Applying to Law Firms as a clerk

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Applying to Law Firms as a clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:55 pm

I'm currently a clerk at a federal COA. I will finish my clerkship in August and want to start applying to some firms. Has anyone applied to firms as a law clerk? If so, I'd love to hear when you applied and how you contacted firms, i.e., what did you say in your cover letter?

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Re: Applying to Law Firms as a clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:14 pm

I'm a current clerk and I applied around the end of November. Accepted a position fairly recently. I went to firm websites and followed their instructions for applying. Most have a separate "Judicial Clerk" section. I kept my CL short and sweet. Basically, it was the same as my OCI CLs, with the additional "I'm currently clerking for X" or something to that effect in the first two sentences. Although I don't know if it's the best way to write a CL, I don't think it hurt me: I had very good success.

Caveat: a few firms told me they weren't going to start interviewing until February or March. (My first choice was interviewing, though, so it didn't matter to me.)

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Re: Applying to Law Firms as a clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:08 am

Does anyone have a sample cover letter?

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Re: Applying to Law Firms as a clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:31 pm

Anyone know if the rules different for alums with 2+ years of experience? Assume: (1) You could go back to your previous employer but don't particularly want to, and (2) you are clerking for a USDC judge in a non-SDNY/DDC but non-flyover district.

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SteelReserve
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Re: Applying to Law Firms as a clerk

Postby SteelReserve » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:31 pm

OP, I am a state trial clerk and recently received an offer from a firm; I applied to firms a couple months ago.

I simply sent my cover letter and resume to the respective hiring partners or any specific contacts I knew in the firm. Most firms clearly list their hiring partners or recruitment coordinators so I sent to those individuals.

I also focused on firms that regularly practiced in my court because many were non-NALP so it would have been difficult to find them.

Your first line should introduce yourself ("I am a 20xx graduate of x school of law and the current judicial law clerk to Honorable xxxxxx" Then explain your clerkship, what you do, your other experience, and enclose your resume.

You will get interviews, nail them, get an offer; that's all there is to it.

You can also consider stating in the cover letter that the recipient has your judge's permission to contact your judge in connection with your application, though that is optional (I didn't put that in my letters but some of my friends did).


Good luck

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Re: Applying to Law Firms as a clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:05 pm

For those that already applied this year, how long did it take to hear back from firms after you sent in your resume?

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pany1985
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Re: Applying to Law Firms as a clerk

Postby pany1985 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:15 am

I'm a 3L right now and I'll be doing a two year District Court clerkship from 2012-2014, so I still have a lot of time and don't need to start sending applications for a post-clerk gig until fall 2013, but I'm definitely also interested in more info about how the job search works if anyone else has stories or advice.

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Re: Applying to Law Firms as a clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:52 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone have a sample cover letter?

I do not have one right at my fingertips, but honestly you do not need one. The basic letter goes like this:

[Date]

[Address block]

Dear [Name]:

I am currently serving as a law clerk to Judge [Judge's name] on the [Court's name] and would like to apply for an associate position. I am particularly interested in your firm's [subject-matter] practice, given [brief statement of reasons]. Attached please find a resume, transcript, and list of references. If you require any other information, please let me know.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[Name]


Could the same cover letter be slightly adapted for (rather belated, admittedly) pre-clerkship summer cover letters?

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steve_nash
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Re: Applying to Law Firms as a clerk

Postby steve_nash » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For those that already applied this year, how long did it take to hear back from firms after you sent in your resume?


Varied by firms. Some, 1 week. Others, a few weeks.

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Re: Applying to Law Firms as a clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:20 pm

steve_nash wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:For those that already applied this year, how long did it take to hear back from firms after you sent in your resume?


Varied by firms. Some, 1 week. Others, a few weeks.


Hmm, it's been over a week and I haven't heard anything!

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Re: Applying to Law Firms as a clerk

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:22 pm

Off topic, but does anyone know how competitive finding a job is after clerking at the federal level (especially district)? Does anyone not find a BigLaw job?

Edit: Presuming you had a BigLaw 2L summer and are coming from a T14.
Last edited by 03121202698008 on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Applying to Law Firms as a clerk

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:37 pm

blowhard wrote:Off topic, but does anyone know how competitive finding a job is after clerking at the federal level (especially district)? Does anyone not find a BigLaw job?


I think it depends largely on where you went to school and where you clerk. If you can land a federal clerk job, you likely have the grades/credentials to land a BigLaw job. But where you went to law school seems to make a huge difference. Also, despite the practical experience that district court clerks get, it seems easier to get a BigLaw job coming from a federal court of appeals than a federal district court.




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