True Value of a Clerkship?

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True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:51 am

Hi, all. Looking for some general TLS wisdom here: what is the true value of a clerkship (think USDC)? I'm trying to decide how broadly to apply and what benefits a clerkship actually has for my career.

Background: I will be SAing at a V100 firm in DC doing regulatory/litigation work. Goal is to continue working at said firm for at least the foreseeable future. If I end up liking it, gun for partner. If not, I'd like to lateral to an agency or AUSA position either in DC or somewhere in the South.

Just wondering how much a clerkship affects my career advancement and what benefits it bestows. Thanks in advance.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:10 am

Personally, I think it gives a big-picture perspective on litigation that you just won't get any other way. If you get the right judge, you can improve your writing/thinking skills IMMENSELY and you can get an invaluable mentor. You get a crash course in a wide variety of areas of law.

Plus, you know, IMing with your judge in the middle of a hearing/trial is just cool, especially when it's making fun of counsel. :lol:

If you want the nitty gritty of salaries and what you would make without clerking and bonuses and credit with your firm etc etc. I'm no help - I'm going from this to a fedgov gig that actually pays a few hundred dollars less a year. That said, though, the particular gig required a federal clerkship as a prerequisite, and is my dream job, so for me it's been worth it. (I would also say doing the clerkship has been the functional equivalent of bumping my school rank and class rank a bit, but I was lucky to get the clerkship in the first place, so that may just be me.)

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ph14
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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby ph14 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hi, all. Looking for some general TLS wisdom here: what is the true value of a clerkship (think USDC)? I'm trying to decide how broadly to apply and what benefits a clerkship actually has for my career.

Background: I will be SAing at a V100 firm in DC doing regulatory/litigation work. Goal is to continue working at said firm for at least the foreseeable future. If I end up liking it, gun for partner. If not, I'd like to lateral to an agency or AUSA position either in DC or somewhere in the South.

Just wondering how much a clerkship affects my career advancement and what benefits it bestows. Thanks in advance.


The benefits are mainly prestige and resume.

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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:45 am

I will be SAing at a V100 firm in DC doing regulatory/litigation work.


The benefits are mainly prestige and resume.


I'll just note that the prestige/resume bump may be more important than usual in a litigation/regulatory practice in DC.

OP: I'd definitely try to clerk if I was you. If you are ever trying to lateral or go DOJ in DC, a clerkship will help you a lot. (Actually, it's probably more accurate to say that a lack of a clerkship may disqualify you in some cases.) If you would lateral or go to a USAO outside of DC, it's less important (though I'd still do it because it's a great experience, but that's just me).

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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby thelawdoctor » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:27 am

I suspect the legal community would fall apart without free lawstudent labor.

13th amendment be damned.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:29 am

thelawdoctor wrote:I suspect the legal community would fall apart without free lawstudent labor.

13th amendment be damned.

You realize clerkships are paid, right?

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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby thelawdoctor » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:36 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
thelawdoctor wrote:I suspect the legal community would fall apart without free lawstudent labor.

13th amendment be damned.

You realize clerkships are paid, right?


not a lot of the ones done while in school

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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:39 am

thelawdoctor wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
thelawdoctor wrote:I suspect the legal community would fall apart without free lawstudent labor.

13th amendment be damned.

You realize clerkships are paid, right?


not a lot of the ones done while in school


I'm not quite sure why, but you seem to be having quite a bit of trouble understanding the word "clerkship."

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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:43 am

thelawdoctor wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
thelawdoctor wrote:I suspect the legal community would fall apart without free lawstudent labor.

13th amendment be damned.

You realize clerkships are paid, right?


not a lot of the ones done while in school


What in the bejesus are you talking about?
http://lawclerksalary.net/

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:43 am

thelawdoctor wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
thelawdoctor wrote:I suspect the legal community would fall apart without free lawstudent labor.

13th amendment be damned.

You realize clerkships are paid, right?


not a lot of the ones done while in school

so. not. what. we're. talking. about. please don't comment on things you don't understand.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:53 pm

For the OP, I think it's definitely worth it to apply broadly for a clerkship. Like others have said, clerkships are often prereqs for certain BIGFED jobs. Also, the prestige bump will be much more significant in a DC lit/regulatory practice.

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kalvano
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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:06 pm

You want to do lit / regulatory work, or go to the USAO. A clerkship is almost required for that.

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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:36 pm

OP here. Thanks for the input all, I will definitely be applying broadly for a clerkship. I'm having trouble discerning which judges are on/off plan though, as most have nothing listed on OSCAR right now...any tips for the application process?

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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:14 pm

Your CSO may have some information about local judges - which ones hire on/off plan (mine had that information for the local circuit). Unfortunately that's one of the hardest things about this whole process. Try talking to professors, too, if any of your profs have connections to judges and know their hiring preferences?

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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby Agent » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:13 pm


Anonymous Loser
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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous Loser » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:13 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Personally, I think it gives a big-picture perspective on litigation that you just won't get any other way.


