Big Law v. Clerking

(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.
SDviaVA
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:24 am

Big Law v. Clerking

Postby SDviaVA » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:51 pm

I feel I have a pretty good shot at getting a clerkship with a local District Court Judge. I say this because the clerk I interned with had interned with the Judge summers prior, and the new clerk that came on at the end of my internship had interned the summers prior as well. I was the only intern in his chambers last summer.

I think would be great experience that I wouldn’t get anywhere else. Also, I know once I start working at a firm will not go back to clerking. But there are two things that concern me....

1. Since in want to work in IP/patent law, clerking with a District Court Judge doesn’t have much to do with the area of law I want to go into

2. The Pay – as far as I can tell the Clerks get paid about 50K.

Even thought I am a 2L, I would need to start “laying the groundwork” now (i.e. interning again this summer, staying in touch with the judge’s chambers).


My question is, should I bypass clerking and go for an IP job, or should I take advantage of this potential good experience and try to clerk?

Also, for people going for the “Big Law” or other type of firm jobs…Are you worried you will be “missing out” on the clerking experience?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273395
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:08 pm

Also, for people going for the “Big Law” or other type of firm jobs…Are you worried you will be “missing out” on the clerking experience?


I was one of these, and I did regret "missing out." That's why I'm clerking next year after being out for a while. Better late than never!

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby IAFG » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:11 pm

You're going to spend your 2L summer with a judge, then work at a firm? What?

SDviaVA
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:24 am

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby SDviaVA » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:13 pm

No I meant Spend my 2L summer interning...assuming nothing paid comes about. THEN clearking after law school.

SDviaVA
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:24 am

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby SDviaVA » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:16 pm

I also thought it might be nice going into a legal job having been on the other side of things(in the judges chambers). Versus going into a Legal job knowing little about real practice.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby IAFG » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:19 pm

If you don't have a firm for 2L summer, and you know a judge who tends to hire his summers, you should absolutely work that angle. Though it seems likely you'll have no choice but to try to land a clerkship.

headandshoulderos
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:12 pm

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby headandshoulderos » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:25 pm

Biglaw firms are done hiring. If you don't have a biglaw job already you won't get one. Try to clerk.

SDviaVA
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:24 am

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby SDviaVA » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:28 pm

I guess my question really was: even if i was able to get a 2L summer position at a Firm, and they offered me a position after law school, would anyone by pass such a postion to clerk?

May sound crazy at first... but lets say it was a small firm only offering 60K a year.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby IAFG » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:29 pm

SDviaVA wrote:I guess my question really was: even if i was able to get a 2L summer position at a Firm, and they offered me a position after law school, would anyone by pass such a postion to clerk?

May sound crazy at first... but lets say it was a small firm only offering 60K a year.

It would be silly to work for a judge hoping that it might help you get a clerkship when you could secure firm work and still apply for a clerkship.

headandshoulderos
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:12 pm

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby headandshoulderos » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:30 pm

SDviaVA wrote:I guess my question really was: even if i was able to get a 2L summer position at a Firm, and they offered me a position after law school, would anyone by pass such a postion to clerk?

May sound crazy at first... but lets say it was a small firm only offering 60K a year.


Well your thread title says biglaw, which isn't going to happen. I think you should think about it this way---if you want a chance at biglaw, clerking is the only back door remaining to you. Also, clerking will make you more marketable to that 60k firm and maybe you can come in at a higher salary, assuming you talk tot hem about this. I think clerking is always a good option, and when you don't have biglaw, it becomes a key option.

SDviaVA
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:24 am

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby SDviaVA » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:31 pm

I guess I'm not really talking Big law....I kinda just put that in the title cause I knew people would click on the post if I did...sorry.

Big law was never really in the cards for me....Im not in the top 10% of my class and I dont go to a T14 school. So I am really comparing small to medium sized firms with clerking with a district court judge.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby IAFG » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:33 pm

Again, there's nothing stopping you from trying to clerk after working your 2L summer at a firm. I don't think that interning for judges usually meaningfully helps. If you have better information about your specific judge and think it will, then that's your call.

