Will my small firm 2L SA even turn into permanent offer

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Anonymous User
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Will my small firm 2L SA even turn into permanent offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:27 am

Got a SA at a small (~10 attorneys) firm in TX (not Houston/Dallas) through OCI. I was pretty happy about it; they pay summer clerks prorated starting salary of not-quite six figures. They do mostly boutique oil and gas/energy stuff. But when their offer letter came a week ago I realized nowhere did it say whether it would lead to full-time employment. They refer to the program as a "Clerkship." Is it a given that summer clerkships at small firms like this one might lead to full-time offer, or could this be like some in-house summer programs that are only for the summer?

I had assumed throughout the interviews that the former was the case, which is why I never brought it up. I could just ask them, but does anyone here know what the protocol is?

I'm also assuming that there is no presumption that small firms will offer most/all of their clerks, unlike the big firms. They could offer 1/5 or 0/4 or something if they felt like it, I'm guessing.

justinp
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Re: Will my small firm 2L SA even turn into permanent offer

Postby justinp » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:43 am

Seems like something you could politely ask about before you accept.

Another
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Postby Another » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:46 am

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Last edited by Another on Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Will my small firm 2L SA even turn into permanent offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:52 am

Wow, I am idiot. Can't believe I didn't think of that. On their website I see at least one current attorney clerked there. Somewhat reassuring, but maybe they hired one clerk out of ten. But still better than nothing.

Another
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Postby Another » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:13 am

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Last edited by Another on Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Will my small firm 2L SA even turn into permanent offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:03 pm

I'm in a similar situation. I'll be working for a small firm (35-40) lawyers in TX this summer. They are a relatively new firm and have not yet had a summer program because they wanted to make sure they had a client base, etc. During my interviews they spoke about having hired lateral attorneys recently and now they're ready to "grow from within". I'm not assuming they plan on hiring all of their summers (although there are only 2) but I am hoping that their plan is to hire at least one.

Am I totally off base here?

andythefir
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Re: Will my small firm 2L SA even turn into permanent offer

Postby andythefir » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:13 pm

I interviewed at a Lubbock firm that was planning to hire somewhere between 5-10 summers and keep 0-1.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Will my small firm 2L SA even turn into permanent offer

Postby Stringer Bell » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Got a SA at a small (~10 attorneys) firm in TX (not Houston/Dallas) through OCI. I was pretty happy about it; they pay summer clerks prorated starting salary of not-quite six figures. They do mostly boutique oil and gas/energy stuff. But when their offer letter came a week ago I realized nowhere did it say whether it would lead to full-time employment. They refer to the program as a "Clerkship." Is it a given that summer clerkships at small firms like this one might lead to full-time offer, or could this be like some in-house summer programs that are only for the summer?

I had assumed throughout the interviews that the former was the case, which is why I never brought it up. I could just ask them, but does anyone here know what the protocol is?

I'm also assuming that there is no presumption that small firms will offer most/all of their clerks, unlike the big firms. They could offer 1/5 or 0/4 or something if they felt like it, I'm guessing.


There are three different scenarios

Are you going to take this SA no matter what the answer is and you are just trying to calm your neurosis?
-Do not ask

Are you deciding between multiple offers?
-Absolutely ask

Do you have no other offers, but might consider continuing to pursue other opportunities if they have a real low offer rate?
-Up to your discretion

Anonymous User
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Re: Will my small firm 2L SA even turn into permanent offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:27 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Got a SA at a small (~10 attorneys) firm in TX (not Houston/Dallas) through OCI. I was pretty happy about it; they pay summer clerks prorated starting salary of not-quite six figures. They do mostly boutique oil and gas/energy stuff. But when their offer letter came a week ago I realized nowhere did it say whether it would lead to full-time employment. They refer to the program as a "Clerkship." Is it a given that summer clerkships at small firms like this one might lead to full-time offer, or could this be like some in-house summer programs that are only for the summer?

I had assumed throughout the interviews that the former was the case, which is why I never brought it up. I could just ask them, but does anyone here know what the protocol is?

I'm also assuming that there is no presumption that small firms will offer most/all of their clerks, unlike the big firms. They could offer 1/5 or 0/4 or something if they felt like it, I'm guessing.


There are three different scenarios

Are you going to take this SA no matter what the answer is and you are just trying to calm your neurosis?
-Do not ask

Are you deciding between multiple offers?
-Absolutely ask

Do you have no other offers, but might consider continuing to pursue other opportunities if they have a real low offer rate?
-Up to your discretion


OP here. This is good advice. Thank you.

I've decided to just keep quiet. I've already orally accepted their offer. I'm also clerking at a big law firm the first half of the summer. Like some TX firms, they don't offer close to 100% (more like low-80s), which is why the offer rate of the small firm matters to me.

Anonymous User
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Re: Will my small firm 2L SA even turn into permanent offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:49 pm

andythefir wrote:I interviewed at a Lubbock firm that was planning to hire somewhere between 5-10 summers and keep 0-1.


Very common scenario at a lot of small firms all over the country.

I don't want to throw the OP into a panic here but there is one drawback - that is educating potential post-grad employers that the firm was too small to offer jobs to all of it's 2L summer clerks and that is why you're looking for a post-grad job. One of my classmates ran into this exact problem. He did eventually find a permanent post-grad job, but it was many months after receiving bar passage results and talking with a boatload of potential employers.

Anonymous User
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Re: Will my small firm 2L SA even turn into permanent offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:13 pm

According to my calculations, my odds of receiving a permanent offer after next summer is 86.4%. The big firm had an offer rate of 83% for summer class of 2012 (a down year). I am going to assume the small firm has an offer rate of 20% (since the partner said they are looking to grow, I am going to assume offer rate will be >10%). In other words, I am as likely to be in the 3L Vale as a good NBA free-throw shooter is likely to miss a free throw. What a marvelous game of chance!

andythefir
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Re: Will my small firm 2L SA even turn into permanent offer

Postby andythefir » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:According to my calculations, my odds of receiving a permanent offer after next summer is 86.4%. The big firm had an offer rate of 83% for summer class of 2012 (a down year). I am going to assume the small firm has an offer rate of 20% (since the partner said they are looking to grow, I am going to assume offer rate will be >10%). In other words, I am as likely to be in the 3L Vale as a good NBA free-throw shooter is likely to miss a free throw. What a marvelous game of chance!


If possible, try to stop this kind of thinking right now. It will make you crazy, make you try way too hard to fit in in both halves of the summer, hurt your work product, and make you seem like a weirdo. Keep your head down, do your best work, and make contingency plans.




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