clerk for 3 years, enter firm as a...

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Anonymous User
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clerk for 3 years, enter firm as a...

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:34 am

I've heard of people going off to do two years of clerking and coming in as a third-year.

If I go to do three years worth of clerkships, (one of my clerkships is a 2-year deal), I will likely come in only as a third-year, right? I notice the salary bump from third to fourth is a lot larger at my firm than the bumps from first to second, or second to third. I'm sure it's an odd case, but there has to be some way for me to get back into the big law train.

Renzo
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Re: clerk for 3 years, enter firm as a...

Postby Renzo » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:46 pm

If those clerkships are Federal Dist. Ct. ---> COA, then yes, odds are good that you could find a firm that would hire you, and you would rejoin your class.

If it's some other combination, things aren't as certain; there's certainly hope, but it will depend on the facts of your situation.

TooOld4This
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Re: clerk for 3 years, enter firm as a...

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:25 pm

Agree with the above, but I will say that if you have any desire to be partner, or to last more than 3 years at BigLaw, take the hit in years. Come in as a second or third year. It is unlikely that you will be far enough along the learning curve to keep up with your class if you come in as a fourth year. There is a different skill set between clerking and being a mid-level associate. Don't put yourself in a spot where you are going to get "behind your class" evaluations for the short term hit of the pay differential.

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NinerFan
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Re: clerk for 3 years, enter firm as a...

Postby NinerFan » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:26 pm

TooOld4This wrote:Agree with the above, but I will say that if you have any desire to be partner, or to last more than 3 years at BigLaw, take the hit in years. Come in as a second or third year. It is unlikely that you will be far enough along the learning curve to keep up with your class if you come in as a fourth year. There is a different skill set between clerking and being a mid-level associate. Don't put yourself in a spot where you are going to get "behind your class" evaluations for the short term hit of the pay differential.


Unless you're only in it for the money and want to bail for academia or something after you cash in.

TooOld4This
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Re: clerk for 3 years, enter firm as a...

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:36 pm

NinerFan wrote:
TooOld4This wrote:Agree with the above, but I will say that if you have any desire to be partner, or to last more than 3 years at BigLaw, take the hit in years. Come in as a second or third year. It is unlikely that you will be far enough along the learning curve to keep up with your class if you come in as a fourth year. There is a different skill set between clerking and being a mid-level associate. Don't put yourself in a spot where you are going to get "behind your class" evaluations for the short term hit of the pay differential.


Unless you're only in it for the money and want to bail for academia or something after you cash in.


True for academia and maybe some very prestige-oriented positions (that likely won't pay very well relative to BigLaw). But for in-house positions, clerkship experience isn't going to get you that far. A person with only 1 year of firm experience and 3 years of clerking isn't going to be viewed the same as someone with 4 years of firm experience.

Coming in as a 4th year, depending on goals, could be a very short-sighted position, if it is even an option.

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Re: clerk for 3 years, enter firm as a...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:22 pm

OP here, yep both are federal, first discrict followed by CoA.

Seniority cut sounds fine. I don't know if I want to not-clerk based on partnership prospects. I think any decision based on partnership prospects seems per-se unrx given the infinitesimal odds - even taking a seniority cut. Well, not clerking isn't an option now anyway.

But if I want to join a litigation boutique or something with greater partnership odds, or do AUSA, or do other federal govt gig, the early and extended gov experience seems to be helpful.

TooOld4This
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Re: clerk for 3 years, enter firm as a...

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:41 pm

I wasn't saying not to clerk. I was saying not to push to come in as a 4th year.

The expectations of a 4th year are going to be high on factors you will have no experience in -- not just for partnership prospects, but for how quickly you will feel the pressure to find something else. Usually, at about 5th year, firms start crafting messages. They are designed to help you progress, or to clue you in that time is limited. Ideally, you will want to stay at your firm for 3 years after your clerkship to maximize exit options. Coming in as a 2nd or 3rd year may make those years much more pleasant for you.

Coming in as 4th year may not be an option absent a SCOTUS clerkship, so this may not be an issue. Likewise, coming in as less as 4th year may not be an option either. What I am saying is that if they bring you in as less than a 4th year, don't just look at the step down in pay.

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Re: clerk for 3 years, enter firm as a...

Postby Renzo » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here, yep both are federal, first discrict followed by CoA.

Seniority cut sounds fine. I don't know if I want to not-clerk based on partnership prospects. I think any decision based on partnership prospects seems per-se unrx given the infinitesimal odds - even taking a seniority cut. Well, not clerking isn't an option now anyway.

But if I want to join a litigation boutique or something with greater partnership odds, or do AUSA, or do other federal govt gig, the early and extended gov experience seems to be helpful.


I wouldn't worry for a second about it. The clerkships will pay career dividends, and you can worry about negotiating class credit (and clerkship bonus) a few years from now.




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