the other hand, it might be good to be on the outside if your firm has to lay people off -- a later start date might give the economy more time to recover, etc.


Not so much worried about the later start date as I am the rescinded offer situation. I could handle a delayed entry into the work world (although with a family to support, this certainly isn't ideal, either), but potentially not having *any* income is a terrifying thought.

Is anyone else worried about this??



I don't know that you can telegraph this kind of thing. My thought is that a clerkship is good because if they start deferring or laying off, you can cover under the clerkship and hope things swing back.

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Re: Clerkships, "ITE"

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:55 pm

Thanks for the feedback so far. Anyone else have any thoughts on this? I need to make a decision fairly quickly, since my school has all sorts of deadlines coming up. I think I am still going to give it a whirl, but I'd love to hear some more input.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Clerkships, "ITE"

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:07 am

If you want to clerk, clerk. This is nearly impossible to predict and could just as easily turn around and bite you in the ass. Sure, maybe your firm will rescind offers. But maybe you'll go there directly, stay for a year or two, then the economy will tank, and you'll get laid off, whereas you wouldn't if you had clerked for year.

Two other points:
-Did your firm lay people off/rescind offers/defer people during the latest recession? This may give some indication of how likely they would be to take similar steps if the firm was in trouble again.

-What sort of clerkship can you realistically get? The better a candidate you are, the more options you will have, even if a firm rescinds your offer. Highly credentialed clerks (2/9/DC/7th, some districts like SDNY and NDIL) were being recruited by firms even in the depths of the recession, even by many firms that ostensibly were not hiring/had deferrals. If you have a realistic shot at one of these courts, you shouldn't be worried, since you'll probably be fine even in the unlikely event your offer is rescinded.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Clerkships, "ITE"

Postby TaipeiMort » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:16 am

I didn't know that we were in a full-fledged economic disaster again. The leading indicators are pointing toward double-dip, but are firms really, generally in the same place they were as in 2008/9? A lot of firms fired/ early retired expensive equity partners and have really cut-back on associate hires. For a lot of firms, their new class of associates every year now costs about the same as one equity partner in base salary.

It would be crazy for firms, while lean and profitable across the board, to preemptively cut back on new hires. One current model for the recovery is that as soon as the currently business-unfriendly administration had been discharged in 2012 spending and hiring by corporate America will quickly rebound. If firms do not continue hiring, there will not be enough qualified associates in place to handle an economic upswing, and those firms with large enough staffs will reap the rewards.

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Re: Clerkships, "ITE"

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:17 am

imchuckbass58 wrote:If you want to clerk, clerk. This is nearly impossible to predict and could just as easily turn around and bite you in the ass. Sure, maybe your firm will rescind offers. But maybe you'll go there directly, stay for a year or two, then the economy will tank, and you'll get laid off, whereas you wouldn't if you had clerked for year.

Two other points:
-Did your firm lay people off/rescind offers/defer people during the latest recession? This may give some indication of how likely they would be to take similar steps if the firm was in trouble again.

-What sort of clerkship can you realistically get? The better a candidate you are, the more options you will have, even if a firm rescinds your offer. Highly credentialed clerks (2/9/DC/7th, some districts like SDNY and NDIL) were being recruited by firms even in the depths of the recession, even by many firms that ostensibly were not hiring/had deferrals. If you have a realistic shot at one of these courts, you shouldn't be worried, since you'll probably be fine even in the unlikely event your offer is rescinded.
First, subtle N.D. Ill./7th Cir. trolling here.

Second, the gist of the last paragraph is pretty much credited. If you have a shot at a highly-prestigious clerkship, you should probably take it. Even if your firm goes under, withdraws your offer, or defers you, you can likely trade for another firm. Probably "trade up." However, this advice may extend further, to any federal court that is in the geographic region where you want to practice. In the court I worked on, which is in flyover country, the clerks were finding jobs on the open market in that area.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Clerkships, "ITE"

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:24 am

TaipeiMort wrote:I didn't know that we were in a full-fledged economic disaster again. The leading indicators are pointing toward double-dip, but are firms really, generally in the same place they were as in 2008/9? A lot of firms fired/ early retired expensive equity partners and have really cut-back on associate hires. For a lot of firms, their new class of associates every year now costs about the same as one equity partner in base salary.


I don't think that there's a consensus that we are in a full-fledged economic disaster, but then again I think relatively few people thought that in 2008. And associates cost more than you think - at my summer firm they mentioned that the all-in cost of an associate (salary, benefits, office space, support staff, training, recruiting, etc.) was in excess of $400k per year. Also equity partners do not make base salaries.

TaipeiMort wrote:It would be crazy for firms, while lean and profitable across the board, to preemptively cut back on new hires. One current model for the recovery is that as soon as the currently business-unfriendly administration had been discharged in 2012 spending and hiring by corporate America will quickly rebound. If firms do not continue hiring, there will not be enough qualified associates in place to handle an economic upswing, and those firms with large enough staffs will reap the rewards.


I don't think anyone seriously believes this. You can make whatever arguments you want about the policies of the current administration (and I'd mention, there's a substantial chance Obama will be re-elected), but no credible economists believe that there's a sharp rebound due in the near future, let alone one that magically materializes upon a republican taking the white house.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Clerkships, "ITE"

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:First, subtle N.D. Ill./7th Cir. trolling here.


Haha, fair. I have no vested interest or ties to the Chicago area, so I'm not sure why I did that. Not trying to imply (or not imply) that they're all on the same level. Just was looking for a shorthand for prestigious circuits/districts.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clerkships, "ITE"

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:27 am

imchuckbass58 wrote:If you want to clerk, clerk. This is nearly impossible to predict and could just as easily turn around and bite you in the ass. Sure, maybe your firm will rescind offers. But maybe you'll go there directly, stay for a year or two, then the economy will tank, and you'll get laid off, whereas you wouldn't if you had clerked for year.

Two other points:
-Did your firm lay people off/rescind offers/defer people during the latest recession? This may give some indication of how likely they would be to take similar steps if the firm was in trouble again.

-What sort of clerkship can you realistically get? The better a candidate you are, the more options you will have, even if a firm rescinds your offer. Highly credentialed clerks (2/9/DC/7th, some districts like SDNY and NDIL) were being recruited by firms even in the depths of the recession, even by many firms that ostensibly were not hiring/had deferrals. If you have a realistic shot at one of these courts, you shouldn't be worried, since you'll probably be fine even in the unlikely event your offer is rescinded.


OP here.

First Q - there were some layoffs, but none like the Lathaming that made headlines on ATL. It was more or less just a small number like most other firms did.

Second Q - probably not competitive for the "hot" regions. More likely competitive for the secondary markets.

I guess I should just bite the bullet and not let all of this stuff get to me. It's SOO hard to make all of these choices so far in advance. Sometimes I can't believe how crazy the entire law student hiring model really is. If I get a clerkship, and the judge lets me accept my firm offer, the next THREE years of my life will be planned out. That just blows my mind.




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