Clerkship to Corporate?

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nativtracker

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Clerkship to Corporate?

Postby nativtracker » Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:32 am

Dear TLS

Recent SLS grad and federal clerk here. I'm writing with a question... is it possible to transfer from litigation to corporate following a federal district clerkship? I really like IPOs, securities, etc and am not sure how happy I would be doing legal research the rest of my career only to transition after 3 years to a civil service government job (seems like the route of most litigation associates). That said, how easy is it to transfer say to WSGR or a similar Palo Alto firm that specializes in securities, venture capital, etc, right out of a clerkship?

namefromplace

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Re: Clerkship to Corporate?

Postby namefromplace » Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:51 pm

What did you do your 2L summer? I know someone who works in corporate at a firm similar to one you mentioned who clerked at a district court in California, but I think she previously summered at the firm.

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RedGiant

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Re: Clerkship to Corporate?

Postby RedGiant » Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:22 am

I'm not sure how easy it is, but there's always a few kids at top firms who did come from a Lit background, or who did a year or so of lit and decided to do corporate. You're on to something here re not wanting to write memos and research briefs for the rest of your life. Corporate is fun. I'm sure your grades are great. If you went to SLS, I encourage you to reach out to current young associates for info interviews before you throw your hat into the ring. Good luck!

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Re: Clerkship to Corporate?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:06 pm

OP here.

So my 2L summer was at a NYC firm, think DPW,Deb,Cleary type firm. Sad part was only there for 8 weeks and 4 of those weeks were abroad so i didn't really get to try any time of work (one doesn't do much abroad). Those four weeks were book ended so (NYC)2/4/2(NYC) so no one assigned me any real work to dig my teeth into so I never got a feel for whether i preferred one group over the other. Then everyone gets excited about clerkships and you feel like you have to do one. So here I am.

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Re: Clerkship to Corporate?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:55 am

I can't imagine that the big NYC firms care what you did your summer (as long as you summered there) and whether you clerked. They just need bodies.

As for me, I received my offer to clerk and my SA offer at the end of my 1L summer. Went to a similar NYC style firm as OP for my SA, decided I liked corporate work, did my clerkship (which ended up being a fantastic 9-5pm job) then started at said firm. I'm in a specialty group, but I get paid like a 3rd year, am substantively a 2nd year, and my practice is a varied bag of transactional work.

So (1) it's possible, and I would think even more so at big shops with robust corporate groups, and (2) it can certainly work out well for you. You'll always have a federal clerkship on your resume.

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Wild Card

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Re: Clerkship to Corporate?

Postby Wild Card » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:19 pm

So what's the reasoning? You've done very little corporate, but from the litigation you have done, you know it's absolutely awful and never want to do it again?

didntretake

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Re: Clerkship to Corporate?

Postby didntretake » Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:32 pm

Were you at Cleary? If so, I was there for a few years and in my experience they were pretty good about letting people move around within groups, including from Lit to Corp, especially at the more junior levels. I did not switch groups but I know several people who did while I was there.

nativtracker

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Re: Clerkship to Corporate?

Postby nativtracker » Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:22 pm

OP Here.

So my reasoning is as follows:

(1) exit options. Having done a little time in public/government service, I can safely say I don't want to go back. The pay is terrible and the work, is well, work. The exit opportunities for transactional work are greater (i.e., Facebook, Google, in house at corporate banks, etc) and the pay is substantially greater for slightly longer work hours. At the end of the day, I don't think I have a desire to be a prosecutor/AUSA or work in the government. And truth be told, I wouldn't want to be a Biglaw lit partner. Thus, as relates to exit options, transactional work seems to be a clear win.

(2) the work. Honestly, I think I would rather read contracts then do legal research/writing. Also, litigation work just seems boring? Maybe it is my clerkship, and the work I am exposed to, but nothing is jumping out at me, like wow, I really need to read and cite check this 100 page brief so thoroughly because I'm interested in X area of law. I need more people/client interaction in my life. I thought of being chained up in an office for the rest of my legal career writing and researching sounds like prison. At least if I was doing M & A or securities/IPOs I would get some exposure to other human beings.

Not sure. Perhaps its just that the transition to a new city, new job, without knowing anyone into a solitary, monk-esk lifestyle is depressing. All I know is that I need to be around people and I can't do Biglaw forever, so it seems that transactional work is better suited to me given my dislike of legal research and my need for client interaction and solid exit opportunities that don't involve public service/AUSA

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Re: Clerkship to Corporate?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:57 pm

I think your reasoning is solid. I didn't clerk but I summered in the lit group of my 2L firm and asked during my 3L to switch to M&A for all of the same reasons you laid out. First year was a rough learning curve but now that I am a bit further along, I'm very happy with the decision. Legal research and writing just didn't do it for me and deal work is a much better fit. Coming out of a clerkship, you might be more attractive to some firms if you are willing to come in as a first year (not sure if I would necessarily advertise that up front though). I think it would also be good to have a little more runway as the first year in corp. is key learning experience.



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