Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

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tengorazon
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Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:36 pm

Not to take away from the other guy, so I guess this is more focused on clerking and DC.

My thread on XO isn't getting much traffic, and I'm bored right now. Second-year associate (although my first at the firm). First weekend in a while with no work. Might do something in a few hours though.

06072010
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby 06072010 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:47 pm

tengorazon wrote:Not to take away from the other guy, so I guess this is more focused on clerking and DC.

My thread on XO isn't getting much traffic, and I'm bored right now. Second-year associate (although my first at the firm). First weekend in a while with no work. Might do something in a few hours though.


Thanks for coming over and answering some Q's. Not trying to get you outted, so I understand if you dodge some questions.

Practice area? Work load?

tengorazon
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:51 pm

Litigation (general). Work load right now is pretty busy. Billed over 200 hours last month. Generally in the office from 8:30/9 until 7:30/8, with 5-6 hours on the weekends (of course, there have been times when I've come in much earlier and stayed much later...). Surprisingly, it's not that big of a deal...less work than I did in undergrad and law school once you factor in ECs.

06072010
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby 06072010 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:01 pm

Thanks again for answering questions.

Do you do work from the office on weekends or remotely?

What type of litigation work are you getting? Research or doc-review?

Any idea of how much of your time gets written off?

Is there real talk of a move to merit-based comp?

What's the word on your IP and Corp peeps?

tengorazon
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:07 pm

PKSebben wrote:Thanks again for answering questions.

Do you do work from the office on weekends or remotely?


Usually remotely, unless there are docs that I need in the office and I don't feel like taking them home.

What type of litigation work are you getting? Research or doc-review?


Research, motions drafting, letters to opposing counsel. No doc review yet. ::knocks on wood::

Any idea of how much of your time gets written off?


No, although I'd be curious to know.

Is there real talk of a move to merit-based comp?


Not at my firm.

What's the word on your IP and Corp peeps?


Our IP group is small, but they seem to be staying busy. I hear corporate was slow earlier in the year but is picking up again.

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TTT-LS
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby TTT-LS » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:16 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

tengorazon
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:26 pm

TTT-LS wrote:Which COA? Obviously not trying to out you, but it might help with some court-specific questions (e.g., is a certain 3d Cir. judge whose last name starts with S as bad as people say?).


Sorry, I'd rather not say...plus, I wouldn't want to say anything public about any judge.

EDIT: lol although my co-clerks and I did read Chambermaid, which is about Judge S. Like One L, it was pretty much the opposite of my experience.

As far as your clerking experience, are there one or two things you knew by the end that you wished you had known when you started? And how well did you get along with your co-clerks? Any tips there?


Hmm. I probably would have read some primers on immigration law, AEDPA, and admin law. Still, it wasn't difficult to learn on the job. Things are more efficient by the end simply because by then, you've done them multiple times and know what the judge wants (e.g., drafting bench memos, opinions, etc.).

I got along great with my co-clerks. It was one of the best work environments I've ever been in. We all still remain good friends. But I think that's mainly because my judge is fantastic and did a great job putting together a clerk class. If he were single-mindedly focused on, say, grades (not to say grades didn't matter...they did), the dynamic would have been very different.
Last edited by tengorazon on Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:26 pm

How is the hiring cycle for folks from different schools? Is there a hiring freeze/downsizing going on?

tengorazon
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How is the hiring cycle for folks from different schools? Is there a hiring freeze/downsizing going on?


Since I just started in September, I missed pretty much all of the hiring (totally different from when I was interviewing and we didn't even do callbacks until October). But there is no hiring freeze at my firm, nor has there been any downsizing aside from natural attrition. I think all of the top DC firms are hiring this year.

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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:36 pm

tengorazon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How is the hiring cycle for folks from different schools? Is there a hiring freeze/downsizing going on?


Since I just started in September, I missed pretty much all of the hiring (totally different from when I was interviewing and we didn't even do callbacks until October). But there is no hiring freeze at my firm, nor has there been any downsizing aside from natural attrition. I think all of the top DC firms are hiring this year.


Do you think school prestige and elitism is really as important as people claim in finding a clerkship or big law job?

tengorazon
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
tengorazon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How is the hiring cycle for folks from different schools? Is there a hiring freeze/downsizing going on?


Since I just started in September, I missed pretty much all of the hiring (totally different from when I was interviewing and we didn't even do callbacks until October). But there is no hiring freeze at my firm, nor has there been any downsizing aside from natural attrition. I think all of the top DC firms are hiring this year.


Do you think school prestige and elitism is really as important as people claim in finding a clerkship or big law job?


Depends on what you consider prestigious and which clerkship or biglaw job you're talking about. A clerkship with Garland and job at Kellogg Huber? Yes, you need to go to Yale or, perhaps, Harvard. A clerkship on a state court and job at Stroock? Yale/Harvard (or even t25) not required. In between, it varies. For instance, Jenner DC used to recruit only at Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and Chicago (don't know what they do now). Other large DC firms recruit all over. Same with judges: some won't look outside of Yale, Harvard, and Stanford while some (although a much smaller number) will consider almost anyone who is interesting. So it really depends on which clerkship/job you're talking about.

2ndtime
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workload as a clerk?

Postby 2ndtime » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:53 am

Thanks for answering questions.

What was the workload as a clerk? Do the hours vary depending on the clerkship/circuit/judge etc? If they varied, could you indicate the range of hours per week?

Thanks!

tengorazon
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Re: workload as a clerk?

Postby tengorazon » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:22 am

2ndtime wrote:Thanks for answering questions.

What was the workload as a clerk? Do the hours vary depending on the clerkship/circuit/judge etc? If they varied, could you indicate the range of hours per week?

