Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:07 am

Question: In the next week or two, I'm interviewing with both firms and judges (for a second clerkship). I probably shouldn't let the firms know about the judges, right? My thought is that fact that I'm considering doing a second clerkship might send a bad signal to firms -- like I'd really prefer to work in a federal or academic job, and I'm just trying to buy some time until those hiring markets pick up. (Which, in truth, is the main reason why I'd do the second clerkship. The judges are all in my target/home market -- but so are the firms, so I can't use the geography excuse.)

Also, out of curiosity, has anyone thought about in house? I have a referral to contact the GC at a company who is hiring a litigation/risk management attorney. I'm had a good bit of pre-clerkship litigation experience in the company's industry, so I think I'd be at least marginally competitive. Might be fun to be the client instead of the lawyer.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:18 pm

For those of you who have received interviews, are you applying directly to the firm's career website/recruiter's email, or some other way? I'm starting to panic because I haven't had a single firm interview yet. Mostly silence, a few rejections.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:07 pm

For those of you who have received interviews, are you applying directly to the firm's career website/recruiter's email, or some other way? I'm starting to panic because I haven't had a single firm interview yet. Mostly silence, a few rejections.


I'm the poster with several firm and judge interviews.

For the firms, I've gone exclusively through people whom I practiced with/against at places I know are looking. The moral is that if you are a good and honest litigator (and you have to be both), it's plainly obvious, and people respect that.

For the judges, I've generally sent emails to judges/chambers where I have a reason to think they might be interested. Always confirmed with my current judge, and always CCing him. I suspect that he follows up with calls/emails, but I'm not privy to that.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby cim_can » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For those of you who have received interviews, are you applying directly to the firm's career website/recruiter's email, or some other way? I'm starting to panic because I haven't had a single firm interview yet. Mostly silence, a few rejections.


I usually have applied to the recruiter e-mail and sent an e-mail to either the hiring partner or to a partner who looks like she is 1) going to be interested in my background or 2) is the head of a group that I want to work for.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:why dont you think youll get a post-clerkship job? Is it an AIII?


Nope, work for a federal magistrate judge.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:22 pm

Alum clerks with more than a couple of years of experience: You should be contacting people at firms now. The lateral market for midlevels (and even senior associates) seems fairly brisk if my recent experience is any guide.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:17 pm

To the midlevel guy with interviews: you might have mentioned you have years of experience when you say you have many interviews. i think the assumption here is that most applicants are law school--> clerkship.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:13 am

To the midlevel guy with interviews: you might have mentioned you have years of experience when you say you have many interviews. i think the assumption here is that most applicants are law school--> clerkship.


I'm actually not 100% sure this is true. But in any event, I think I made it clear that I had a good bit of experience before clerking:

I'm had a good bit of pre-clerkship litigation experience in the company's industry, so I think I'd be at least marginally competitive.


For the firms, I've gone exclusively through people whom I practiced with/against at places I know are looking. The moral is that if you are a good and honest litigator (and you have to be both), it's plainly obvious, and people respect that.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:12 pm

For those of you who went straight from LS to clerkship, did you just not like your 2L SA firm, or did you not have one, or what? I'm thinking about using a clerkship to transition to a different market/practice area, so I could see that being a reason...

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:37 pm

The law firm I worked for 2L doesn't hire out of its summer program (which I knew going in) - there's almost no biglaw in my market, it was a local firm that prefers only to hire associates after they clerk. But it mostly confirmed I had no interest in working for a firm, and I knew I wanted to try for Honors programs, which I couldn't do if I went to a firm after graduation anyway.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:27 am

I know this is looking a bit far ahead, and that the economy could change, but I'm doing a D. Ct. clerkship in SDNY/NDCA/DDC starting in September. By the time I start, I'll have about 4 years of state government litigation experience at a fairly well regarded office. I worked for a firm my 2L summer, got an offer, but still opted for the gov't route for the experience. I've got decent creds (top 15% at MVPB), but nothing spectacular.

Now that I'm settling down a little bit, do you think a biglaw firm would have any interest in someone like me coming out of a clerkship? I did civil/criminal enforcement in the gov't job, and would Ideally be looking to join a white-collar crime/gov't investigations practice group. Or, has the ship already sailed.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby anongoodnurse » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:16 am

I know this is looking a bit far ahead, and that the economy could change, but I'm doing a D. Ct. clerkship in SDNY/NDCA/DDC starting in September. By the time I start, I'll have about 4 years of state government litigation experience at a fairly well regarded office. I worked for a firm my 2L summer, got an offer, but still opted for the gov't route for the experience. I've got decent creds (top 15% at MVPB), but nothing spectacular.

