If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

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bruinfan10
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby bruinfan10 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:33 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I'd hardly call it "inestimably valuable." I'd take Coif over no Coif + clerkship any day.

I think I would too, but it's added marketability that I said was inestimably valuable. Given that no one has much job security in biglaw, like I said before, I'd be happy to take a small pay cut to gain an extra credential that might separate me from the pack later on down the road. Your point in making this thread was to say that if you have the credentials to get one biglaw job, your clerkship credential doesn't add much incremental value. You just overlook the fact that the vast majority of us can't hang on to that first biglaw job in the long term.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:36 am

bruinfan10 wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I'd hardly call it "inestimably valuable." I'd take Coif over no Coif + clerkship any day.

I think I would too, but it's added marketability that I said was inestimably valuable. Given that no one has much job security in biglaw, like I said before, I'd be happy to take a small pay cut to gain an extra credential that might separate me from the pack later on down the road. Your point in making this thread was to say that if you have the credentials to get one biglaw job, your clerkship credential doesn't add much incremental value. You just overlook the fact that the vast majority of us can't hang on to that first biglaw job in the long term.


Wrong. My point, if you read my posts carefully, was that if you have the credentials to get a clerkship then a clerkship credential doesn't add much incremental value.

theaccidentalclerk
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:32 am

Wrong. My point, if you read my posts carefully, was that if you have the credentials to get a clerkship then a clerkship credential doesn't add much incremental value.


I guess I don't really get this. Is your point really that if your only goal is to work in an undifferentiated biglaw job out of law school and you have the stats to do it, then clerking is unnecessary? Well, OK. You're right. Congrats for making your point.

The problem is that it's not really an "entry-level biglaw job or no" world. There are differentiations among firms and practice groups -- and for some firms and some groups, a clerkship can range from a "plus" factor to a virtual requirement. There are considerations a few years down the line, like lateraling or moving to the government side of things or even teaching. A clerkship matters for many of these possibile career moves. And yes, many of those things are restricted to the super-elite people. But guess what? Those people exist.

lolwat
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby lolwat » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:51 am

Wrong. My point, if you read my posts carefully, was that if you have the credentials to get a clerkship then a clerkship credential doesn't add much incremental value.


I think the point is just that there are too many factors at play to make such a blanket statement.

I had the credentials to get a clerkship (obviously, since I'm doing one right now), but I also definitely needed it to get where I'm hoping to go from here.

damno vitando
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby damno vitando » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:00 am

I was a no offered 3L, top 25 school, that wanted to do corporate and landed an Art I followed by an Art III clerkship. During the clerkship I landed a job doing corporate at a mid market big law firm where about 1/3 of the corporate partners in my office did a clerkship.

For me the clerkship was about putting something on my resume while the economy recovered.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:23 pm

theaccidentalclerk wrote:
Wrong. My point, if you read my posts carefully, was that if you have the credentials to get a clerkship then a clerkship credential doesn't add much incremental value.


I guess I don't really get this. Is your point really that if your only goal is to work in an undifferentiated biglaw job out of law school and you have the stats to do it, then clerking is unnecessary? Well, OK. You're right. Congrats for making your point.


Thanks.

005618502
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby 005618502 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:30 pm

No one really answered this, but if you are going into corporate, like M&A or Securities, is there any benefit to clerking?

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mephistopheles
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby mephistopheles » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:47 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:No one really answered this, but if you are going into corporate, like M&A or Securities, is there any benefit to clerking?



interested

Anonymous User
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:15 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Here's why:

If you have the grades and other credentials/connections to clerk, you don't need a clerkship to get you these connections/credentials. If you somehow get lucky and get a clerkship without top grades or connections, you're still going to be looked down upon for not having the grades/LR that other clerks have. I know this from firsthand experience. There's an associate at my firm who clerked on the 9th Circuit. He/she didn't have the credentials one would normally expect from a 9th Circuit clerk. So far, I have seen ZERO positive impact on this person's career from his/her clerkship. He/she doesn't get better work or anything else. I suppose he/she might get hooked up with another biglaw associate job via one of his/her fellow clerks, but that still won't help him/her make partner in the long run or help him/her develop business.


