Chances at Private Sector after Clerking (with bad grades)

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augusta1985
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:15 pm

Chances at Private Sector after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby augusta1985 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:11 pm

Just landed a clerkship with a federal mag. T70 school with lackluster grades (barely top half). I externed for a year in the same court and had a great letter of rec from the judge...which is the only reason I landed the job:/

My question is this: will one year of clerking overcome poor grades? How will this transfer over into the private sector? I doubt I'll have much of a chance at biglaw, but maybe well reputed regional firms will give me a shot. Any thoughts?

Anonymous User
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Re: Chances at Private Sector after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:37 pm

augusta1985 wrote:Just landed a clerkship with a federal mag. T70 school with lackluster grades (barely top half). I externed for a year in the same court and had a great letter of rec from the judge...which is the only reason I landed the job:/

My question is this: will one year of clerking overcome poor grades? How will this transfer over into the private sector? I doubt I'll have much of a chance at biglaw, but maybe well reputed regional firms will give me a shot. Any thoughts?


Firstly, congratulations! You're probably one of VERY FEW people with those stats to get a fed clerkship. There are plenty of regional firms that would happily take a former clerk. However, biglaw still cares about grades - so your chances there are probably shot.

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patrickd139
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Re: Chances at Private Sector after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
augusta1985 wrote:Just landed a clerkship with a federal mag. T70 school with lackluster grades (barely top half). I externed for a year in the same court and had a great letter of rec from the judge...which is the only reason I landed the job:/

My question is this: will one year of clerking overcome poor grades? How will this transfer over into the private sector? I doubt I'll have much of a chance at biglaw, but maybe well reputed regional firms will give me a shot. Any thoughts?


Firstly, congratulations! You're probably one of VERY FEW people with those stats to get a fed clerkship. There are plenty of regional firms that would happily take a former clerk. However, biglaw still cares about grades - so your chances there are probably shot.

Pretty much this. Kill it during your clerkship next year and apply to Art. III clerkships. If you land one of those, your career prospects change materially. If you don't, you're still in a better position having clerked for a year (hey, it's a job that pays money).

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Re: Chances at Private Sector after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:53 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
augusta1985 wrote:Just landed a clerkship with a federal mag. T70 school with lackluster grades (barely top half). I externed for a year in the same court and had a great letter of rec from the judge...which is the only reason I landed the job:/

My question is this: will one year of clerking overcome poor grades? How will this transfer over into the private sector? I doubt I'll have much of a chance at biglaw, but maybe well reputed regional firms will give me a shot. Any thoughts?


Firstly, congratulations! You're probably one of VERY FEW people with those stats to get a fed clerkship. There are plenty of regional firms that would happily take a former clerk. However, biglaw still cares about grades - so your chances there are probably shot.

Pretty much this. Kill it during your clerkship next year and apply to Art. III clerkships. If you land one of those, your career prospects change materially. If you don't, you're still in a better position having clerked for a year (hey, it's a job that pays money).


If you can land an Art. III after clerking for the mag, you'll definitely have good prospects. Your grades will still be a hurdle, but you'll have pretty compelling experience for a private job in civ lit. If you're lucky, you might even be able to 'back door' your way into biglaw.

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Re: Chances at Private Sector after Clerking (with bad grades)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:48 pm

This was in the late 90s, but a partner at a regional big law firm did a state trial court --> state appellate --> art. 3 clerkship and in his words "the firm wouldn't have even looked at my resume if I hadn't done the clerkship." So, take that for what it's worth!




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