Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

(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.
User avatar
Lawguru
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:14 pm

Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Lawguru » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:00 pm

I'm a 3L and I have a job at an AmLaw 100 Firm. Since receiving the offer, I've been incredibly excited to start next year. However, I received word last week that I'm one of the finalists for a clerkship with the chief judge of a federal district court not in the same state as my firm (not in a particularly prestigious/transferrable circuit either, though the judge IS in the same CIRCUIT as my firm). The clerkship is for two years. I applied wanting to do it, and I'm now feeling as though I should just go straight to work if I have no fed. dist. ct. clerkship opportunities in the same state in which my firm is located. My final interview is the 16th, and I'm considering withdrawing my application before I risk getting an offer on the spot.

What are the perceived benefits of doing a clerkship if this is the situation I'm facing? My goal all along has been to get a job at the firm I'm on my way to. Is the two-year detour worth it now?

I'm interested in your thoughts.

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:07 pm

Welp, you lose like ~170K of income (210K + bonuses, minus like a 50K clerkship bonus) over those two years. If you have a huge debt load, that blows.

Will your firm take you back in two years? Do you want to trade-up for a better firm? Do you have aspirations of teaching, etc.?

User avatar
Lawguru
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:14 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Lawguru » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:11 pm

Big Shrimpin wrote:Welp, you lose like ~170K of income (210K + bonuses, minus like a 50K clerkship bonus) over those two years. If you have a huge debt load, that blows.

Will your firm take you back in two years? Do you want to trade-up for a better firm? Do you have aspirations of teaching, etc.?


Zero teaching aspirations. I have a lot of debt (about 120k worth), and they said they would take me back. I'm working in litigation, but they're not do or die about clerkships. Is there perceived higher likelihood that I'll make partner from doing a clerkship? I'm in the top 20 % of my class at a T25, but I'm not order of the Coif or anything. Does any of this make a difference?

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:20 pm

Lawguru wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:Welp, you lose like ~170K of income (210K + bonuses, minus like a 50K clerkship bonus) over those two years. If you have a huge debt load, that blows.

Will your firm take you back in two years? Do you want to trade-up for a better firm? Do you have aspirations of teaching, etc.?


Zero teaching aspirations. I have a lot of debt (about 120k worth), and they said they would take me back. I'm working in litigation, but they're not do or die about clerkships. Is there perceived higher likelihood that I'll make partner from doing a clerkship? I'm in the top 20 % of my class at a T25, but I'm not order of the Coif or anything. Does any of this make a difference?


Re: making partner--my impression this summer (worked in NYC and knew ppl in firms all over the place) was that partnership consideration varies by firm. I think it's more a function of your work product and whether you're perceived in the firm as someone who could produce business. Certainly, having a clerkship will bolster your web bio, but I can't imagine it would necessarily translate to higher partnership prospects. It sounds like you want to work, d00d. If you have reservations about clerking, and you clerk, are you going to regret doing it?

traydeuce
Posts: 680
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:07 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby traydeuce » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:24 pm

My own worthless view on this is that 2-year district court clerkships are only worth it with a really great judge. The fact that someone's a chief judge doesn't particularly matter.

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:36 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Also, to further refine the math side of the post above, you will go from JS-11 step 1 (assuming no prior federal experience) in year one to JS-12 step 1 in year two of the clerkship. That means roughly 60k in year one and 70k in year two, for a total of 130k (more in both years if in a larger urban area). The tax treatment of that income will be more favorable than of the first 130k of your biglaw dollars, as you will not be phased out of the student loan interest deduction, etc. Add in the clerkship bonus and you are sitting somewhere north of 180k. At the firm, you will earn 160k + 170k + bonuses = more than $330k. The tax treatment of this income will be considerably worse, so you can probably ignore the bonuses to deal with that. The end result is a $150k pay difference -- a lot of money. If you have significant loans or want to start saving for a home, etc., then the biglaw option wins easily.



Standard GTL. Solid.

User avatar
ggocat
Posts: 1663
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:51 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby ggocat » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:47 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Would you enjoy clerking more than working at a firm?

Have you ever met anyone who clerked for a non-psycho judge and said that they enjoyed working at a firm more than clerking? I certainly haven't.

I'd recommend OP do it, but that's just because clerking is awesome. Depends whether the $150K (or whatevs) is worth it, I guess.

