Clerkship goals

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Clerkship goals

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:53 pm

Fair_Balanced wrote:Why clerk at all? If you want to go to a firm, go to a firm. Some random district court clerkship isn't going to meaningfully up your resume's prestige value over a degree from Harvard Law. Not all A3 clerkships are great learning experiences or pleasant, and you're losing money. Don't clerk just because it's hard to get. Clerk because it makes sense for what you want to do.


+1

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Re: Clerkship goals

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:10 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Fair_Balanced wrote:Why clerk at all? If you want to go to a firm, go to a firm. Some random district court clerkship isn't going to meaningfully up your resume's prestige value over a degree from Harvard Law. Not all A3 clerkships are great learning experiences or pleasant, and you're losing money. Don't clerk just because it's hard to get. Clerk because it makes sense for what you want to do.


+1

I agree with the sentiment that you should only clerk if it makes sense for your career goals, but I would not have phrased it so strongly anti-clerking. Assuming you want to litigate, I think you should try to clerk unless you have a good reason not to. The quoted post seems to suggest the opposite. A good reason could be you can only get a district that isn't geographically relevant, or you can only get a crappy judge, etc. But there are lots of good reasons to clerk.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Clerkship goals

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Fair_Balanced wrote:Why clerk at all? If you want to go to a firm, go to a firm. Some random district court clerkship isn't going to meaningfully up your resume's prestige value over a degree from Harvard Law. Not all A3 clerkships are great learning experiences or pleasant, and you're losing money. Don't clerk just because it's hard to get. Clerk because it makes sense for what you want to do.


+1

I agree with the sentiment that you should only clerk if it makes sense for your career goals, but I would not have phrased it so strongly anti-clerking. Assuming you want to litigate, I think you should try to clerk unless you have a good reason not to. The quoted post seems to suggest the opposite. A good reason could be you can only get a district that isn't geographically relevant, or you can only get a crappy judge, etc. But there are lots of good reasons to clerk.


I disagree with the idea that you should try to clerk no matter what if you're doing any kind of litigation. It's highly likely that the type of litigation you specialize in will have nothing to do with the vast majority of work you do as a clerk. To the extent you're writing memos and doing legal research, this is pretty much exactly the same kind of work you'd be doing at a biglaw firm. The only difference is that you'll be making less money. In fact, there are some things you could actually miss out on if you clerk instead of working at a firm, like taking or defending depositions. Granted, you could do this after you clerk, but it might be better to get the necessary experience sooner rather than later.

Somewhat unrelatedly, there are plenty of biglaw partners who haven't clerked. In fact, at my firm, it's much more likely for associates to have clerked than partners. However, clerking definitely makes sense if you have any interest at all in academia or federal government jobs.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clerkship goals

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:40 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Somewhat unrelatedly, there are plenty of biglaw partners who haven't clerked. In fact, at my firm, it's much more likely for associates to have clerked than partners. However, clerking definitely makes sense if you have any interest at all in academia or federal government jobs.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the changing market for legal employment. When jobs get scarcer, employers can afford to get pickier and pickier about the qualifications of those they do hire. So clerking might be more important for getting a biglaw job now than it was when the partners were getting hired. (Just in the sense of accumulating credentials, not because the of the actual experience it provides.)

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Re: Clerkship goals

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:27 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Fair_Balanced wrote:Why clerk at all? If you want to go to a firm, go to a firm. Some random district court clerkship isn't going to meaningfully up your resume's prestige value over a degree from Harvard Law. Not all A3 clerkships are great learning experiences or pleasant, and you're losing money. Don't clerk just because it's hard to get. Clerk because it makes sense for what you want to do.


+1

I agree with the sentiment that you should only clerk if it makes sense for your career goals, but I would not have phrased it so strongly anti-clerking. Assuming you want to litigate, I think you should try to clerk unless you have a good reason not to. The quoted post seems to suggest the opposite. A good reason could be you can only get a district that isn't geographically relevant, or you can only get a crappy judge, etc. But there are lots of good reasons to clerk.


I disagree with the idea that you should try to clerk no matter what if you're doing any kind of litigation. It's highly likely that the type of litigation you specialize in will have nothing to do with the vast majority of work you do as a clerk. To the extent you're writing memos and doing legal research, this is pretty much exactly the same kind of work you'd be doing at a biglaw firm. The only difference is that you'll be making less money. In fact, there are some things you could actually miss out on if you clerk instead of working at a firm, like taking or defending depositions. Granted, you could do this after you clerk, but it might be better to get the necessary experience sooner rather than later.
I disagree with this point strongly (anon from above). Most clerks have the feeling that the work they did during their clerkship year(s) is considerably more meaningful and valuable than the work done by the average first- or second-year associate. No first-year associates are "taking or defending depositions" at the vast, overwhelming majority of biglaw firms.

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Re: Clerkship goals

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:15 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Fair_Balanced wrote:Why clerk at all? If you want to go to a firm, go to a firm. Some random district court clerkship isn't going to meaningfully up your resume's prestige value over a degree from Harvard Law. Not all A3 clerkships are great learning experiences or pleasant, and you're losing money. Don't clerk just because it's hard to get. Clerk because it makes sense for what you want to do.


+1

I agree with the sentiment that you should only clerk if it makes sense for your career goals, but I would not have phrased it so strongly anti-clerking. Assuming you want to litigate, I think you should try to clerk unless you have a good reason not to. The quoted post seems to suggest the opposite. A good reason could be you can only get a district that isn't geographically relevant, or you can only get a crappy judge, etc. But there are lots of good reasons to clerk.


I disagree with the idea that you should try to clerk no matter what if you're doing any kind of litigation. It's highly likely that the type of litigation you specialize in will have nothing to do with the vast majority of work you do as a clerk. To the extent you're writing memos and doing legal research, this is pretty much exactly the same kind of work you'd be doing at a biglaw firm. The only difference is that you'll be making less money. In fact, there are some things you could actually miss out on if you clerk instead of working at a firm, like taking or defending depositions. Granted, you could do this after you clerk, but it might be better to get the necessary experience sooner rather than later.

Somewhat unrelatedly, there are plenty of biglaw partners who haven't clerked. In fact, at my firm, it's much more likely for associates to have clerked than partners. However, clerking definitely makes sense if you have any interest at all in academia or federal government jobs.


there's more to clerking than researching and writing memos (that to me sounds a lot like an judicial externship). as a clerk, you're drafting (i.e. writing) dispositive orders in some extremely complex cases. you;ll read hundreds of briefs, see what works and what doesn't, and learn to recognize the weak spot on which a case will turn. the job is also a crash course on civ pro. look, there;s reasons why firms recruit clerks and pay them bonuses... it's not simply because they want to put an extra line in your bio on the firm's website. it's practical experience that is second to none

wahoo
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Re: Clerkship goals

Postby wahoo » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:04 pm

I just got an offer from a Bankruptcy court for the 2013/2014. Any ideas whether this is really going to help me get a firm job? If you were in my shoes, would you just mass mail law firms right now? My experience interviewing with current law clerks is that it is not easy at all especially if you want to stay in New York.




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