Now that I'm settling down a little bit, do you think a biglaw firm would have any interest in someone like me coming out of a clerkship? I did civil/criminal enforcement in the gov't job, and would Ideally be looking to join a white-collar crime/gov't investigations practice group. Or, has the ship already sailed.


I have relevant information/advice, but it's potentially self-identifying. So feel free to PM me. But the tl;dr version is that you're probably golden.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:54 am

Just thought I'd add my experience to the mix in hopes that it might aid others. I'm also hoping to gain a little insight from you.

Graduated top 5% from a V20. LR, publications, and some good internships. District court clerkship last year (non-DDC/SDNY/etc). COA clerkship this year (non-2d/DC Cir). My summer firm doesn't hold offers open for clerks and I'm interested in seeing if I can do better.

I started sending out applications in January. I focused mainly on DC firms, though I also sent some applications to NYC firms. I received a couple of callbacks at very solid DC firms, but it's been more than two weeks with nary a word. One firm asked for my references about a week after the interview, and I received one ding this week. Otherwise, I have on idea where I stand. (Rather harrowing, I must say.)

I have a few NYC callbacks scheduled over the next week or so. Since hope is starting to dwindle as far as the DC firms are concerned, I hope something pans out. Just to be safe, I've started sending out a few more applications.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:19 pm

Well I am thoroughly dejected. Just received a rejection letter for a STAFF Attorney position I applied to at a non-biglaw firm. If I can't get a job doing doc review after my clerkship, what else is left? At this point, should I start applying for legal assistant/paralegal positions?

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Well I am thoroughly dejected. Just received a rejection letter for a STAFF Attorney position I applied to at a non-biglaw firm. If I can't get a job doing doc review after my clerkship, what else is left? At this point, should I start applying for legal assistant/paralegal positions?


mind sharing your stats pre-clerkship?

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Well I am thoroughly dejected. Just received a rejection letter for a STAFF Attorney position I applied to at a non-biglaw firm. If I can't get a job doing doc review after my clerkship, what else is left? At this point, should I start applying for legal assistant/paralegal positions?


mind sharing your stats pre-clerkship?


Top 50 law school, secondary journal, graduated in 2008 outside of top third but still with honors, worked at a plaintiff's firm for three years before clerking, and now clerking for a federal magistrate judge.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby AnonAlum » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Well I am thoroughly dejected. Just received a rejection letter for a STAFF Attorney position I applied to at a non-biglaw firm. If I can't get a job doing doc review after my clerkship, what else is left? At this point, should I start applying for legal assistant/paralegal positions?


mind sharing your stats pre-clerkship?


Top 50 law school, secondary journal, graduated in 2008 outside of top third but still with honors, worked at a plaintiff's firm for three years before clerking, and now clerking for a federal magistrate judge.


Just out of curiosity, how long have you been hunting and which market? I'm in a similarish situation and seven months into a two year fed mag clerkship but already getting terrified of job hunting....

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:50 pm

Magistrate clerk alums -- I'd discourage you from sending in cold-call applications except where absolutely necessary. You're not making it past the initial screen, usually done by the non-lawyer recruiting people. A lot of the time, they've been given a list of law school rankings and are told "don't take anyone below this rank" -- with ITE, they can. Then they move on to grades and clerkships and experience.

Instead, reach out to the people who you practiced with or against. Send former opposing counsel an email. Say that you're going to be looking in X months. There's a chance that those people will know places that are looking and send your resume to them, often with a "he was a decent lawyer" or a "hey, I know you need bodies for discovery, here's someone that might be interesting." Voila. You've already gotten over the biggest hurdle of the recruiter cull.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby AnonAlum » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Magistrate clerk alums -- I'd discourage you from sending in cold-call applications except where absolutely necessary. You're not making it past the initial screen, usually done by the non-lawyer recruiting people. A lot of the time, they've been given a list of law school rankings and are told "don't take anyone below this rank" -- with ITE, they can. Then they move on to grades and clerkships and experience.

