Clerkships v. straight to mid/big law

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Clerkships v. straight to mid/big law

Postby table3 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:57 pm

0L here. Generally speaking, are federal clerkships more desirable for fresh graduates than going straight to a mid/big law job? Obviously, each person has different goals, interests, and debt loads - but I'm wondering if there's a consensus one way or the other. And if we expanded the question to include state and local clerkships, how would they fit into the mix?

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Re: Clerkships v. straight to mid/big law

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:16 pm

This is kind of a huge question and if you play around with the search function, you'll probably find some previous discussions of this. The short, general answer is that many many people agree that a federal clerkship is an extremely valuable experience both for learning and prestige, and that it usually provides a boost to your career, but it will depend on what kind of practice you want to do and your personal circumstances. People who want to do transactional work exclusively often don't feel a clerkship is worthwhile, and many people headed to big law don't want to take the salary hit of a clerkship (clerkships pay about 1/2 of what biglaw pays and while firms usually give credit for a clerkship and a bonus, some people still don't feel it's worth it). Conversely, some people who strike out at biglaw the first time round find clerkships very valuable for giving them another year to get the kind of job they really want. The value of state clerkships (there aren't any local clerkships that aren't state clerkships) is debated - it varies by state, level of clerkship (trial v. appellate), and, again, what you want to do.

But the other thing I have to point out is that as 0L, you're not actually allowed to post in this forum. viewtopic.php?f=23&t=189981 It's a great place to read, but you need to go the Ask A Law Student forum to post.

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Re: Clerkships v. straight to mid/big law

Postby thesealocust » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:22 pm

No consensus. It's becoming more common for clerks to be hired after a stint at a firm instead of straight out of law school. It's also much less common/obviously beneficial for those going into non-litigation practices at a big firm.

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