I hear this a lot, but I'm not sure if I understand this sentiment. I certainly agree that clerking is an great opportunity, but I think its somewhat odd to describe someone whose exposure to litigation is largely limited to what comes in on the CM/ECF system as having a "big-picture perspective on litigation." Granted, I did not clerk myself, but I just can't understand how someone who hasn't dealt with propounding or producing discovery, client concerns, settlement negotiations, billing issues, or an adversary could be described this way.

I agree that a clerkship is probably an excellent way to develop legal writing skills and gain insight into what makes for effective advocacy, but there is a lot more to a litigation practice than knowing how to put together a great motion.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:27 pm

Anonymous Loser wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Personally, I think it gives a big-picture perspective on litigation that you just won't get any other way.


I hear this a lot, but I'm not sure if I understand this sentiment. I certainly agree that clerking is an great opportunity, but I think its somewhat odd to describe someone whose exposure to litigation is largely limited to what comes in on the CM/ECF system as having a "big-picture perspective on litigation." Granted, I did not clerk myself, but I just can't understand how someone who hasn't dealt with propounding or producing discovery, client concerns, settlement negotiations, billing issues, or an adversary could be described this way.

I agree that a clerkship is probably an excellent way to develop legal writing skills and gain insight into what makes for effective advocacy, but there is a lot more to a litigation practice than knowing how to put together a great motion.

Maybe I should have said "judicial perspective." What I meant is, the parties get so caught up in their own issues that they don't see the forest for the trees, if that makes any sense. Whereas the judge is looking at the map of the whole continent. I think being exposed to that perspective is really valuable, and you don't get it in a firm. It's not a substitute for actual practice, but it augments it.

That said - there's actually craploads of stuff involving discovery, settlements, and billing that goes through district court. The court oversees the discovery process (which frequently goes wrong). The court holds settlement conferences. The court orders damages, which is all about billing. So while I get your point, I think it's a little more limited than you suggest.

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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby Green Crayons » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:11 am

Being a clerk is the closest thing you can do to being a judge before the age of 30.

That alone should seal the deal for 99% of people looking to go into litigation, firm-salary pay deferment be damned.

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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby thelawdoctor » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:04 pm

Green Crayons wrote:Being a clerk is the closest thing you can do to being a judge before the age of 30.

That alone should seal the deal for 99% of people looking to go into litigation, firm-salary pay deferment be damned.


you ever known a clerk to say "your guility, pay this?"

If not its like comparing a medical secretary to a heart surgeon.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:12 pm

thelawdoctor wrote:
Green Crayons wrote:Being a clerk is the closest thing you can do to being a judge before the age of 30.

That alone should seal the deal for 99% of people looking to go into litigation, firm-salary pay deferment be damned.


you ever known a clerk to say "your guility, pay this?"

If not its like comparing a medical secretary to a heart surgeon.

hahahahahahaha. no. do you understand what a judicial clerk does?

(I'm not saying it's the be-all and end-all for every law grad ever, but it's not what you're making it out to be, either.)

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prezidentv8
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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby prezidentv8 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:16 pm

thelawdoctor wrote:you ever known a clerk to say "your guility, pay this?"

If not its like comparing a medical secretary to a heart surgeon.


thelawdoctor wrote:"your guility, pay this?"


thelawdoctor wrote:your guility


thelawdoctor wrote:your


thelawdoctor wrote:guility

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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby exitoptions » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:18 pm

thelawdoctor wrote:
Green Crayons wrote:Being a clerk is the closest thing you can do to being a judge before the age of 30.

That alone should seal the deal for 99% of people looking to go into litigation, firm-salary pay deferment be damned.


you ever known a clerk to say "your guility, pay this?"

If not its like comparing a medical secretary to a heart surgeon.


Why are you still posting in this thread? You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby thelawdoctor » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:41 pm

exitoptions wrote:
thelawdoctor wrote:
Green Crayons wrote:Being a clerk is the closest thing you can do to being a judge before the age of 30.

That alone should seal the deal for 99% of people looking to go into litigation, firm-salary pay deferment be damned.


you ever known a clerk to say "your guility, pay this?"

If not its like comparing a medical secretary to a heart surgeon.


Why are you still posting in this thread? You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.


I know they aren't a judge

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prezidentv8
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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby prezidentv8 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:14 pm

thelawdoctor wrote:I know they aren't a judge


I hate to keep harping on these things (well, not really), but "they" is plural and "a judge" is singular so your sentence is WRONG and you're a BAD PERSON.

BAD!!

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: True Value of a Clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:28 pm

thelawdoctor wrote:
exitoptions wrote:
thelawdoctor wrote:
Green Crayons wrote:Being a clerk is the closest thing you can do to being a judge before the age of 30.

That alone should seal the deal for 99% of people looking to go into litigation, firm-salary pay deferment be damned.


you ever known a clerk to say "your guility, pay this?"

If not its like comparing a medical secretary to a heart surgeon.


Why are you still posting in this thread? You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.


I know they aren't a judge

No one said a law clerk was a judge. But a law clerk sure as shit isn't a secretary, either. (And by the way? The judge doesn't say, "You're guilty," the jury does.)




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