Instead, reach out to the people who you practiced with or against. Send former opposing counsel an email. Say that you're going to be looking in X months. There's a chance that those people will know places that are looking and send your resume to them, often with a "he was a decent lawyer" or a "hey, I know you need bodies for discovery, here's someone that might be interesting." Voila. You've already gotten over the biggest hurdle of the recruiter cull.


I agree that this is good advice if you've had that kind of contact with opposing counsel, but I was in BigLaw for three years (laid off and don't have the stats to get back in) and at a small firm for a year and change, where I mainly squared off against BigLaw or elite boutiques. I'm praying one of my AIII applications amounts to something....

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:49 pm

[quotewhere I mainly squared off against BigLaw or elite boutiques][/quote]

That's what I'm saying. Call those people. If you did a good job against them, that might outweigh your less-competitive stats. Or they might forward your resume to friends at non-elite shops.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:Magistrate clerk alums -- I'd discourage you from sending in cold-call applications except where absolutely necessary. You're not making it past the initial screen, usually done by the non-lawyer recruiting people. A lot of the time, they've been given a list of law school rankings and are told "don't take anyone below this rank" -- with ITE, they can. Then they move on to grades and clerkships and experience.

Instead, reach out to the people who you practiced with or against. Send former opposing counsel an email. Say that you're going to be looking in X months. There's a chance that those people will know places that are looking and send your resume to them, often with a "he was a decent lawyer" or a "hey, I know you need bodies for discovery, here's someone that might be interesting." Voila. You've already gotten over the biggest hurdle of the recruiter cull.


Fed mag clerk here. Great advice, but I did not have any direct contact with attorneys before my clerkship. I was writing briefs and motions for the partners and did other more administrative stuff. I have been using my contacts (i.e. classmates) who work at firms, but their firms aren't hiring for my class level. I have also contacted other attorneys I have met at the local bar association and have been networking that way. Unfortunately, I am clerking for a judge in a different city than the one I want to practice in, so it is hard for me to physically meet up or go to current bar association events.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:23 am

FWIW: I'm clerking (circuit court) in one city and want to work in another. I thought my judge wouldn't be helpful with contacts but I've found that if I meet with attorneys connected to my judge here, they are willing to call the office where I want to go and get me an interview. Obviously this takes a bit of work (ask judge for contact, email attorney here, meet with attorney here, etc.) but so far it has worked. Just hoping one of these interviews turns into an offer!

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:31 pm

c/o 2012 grad here. Took a very competitive, desirable SSC and otherwise have the grades/school to be competitive for biglaw (T6, top 1/3 at graduation). But I never actually did a SA during law school, struck out both 2L and 3L year. Are biglaw firms going to have a problem with not doing a SA? Most people at my clerkship who want it get biglaw- but they are going back to firms they summered or worked for before the clerkship. I don't have anyone else in my situation to compare to.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:47 pm

Bankruptcy court clerk here (not SDNY/DDel). Accepted a jerb pretty recently. Had a couple offers from mediumish firms that pay well in my hometown market. I think the bk experience is a little different because it really just comes down completely to whether a firm needs someone in that field, and if they do, you're really in the chips, but if not, good luck selling them on your abilities as a general lit associate.

My recommendations for those similarly situated: Don't even bother sending out applications before Feb. You're just going to get "We don't know what our needs are" (at best) or "No" (more likely). Try and stress that you're willing to work in bk or something else, or both. Firms might be tentative about whether you have the experience for lit or the interest in non-bk work, but they might not have enough work in bk only to justify bringing you in. Flexibility is your friend.

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Re: Clerk job hunting thread 2012/2013

Postby peter2009 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Bankruptcy court clerk here (not SDNY/DDel). Accepted a jerb pretty recently. Had a couple offers from mediumish firms that pay well in my hometown market. I think the bk experience is a little different because it really just comes down completely to whether a firm needs someone in that field, and if they do, you're really in the chips, but if not, good luck selling them on your abilities as a general lit associate.

My recommendations for those similarly situated: Don't even bother sending out applications before Feb. You're just going to get "We don't know what our needs are" (at best) or "No" (more likely). Try and stress that you're willing to work in bk or something else, or both. Firms might be tentative about whether you have the experience for lit or the interest in non-bk work, but they might not have enough work in bk only to justify bringing you in. Flexibility is your friend.


So how did the timing of your search work? Did you interview in late February/early March and then just recently got an offer to start in September? Based on your comments I'm guessing that you will be working in bankruptcy and litigation?




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