Summer employment - two years out of school

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Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 08, 2017 2:28 pm

I will be ending a two-year fellowship next May, and starting a one-year clerkship that August. The fellowship is a defined term and cannot be extended. The clerkship start date is "sometime in August," but cannot be any earlier than that.

I figure I can always try for doc review positions maybe, or something non-legal just to pay the bills. But if I can advance my career during this period, that would be nice. I would like to go from the clerkship to a "private/public interest firm," gov't work, or a major public interest org (ACLU, SPLC, et al). If I can't get one of those, I would like to stay in litigation at a respectable firm, at least.

I am thinking of pitching myself as someone to have on for the summer, and to whom the firm has the option of extending an offer. Basically a summer associate, but who could return the following year with substantially more experience than the normal first year.

Does this make sense? Is there a better way?


Details:
The fellowship is public interest litigation-oriented. I do a ton of writing/research in state and federal courts on the appellate and habeas levels. By next May, I will probably have been involved in two actual trials (though we might just win on the briefs).
Clerkship is District Court in a major Midwest city (not NDIL).
Me: CCN, average grades, no LR/moot court, public interest resume/awards.

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Mickfromgm

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby Mickfromgm » Mon May 08, 2017 2:49 pm

So, if I understand this correctly, you would apply to those entities that you would like to end up at post-clerkship. While your situation might be unorthodox, I could see those employers being excited to have you over some law student with no experience. Can't hurt to try -- I bet you have a good chance of getting a solid summer position if you effectively leverage networking.

On other hand, you would probably have trouble finding anything with a private practice law firm if you let your true future intentions known during the interviews. In fact, I'd be shocked if they offer you anything, knowing that you are not going to stick around, so to speak. And of course you should not mislead them on that.

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby Npret » Mon May 08, 2017 2:54 pm

I'm confused - you want a biglaw summer associate job? I think I'm missing something here.

Oh wait- you mean work the place you would like to return post clerkship. My guess is all you can do is apply.

What about the current fellowship? Are they hiring or do they know someone is will?

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 08, 2017 2:59 pm

Kellogg Hansen and Susman Godfrey sometimes are willing to take people for truncated summers between clerkships I think.

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 08, 2017 3:13 pm

Npret wrote:I'm confused - you want a biglaw summer associate job? I think I'm missing something here.

Oh wait- you mean work the place you would like to return post clerkship. My guess is all you can do is apply.

What about the current fellowship? Are they hiring or do they know someone is will?



OP here.
Your second guess is correct. The idea would be to work for the firm for the summer, go clerk, then come back. This *seems* like a win-win in my mind, but a lot of the firms I am interested in don't have an established summer program, so the pipeline for communication/application is confusing.

And no, the fellowship cannot turn in to full-time employment. It is also in a place where I don't have much interest in staying, and in a field that is extremely hard to get in to without substantial experience (5+ years at a baseline, for the most part). My boss here will definitely make calls and give me a great recommendation, wherever that is helpful, but that is about it, I think.

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SeewhathappensLarry

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby SeewhathappensLarry » Mon May 08, 2017 3:15 pm

Mickfromgm wrote:So, if I understand this correctly, you would apply to those entities that you would like to end up at post-clerkship. While your situation might be unorthodox, I could see those employers being excited to have you over some law student with no experience. Can't hurt to try -- I bet you have a good chance of getting a solid summer position if you effectively leverage networking.

On other hand, you would probably have trouble finding anything with a private practice law firm if you let your true future intentions known during the interviews. In fact, I'd be shocked if they offer you anything, knowing that you are not going to stick around, so to speak. And of course you should not mislead them on that.



I agree with this except for the bolded. If you want to mislead a biglaw firm to work there for a couple years then mislead them all you want. How else do you think a ton of summer associates get their positions?

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 08, 2017 3:18 pm

Mickfromgm wrote: ...
On other hand, you would probably have trouble finding anything with a private practice law firm if you let your true future intentions known during the interviews. In fact, I'd be shocked if they offer you anything, knowing that you are not going to stick around, so to speak. And of course you should not mislead them on that.


OP here.

You mean if I go for a general litigation firm position, instead of a pub/private interest firm? Honestly, if that is the firm that is willing to pick me up on this arrangement, I would be happy to go back to them after the clerkship. I would intend to stay, in the same way everyone I know in biglaw intends to stay at the firm where they summered, at least (that is, a lot of them think they'll stick around, but will probably examine options around year 3).

Forgot to mention that I might be prohibited from pulling this stunt in the city where I'm clerking, since the judge might not like that. Once I know what the general options are, I will of course float it by my judge, and proceed from there.

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 08, 2017 3:20 pm

SeewhathappensLarry wrote:
Mickfromgm wrote:So, if I understand this correctly, you would apply to those entities that you would like to end up at post-clerkship. While your situation might be unorthodox, I could see those employers being excited to have you over some law student with no experience. Can't hurt to try -- I bet you have a good chance of getting a solid summer position if you effectively leverage networking.

On other hand, you would probably have trouble finding anything with a private practice law firm if you let your true future intentions known during the interviews. In fact, I'd be shocked if they offer you anything, knowing that you are not going to stick around, so to speak. And of course you should not mislead them on that.



I agree with this except for the bolded. If you want to mislead a biglaw firm to work there for a couple years then mislead them all you want. How else do you think a ton of summer associates get their positions?



OP here. I took the bolded to mean don't interview with biglaw under the lie that I am interested in coming back if I am only going to realistically stay with them for the summer and then go somewhere else after clerking?

