Benefits to Clerking?

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Benefits to Clerking?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:36 am

If I am interested in becoming a transactional attorney, are there any substantive benefits to clerking? Or would it be mere prestige-chasing at this point?

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ggocat

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby ggocat » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:51 pm

If you like researching and writing, then it's generally fun, interesting, and more laid back than most lawyer jobs. It's a boost for federal employment and teaching.

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby MilbankAlum » Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:38 pm

There may be some benefit to going to a place where a lot of deal litigation happens (i.e. DE Chancery, DE Supreme, NY COA, in that order) but for the most part no, not terribly helpful. Chancery is the only exception - getting it in the first place is hyper-competitive and I think in one year 6/10 of the clerks were from Penn.

You'll get the clerkship bonus, and people will know you're smart and can do litigation if you really want to, but gone are the days where people really give a fuck about whether their M&A lawyer clerked. Could give you some mobility and possibly up an otherwise lackluster resume but chances are if you got the clerkship in the first place, you didn't really need the help.

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby yogotti » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:17 pm

MilbankAlum wrote:There may be some benefit to going to a place where a lot of deal litigation happens (i.e. DE Chancery, DE Supreme, NY COA, in that order) but for the most part no, not terribly helpful. Chancery is the only exception - getting it in the first place is hyper-competitive and I think in one year 6/10 of the clerks were from Penn.

You'll get the clerkship bonus, and people will know you're smart and can do litigation if you really want to, but gone are the days where people really give a fuck about whether their M&A lawyer clerked. Could give you some mobility and possibly up an otherwise lackluster resume but chances are if you got the clerkship in the first place, you didn't really need the help.


Is there benefit to doing clerkship if you struck out at OCI? I was hoping to run through the clerkship gauntlet and possibly get a second bite at the apple.

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ggocat

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby ggocat » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:25 pm

yogotti wrote:Is there benefit to doing clerkship if you struck out at OCI? I was hoping to run through the clerkship gauntlet and possibly get a second bite at the apple.

Yes if I understand your question correctly. For no other reason than having a job is better than not having a job.

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zot1

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby zot1 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:25 pm

1. If you don't have a biglaw offer, clerking might give you another chance to get one.
2. If you don't have a government job and want one, clerking gives you another chance at the honors programs.
3. If you have a biglaw offer and you're planning to go there, you usually get a clerking bonus. Also, it looks good in your page bio.
4. If you have Supreme Court clerking dreams, you can start with a district/appellate clerkship.
5. If you don't really know what you want, if gives you another year or two to think about it.
6. Great networking opportunity.

NOTE: your lifestyle will vary GREATLY depending on the judge so saying it's a laid back job is a misrepresentation. I know clerks who work about 50 hrs per week, but I also know clerks that work Monday through Sunday and don't usually get home until 9ish or so.

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ggocat

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby ggocat » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:41 pm

zot1 wrote:saying it's a laid back job is a misrepresentation. I know clerks who work about 50 hrs per week, but I also know clerks that work Monday through Sunday and don't usually get home until 9ish or so.

I said it's "generally . . . more laid back than most lawyer jobs." I think those crazy-hours clerkships are rare exceptions.

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zot1

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby zot1 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:42 pm

ggocat wrote:
zot1 wrote:saying it's a laid back job is a misrepresentation. I know clerks who work about 50 hrs per week, but I also know clerks that work Monday through Sunday and don't usually get home until 9ish or so.

I said it's "generally . . . more laid back than most lawyer jobs." I think those crazy-hours clerkships are rare exceptions.


Then I must have gunner friends because in my experience, the 50 hr weeks are the exception.

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby ggocat » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:52 pm

zot1 wrote:Then I must have gunner friends because in my experience, the 50 hr weeks are the exception.

That's interesting. Are those very competitive district courts and/or feeder circuit judges? The people I know and personal experience have not been in those types of courts -- mostly Fed/5th/11th Circuits and related districts and state courts in a couple of states. I've never seen or or talked to people who worked crazy hours.

I guess good advice would be for people to inquire about hours before interviewing/accepting somehow.

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zot1

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby zot1 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:57 pm

ggocat wrote:
zot1 wrote:Then I must have gunner friends because in my experience, the 50 hr weeks are the exception.

That's interesting. Are those very competitive district courts and/or feeder circuit judges? The people I know and personal experience have not been in those types of courts -- mostly Fed/5th/11th Circuits and related districts and state courts in a couple of states. I've never seen or or talked to people who worked crazy hours.

I guess good advice would be for people to inquire about hours before interviewing/accepting somehow.


Btw I realize my comment came out a little snarky, it wasn't meant to be.

I guess yeah they're all generally in competitive districts and circuits.

Although asking about the hours is great, not sure how helpful it really it is. I have a friend who went to district clerkship in a southern state, so you'd really think laid back, right? Wrong. Other than my friend clerking in the 9th circuit, this friend in the South probably got it bad. She was told 50 hour weeks, tops. We still laugh at that big lie.
Last edited by zot1 on Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawlorbust

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby lawlorbust » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:58 pm

^^

Same experience w/r/t gunner friends who are mostly clerking on 2/9/DC. There's probably a pretty high correlation between clerkship prestige and how intense the job is. (Surprise.)

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banjo

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby banjo » Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:59 pm

I'm a transactional associate and wish I had thought more seriously about clerking. It would have helped me understand some of these deals a bit better and maybe given me some perspective on how a judge would interpret certain contract provisions. The job also sounds intellectually stimulating. That said, from a transactional career perspective, you're probably better off spending that year doing actual deals in a variety of practice areas (cap markets, M&A, real estate, etc.).

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby lavarman84 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:09 pm

ggocat wrote:
zot1 wrote:Then I must have gunner friends because in my experience, the 50 hr weeks are the exception.

That's interesting. Are those very competitive district courts and/or feeder circuit judges? The people I know and personal experience have not been in those types of courts -- mostly Fed/5th/11th Circuits and related districts and state courts in a couple of states. I've never seen or or talked to people who worked crazy hours.

I guess good advice would be for people to inquire about hours before interviewing/accepting somehow.


I've heard the opposite about the Eleventh Circuit. District courts in the Eleventh Circuit are hit and miss. But I think you're more likely to get 50-55 hour work weeks than not.

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:10 pm

Kozinski clerks envy the big law workload.

But in general and IME COA clerkships are pretty chill.

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rpupkin

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:19 pm

banjo wrote:I'm a transactional associate and wish I had thought more seriously about clerking. It would have helped me understand some of these deals a bit better and maybe given me some perspective on how a judge would interpret certain contract provisions. The job also sounds intellectually stimulating.

Although it varies some from court to court, most federal judges spend little (if any) time interpreting contract provisions over the course of a year. As a clerk, for every hour you spend on contract interpretation, you'll spend a hundred (or more) on civil procedure and evidence law. I really do think that a clerkship is of little value for someone who wants to work in transactional law.

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Re: Benefits to Clerking?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If I am interested in becoming a transactional attorney, are there any substantive benefits to clerking? Or would it be mere prestige-chasing at this point?


unlimited.



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