Post-Clerkship Job Search

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legalese_retard
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Post-Clerkship Job Search

Postby legalese_retard » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:14 am

For those of y'all clerking with no job lined up after your clerkship, how is the job search coming? My clerkship ends in Fall 2013 and I'm not sure when or how to conduct the search. I work for a judge in a "flyover district," but will be looking to work in a city outside my district. I emailed several firms I am interested in and received varied responses on applying (some now, but most in the Feb/Mar of 2013).

How is it looking for everyone else? It seems that the litigation side of things have dropped significantly and transactional work has been on the upside.

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nevdash
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Re: Post-Clerkship Job Search

Postby nevdash » Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:16 pm

Tagging since this will be relevant for me down the road.

ClerkAnon
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Re: Post-Clerkship Job Search

Postby ClerkAnon » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:32 pm

legalese_retard wrote:For those of y'all clerking with no job lined up after your clerkship, how is the job search coming? My clerkship ends in Fall 2013 and I'm not sure when or how to conduct the search. I work for a judge in a "flyover district," but will be looking to work in a city outside my district. I emailed several firms I am interested in and received varied responses on applying (some now, but most in the Feb/Mar of 2013).

How is it looking for everyone else? It seems that the litigation side of things have dropped significantly and transactional work has been on the upside.


For biglaw litigation, I applied in mid-to-late February of my clerkship year - just mailed unsolicited application packets to the firms in which I was interested. There were two weeks of dead silence - then almost all of them responded with interview invitations (sent seven applications, received six interview offers - it was in a better economy.) I interviewed the first two weeks of March, which was right in the heat of clerkship hiring for that year. The interview --> offer delay was 30 minutes to 2.5 weeks, depending on the firm. The firms gave 2-4 weeks to respond to their offers. From the responses you've received, Feb/Mar still sounds like the way to go.

After my second clerkship, I focused on government and non-profit jobs, plus a few private public interest firms. The timing was trickier: those employers' hiring processes may take a long time, but once they extend an offer, they would like you to be available immediately (excepting Honors, Bristow, etc., obviously.) I received a couple of rejection letters purely on the basis of timing from employers who said they would have liked to interview me had I been available to start sooner. But on the flip side, some government employers had a 5-6 month hiring process with lots of delay, so they were fine with my applying well before I was available. Based on that experience, I'd suggest applying to government jobs about six months before you become available. If you apply to nonprofits and smaller firms sooner than 8-10 weeks before the end of your clerkship, be aware that you may be rejected for timing reasons.

Headybrah
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Re: Post-Clerkship Job Search

Postby Headybrah » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:42 pm

great advoce

Anonymous User
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Re: Post-Clerkship Job Search

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:11 pm

Also very relevant to my interests. SSC clerk, major market, struck out at 2L OCI. Fellow clerks at my court seem to be getting good biglaw jobs- but a lot of them summered or worked for those firms before clerking. Am not sure how desirable a commodity I am without prior biglaw experience.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job Search

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Also very relevant to my interests. SSC clerk, major market, struck out at 2L OCI. Fellow clerks at my court seem to be getting good biglaw jobs- but a lot of them summered or worked for those firms before clerking. Am not sure how desirable a commodity I am without prior biglaw experience.

Hey anon - I formerly clerked with a state appellate court. It's true that most of the clerks there who ended up in law firms had those jobs from summering/other work before clerking - but not all. I know two clerks from the state Court of Appeals who ended up getting Biglaw at firms to which they had no previous connection. They networked and hustled like mad - they were both members of Inns of Court, went to all the meetings, volunteered for stuff, had mentors, had coffee with anyone who would sit down with them, and in one case, especially, just never gave up (it was a long, drawn-out hiring process that went from Jan/Feb to the end of August - I would probably have assumed they didn't want me and left them alone, but it worked out for this person). I also believe at least a couple other clerks got decent firm jobs during their term (I think mostly at local firms, but good ones), but I don't know the details of those.

Now, I should point out that this was in an only semi-major market (it's the major market in the state, which is a state that lots of people love to move to, but isn't maybe a power player, and the legal market is kinda small), so I'm not sure how it would translate to other places - for instance, clerking for the SSC here positions you really well to get work in-state, and maybe in a few of the bordering states, but isn't going to take you to NYC or DC Biglaw. But thought I'd offer the experience FWIW.

Anonymous User
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Re: Post-Clerkship Job Search

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:19 pm

legalese_retard wrote:For those of y'all clerking with no job lined up after your clerkship, how is the job search coming? My clerkship ends in Fall 2013 and I'm not sure when or how to conduct the search. I work for a judge in a "flyover district," but will be looking to work in a city outside my district. I emailed several firms I am interested in and received varied responses on applying (some now, but most in the Feb/Mar of 2013).

How is it looking for everyone else? It seems that the litigation side of things have dropped significantly and transactional work has been on the upside.


The really short answer is that it's still very early for firms to look at and interview current clerks. Most firms I contacted replied stating that they look at applications between winter (mostly January) and March 2013 for positions starting in Fall 2013. Some interview even later than that. The last time I was active on this forum and this question was asked, someone else said they sent out applications in November, and some firms were interviewing by then, while others responded to say that they would look at the application in Winter/Spring.

I was told by one firm to apply in September (as in, last month). So, some firms have probably started to interview.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Post-Clerkship Job Search

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Also very relevant to my interests. SSC clerk, major market, struck out at 2L OCI. Fellow clerks at my court seem to be getting good biglaw jobs- but a lot of them summered or worked for those firms before clerking. Am not sure how desirable a commodity I am without prior biglaw experience.

