Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

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tsutsik
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Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby tsutsik » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:06 pm

So, I have an offer to clerk with a state Supreme Court. I also have a summer associate position that might turn into a job offer. The firm has been non-committal about whether they would defer an offer until after the clerkship. Should I take the clerkship and risk decreasing my chances of a job offer or decline the clerkship?

theantiscalia
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby theantiscalia » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:10 pm

I had this situation last year... my firm was not happy about me clerking.

Two questions...
1.) Is this a decent state? A bigger state where you want to practice will likely enable you to find a job there.
2.) Is this a one or two year clerkship? Your firm may be more open to the idea of a one year clerkship (mine was).

In the end, I accepted the clerkship, law firm be damned. The law firm came along.

lolwat
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby lolwat » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:17 pm

What state? SSCs are typically good (interesting work, good hours, good resume line) and make you pretty competitive for law firm jobs in the state you're clerking in.

I would, more likely than not, take the SSC. I can't really imagine what kind of law firm wouldn't support their associates clerking right out of law school (when the firm doesn't have much invested in the associate yet).

tsutsik
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby tsutsik » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:30 pm

Thanks. I'm also leaning towards taking the clerkship.

I'd rather not say what state, but I don't think it's super prestigious. It's a one year position.

rad lulz
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:35 pm

lolwat wrote:What state? SSCs are typically good (interesting work, good hours, good resume line) and make you pretty competitive for law firm jobs in the state you're clerking in.

I would, more likely than not, take the SSC. I can't really imagine what kind of law firm wouldn't support their associates clerking right out of law school (when the firm doesn't have much invested in the associate yet).

Some firms don't have the ability to hold offers open knowing that you may look for another job

It's not as uncommon as you might think

I worked at a firm like that

michaelbluth
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby michaelbluth » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:49 pm

tsutsik wrote:So, I have an offer to clerk with a state Supreme Court. I also have a summer associate position that might turn into a job offer. The firm has been non-committal about whether they would defer an offer until after the clerkship. Should I take the clerkship and risk decreasing my chances of a job offer or decline the clerkship?


Is turning down the clerkship even a realistic option? Career services at my school has made it explicitly clear that, if offered either an externship or clerkship with a judge, you cannot turn it down. I've heard the same from friends at other schools, too.

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bk1
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby bk1 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:51 pm

michaelbluth wrote:
tsutsik wrote:So, I have an offer to clerk with a state Supreme Court. I also have a summer associate position that might turn into a job offer. The firm has been non-committal about whether they would defer an offer until after the clerkship. Should I take the clerkship and risk decreasing my chances of a job offer or decline the clerkship?


Is turning down the clerkship even a realistic option? Career services at my school has made it explicitly clear that, if offered either an externship or clerkship with a judge, you cannot turn it down. I've heard the same from friends at other schools, too.

Of course you can turn it down. You're not a slave. Now it might be bad form, it might burn some bridges, and it might cause some blowback on your school, but you can definitely say no.

Myself
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.

Postby Myself » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:53 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:28 am

bk1 wrote:
michaelbluth wrote:
tsutsik wrote:So, I have an offer to clerk with a state Supreme Court. I also have a summer associate position that might turn into a job offer. The firm has been non-committal about whether they would defer an offer until after the clerkship. Should I take the clerkship and risk decreasing my chances of a job offer or decline the clerkship?


Is turning down the clerkship even a realistic option? Career services at my school has made it explicitly clear that, if offered either an externship or clerkship with a judge, you cannot turn it down. I've heard the same from friends at other schools, too.

Of course you can turn it down. You're not a slave. Now it might be bad form, it might burn some bridges, and it might cause some blowback on your school, but you can definitely say no.

Yeah. I think the really frowned upon thing is to turn down a clerkship while looking for a better one. Turning it down to go to a law firm is not in the same category of etiquette.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:42 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Yeah. I think the really frowned upon thing is to turn down a clerkship while looking for a better one. Turning it down to go to a law firm is not in the same category of etiquette.

