Anonymous User wrote:Clerking for one year ends up costing you about $50k, after taxes and bonuses are considered. (Assuming a clerkship in your eventual market. If you clerk in flyover land, your salary will be lower than it would be in a major market, but the salary difference doesn't account for the COL difference. However, I'm also not factoring in greater interest accumulating on your loans.)
If that's worth checking boxes and getting experience to you, then go for it. As a current clerk, I don't believe my one year here will make up for the skill development I've missed from skipping a year at my firm. People rigorously debate the experience angle, and perhaps the fact that I'm not going into a general litigation practice plays a role, but it's no sure thing that you learn more in a clerkship year than you learn in a year at the firm. It's true that the skills you acquire as a first-year are fairly mundane - but they are skills you need to learn, and you don't get all of it during your year on the other side of the bench.
If it weren't for the fierce competition for clerking and the perception that the successful people in the legal field have that on their resume, I just wouldn't even care. If I'm not going to be at a competitive court or the court in my practice region, then it seems like it may not even matter that much.
Assuming I'm right that clerking at a random circuit won't do much, especially considering where I'll be working post-graduation is a litigation shop, the only benefit of clerking seems to be as a way to avoid unemployment if I get no-offered.
Aside from that, being that I just want to work at a firm and be a good litigator, it seems like this rat race amounts to a credential pissing match.
Or am I mistaken? And if so, why in the hell is the clerking game so competitive?