Clerking one year out...

(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.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273156
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Clerking one year out...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:25 pm

So I've accepted an offer at a V20 but recently, an opportunity came for potentially clerking for a district court in 2013 (after 1 year at the firm). If I did get the clerkship, I would like to go back to the firm after clerking. What is the etiquette is with regard to the firm... should I talk to them before interviewing, or only after/if I get an offer? Also, would doing something like this antagonize myself to partners because I would be going for one year and leaving... mostly, I'm worried that I would be not given work/staffed on crappy projects because they know I will be leaving in a year. Are these concerns legitimate?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273156
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerking one year out...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I've accepted an offer at a V20 but recently, an opportunity came for potentially clerking for a district court in 2013 (after 1 year at the firm). If I did get the clerkship, I would like to go back to the firm after clerking. What is the etiquette is with regard to the firm... should I talk to them before interviewing, or only after/if I get an offer? Also, would doing something like this antagonize myself to partners because I would be going for one year and leaving... mostly, I'm worried that I would be not given work/staffed on crappy projects because they know I will be leaving in a year. Are these concerns legitimate?


Yes. These concerns are absolutely legitimate. If you don't tell the firm anything, you'll likely have a good year where you'll get on good cases and do relatively important things in the finite universe of tasks clients are OK letting stubs handle.

If you tell the firm everything, you WILL spend a year doing discrete tasks that don't much matter in the grand scheme of a dispute, but are tasks that partners will let you tinker around with (legal research and writing, memos) because they need someone to do that bullshit anyway. You'll basically not be a very attractive associate to any partner because he won't be able to use you long-term without disrupting the flow of work.

Having teed it up like that, you may think you could get sneaky and disclose your clerkship plans say 2-6 weeks before your clerkship. That would be a terrible decision. You will burn bridges as a first-year associate, you will dick over at least one partner - if not more - and you will force their hand especially if they've given you assignments where you're knee-deep in discovery, have prepared for a deposition toward the end of your first-year, etc.

Also, firms know how clerkship timelines work. These things sometimes happen randomly. But a lot of times, especially for younger associates, these things are planned. You won't be the first associate to try this trick. They're used to it. I would play your hand safe and disclose everything to the firm - even BEFORE you go interview. Your reputation should mean more than some interesting assignments during your stub year.

This is why the stock advice is - if you wish to clerk, do so right out of law school or do it to lateral to a different firm/market after your third year.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273156
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerking one year out...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:05 pm

You should also be aware that if you work at your firm for less than 365 days (which will likely be the case), you may be required to repay all the benefits your firm gives you prior to starting (stipend, bar course and expenses, moving expenses, etc.).

Dman
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:28 am

Re: Clerking one year out...

Postby Dman » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You should also be aware that if you work at your firm for less than 365 days (which will likely be the case), you may be required to repay all the benefits your firm gives you prior to starting (stipend, bar course and expenses, moving expenses, etc.).


Curious where this is coming from. Unless stated in your hiring docs or offer letter, not sure how they could require you to repay it. Now saving face or acting professionally is a whole different matter and should be tailored to the situation.

User avatar
Julio_El_Chavo
Posts: 803
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:09 pm

Re: Clerking one year out...

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:30 pm

Dman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You should also be aware that if you work at your firm for less than 365 days (which will likely be the case), you may be required to repay all the benefits your firm gives you prior to starting (stipend, bar course and expenses, moving expenses, etc.).


Curious where this is coming from. Unless stated in your hiring docs or offer letter, not sure how they could require you to repay it. Now saving face or acting professionally is a whole different matter and should be tailored to the situation.


They could require you to repay it if you sign a contract that says they can require you to repay it.

Dman
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:28 am

Re: Clerking one year out...

Postby Dman » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:34 pm

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:
Dman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You should also be aware that if you work at your firm for less than 365 days (which will likely be the case), you may be required to repay all the benefits your firm gives you prior to starting (stipend, bar course and expenses, moving expenses, etc.).


Curious where this is coming from. Unless stated in your hiring docs or offer letter, not sure how they could require you to repay it. Now saving face or acting professionally is a whole different matter and should be tailored to the situation.


They could require you to repay it if you sign a contract that says they can require you to repay it.


Exactly, the arbitrary time of 365 days that the poster came up would make me think that it is not a contract, because well, contacts could say anything.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273156
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerking one year out...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:45 pm

Dman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You should also be aware that if you work at your firm for less than 365 days (which will likely be the case), you may be required to repay all the benefits your firm gives you prior to starting (stipend, bar course and expenses, moving expenses, etc.).

Curious where this is coming from. Unless stated in your hiring docs or offer letter, not sure how they could require you to repay it. Now saving face or acting professionally is a whole different matter and should be tailored to the situation.

My firm (V100) conditions all of its benefits like the stipend, bar course, etc., on you being with the firm for at least a year. I could be mistaken, but I suspect this is somewhat common. I thought about trying to clerk a year out, but unless I start in early September and get a clerkship that starts relatively late (most seem to start in June-August), I'd have to repay several thousand dollars. To me that's not worth it, so I'm going to wait until I've worked at least two years before I try to clerk.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273156
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerking one year out...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:21 pm

if you clerk immediately out of law school but have accepted (delayed) the firm's offer your 2L SA, will they cover your bar review costs. etc?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273156
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerking one year out...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:if you clerk immediately out of law school but have accepted (delayed) the firm's offer your 2L SA, will they cover your bar review costs. etc?

if you go back there, yes.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273156
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerking one year out...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:if you clerk immediately out of law school but have accepted (delayed) the firm's offer your 2L SA, will they cover your bar review costs. etc?

if you go back there, yes.

Depends on the judge. Many forbid this.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273156
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerking one year out...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:if you clerk immediately out of law school but have accepted (delayed) the firm's offer your 2L SA, will they cover your bar review costs. etc?

if you go back there, yes.

Depends on the judge. Many forbid this.


My firm won't be covering it up front, but will reimburse me once I rejoin the firm after the clerkship.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273156
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerking one year out...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:if you clerk immediately out of law school but have accepted (delayed) the firm's offer your 2L SA, will they cover your bar review costs. etc?

if you go back there, yes.

Depends on the judge. Many forbid this.


My firm won't be covering it up front, but will reimburse me once I rejoin the firm after the clerkship.


I am the original anon. Thanks for all the responses. Now I am almost sure clerking is not "worth" it-yes I have read all the various threads pertaining to this...Seems like a lot of work/stress/networking not only on my part now & after Clerkship (possibly finding job, getting reimbursement, fitting into firm you deferred for a year...) but also on various recommenders, alumni, those pulling for you. It just really seems easier to start firm with your SA class immediately after graduation because somehow for me the bloom is off the rose as far as clerkships go....

SO SORRY for taking over your thread...

Anonymous User
Posts: 273156
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerking one year out...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:if you clerk immediately out of law school but have accepted (delayed) the firm's offer your 2L SA, will they cover your bar review costs. etc?

if you go back there, yes.

Depends on the judge. Many forbid this.


My firm won't be covering it up front, but will reimburse me once I rejoin the firm after the clerkship.

My firm covered up front.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273156
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerking one year out...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:58 pm

My firm covered up front.[/quote]

Federal Court of Appeals as well as District Federal Court? Both get same perks?




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.