I think if you are of the "never say no to a judge" school of thought (or more importantly, the judge is), it doesn't matter what you're saying no for - other judge or firm or what. But I think that school of thought is way overblown. It will vary by judge, and I'm sure there are judges out there who will expect this, but both judges I've clerked for gave me a chunk of time to answer (without me asking), very clearly expecting me to say no if the position wasn't right/I got something more suitable. And it seems like the OP has been given time to think about the SSC position. (And even if that's not the case, no, they can never make you take the job.)

OP, do you want to work at this firm after clerking (assuming you want to clerk, since you applied)? Or do you not care about the firm? "Might turn into a job offer" would be kind of unnerving to me, and I'd probably take the SSC and hope for the best after that, rather than gamble on the firm job (again, assuming you want to clerk), because you could pass on the clerkship and end up with no job at all (and possibly piss off a judge for no gain). But that would depend in part on what the chances at the firm offer would be and how much I liked the firm.

(Also, I am very pro-clerking and not personally interested in firm work, so that may make my comments less helpful to you.)

FWIW, the SSC clerks in my state (not one of the important ones) have always seemed to do very well in the job market after their clerkships.

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BVest
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby BVest » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:01 am

tsutsik wrote:Thanks. I'm also leaning towards taking the clerkship.

I'd rather not say what state, but I don't think it's super prestigious. It's a one year position.


Population Ballpark?

10 mln +
5-10 mln
2-5 mln
< 2 mln

tsutsik
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby tsutsik » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:28 pm

I definitely want to clerk. I just don't want it to screw up a chance at a long-term job. On the one hand, a guaranteed year at a job that I'm sure I'm going to love is really appealing. But, so is having something that promises to last longer than a year.

Anyway, thanks for the input. It's good to hear that SSC clerks generally do well coming out of a clerkship.

I think I'm going to take it and hope that the firm is willing to defer an offer.

tsutsik
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby tsutsik » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:30 pm

BVest: it's in the 2-5 million category.

lolwat
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby lolwat » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:32 pm

I'm very pro-clerking so take my advice with that in mind. I would take it, hope the firm is willing to defer the offer and if not, start hustling for your next job at some point during the clerkship. I very highly doubt that you will regret the decision to clerk, while you may regret a decision not to clerk. Many people talk about it as a very enjoyable experience and after doing it for a year I definitely see why, and I don't think clerking is overrated.

Also,

Some firms don't have the ability to hold offers open knowing that you may look for another job

It's not as uncommon as you might think

I worked at a firm like that


I'm obviously not saying that no firm ever refuses to hold offers open for clerks. I just don't know if I would practically want to work at one that does refuse to do so--it's just a yellow (perhaps not red) flag to me that the firm might not be very awesome. This is considering that most biglaw firms tend to encourage clerking and higher end lit boutiques also tend to either encourage or even require clerking. If it's a biglaw firm or lit boutique that refuses to hold an offer open, then I'd definitely be concerned. If it's midlaw, then it depends, but I'd still be a bit concerned.

kradler90
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby kradler90 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:00 pm

I know this is a necropost. However, you OCS's advice to 'never' decline a clerkship should only apply to A3 clerkships. I doubt a local clerkship, even a SC clerkship would hold too big of a grudge against a local school. Whereas a A3 clerk would most likely hold a grudge against a local school if you gave that up.

Anonymous User
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Re: Guaranteed Clerkship or Possible Job Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:27 am

Another necropost here... I am in a similar situation, except I don't have a definitive offer for a clerkship. At my SA firm, associates told me that the firm would not hold offers for them to clerk. Because of this knowledge, I have not asked the firm about this as I don't feel comfortable bringing it up and making the rest of my summer awkward. I interviewed with a SSC judge who told me to keep in touch and if other offers come along to let him know so that he will "make a decision sooner," which sounds promising. However most other judges I have applied to told me they will not begin interviewing until late August/early September, well after I would have had to made a decision about the firm's offer. How do you go about navigating this situation?

Should I wait until the firm offers me a position and then ask about their clerkship policy and if they still do not hold offers, notify the judge of the situation?




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