post-clerkship employment

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post-clerkship employment

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 27, 2012 3:04 pm

I will start a federal clerkship later this year in the Central District of California. I will not out myself, but I'm approx top 25% at a t10. Maybe slightly higher. I just graduated, so I have zero associate experience.

I am a bit worried about post-employment job opportunities. Can someone shed light on this whole area of post-clerkship hiring? Assume for the sake of this discussion that 2LSA firm is not in the picture (not a no-offer, but the practice group I'm interested in has bailed).

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kalvano
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Re: post-clerkship employment

Postby kalvano » Sun May 27, 2012 3:19 pm

It's my understanding that clerks are pretty heavily recruited. I don't think you'll have an issue finding employment with those grades / school combined with a federal clerkship.

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Re: post-clerkship employment

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 27, 2012 3:23 pm

kalvano wrote:It's my understanding that clerks are pretty heavily recruited. I don't think you'll have an issue finding employment with those grades / school combined with a federal clerkship.

Thanks. I didn't do THAT well in my 1L year, but I did substantially better during 2L year. So my only job hunting experience is plagued by tons of rejections and two eventual offers toward the end of the OCI process in Fall '10. Not sure how I did so much better 2L year (I took doctrinal classes mostly). So I guess I'm a benefactor of 2L curve. Slumped back to probably about top quarter after 3L year (although Spring '12 grades could push me higher or lower, not by much though).

Do you happen to know if there's a structured OCI or similar deal for clerks? And about when I should start looking? Or is it cold-mails? I will probably find out when I start the clerkship. But so far I have no answers to any of these questions - so if you have some insight I'd appreciate it.

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Re: post-clerkship employment

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 27, 2012 4:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
kalvano wrote:It's my understanding that clerks are pretty heavily recruited. I don't think you'll have an issue finding employment with those grades / school combined with a federal clerkship.

Thanks. I didn't do THAT well in my 1L year, but I did substantially better during 2L year. So my only job hunting experience is plagued by tons of rejections and two eventual offers toward the end of the OCI process in Fall '10. Not sure how I did so much better 2L year (I took doctrinal classes mostly). So I guess I'm a benefactor of 2L curve. Slumped back to probably about top quarter after 3L year (although Spring '12 grades could push me higher or lower, not by much though).

Do you happen to know if there's a structured OCI or similar deal for clerks? And about when I should start looking? Or is it cold-mails? I will probably find out when I start the clerkship. But so far I have no answers to any of these questions - so if you have some insight I'd appreciate it.


Different poster.

I started looking in the fall. It was a combination of following up with firms who sent recruitment letters and cold mailing.

No one asked about grades other than to just say "oh looks good." The main thing they cared about was what type of work I was doing during my clerkship.

First interview was in December and the last was in March. Most places seem to be willing to hold offers open until at least the end of Spring.

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Re: post-clerkship employment

Postby kalvano » Sun May 27, 2012 10:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
kalvano wrote:It's my understanding that clerks are pretty heavily recruited. I don't think you'll have an issue finding employment with those grades / school combined with a federal clerkship.

Thanks. I didn't do THAT well in my 1L year, but I did substantially better during 2L year. So my only job hunting experience is plagued by tons of rejections and two eventual offers toward the end of the OCI process in Fall '10. Not sure how I did so much better 2L year (I took doctrinal classes mostly). So I guess I'm a benefactor of 2L curve. Slumped back to probably about top quarter after 3L year (although Spring '12 grades could push me higher or lower, not by much though).

Do you happen to know if there's a structured OCI or similar deal for clerks? And about when I should start looking? Or is it cold-mails? I will probably find out when I start the clerkship. But so far I have no answers to any of these questions - so if you have some insight I'd appreciate it.



From my understanding, it will be a mix of mailings and actual recruitment. There is no OCI-type thing that I know of, but if your cover letters to firms can start with "I am currently serving as a law clerk to the Honorable XXX YYYY in the Northern District / Court of Appeals / etc.", that puts you in an entirely different place than regular mass mails. Also, some friends who have done or are doing clerkships have said you'll have job offers from firms that specifically recruit clerks.

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Re: post-clerkship employment

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 27, 2012 11:48 pm

Currently clerking in a flyover district. I received zero recruiting letters and didn't start cold mailing until late March. Maybe April. I still got a good number of interviews and landed biglaw. You're in a better district and have better grades (I top 1/3 at a T10), plus I was no offered as a 2L. You'll be fine.