User avatar
Lawguru
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:14 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Lawguru » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:28 pm

All:

I really appreciate your input. It is very thorough and helpful. One thing I should mention, this particular judge is known for being a bit nuts. He/she is known to cause problems amongst the magistrates/ALJs he/she encounters in his/her district. So much so that a mentor (and clerkship LOR writer) of mine called to bring this to my attention (noting that I should approach it cautiously). Does this change the analysis any? Sorry to only now mention facts I failed to mention earlier.

Also (edit): My firm--to my knowledge--does NOT have do a clerkship bonus.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273507
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:51 pm

Yes, the fact that your boss may be a psycho changes the analysis. I worked for a psycho judge who seemed to have been cured of their psychoness, but then it resurfaced in unpleasant ways recently when I went looking for a reference.

User avatar
ggocat
Posts: 1663
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:51 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby ggocat » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:53 pm

Lawguru wrote:All:

I really appreciate your input. It is very thorough and helpful. One thing I should mention, this particular judge is known for being a bit nuts. He/she is known to cause problems amongst the magistrates/ALJs he/she encounters in his/her district. So much so that a mentor (and clerkship LOR writer) of mine called to bring this to my attention (noting that I should approach it cautiously). Does this change the analysis any? Sorry to only now mention facts I failed to mention earlier.

Also (edit): My firm--to my knowledge--does NOT have do a clerkship bonus.

Eww. Yeah, makes a difference. Two years would be a long time to put up with a crazy boss (especially one who is a federal district judge). But, have you already interviewed? You mentioned the "final" interview. Were you able to chat with the other clerk(s) and staff about the work environment? I don't think this is the type of situation where you'd be crazy for turning down the judge on the spot if the offer came that way at the interview. You may want to see if you "click" with the judge and staff.

Yet it certainly sounds like you're not excited about the clerkship. If so, you might not really enjoy it/the work. It's difficult to quantify the benefits of clerking (as you originally asked). Other than the "clerking is generally enjoyable" and intangible prestige of clerking for a federal judge, there probably aren't other benefits in your situation. (EDIT: Unless your firm is in danger of going under.)

Sup Kid
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Sup Kid » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:57 pm

Lawguru wrote:All:

I really appreciate your input. It is very thorough and helpful. One thing I should mention, this particular judge is known for being a bit nuts. He/she is known to cause problems amongst the magistrates/ALJs he/she encounters in his/her district. So much so that a mentor (and clerkship LOR writer) of mine called to bring this to my attention (noting that I should approach it cautiously). Does this change the analysis any? Sorry to only now mention facts I failed to mention earlier.

Also (edit): My firm--to my knowledge--does NOT have do a clerkship bonus.

If the firm doesn't have a bonus, its not worth it. I say this not just because you miss out on $50k, but because it seems clear from that fact that the firm does not value clerkships as much as other firms (and therefore may say they'll bring you back, but actually may not 2 years down the road). Just my two cents.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273507
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:58 pm

I also don't think that clerking on the district level is THAT fun (and clerking on the appellate level can be a drag too if you have no interest in criminal law).

Anonymous User
Posts: 273507
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:02 pm

G. T. L. Rev. (or anyone else who may have an answer) -- what's the best way to deal with uncertainty as to whether you'd want to do a two-year clerkship? I know it's in really poor form, but I am going through the same dilemma as OP and I'm not sure I'd like to commit myself to a two-year clerkship. The clerkship is in a flyover state that I have absolutely no ties to, and I'm not even sure how I got the interview. Because of my huge debt load, etc., I'm concerned of the risk of taking the interview and receiving the offer. (2/20 chance, I'm assuming?) I thought I would like to do the clerkship at the time I applied (thanks to our CDO's advice of "apply everywhere you can"), but now I am having second thoughts. What do you suggest?

User avatar
Lawguru
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:14 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Lawguru » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:57 pm

This thread has NOT been the only factor for consideration, but I'm seriously considering withdrawing. The interviewing judge has her chambers in my hometown. It would be, I thought, nice to be near loved ones for a two-year period, but not at the cost of risking a career. It is perhaps naive, but I'm somewhat confident I can do well at my firm. I don't think two-year clerkship is going to drastically improve my ability do perform. Anyway, thanks for the tips everyone. If you have any continued input, I welcome it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273507
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:28 am

To OP: Someone at my firm (a 3L summer) was exactly in your predicament. All of this advice is me paraphrasing what I gleaned from my firm, which hires clerks and non-clerks alike - and includes numerous SCOTUS clerks.