Hey anon - I formerly clerked with a state appellate court. It's true that most of the clerks there who ended up in law firms had those jobs from summering/other work before clerking - but not all. I know two clerks from the state Court of Appeals who ended up getting Biglaw at firms to which they had no previous connection. They networked and hustled like mad - they were both members of Inns of Court, went to all the meetings, volunteered for stuff, had mentors, had coffee with anyone who would sit down with them, and in one case, especially, just never gave up (it was a long, drawn-out hiring process that went from Jan/Feb to the end of August - I would probably have assumed they didn't want me and left them alone, but it worked out for this person). I also believe at least a couple other clerks got decent firm jobs during their term (I think mostly at local firms, but good ones), but I don't know the details of those.

Now, I should point out that this was in an only semi-major market (it's the major market in the state, which is a state that lots of people love to move to, but isn't maybe a power player, and the legal market is kinda small), so I'm not sure how it would translate to other places - for instance, clerking for the SSC here positions you really well to get work in-state, and maybe in a few of the bordering states, but isn't going to take you to NYC or DC Biglaw. But thought I'd offer the experience FWIW.


That is impressive, I thought that it was almost impossible to go from state appellate to biglaw.

Anonymous User
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Re: Post-Clerkship Job Search

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Also very relevant to my interests. SSC clerk, major market, struck out at 2L OCI. Fellow clerks at my court seem to be getting good biglaw jobs- but a lot of them summered or worked for those firms before clerking. Am not sure how desirable a commodity I am without prior biglaw experience.

Hey anon - I formerly clerked with a state appellate court. It's true that most of the clerks there who ended up in law firms had those jobs from summering/other work before clerking - but not all. I know two clerks from the state Court of Appeals who ended up getting Biglaw at firms to which they had no previous connection. They networked and hustled like mad - they were both members of Inns of Court, went to all the meetings, volunteered for stuff, had mentors, had coffee with anyone who would sit down with them, and in one case, especially, just never gave up (it was a long, drawn-out hiring process that went from Jan/Feb to the end of August - I would probably have assumed they didn't want me and left them alone, but it worked out for this person). I also believe at least a couple other clerks got decent firm jobs during their term (I think mostly at local firms, but good ones), but I don't know the details of those.

Now, I should point out that this was in an only semi-major market (it's the major market in the state, which is a state that lots of people love to move to, but isn't maybe a power player, and the legal market is kinda small), so I'm not sure how it would translate to other places - for instance, clerking for the SSC here positions you really well to get work in-state, and maybe in a few of the bordering states, but isn't going to take you to NYC or DC Biglaw. But thought I'd offer the experience FWIW.


That is impressive, I thought that it was almost impossible to go from state appellate to biglaw.

Well, let me say first that these were branch offices of national firms - they're biglaw for out here, but I don't know how/where they'd fit in all the hierarchies that people obsess about for, say, NYC biglaw. (Okay, I looked: they're both middling-ish V100. For context, I think <20 V100 firms even have offices out here.)

Still, it was pretty impressive. I'm pretty sure one had ordinary grades 1L but kicked ass 2L and 3L. Also, she identified a particular practice area that she really, really wanted to do and worked her butt off to make herself the best [that practice] lawyer you've ever seen (and also to meet all the [that practice] lawyers in town). The other clerk had really awesome grades/class rank, LR, 2 pubs, and I don't know why they didn't try for/get biglaw during 2L summer. But she, too, worked really really hard with networking and hustling.

All that said, it wouldn't surprise me if it's easier to make that kind of a jump here, in a smaller market, than in other, more major markets (just remembered another one - state SSC the year before me, he also went to Biglaw without having an offer from them before clerking. Well, he didn't summer with them - I suppose he could have got the job through 3L OCI, but my school had almost no 3L OCI, so...).

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legalese_retard
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Re: Post-Clerkship Job Search

Postby legalese_retard » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:52 pm

ClerkAnon wrote:
legalese_retard wrote:For those of y'all clerking with no job lined up after your clerkship, how is the job search coming? My clerkship ends in Fall 2013 and I'm not sure when or how to conduct the search. I work for a judge in a "flyover district," but will be looking to work in a city outside my district. I emailed several firms I am interested in and received varied responses on applying (some now, but most in the Feb/Mar of 2013).

How is it looking for everyone else? It seems that the litigation side of things have dropped significantly and transactional work has been on the upside.


For biglaw litigation, I applied in mid-to-late February of my clerkship year - just mailed unsolicited application packets to the firms in which I was interested. There were two weeks of dead silence - then almost all of them responded with interview invitations (sent seven applications, received six interview offers - it was in a better economy.) I interviewed the first two weeks of March, which was right in the heat of clerkship hiring for that year. The interview --> offer delay was 30 minutes to 2.5 weeks, depending on the firm. The firms gave 2-4 weeks to respond to their offers. From the responses you've received, Feb/Mar still sounds like the way to go.

After my second clerkship, I focused on government and non-profit jobs, plus a few private public interest firms. The timing was trickier: those employers' hiring processes may take a long time, but once they extend an offer, they would like you to be available immediately (excepting Honors, Bristow, etc., obviously.) I received a couple of rejection letters purely on the basis of timing from employers who said they would have liked to interview me had I been available to start sooner. But on the flip side, some government employers had a 5-6 month hiring process with lots of delay, so they were fine with my applying well before I was available. Based on that experience, I'd suggest applying to government jobs about six months before you become available. If you apply to nonprofits and smaller firms sooner than 8-10 weeks before the end of your clerkship, be aware that you may be rejected for timing reasons.


Thanks for the detailed response!




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