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Re: post-clerkship employment

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 28, 2012 10:25 am

I'll be doing a district court clerkship in a major city starting in the fall; approximately top 25% at CCN, no-offered after 2L summer. Will the no-offer come up a lot when I'm looking for a job? The one biglaw interview I had following the no-offer but pre-clerkship offer, I was asked about it by like 3 different people (over 1/3 of my summer class was no-offered, but the firm still told me it was my performance). Will this be a big issue for me post-clerkship?

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Re: post-clerkship employment

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 28, 2012 11:13 am

There's a good chance it'll never come up. No one asked in any of the callbacks I went on. Some firms did ask before extending the interview offer, though.

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Re: post-clerkship employment

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 28, 2012 4:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'll be doing a district court clerkship in a major city starting in the fall; approximately top 25% at CCN, no-offered after 2L summer. Will the no-offer come up a lot when I'm looking for a job? The one biglaw interview I had following the no-offer but pre-clerkship offer, I was asked about it by like 3 different people (over 1/3 of my summer class was no-offered, but the firm still told me it was my performance). Will this be a big issue for me post-clerkship?


Unfortunately, yes. I've had about 10 interviews during my clerkship, and I was asked if I had an offer in every single one.

Does the firm know you landed a high profile clerkship? They might reconsider in that case. That's what happened to me. I was no-offered (along with my entire summer class). I landed a good clerkship. Then I went to interview with other firms for a pre-clerkship SA gig. I was asked at every interview about it, and the mood clearly changed when I said I was no-offered. So I leaked my shiny clerkship to people I still talked to at the firm, knowing it would get around. Then I sent my resume to another office of the firm, knowing the office would call my SA office and ask about me (and tell them I had the good clerkship). Within a week, I had an offer from the office I was an SA at. That made all my later interviews much easier.


Another thing you could do is call up former clerks for the judge you'll clerk for, and see if they can get you in to their summer class as a pre-clerkship SA. Of course, bar study will be rough while working as an SA.

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Re: post-clerkship employment

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 28, 2012 9:55 pm

Thanks for the advice/suggestions. I don't think my SA firm will reconsider and honestly I don't think I would want to work there anyway after everything that happened (also, my clerkship is in a different city, and I don't think I'll return to SA firm city after the clerkship). I guess I'll just have to deal with the question when it comes up when I'm interviewing for new jobs, and hopefully the clerkship will outweigh the no-offer. A senior associate at the firm I did an interview with post-no offer emailed me when he heard I got a clerkship (the firm is in the same city as the clerkship) and told me to re-interview after the clerkship, that they'd love to have me. So I'll try to remain optimistic; I'm also considering staying on a government path rather than going biglaw, but it would be nice to have the money for a few years (and obviously the bonus). No idea whether the no-offer would come up in a government interview and if it would carry the same stigma; I assume so but who knows. At this point I'm not upset about the no-offer in terms of the actual job; I'm happy to be going to the city where the clerkship is and I'd rather work there anyway; but I'm still so pissed that I have this black mark following me around, especially when their reason for the no-offer was bs.

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Re: post-clerkship employment

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 28, 2012 10:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I don't think my SA firm will reconsider and honestly I don't think I would want to work there anyway after everything that happened (also, my clerkship is in a different city, and I don't think I'll return to SA firm city after the clerkship).


I'll point out that I had no intention to go back either. It just makes it so much easier to answer that question "yes" as opposed to explaining how you actually are great, despite your no-offer. While a lot of folks will say you have no right to expect a job, and a firm is a business and not a charity, I agree that you should be pissed. I was pissed. They know we have other firms offering us, and if they plan to no-offer a large portion of SAs, they should tell us up front.

Good luck.

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Re: post-clerkship employment

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 29, 2012 12:04 pm

Any advice re: alums with more experience (say 5+ years) seeking a firm job after a clerkship? I'm clerking relatively late-in-life because I want to try to break into academia or the USAO (in that order), but I'd like to have a Plan C in case those don't work out. My experience is split pretty much evenly between V20 (mostly upteenth chair on litigation matters, though I did get decent dep and briefing experience) and government (where I've been lead counsel on several cases, including significant appellate work at all levels except SCOTUS). I've also published several articles.

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Re: post-clerkship employment

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 29, 2012 12:39 pm

I'm doing a state supreme court clerkship in a very large market (think NY, TX, IL, MA) and I'm wondering if the process is any different. Some people have told me my SSC clerkship is on par with a Fed D.Ct, but I'm not sure. Will I still be able to get biglaw? What about recruitment letters? Top 1/3 at CCN if it's any help, but no biglaw SA offers so worked gov.




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