$11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

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Anonymous User
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$11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:38 am

So, I just started as a law clerk at a small firm. I work 10 hours a week for $11 an hour. I've only been working 3 weeks, but it is exhausting. It takes me 45 minutes to get to and from work, and I'm taking 16 units of classes. I have class 5 days a week, and work 2 days after class. Because of my schedule, I literally have to run to my car after class, spend 45 mins in traffic, and then go straight to work for 5 hrs, without time to even eat lunch.

I am not a complainer, but part of me feels like my time is more valuable than what I am getting out of this position. I am not able to spend as much time on class work and I'm way more exhausted than before I started--- all for $11 an hour (which quite a bit is wasted on gas) and the "perk" of having law firm experience on my resume.

Even the Research Assistants at my school get paid more. And they can work whenever they want...on campus...or from home.

Can I get some honest opinions on whether I should stay at this place? My bf says $11 an hour (when the minimum wage in CA is $8) is really low and is not worth the hit my grades may take.


Anyone think having a law firm on my resume is worth the hassle? Am I just being whiney?

indo
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby indo » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:32 am

It is NOT worth it. Spend the time to study for school and LSAT. If you get better grade and great LSAT you will get a lot of scholarship.

Anonymous User
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:20 am

indo wrote:It is NOT worth it. Spend the time to study for school and LSAT. If you get better grade and great LSAT you will get a lot of scholarship.



Should have clarified --- I am a 2L. Now I REALLY feel like this job isn't worth it...

Mal Reynolds
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:33 am

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Last edited by Mal Reynolds on Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:38 am

Depends what the job is. I did a gig in my 3L that took a 1hr commute using caltrans. It was an unpaid externship, 15 hrs a week. But it was worth it to me because it was in a niche area of law that really built up my resume, and I had a very lax 3L schedule.

At this stage, the pay in a paid internship shouldnt be a big concern unless youre in a corporate or biglaw setting paying you hamdsomely. The deciding factor comes to employability beyond 3L. Are you able to put anything useful down from this (i.e. depos, motion writing, discovery response, etc.)?

Even still, Id say no. Youre still a 2L, you can still find another job that fits your sched and provides you a better opportunity in the year and half you got left.

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Lwoods
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby Lwoods » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:13 am

I'm leaning toward not worth it.

Could it turn into a full time job? Would you want it to? Do you have your 2L summer plans lined up yet? If not, that should be your primary focus until you do.

$11/hour may be worth it to some students in different circumstances, but it doesn't sound like it here. If you need some extra money, become a research assistant. (Also, I'm jealous; my school pays RAs $8/hour).

If you do quit, though, be professional about it, offer to help find/train your replacement, etc. It's probably overkill for a pt job like this, but I don't think it's worth the risk to your reputation in the field to handle it any other way.

lolwat
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby lolwat » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:29 pm

Should have clarified --- I am a 2L. Now I REALLY feel like this job isn't worth it...


Do you have a 2L summer associate job lined up? This is probably the most important question you can answer right now, because if so, you don't need this part-time job, but if not, read below.

The pay is irrelevant. Yes, it feels lame working for minimal pay for the "'perk' of having law firm experience on [your] resume" but that perk is not insubstantial at all. In this shitty legal market, I'm an advocate of doing everything possible to get ahead in employment prospects, and this is one of them. Yes, that might mean your general happiness/ability to go out every night/weekend and the like might suffer, but if the end result is that your resume gets enough of a boost to land you a job, then it's worth it.

And I don't see how your grades necessarily have to suffer. People do just as much (or more) and still end up with good grades. Your free time suffers, not the time you spend studying/reading.

Anonymous User
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:36 pm

I agree with the above poster. If you have an SA job lined up, don't work. Otherwise, tough it out because $$ is always good and in this economy, experience is really important. See if you drop 1 class? And grades aren't that important unless you are gunning for clerkship.

Gorki
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby Gorki » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:58 pm

Quit and let someone else take the job then. Seriously. If you struck out at OCI you know the damned stakes. Any chance at all this will lead to a FT job? Any other legal experience? Pack a lunch, use ice pack lunch boxes, etc.

