2L employment decision - clerkships in mind

(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.

Which is the best option for me?

Prestigious USAO (unpaid)
1
8%
USAO in home secondary market ($6000)
1
8%
Small firm in primary market (pays market)
11
85%
 
Total votes: 13

Anonymous User
Posts: 273140
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

2L employment decision - clerkships in mind

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:22 pm

Need to decide which of these is the best course of action for summer employment. Planning on applying broadly to clerkships in the fall and everything on my resume is from my home secondary market so far.

Priorities:
1. how this will look when applying for federal clerkships
2. gaining good experience
3. money

Options:
1. unpaid USAO internship in prestigious district (CDCA, SDNY, EDNY, EDPA, etc.)
2. USAO internship in home secondary market - will get $6000 in funding that I can pocket
3. small firm (10 attorneys) in primary market; works exclusively in the area I want to practice; pays market; not sure about post-grad employment prospects

User avatar
vamedic03
Posts: 1579
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:50 am

Re: 2L employment decision - clerkships in mind

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Need to decide which of these is the best course of action for summer employment. Planning on applying broadly to clerkships in the fall and everything on my resume is from my home secondary market so far.

Priorities:
1. how this will look when applying for federal clerkships
2. gaining good experience
3. money

Options:
1. unpaid USAO internship in prestigious district (CDCA, SDNY, EDNY, EDPA, etc.)
2. USAO internship in home secondary market - will get $6000 in funding that I can pocket
3. small firm (10 attorneys) in primary market; works exclusively in the area I want to practice; pays market; not sure about post-grad employment prospects


Option #3. There really is no question here.

(1) You'll at least get paid for the summer;
(2) you have a chance at having post-grad employment;
(3) USAO internship 2L summer is unlikely to help you for clerkships
(4) If your grades and recommendations aren't there for clerkships, this question is moot and option (3) is still the best option.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: 2L employment decision - clerkships in mind

Postby kalvano » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:46 pm

There is zero chance of getting hired on to the USAO without a few years of work after law school. Just in case clerkships don't pan out, you need to put yourself in the best possible position to be employed after school. Thus, option #3.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273140
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L employment decision - clerkships in mind

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:14 am

Thanks for your responses.

vamedic03 wrote:(3) USAO internship 2L summer is unlikely to help you for clerkships
I completely understand your other points but is it true that USAO (even a prestigious one) is unlikely to help with clerkships? I thought maybe the judges who were AUSAs may view it favorably compared to some small firm they've likely never heard of.

User avatar
Cupidity
Posts: 2214
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:21 pm

Re: 2L employment decision - clerkships in mind

Postby Cupidity » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:21 am

I think it is also important to consider the increasing role that work-experience is playing in the clerkship hiring game. More and more judges are looking for people two or three years out. If you work well this summer at the small firm, and a named partner writes you a stellar recommendation describing how closely he has worked with you and how well you performed, it may carry greater weight than a strong faculty recommendation.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273140
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L employment decision - clerkships in mind

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for your responses.

vamedic03 wrote:(3) USAO internship 2L summer is unlikely to help you for clerkships
I completely understand your other points but is it true that USAO (even a prestigious one) is unlikely to help with clerkships? I thought maybe the judges who were AUSAs may view it favorably compared to some small firm they've likely never heard of.


I can't underestimate enough how fiercely competitive ALL federal clerkships are. An unpaid ASAO internship in a prestigious district over your 2L summer will offer a very minimal benefit for securing a federal clerkship at best (and very likely won't offer any boost whatsoever compared to the firm job). It would be a dire mistake to choose your summer employment based on the marginal boost it might offer for applying to clerkships. Rather than your summer job at this point, the name of the game is going to be (1) excellent grades, (2) law review, and (3) professors that can strongly vouch on your behalf. Keep your grades up, start putting out feelers for recommendation letters, take the market paying job, apply to tons of judges and hope for the best. Aside from the most stellar candidates, there's a substantial amount of luck involved with applying to federal judges and, placing all your eggs in on a 2L job which surely won't offer post-grad employment solely for whatever boost it might add to your clerkship apps would be a mistake.

If the firm job is a market paying position in your preferred practice area, it's a no brainer to accept. In fact, it might look better on your resume if it's a well respected firm within the general geographic area of federal judges that would be familiar with it.

P.S.--Anonymous by accident.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.