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SeewhathappensLarry

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby SeewhathappensLarry » Mon May 08, 2017 3:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
SeewhathappensLarry wrote:
Mickfromgm wrote:So, if I understand this correctly, you would apply to those entities that you would like to end up at post-clerkship. While your situation might be unorthodox, I could see those employers being excited to have you over some law student with no experience. Can't hurt to try -- I bet you have a good chance of getting a solid summer position if you effectively leverage networking.

On other hand, you would probably have trouble finding anything with a private practice law firm if you let your true future intentions known during the interviews. In fact, I'd be shocked if they offer you anything, knowing that you are not going to stick around, so to speak. And of course you should not mislead them on that.



I agree with this except for the bolded. If you want to mislead a biglaw firm to work there for a couple years then mislead them all you want. How else do you think a ton of summer associates get their positions?



OP here. I took the bolded to mean don't interview with biglaw under the lie that I am interested in coming back if I am only going to realistically stay with them for the summer and then go somewhere else after clerking?


I still wouldn't feel bad about it. If you can get an SA salary then go for it--even if you have no intention of coming back.

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 08, 2017 3:42 pm

SeewhathappensLarry wrote:I agree with this except for the bolded. If you want to mislead a biglaw firm to work there for a couple years then mislead them all you want. How else do you think a ton of summer associates get their positions?


Under the circumstances that OP has described, I am certain that he'd be grilled about his future plans during each interview. If he is leaving his options open, however small that opening, that's perfectly fine. But if he has no intentions whatsoever of working at that firm after clerkship (sounded to me like he was dead set on going public interest), then he'd have to answer those questions honestly. That's the right thing to do. [cue the eyerolls] Of course, if there is even 0.001% chance of coming back, then OP can get creative with his answers, if you dig. :)

Edit: This is Mickfromgm, BTW - I don't know how I turned "anonymous" all of sudden; I must've done something wrong.

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby Npret » Mon May 08, 2017 5:31 pm

Has anyone ever seen an SA who graduated, passed the bar and has 2 years of post grad experience? I can't think of why a firm would put you with a group of students. It would make no sense.


You need to talk to your judge about this and post clerkship employment if you are going to work somewhere with the plan to return after the clerkship. That's the best way to at least have someone pay you for the summer.

Can you afford to stay where you are and work for free?

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby Npret » Mon May 08, 2017 5:34 pm

SeewhathappensLarry wrote:
Mickfromgm wrote:So, if I understand this correctly, you would apply to those entities that you would like to end up at post-clerkship. While your situation might be unorthodox, I could see those employers being excited to have you over some law student with no experience. Can't hurt to try -- I bet you have a good chance of getting a solid summer position if you effectively leverage networking.

On other hand, you would probably have trouble finding anything with a private practice law firm if you let your true future intentions known during the interviews. In fact, I'd be shocked if they offer you anything, knowing that you are not going to stick around, so to speak. And of course you should not mislead them on that.



I agree with this except for the bolded. If you want to mislead a biglaw firm to work there for a couple years then mislead them all you want. How else do you think a ton of summer associates get their positions?

This is a different situation. OP has an actual job he needs to take in August. SAs are going back to school. If they have clerkships, they can let their firm know but they may likely be working a year at the firm first.

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby SeewhathappensLarry » Mon May 08, 2017 5:49 pm

Npret wrote:
SeewhathappensLarry wrote:
Mickfromgm wrote:So, if I understand this correctly, you would apply to those entities that you would like to end up at post-clerkship. While your situation might be unorthodox, I could see those employers being excited to have you over some law student with no experience. Can't hurt to try -- I bet you have a good chance of getting a solid summer position if you effectively leverage networking.

On other hand, you would probably have trouble finding anything with a private practice law firm if you let your true future intentions known during the interviews. In fact, I'd be shocked if they offer you anything, knowing that you are not going to stick around, so to speak. And of course you should not mislead them on that.



I agree with this except for the bolded. If you want to mislead a biglaw firm to work there for a couple years then mislead them all you want. How else do you think a ton of summer associates get their positions?

This is a different situation. OP has an actual job he needs to take in August. SAs are going back to school. If they have clerkships, they can let their firm know but they may likely be working a year at the firm first.



Fair enough. It wasn't clear at first exactly what OP was trying to do here

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Mickfromgm

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby Mickfromgm » Mon May 08, 2017 6:57 pm

Npret wrote:Has anyone ever seen an SA who graduated, passed the bar and has 2 years of post grad experience? I can't think of why a firm would put you with a group of students. It would make no sense.


You are absolutely right; that would be highly unusual at biglaw. But I got the sense (I could be wrong) that OP is not looking for a biglaw job. While biglaw hiring is highly regimented, but smaller firms do things on an ad hoc basis and some are therefore pretty flexible in my experience.

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Re: Summer employment - two years out of school

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 09, 2017 8:16 am

Npret wrote:Has anyone ever seen an SA who graduated, passed the bar and has 2 years of post grad experience? I can't think of why a firm would put you with a group of students. It would make no sense.


You need to talk to your judge about this and post clerkship employment if you are going to work somewhere with the plan to return after the clerkship. That's the best way to at least have someone pay you for the summer.

Can you afford to stay where you are and work for free?


OP here.
I was thinking that the closest analog to what I'm trying to do is either the 2L SA system, or the one in which a firm allows someone to defer or take a year off to do a clerkship. I figured that it would make sense to access those same pipelines, where they exist. But I would also expect to do actual 1st year work, not summer assignments.

I'm going to reach out to the current clerks first, then the judge. Of course I won't plan on doing anything without the judge okaying it. Unfortunately no, I can't afford to not be paid for a summer.



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