This OP is so gd aggravating. Is $11.00 an hour shit pay? Hell yes. Is it better than absolutely nothing? Hell yes. What would you be doing in those other 10 hours a week? If you cannot with a straight face say you would be studying, then stay. You say RA jobs pay more, then why do you not have one? If you do not, then seriously do not let the pay difference get into your head. It will be purely soul crushing to have the "grass is greener" mindset 24/7 when you see classmates making 160gs. Good for them, but who the fuck cares. Take your opportunities as they come, cause in this market there would be dozens, if not over 100, students willing to work your job for $0.00 an hour.

If you bail on this job, you better remove it entirely from your resume. No future employer will look well on you skipping out on a gig that fast. The legal market is pure garbage. $11.00 is bad pay, and Costco pays better, but in 2L you should still be enhancing resume with legal experience.

FWIW I did 20 hours a week with 15 credits last term. It is entirely doable.

iplulzer
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby iplulzer » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:47 pm

Even with bad traffic, 10h a week really shouldn't be this difficult. Sure 2L is a lot of work but I know plenty of people who have managed 20+ hours of work in full-time law school just fine. Do you have other commitments such as family etc? If not, you may want to re-evaluate your study habits. You should be significantly more efficient than during 1L at this point.

Whether there is any value in this work depends on your prospects for next summer, practice area, etc....

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BarbellDreams
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:23 pm

If it can turn into a full time job after graduation and you have no offer in hand it is worth it.

Anonymous User
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:48 pm

Some points for clarification:
1) No, this position cannot turn into a full-time job.
2) No, I do not yet have a position for summer.
3) I am actually going to be applying to clerkships, so my grades ARE very important and I do think that this job could affect my grades slightly.
4) Though it is only 10 hours, it is more like 14 because it takes me nearly an hour to drive here and back.
5) I am going to be looking into RA positions
6) It is NOT the kind of law I want to do --- I am interested in bankruptcy, but this is tort and malpractice
7) It is not that I am bitching about the $11 an hour, I just don’t know overall if the benefits of having this position outweigh the negatives for me personally.

Other options I could consider looking into are:
- Attempt to find work closer to home
- Getting a Judicial Externship so I can get units for my hours
- Look into getting an RA position

Or, if none of the above work out, I could just focus on my grades and participating in Moot stuff.

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Nova
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby Nova » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:55 pm

Take it and keep looking for somthin better

whatsyourdeal
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby whatsyourdeal » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:10 pm

OP, what kind of experience are you getting out of it? are you filing complaints, doing discovery work, writing motions, etc.? or are you just filing, doc reviewing, and mailing stuff? i strongly agree with the posters who say that experience will give you a leg up in this market. if you can put anything of use on your resume from this that a future employer can find appealing, then continue. but if all you're doing is doc review and filing, its not worth the drive and time. the pay is not important, its the experience.

if you are getting actual substantive work, i would stay but continue looking for something closer. if you are not getting actual substantive work, then leaving is not a bad consideration. i'm working for a solo doing PI stuff. the pay is bleh, but im getting a ton of experience from it because i handle the discovery, appearances, motions, briefs, correspondences, etc. places i've interviewed with have all positively noted the experience im getting in comparison to the other applicants who do not have any experience in actual litigation.

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Borhas
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby Borhas » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:15 pm

Another option is to ask for a raise when they get used to you

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:10 pm

If it's not what you want to do and you're confident it isn't going to help you do what you want to do, then find an internship that is a better fit and quit this one. Simple.

Edit: To clarify, I think that getting the experience in some job is better than some of the options you're proposing, like just focusing on moot court or doing an RA. Neither of those is going to do much for you in the job market, IMO.

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ggocat
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Re: $11 an hour, CA Law Clerk--- Not worth it?

Postby ggocat » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
indo wrote:It is NOT worth it. Spend the time to study for school and LSAT. If you get better grade and great LSAT you will get a lot of scholarship.

Should have clarified --- I am a 2L. Now I REALLY feel like this job isn't worth it...

Nah, don't feel bad; probably just a 0L with unrealistic expectations posting in the employment forum.

Whether you should keep the job is a decision personal to your circumstances. Sounds like you don't want it. But also sounds like you should not have accepted in the first place because the negatives of the job were apparent.




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