Best summer jobs for clerkships?

(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: 273252
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Best summer jobs for clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:14 pm

I am a 2L at a DNCG school in the top 15% of my class (would have been top 10 if calculated against the entire class rather than just my own section) on the main journal and the moot court team. I ended up striking out through my school's OCI program (targeting DC and NYC). While I've started mass mailing and applying to firms that advertise through our school's career services office, I don't expect to get anything at a top firm.

Since I ultimately want to clerk, I'm curious whether I might be better off forgoing mid-tier firms and instead pursuing a summer honors program with an agency, or something else entirely different that I'm not even thinking of. Anyone with clerkship experience have any thoughts?

User avatar
mephistopheles
Posts: 1947
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:43 am

Re: Best summer jobs for clerkships?

Postby mephistopheles » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:15 pm

what do you want to do post-clerkship?

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18417
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Best summer jobs for clerkships?

Postby bk1 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:21 pm

From a different thread:
ClerkAdvisor wrote:A clerkship is a stepping stone and is not a long term goal. You should pick the firm / market where you want to practice for the foreseeable future.

This is apt here. A clerkship is not an end goal, it's a temporary 1-2 year job that you do before going on to other things. You shouldn't pick a summer job because it gives you an edge for a clerkship (the truth is that no 2L summer job is really going to give you an appreciable edge). You should pick a 2L summer job that you like the best that gives you the best chance of a full time job after graduation, whether that's a small or midsize firm, a DA's office, a PD's office, etc. So that means that most federal agency internships probably aren't worth it since they are unlikely to lead to full time postgrad employment.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22835
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Best summer jobs for clerkships?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:22 pm

I don't think most judges actually care very much about where you work your 2L summer. I mean, there may be judges coming out of a government background who favor a government internship, or maybe a judge who came out of a particular firm likes to hire people from that firm (or people that his former partners recommend to him). But it will depend entirely on the judge, and it's not predictable enough to make it worth organizing your summer employment around. (And you wouldn't be able to do one thing that will appeal to all the judges who have such preferences anyway.)

Generally speaking, working at a mid-tier firm is not likely to hurt your chances at a clerkship, nor will doing a summer honors program help your chances at a clerkship, enough to make that the determining factor. Clerking is pretty much by definition temporary. What do you want to do after you clerk, and which summer position will most help you do that?

(or, you know, what bk said.)

Anonymous User
Posts: 273252
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best summer jobs for clerkships?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:25 pm

mephistopheles wrote:what do you want to do post-clerkship?


Ultimately I would like to do litigation. I struck out on getting an SA position with most of the firms where I would like to be, but a number of them (such as W&C) have a habit of hiring clerks regardless of whether or not they summered with the firm originally, which is part of why I'm more focused on pursuing a clerkship rather than landing a SA position.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18417
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Best summer jobs for clerkships?

Postby bk1 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
mephistopheles wrote:what do you want to do post-clerkship?


Ultimately I would like to do litigation. I struck out on getting an SA position with most of the firms where I would like to be, but a number of them (such as W&C) have a habit of hiring clerks regardless of whether or not they summered with the firm originally, which is part of why I'm more focused on pursuing a clerkship rather than landing a SA position.

Honestly, you should be more focused on getting an SA than getting a clerkship. I have a feeling you may have overreached by targeting mostly very selective firms (your average DC firm can be a rough haul for someone with top 15% grades, let alone places like W&C). In general though, it's not like getting a clerkship is going to be significantly easier than getting an SA at a selective firm. You could easily strike out of the clerkship hunt (you should do your best to try and pull your grades up to top 10%, if not top 5%) and without an SA at all you'd be in a very sticky place.

At this point you should be mass mailing every large/medium sized firm in every market you would consider working in. You can't be picky since you don't have anything.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.