Clerkship Bonus - Should I negotiate, and how?

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Clerkship Bonus - Should I negotiate, and how?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:27 am

I did my SA at a big firm that pays below market (secondary market, not everyone moved to $180k). I'm around top 6-7% at a top school and have a CoA clerkship lined up when I graduate in 2017. It's a less "prestigious" firm that doesn't typically get associates with my school/grades combo, but I'm happy with my choice for various reasons. I got excellent reviews all summer and they seem to really want me/are a little suspicious I won't come back. I'm the only one in my summer class with a clerkship.

They've offered a $25k clerkship bonus, which is their standard for CoA clerkships. Several other big firms in the market pay $50k bonus and $180k starting salary. Am I crazy for wanting to negotiate the $25k up a bit? Does anyone have any advice for how to frame my request for a bigger bonus? I've never negotiated my own salary before.

Toward the end of the summer, the firm also offered to have me work for them during 3L. I'd like to do that, because I could obviously really use the money. But I haven't heard anything about this possibility since before receiving my offer, and I feel a little weird negotiating the bonus and then following with "by the way can I still work for you during the school year?" Should I just ask for one and not the other?

I don't say any of this because I think I'm special or particularly entitled to more money. It amazes me that someone would pay me $25k just to accept a job with them. But I wanted to lay out the context and see if anyone has any advice. Thanks.

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Re: Clerkship Bonus - Should I negotiate, and how?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:39 am

I did not even try to negotiate my clerkship bonus up to market (under the idea that I was thankful to have any bonus at all) and have consistently regretted it since. A COA clerkship is extremely prestigious and they will know that you will have other offers at market. There is no harm in doing so.

You can raise the 3L year work topic then too - it's not like they are just paying you to show up and not do anything. They'll be getting value for what they pay you, believe me.

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Re: Clerkship Bonus - Should I negotiate, and how?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:I did not even try to negotiate my clerkship bonus up to market (under the idea that I was thankful to have any bonus at all) and have consistently regretted it since. A COA clerkship is extremely prestigious and they will know that you will have other offers at market. There is no harm in doing so.

You can raise the 3L year work topic then too - it's not like they are just paying you to show up and not do anything. They'll be getting value for what they pay you, believe me.

Thanks for your perspective. I guess I need to get over the awkwardness and start drafting my response.

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Re: Clerkship Bonus - Should I negotiate, and how?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:52 am

Definitely negotiate and if possible get an offer from a firm paying the $50k clerkship bonus. It will make matching a no-brainier. I was able to get a firm to more than double a clerkship bonus offer by presenting an offer from a comparable firm from which I had an offer.

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Re: Clerkship Bonus - Should I negotiate, and how?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:51 pm

OP here - just wanted to thank everyone and give an update for anyone wondering the same in the future. I contacted the hiring partner last week and (tactfully) requested a $50k clerkship bonus. He got back to me today saying the firm approved the full $50k. I'm pretty happy they didn't counter somewhere in the middle. So, negotiation was definitely the right call in this situation.

bk1

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Re: Clerkship Bonus - Should I negotiate, and how?

Postby bk1 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:46 pm

Congrats!

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kellyfrost

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Re: Clerkship Bonus - Should I negotiate, and how?

Postby kellyfrost » Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:50 pm

How much of the $50k will you receive after taxes are withheld?
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Redfactor

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Re: Clerkship Bonus - Should I negotiate, and how?

Postby Redfactor » Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:52 pm

Congratulations!



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