Two-year clerkships are generally a risk because you don't really know how you'll like working for that particular judge.

You should do it if you have no other options and if you're interested in something like academia or becoming an AUSA or something like that. But if you're considering a clerkship because you want to be a successful litigator, it is not necessary and a very, very unsound financial decision. You're losing $1.5 million retirement dollars.

The general law firm partner consensus at my firm (including partners who clerked) is that the benefits of d.ct. clerkships are short-term, and the general consensus in the legal industry is that clerking doesn't have much (try nothing) to do with partnership, bringing in business, or succeeding in cases.

Be glad that your opportunity is in the trial courts. Unless you want to be an appellate lawyer (which is pretty risky as a career move), an appellate clerkship is an outstandingly poor financial investment for a wannabe litigator. Its like an extra year of legal writing/law school. And you know just as well as I do that the third year of law school is basically worthless. So its very odd decision-making to do a FOURTH and FIFTH year of law school when even the likes of Posner readily submit that law school should only be two years. Associates who return after "appellate clerkships" are behind their d.ct. peers and the straight-out-of-law school peers in their class because they neither learned procedure nor did they practice law. Very questionable. If you're motivated enough, you can always improve on your legal writing skills. That's something you can always work on.

Proceed cautiously. Every dollar you leave on the table to load up on fake-prestige is worth 10 dollars when you retire.

I'll end with this thought. Don't fall into the hyper-romanticizing of clerkships that goes on in law circles. This mindless profession romanticizes anything that involves an application or selection procedure. Totally disconnected from what clients/businesses seek from the legal industry.

Consider that people call working for a judge the "best year of their lives" because they are absolutely miserable in big law due to billables, or miserable in law school because of the stress of doing well academically. And when you're sandwiched between those two hells, sure - it sounds like heaven. Anything which doesn't involve billables is probably as fun as Six Flags. Not because it truly is the best year of their lives. It can be a pretty stressful experience. And if you're stuck with a bad judge, there's really no way out for a whole year - TWO in your case.

Sup Kid
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Sup Kid » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:But if you're considering a clerkship because you want to be a successful litigator, it is not necessary and a very, very unsound financial decision. You're losing $1.5 million retirement dollars.

Proceed cautiously. Every dollar you leave on the table to load up on fake-prestige is worth 10 dollars when you retire.

That's a pretty broad statement (though I generally agree with your overall point). I think $150,000 becomes closer to $1,000,000 in retirement (5% compound interest for 40 years). To get to $1.5 mil, the interest rate would have to average almost 6%. Still, clerkship = a short-term financial loss, with an unknown long-term benefit (if any).

traydeuce
Posts: 680
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:07 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby traydeuce » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:01 am

Clerking surely has some effect on this guy's lateraling prospects, even if his current firm doesn't give a damn. I know I can't work where I want to work, or do what I want to do, without clerking.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273507
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:09 am

traydeuce wrote:Clerking surely has some effect on this guy's lateraling prospects, even if his current firm doesn't give a damn. I know I can't work where I want to work, or do what I want to do, without clerking.


Again, the following is second-hand advice I got from my firm.

Clerking at a district court only benefits you in the super-short-term, when you're coming into the firm as a second-year associate with one-year of being basically in the eye of the motion practice storm. You learn procedure. Very well. It doesn't really help you with discovery, which is where litigating firms bill a lot - and where junior associates basically are the discovery/doc review hamsters. So the first year associates who basically do document review learn a lot about the discovery process in this way. District court clerks don't. So when the D.Ct. clerk comes back without having ever answered an interrogatory, he has to learn all that from scratch while his non-clerking peers at the firm did that their first year out of law school. OTOH, the D. Ct. clerk knows the ins and outs of motions, especially in his clerkship jurisdiction, because he read hundreds of them during his clerkship. Tradeoffs.

By the time you're a third or fourth year, you basically know as much as you would have if you'd done a district court clerkship. At this stage, the firm you're lateraling to doesn't really care if you clerked or not because you're a mid-level. The clerkship advantage is really in being very comfortable with procedure, and getting the courtroom experience which 90% of midlevels don't have - way early in your career. But even that experience needs some qualification. Clerking is like getting an excellent 50 yardline seat at the game. You're still not throwing pigskin though. Just do a semester or two of externships, and that's basically 25% or 30% of a clerkship right there.

