2 year clerkship v. 1 year clerkship

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2 year clerkship v. 1 year clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:47 am

Re: clerkship between a 2 year offer and 1 year clerkship offer with similar judges at a similar district court.
All things being equal, what are your preference personally? Why? and any major difference in value for post-clerkship employment prospects?

-Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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Re: 2 year clerkship v. 1 year clerkship

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:14 am

A lot of people who are going back to firms after clerking would probably prefer the one-year, just from a financial standpoint (you see a lot of people debating whether clerking is worth it at all, financially). If you are going back to a firm, I'm presuming a two-year clerkship would bring you in as a third-year associate, which some people might think is a good deal, and some people might find disconcerting because you don't really know anything about how the job works yet. I suppose in theory it's possible some employers wouldn't want to hire someone who'd come in as a third-year without having done anything on the job, but I don't know if that's the case or not. (Full disclosure: when I talk about firms, it's all second-hand knowledge, since I'm not going that route, so I stand ready to be corrected.)

In terms of the actual experience, I don't think you are going to learn anything much more in 2 years than what you learn in 1.

Personally, I wouldn't not apply to 2 year clerkships and would have done one happily, if it got me the court and judge I wanted. If I had a choice between 1 year and 2 year and everything else was really truly equal, I'd probably take the 1 year, just because I'm eager to get settled in the actual job I'm going to do (hopefully) for years, and don't want to put it off longer. But that's just me.

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Re: 2 year clerkship v. 1 year clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:04 pm

Had the option of doing a 1 year or 2 year clerkship. Chose the two year for a variety of reasons, none of which was necessarily universal or dispositive.
*I'm moving across the country for the clerkship, and didn't want to do that twice in 13 months. My wife and I would rather stay and enjoy the city for a while before moving back and having kids, starting careers, etc. If nothing else, it's one more year of taking a few weekend trips to interesting places, with relatively low cost to me and no worries about face time as a young associate in a firm. Plus, there's a much better chance of her getting a substantial job if we're there for two years than just one.
*Incredibly fortunate to have an offer from a firm that doesn't care whether I'm gone for one year or two, so that helped with my decision.
*It's a cush job (hours wise) that pays well enough to enjoy the city, while also taking down some loans with my wife's salary.
*Clerkship bonus is per year, so (while it's not even close to an equalizer) my opportunity cost isn't as much that second year as it would be if I only got one year's bonus like many firms. I recognize this isn't the norm, though.
*I get two years' federal pension benefits and service credit instead of one. Since I hope to jump to DOJ or US-A at some point in my career, this gives me a head start on building some meaningful retirement savings.
*The job itself (I'm clerking on a specialty court) has a pretty steep learning curve, so I'm hoping to master the substance and the procedure well during my time, and then hang around long enough after to actually make a contribution to chambers.
*Thankfully, I don't have a lot of debt hanging over my head, but I very much understand this is a real financial consideration for many clerks.


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Re: 2 year clerkship v. 1 year clerkship

Postby cim_can » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:44 pm

I am in a two-year clerkship -- while I am interested in corporate/transactional, my sense is still that regardless of practice area firms will not pay you as a third year when you start at a firm. You may get one year towards partnership, but you will probably be paid like a first or second-year associate.

I am in a busy district court with tons of different kinds of cases, so there was a steep learning curve. It probably took 6 months before I felt like I knew what I was doing, and the full 12 months to get to a point where I felt like I had mastered things. To be honest, I have probably reached a plateau at the 18-month mark, where much of what is going on is no longer new, and I feel ready to move onto something different. I still think that I preferred the two years, because I was able to settle into the job and get to know my city and judge really well. Having more than a year meant that I was able to focus on the job and not necessarily worry about my next job from the very beginning; two years meant that I didn't feel rushed.

In the end, I can't play the "what if" game. I got a two-year clerkship and love it.

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Re: 2 year clerkship v. 1 year clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:31 am

So does anyone know for sure whether firms (NYC V5's) will pay you as a second or a third year after a 2 year clerkship?

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Re: 2 year clerkship v. 1 year clerkship

Postby nevdash » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:25 am

I'm doing a 2-year district court clerkship, and I would have chosen it over a 1-year with the same judge for a variety of reasons:

-As another poster said, I don't want to move twice in such a short period of time.
-I don't have a firm job to return to, so beginning my job search after only a couple of months wouldn't have given me much time to settle.
-I personally would have felt kind of guilty doing a 1-year clerkship since it probably takes you a full year to master the job. I like knowing that the relationship will be more mutually beneficial between my judge and me.
-Most importantly, I really think I'm going to enjoy clerking. Why rush out the door?


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Re: 2 year clerkship v. 1 year clerkship

Postby lolwat » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:25 am

I'd stick with a one-year. This job and the people here are awesome, but I just don't see myself doing this stuff here for more than a year. But it's because of the location & workload.

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Re: 2 year clerkship v. 1 year clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:06 pm

2 year clerk here too. My reasons are like other posters'.

-I moved across the country and want to avoid repeating that experience.
-No post-clerkship job lined up, so I am in no rush to leave.
-I love the job. I work 35-40hrs/wk and have the greatest boss and co-workers I've ever had. I'm in no hurry to grind away at a firm.
-I want more experience and really enjoy the work I do.

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