Anonymous User wrote:Julio_El_Chavo wrote:Clerking is a nice idea, but it's definitely not available for everyone right out of law school. You need top grades from a top law school, and if you have that you can do whatever you want anyway. I know people who graded on to law review at my T10 who did not land a federal clerkship. So unless you absolutely want to work for a firm that requires clerking, like KVN, I think you should work at a firm for a year or two and, if you think it's appropriate, apply for clerkships then. The work experience at a firm will probably give you a leg up in the clerkship hunt.
I agree with parts of this. Although by year three or four, it is extremely hard for most people to give up the income. Also, by that point in your career, the value-added of a district clerkship - while certainly there - is attenuated because of all that you've done as a junior associate. And by year three or four, I'm not sure what extra oomph you could add to your skills by clerking on an appellate court.
One common reason for clerking midway during one's career is lateraling out of big law into something else - academia, government (AUSA), etc. Another reason is lateraling up - although I often wonder about this idea given that clerks for the most part come from pretty decent firms - and the firms north of those firms don't magically hire you after your clerkship (at least based on my cursory observations).
I noticed that at my firm a lot of second or third years simply lost the desire they once had to clerk - relative to how they felt about clerkships as law students. Once you're at a firm, nobody really gives a shit where you clerked or talks about it. It is like law review - nobody actually brings it up. And once nobody's talking about it, junior associates stop giving a shit about it. I once read that teenage girls have a higher statistical chance of getting pregnant if they observe their friends getting pregnant. I guess the same idea operates here.
incoming ip litigation associate here. ive been trying to decide whether to apply now to clerk a year or two out or not. no desire to go into academia or lateral up. i do have to admit, a big part of why i'm thinking of clerking is simply the fact in law school all the profs/students talk about it and how great it is. you mention that no one gives a shit at a firm, and i found that to be generally true during my SA experience (no one ever talked about clerkships other than the people that did SCOTUS). after being at a firm for a while, have you ever seen litigation associates with clerkships getting better assignments or being used to get clients etc.?
and thanks for the blurb about the pregnant girls... i'm trying to figure out if a big reason i want to clerk is precisely because i'm on the editorial board of my LR and it seems that everyone else is clerking.