Lateraling is a huge function of where you lateral from. You can't go to a firm like, say for instance, DLA Piper. Then go clerk in some district court (and the judge will be glad to have a third year DLA or any big law associate), and expect to lateral into a more selective firm like Gibson Dunn. It just isn't done. First of all, people who spend three years at a law firm and then go clerk are really doing it backwards. The marginal benefit is so attenuated once you've been at a half-decent firm where you get some responsibility after three whole years. Maybe it makes sense if you're having real trouble landing AUSA, and a clerkship opportunity presents itself in the district where you want to be an AUSA. That makes perfect sense to me.

Firms don't hire laterals because they value their clerkship experience. They hire laterals because they don't have to spend money training them, and because their own homegrowns left the firm for the two thousand reasons why 60-70% of first-year associates leave by their third year.

If you're thinking about Bartlitt Beck or a similar firm which is clerkship-heavy - good luck. It won't be your clerkship that gets you in there. There are literally thousands and thousands of clerks scattered around in law firms. All of them would sure love working at Bartlitt Beck.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

traydeuce
Posts: 680
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:07 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby traydeuce » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:26 am

Um, actually I was thinking about ending up at Mayer or some place like that, emphasis on some place like that, doing appellate work. (To which it could also be said that it won't be my clerkship, alone, that gets me there.) After clerking for a COA. But as to OP, my only point is that there are some firms where clerking is virtually a must.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273507
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:30 am

traydeuce wrote:Um, actually I was thinking about ending up at Mayer or some place like that, emphasis on some place like that, doing appellate work. (To which it could also be said that it won't be my clerkship, alone, that gets me there.) After clerking for a COA. But as to OP, my only point is that there are some firms where clerking is virtually a must.

OP mentions a specific d.ct. only. Not sure which firms you're thinking where d.ct. is "virtually a must" - I have not encountered this other than maybe AUSA for like two districts.

Citizen Genet
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:03 am

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Citizen Genet » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:58 am

Sup Kid wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:But if you're considering a clerkship because you want to be a successful litigator, it is not necessary and a very, very unsound financial decision. You're losing $1.5 million retirement dollars.

Proceed cautiously. Every dollar you leave on the table to load up on fake-prestige is worth 10 dollars when you retire.

That's a pretty broad statement (though I generally agree with your overall point). I think $150,000 becomes closer to $1,000,000 in retirement (5% compound interest for 40 years). To get to $1.5 mil, the interest rate would have to average almost 6%. Still, clerkship = a short-term financial loss, with an unknown long-term benefit (if any).


For the sake of thoroughness....

We will assume that the BigLaw pay for year 1 is $160,000 and for year 2 is $170,000.
We will assume that the clerk pay is on the low end (OP said it isn't a noted district) - we'll say base pay + $8,000 for living. Therefore, clerk pay for year 1 is $58,000 and for year 2 is $69,500.

We will also make the unworldly and stupid assumption that the individual would stock pile ALL of his other money above what he would make as a clerk.

We will assume that the surplus is deposited as a lump sum at the beginning of each year and that the interest compounds annually at the end of the year.

If we assume a 5% interest rate, then at the end of a 40 year period OP would have $1,398,611.09 saved.

If we assume a 6% interest rate, then at the end of a 40 year period OP would have $2,034,049.24 saved.


Now, here's why these number are WAY high. If the individual does take the firm job, COL will likely be significant higher (could amount to $20k to $40k in rent, groceries, and weekends all depending on location). Further, when an individual DOES have extra cash, they almost inevitably increase discretionary spending in greater proportion compared to savings. Assuming BigLaw is in one of the classic big cities (NY, LA, DC) the state income tax will almost certainly be higher than if OP is working in a flyover federal district. There's a LOT of reasons why the difference between BigLaw and clerkship money is NOT the same.

