Alumni Clerkship Applications - Interim Employment

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273367
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Alumni Clerkship Applications - Interim Employment

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:41 pm

I can't clerk right after law school for various reasons, but hope to do well enough in school to apply to clerk after 2 years of work.

Can any current or former clerks weigh in on how my job will impact my application? Is there any "credit" given to more prestigious firms, or government positions? Or does place of employment only matter insofar as a judge has connections?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273367
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Alumni Clerkship Applications - Interim Employment

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:57 pm

Sunday night bump.

User avatar
Julio_El_Chavo
Posts: 803
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:09 pm

Re: Alumni Clerkship Applications - Interim Employment

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:47 pm

Most judges mostly care about 1) recommendations, 2) grades, and 3) law review. They don't really care if and where you work before clerking for them. For those that do care, they probably care more about the type of work you do than the firm you work at. Your firm experience is only useful insofar as it shows you can research and write quickly and effectively.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22846
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Alumni Clerkship Applications - Interim Employment

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:00 am

The only way I've seen where you've worked make a difference is if there's a connection - I know people who have had an edge up on applications because they worked for someone who used to clerk for the judge, or worked at a firm (or for an employer - this works for e.g. legal aid, too) where the judge used to work. But that's just the general value of connections, not about the firm's prestige. Some judges do look for candidates with a commitment to public interest work, so they would probably prefer government work over firm work. But unless you know ahead of time that there's a specific judge you want to work for who has a demonstrated preference for PI candidates, it's probably not worth going that route only for clerkship applications if it's not what you want to do anyway. (But if it is what you want to do, go for it - I don't think it would hurt you at all.)

Anonymous User
Posts: 273367
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Alumni Clerkship Applications - Interim Employment

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:08 am

Thank you. Do former clerks hold any sway in hiring? That is, if I went to a firm that had a lot of young associates that had clerked, would they be able to informally put in a good word for me, or is that just not done?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273367
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Alumni Clerkship Applications - Interim Employment

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:25 am

It probably depends on the judge and their relationship with the clerk(s) in question. I'm quite sure my judge would keep an eye out for an application from someone recommended by a previous clerk; it can also be really helpful to write in a cover letter something like "I work at Firm X, with Former Clerk X, who suggested I apply to your chambers." Just make sure the judge and Former Clerk X are on good speaking terms!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273367
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Alumni Clerkship Applications - Interim Employment

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:I can't clerk right after law school for various reasons, but hope to do well enough in school to apply to clerk after 2 years of work.

Can any current or former clerks weigh in on how my job will impact my application? Is there any "credit" given to more prestigious firms, or government positions? Or does place of employment only matter insofar as a judge has connections?


Just remember that clerking is not an end - it's a learning experience to help your career. You should pick whichever position will put you in the best position for your long term career. So, as between firm, government or PI, pick whichever would be best for your career in the long run. As far as firms go, pick whichever: (a) lines up best with your interests or (b) is the best firm in the city you plan to be in.

-DoubleClerk

Anonymous User
Posts: 273367
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Alumni Clerkship Applications - Interim Employment

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:37 am

Current clerking alum here.

Can any current or former clerks weigh in on how my job will impact my application? Is there any "credit" given to more prestigious firms, or government positions? Or does place of employment only matter insofar as a judge has connections?


Depends on the judge. My judge almost exclusively hires biglaw associates. Though a lot of that is probably driven by the fact that people at biglaw tend to have impressive resumes (e.g., grades ranging from above-median at HSY to top-of-the-class outside of the top 50), and in today's market, those are the only people in the running for AIII clerkships. I know a few NYC area alum-only judges only take NYC biglaw people. And I will say that when I was applying, my firm name got me at least one interview. Remember, in most chambers the clerks take the first cut at the stack of resumes, and "Williams & Connelly" or "Cravath" does tend to jump out to them.

Thank you. Do former clerks hold any sway in hiring? That is, if I went to a firm that had a lot of young associates that had clerked, would they be able to informally put in a good word for me, or is that just not done?


Yes, it's done. And in fact, if the associates didn't send the judge an email about you, s/he'd probably call them to ask anyway. Do keep in mind, though, that in this situation -- judge talking to non-prof former clerks about an applicant -- the clerks are going to be much more candid. They have a long term relationship with the judge outside of the clerkship application process (for example, my judge usually has a social event with various of his former clerks once a month or so), so it's in their best interest to flag someone who they don't think would make the best clerk.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.