Difference between summer clerk and associate

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Difference between summer clerk and associate

Postby Lawlyman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:56 pm

So some firms that I have interviews for called the position a summer clerk instead of a summer associate, I didn't want to ask, but does a summer clerk get paid? He told me that a summer clerk would be like an actual lawyer which I thought a summer associate is too.

Kevin Lederer
Last edited by Lawlyman on Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Difference between summer clerk and associate

Postby thesealocust » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:01 pm

There is no difference, the terms are used interchangeably. Some of the variation is just tradition in certain firms/legal markets.


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Re: Difference between summer clerk and associate

Postby YankeesFan » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:02 pm

CSO told me that associate typically means that an offer will be extended post-summer, while clerk is more of a fixed-time internship with little chance of an offer being extended after the summer.


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Re: Difference between summer clerk and associate

Postby clintone88 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:03 pm

A lot of places call it "summer clerk" when it's a 1L, and SA when it's a 2L. At my firm I'm called both SA and summer clerk, but my pay is still the same as a 2L SA. I don't think there is any difference other than the title.

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Re: Difference between summer clerk and associate

Postby a11 1n » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:03 pm

Its all semantics. To me, summer associate means there is a chance for a full-time associate position to be offered to you upon passing the bar. Law clerk means you are getting paid but should have no expectation of landing a spot as an attorney with the firm (not that this cannot happen but there is less expectation going in). Finally, intern/extern is reserved for those not getting paid.

Again though, its all semantics and different attorneys / regions use terms interchangeably.

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Re: Difference between summer clerk and associate

Postby Perseus_I » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:27 pm

Smaller firms/regional markets often use the term "clerk," as does Chicago in some cases. Larger firms/NYC/Texas/CA typically use the term "summer associate." Firms that have "clerks" often do not pay them at the market rate.

Examples: Quattlebaum, Friday, Rose etc. Little Rock big law hire "clerks," as do most of the large firms in New Orleans, OKC, as well as Austin, TX and other small cities in Texas.


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Re: Difference between summer clerk and associate

Postby keg411 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:51 pm

Under the rules of professional responsibility (at least in certain states) you can't really be called an "associate" until you're an actual attorney. So technically, all SA's are supposed to refer to themselves as "Law Clerks".

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