On the other hand, if OP takes the BigLaw job, he can pay down student loans much quicker than with the clerkship position and that can make it up. On the whole, it's ambiguous what the difference is. What I am saying is that we are making this assumption that all surplus will be saved; therefore, that should be looked at as a VERY high estimate of what OP is foregoing.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273507
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:04 pm

Here's my back of the envelope calculations; after taxes and rent I don't think it's a big difference:

Big Firm - New York City
Salary ~ 160k
After-tax ~ 97k (calculation has been done elsewhere on site)
After-rent (2k/month) ~ $73k

Clerkship - Flyover
Salary ~ 60k plus 50k bonus
Federal Income Tax ~ 22k
Payroll Tax ~ 4.6k
State/local Income Tax (assuming 4% combined) ~ 4.4k
After-tax ~ $79k
After-rent (875/month) ~ $69k

Citizen Genet
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:03 am

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Citizen Genet » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:18 pm

Citizen Genet wrote:
Sup Kid wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:But if you're considering a clerkship because you want to be a successful litigator, it is not necessary and a very, very unsound financial decision. You're losing $1.5 million retirement dollars.

Proceed cautiously. Every dollar you leave on the table to load up on fake-prestige is worth 10 dollars when you retire.

That's a pretty broad statement (though I generally agree with your overall point). I think $150,000 becomes closer to $1,000,000 in retirement (5% compound interest for 40 years). To get to $1.5 mil, the interest rate would have to average almost 6%. Still, clerkship = a short-term financial loss, with an unknown long-term benefit (if any).


For the sake of thoroughness....

We will assume that the BigLaw pay for year 1 is $160,000 and for year 2 is $170,000.
We will assume that the clerk pay is on the low end (OP said it isn't a noted district) - we'll say base pay + $8,000 for living. Therefore, clerk pay for year 1 is $58,000 and for year 2 is $69,500.

We will also make the unworldly and stupid assumption that the individual would stock pile ALL of his other money above what he would make as a clerk.

We will assume that the surplus is deposited as a lump sum at the beginning of each year and that the interest compounds annually at the end of the year.

If we assume a 5% interest rate, then at the end of a 40 year period OP would have $1,398,611.09 saved.

If we assume a 6% interest rate, then at the end of a 40 year period OP would have $2,034,049.24 saved.


Now, here's why these number are WAY high. If the individual does take the firm job, COL will likely be significant higher (could amount to $20k to $40k in rent, groceries, and weekends all depending on location). Further, when an individual DOES have extra cash, they almost inevitably increase discretionary spending in greater proportion compared to savings. Assuming BigLaw is in one of the classic big cities (NY, LA, DC) the state income tax will almost certainly be higher than if OP is working in a flyover federal district. There's a LOT of reasons why the difference between BigLaw and clerkship money is NOT the same.

On the other hand, if OP takes the BigLaw job, he can pay down student loans much quicker than with the clerkship position and that can make it up. On the whole, it's ambiguous what the difference is. What I am saying is that we are making this assumption that all surplus will be saved; therefore, that should be looked at as a VERY high estimate of what OP is foregoing.


Crap, seriously, after all that I forget the bonus.

If we assume $70k bonus invested immediately upon receiving it, then we can deduct that from the difference.

At 5%, it would yield $446,983.41, making the difference from BigLaw to clerk $951,627.68.

At 6%, it would yield $640,797.66, making the difference $1,393,251.58. Again, that's not considering rent, etc.

User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby sunynp » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:25 pm

You don't sound like you want to clerk, so why do it? Living near home isn't enough of a reason unless there is some compelling reason, like medical or other issues, for being at home.

I know that money is important, but you will probably be making a ton of money in your life - just make sure you don't lose it in the market or in housing or some new tech bubble. :)

(to avoid future arguments, I am half joking, but let's face it, we all know people whose carefully laid plans blew up on them through no real fault of their own.)

User avatar
Unitas
Posts: 1387
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:03 pm

Re: Two-Year Clerkship or Straight to Firm?

Postby Unitas » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Here's my back of the envelope calculations; after taxes and rent I don't think it's a big difference:

Big Firm - New York City
Salary ~ 160k
After-tax ~ 97k (calculation has been done elsewhere on site)
After-rent (2k/month) ~ $73k

Clerkship - Flyover
Salary ~ 60k plus 50k bonus
Federal Income Tax ~ 22k
Payroll Tax ~ 4.6k
State/local Income Tax (assuming 4% combined) ~ 4.4k
After-tax ~ $79k
After-rent (875/month) ~ $69k


What? this is just so wrong on so many levels. First off he gets no bonus. Second off even if he did, which he doesn't, that bonus would be spread over the 2 year clerkship. Moving twice would be another consideration of doing the clerkship.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.