Thanks!


Yeah hours vary by judge. Some, like a certain 9th Cir. judge, are known to work their clerks to death. But most clerks probably have a manageable work load. I generally worked from 8:30 - 6 every day. Leading up to court week, I'd probably work from around 8 - 7. During court week, when we weren't churning out anything, it was more like 9 - 5:30. There is a fairly steep learning curve to the clerkship; I was busiest at the very beginning and least busy at the end. The busiest time I had all year was around clerkship interviewing season, when we'd regularly stay past 9 p.m. or later (latest was midnight of interview day) because we had to look at hundreds of clerkship apps and churn out bench memos. And because we had never written bench memos for the judge before, we were very inefficient. As time went on, we could churn them out like clockwork...but the first few months were kinda brutal.

That said, I miss the hours and the work from my clerkship... One of my cases from last year was just in the national news. I definitely felt as if I were making an impact in the clerkship. Of course, my firm was just in the national news too, so there is a similar benefit to doing litigation...but there isn't the same sense of power that comes with helping to write opinions.

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DavidYurman85
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby DavidYurman85 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:42 am

Hopefully you're still around...

Does UG prestige matter at all for clerkships?

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CE2JD
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby CE2JD » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:51 pm

what are the similarities between alec baldwin in this clip and biglaw partners in real life?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5sbx7NrWYI

tengorazon
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:06 am

DavidYurman85 wrote:Hopefully you're still around...

Does UG prestige matter at all for clerkships?


Not terribly. In my experience, law school matters much more. Of course, this varies by judge. Some judges undoubtedly want "prestigious" undergrads as well as law schools. But most likely care more about law school. Also, if you went to the same undergrad as the judge or a clerk, that might give you a leg up.

To be honest, though, if you went to, say, Princeton for ugrad, but a second-tier school for law school, people will naturally wonder what went wrong.

tengorazon
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:07 am

CE2JD wrote:what are the similarities between alec baldwin in this clip and biglaw partners in real life?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5sbx7NrWYI


That was an amusing clip. The difference is that in biglaw, what he said is generally understood rather than articulated.

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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:32 am

Any unusual tips for getting a COA clerkship?

tengorazon
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:Any unusual tips for getting a COA clerkship?


Not really. By the time you apply, there is little you can change except your application strategy. As for that, in this economy, my recommendation is to apply broadly. However, don't apply to any judge whose offer you would not be willing to accept on the spot. Also, if you don't snag anything during "the plan" season, continue to look, because several judges have openings later.

EDIT: I will also say to personalize your cover letter to the extent that you can. That always made a difference. And use your interests section on your resume to put something...interesting (but not corny). Also list all of the papers you've worked on in law school, even if they're not published.

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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:41 am

Hi thanks for taking questions!

I just have a quick one. I'm trying to figure out what to do with my year between UG and LS and I was wondering how important that experience is for hiring after law school, both for clerkships and biglaw. I'm specifically looking at paralegaling at the DOJ. I know that for admissions, it doesn't matter too much, but would that kind of pre-law school employment be helpful for finding jobs after law school?

Thanks so much!

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thesealocust
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:45 am

edit: n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tengorazon
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi thanks for taking questions!

I just have a quick one. I'm trying to figure out what to do with my year between UG and LS and I was wondering how important that experience is for hiring after law school, both for clerkships and biglaw. I'm specifically looking at paralegaling at the DOJ. I know that for admissions, it doesn't matter too much, but would that kind of pre-law school employment be helpful for finding jobs after law school?

Thanks so much!


Actually, I would say non-legal work would likely be more useful. Paralegals are a dime a dozen. The only advantage to being a paralegal is that you might make connections at the place where you work that could give you an advantage in getting a job there later on (or not...school, grades, etc. will probably matter more). On the other hand, if you were to do something interesting and unique during your year off, you would at least have an interesting resume item, and that's often the difference between someone who gets the interview and someone who does not. Doing something public-interesty is probably the best way to do this. Otherwise, do something enjoyable. I personally would find a ski instructor more interesting than a paralegal, all else equal.

heyguys
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby heyguys » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:13 pm

I hope you will forgive rather pedestrian questions, but how happy are you with your job at the moment? If someone were to ask you about your job satisfaction, likes and dislikes, etc, what would you tell them?

Also, which matters more--school or grades?

imchuckbass58
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:43 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi thanks for taking questions!

I just have a quick one. I'm trying to figure out what to do with my year between UG and LS and I was wondering how important that experience is for hiring after law school, both for clerkships and biglaw. I'm specifically looking at paralegaling at the DOJ. I know that for admissions, it doesn't matter too much, but would that kind of pre-law school employment be helpful for finding jobs after law school?

Thanks so much!


Basically nothing you can do before law school will help you land a legal job. Nothing wrong with pursuing law related work, but don't expect a leg up - especially for the most competitive jobs, law school grades and activities in law school are what matter.


I've actually anecdotally heard differently from the 2Ls and 3Ls here at Columbia. Obviously grades are most important, but there was a definite feeling that people with demanding business jobs before law school (banking, consulting, etc.) noticeably outperformed at OCI compared to what their grades would predict (i.e., kids below median getting jobs ITE, kids barely above median getting "good" jobs - Cleary, STB, Weil, etc).

OP, if you have any perspective would love to hear it.

legends159
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Re: Former COA Clerk and DC BIGLAWyer Taking ?s

Postby legends159 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:46 pm

maybe they interviewed well? I would imagine it takes a good interview to have gotten those jobs in the first place. Mix that with the fact that they're used to working in a corporate demanding setting and the firm might feel more connected speaking with such a person than with someone who spent the last 3 years saving Otters.




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