I personally would be trying to work for judges/gov't/other potential employers as much as possible during the semester and trying to get a firm in that all-important 2L summer slot.

kams
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby kams » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:35 pm

After graduation, many people pass up working in biglaw for a year to clerk. But they usually have the biglaw job waiting for them after one year of clerking and they come back as second year associates. What exactly is your question?

SDviaVA
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:24 am

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby SDviaVA » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:37 pm

I guess my fear is that if I get a firm job my 2L summer I will reduce my chances with the Judge. But better not to put all my eggs in one basket I guess.

If only there was a way I could work at both this summer....

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby IAFG » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:40 pm

SDviaVA wrote:I guess my fear is that if I get a firm job my 2L summer I will reduce my chances with the Judge. But better not to put all my eggs in one basket I guess.

If only there was a way I could work at both this summer....

Bro, why don't you just talk to your judge and ask for some career planning advice?

kams
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby kams » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:42 pm

Do you have to commit to interning for the judge right now or something? If not, then try and find a firm gig for the summer obviously. Your worrying is completely moot if you haven't found anything yet. there aren't any eggs in your basket yet.

SDviaVA
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:24 am

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby SDviaVA » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:42 pm

My question is should i shoot for clerking or should I shoot for small to med size firms.

I have a feeling the way I spend my 2L summer will have a large effect on what happends after I graduate. (i.e. I intern with the judge I have a hight chance of clearking, OR I intern at a small firm and I have a hight chancce of working there after graduation.)

I am concerned about this now becuase I have an interview with a small firm in 2 weeks, but I would need to talk my judge about interning this summer prob. around Feb.

SDviaVA
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:24 am

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby SDviaVA » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:46 pm

I realize I have "no eggs in my basket" I am just trying to decide what I should devote my resources and limted time pursuing.

kams
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby kams » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:46 pm

I don't think that interning for a judge would really increase your chances if you don't have the numbers to clerk. I intern at a circuit court, and the clerk was an intern before, but he also was top of his class at Yale. I'd try and find something firm related. if you can't, then intern for the judge.

SDviaVA
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:24 am

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby SDviaVA » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:52 pm

I guess the general thought is to try and get the frim job first and then decide to clerk later if you really want to before you start/can get a clearkship?

headandshoulderos
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:12 pm

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby headandshoulderos » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:53 pm

SDviaVA wrote:I realize I have "no eggs in my basket" I am just trying to decide what I should devote my resources and limted time pursuing.


I think you should just look for all jobs. Focusing your job search when you have no options is sure way to end up unemployed. I've heard this kind of reasoning before --- those friends are now graduated and sitting ont heir ass, and still thinking very hard about where to "focus their resources" for applying to jobs.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:03 pm

headandshoulderos wrote:
SDviaVA wrote:I realize I have "no eggs in my basket" I am just trying to decide what I should devote my resources and limted time pursuing.

I think you should just look for all jobs. Focusing your job search when you have no options is sure way to end up unemployed. I've heard this kind of reasoning before --- those friends are now graduated and sitting ont heir ass, and still thinking very hard about where to "focus their resources" for applying to jobs.

THIS.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:45 am

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:27 pm

SDviaVA wrote:I realize I have "no eggs in my basket" I am just trying to decide what I should devote my resources and limted time pursuing.


Your "limited time?"

Sleep less if you have to. The only thing that matters in your life right now is getting a job lined up for 2L summer, or you are debtor's-prison-bound.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby Renzo » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:22 pm

IAFG wrote:
SDviaVA wrote:I guess my fear is that if I get a firm job my 2L summer I will reduce my chances with the Judge. But better not to put all my eggs in one basket I guess.

If only there was a way I could work at both this summer....

Bro, why don't you just talk to your judge and ask for some career planning advice?


This didn't get the thanks and acknowledgement it should have. Old dudes love to give career advice; you'd both be ingratiating yourself to the judge, and getting good advice.

User avatar
Veyron
Posts: 3598
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:50 am

Re: Big Law v. Clerking

Postby Veyron » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:08 pm

What D.Ct judge hires someone with those numbers, inquiring minds want to know!




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.