You say “If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.” But there is tons of value in clerking, even if you just want biglaw. Clerks are able to trade up in firm prestige after their clerkship. I know from experience. An AIII clerkship on your resume is also a benefit if/when you look to lateral to another biglaw firm. Clerking is also a good way to protect against the consequences of a potential no-offer. Therefore, even if you only want biglaw and have no interest in clerking, it can absolutely be worth it to clerk.

You point to a former 9th Circuit clerk at your firm that “didn't have the credentials one would normally expect from a 9th Circuit clerk.” You say there has been “ZERO positive impact on this person's career from his/her clerkship” and “doesn't get better work or anything else.” You use this example to show “If you somehow get lucky and get a clerkship without top grades or connections, you're still going to be looked down upon for not having the grades/LR that other clerks have.” Putting aside that I think this former clerk might be me, this example also misses the point. The question isn’t whether the former clerk now gets better work or if people look down on them for not having law review or grades, the question is whether there is worth in clerking. As a person in the same shoes as your coworker, I can say my clerkship was of great benefit (even if, unbeknownst to me, my coworkers look down on me behind my back). First, I had numerous interviews with, and job offers from, law firms that would never have called me if I hadn’t clerked. Even though I ended up staying at the same place I summered, I keep in touch with many of these firms and several have reached out in the past few months about openings. I also get many unsolicited calls from other firms and headhunters that tell me they are looking for former clerks. Therefore, I think my clerkship will absolutely prolong my biglaw career in case my current job fizzles. Additionally, while many people at my firm are not at all impressed by my clerkship, some are. And I do get getter work from those people. Further, based solely on my federal clerkship, I have been put on several very interesting federal cases (e.g., patent litigation, antitrust litigation, federal civil rights litigation). Therefore, at least in my case, there has been benefit to me even at the firm I am currently with.

In other words, putting aside that clerking is an awesome experience that taught me a lot and opened up opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise had (like DOJ and professor interviews), it still has worth to my career in biglaw.

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bruinfan10
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby bruinfan10 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:47 pm

It's almost getting sad at this point; OP's "argument" has been so overwhelmingly repudiated so many times now. /thread

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ph14
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby ph14 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:52 pm

The thing is, this is all context and person specific. For some people, it's not worth it to clerk. For others with different values, goals, etc. it is worth it to clerk. I think the OP makes a good point in that, it's not always worth it to clerk.

There are just so many factors in this that make it difficult to make any categorical statements. Just a few:
Career goals (professor versus going in-house, etc.)
Interest in litigation/appeals/the work of a law clerk
Clerkship prestige
Clerkship quality of life
Clerkship location
Significant other
Family to support
Firm type/specific firm
Age
Prior work experience
Stage in one's career
Financial Trade off
Chance at SCOTUS
Wanting to switch geographic locations
Wanting to switch firms
Odds of switching firms
Other opportunity costs

I don't want to come off as too negative about clerkships, because i'm actually quite positive about them. I just think that is important to realize the context-specific nature of the inquiry and to avoid making too many generalizations.
Last edited by ph14 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ph14
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby ph14 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:08 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
If you somehow get lucky and get a clerkship without top grades or connections, you're still going to be looked down upon for not having the grades/LR that other clerks have.


And if you're in certain litigation groups at certain firms, you're going to be looked down upon if you didn't clerk. This is especially true on the lateral market. I know for a fact that certain V20 firms won't look at laterals for litigation if they don't have an AIII clerkship. Others make it an implicit requirement for partnership. I actually know of a couple firms in a non-NYC big market that encourage their promising associates to go and clerk as alums -- even as fifth or sixth year associates -- because they know that no clerkship means an automatic no vote from a lot of the big hitters.

Plus, if you ever have designs to move to a secondary/tertiary market (i.e., not NYC/DC/Chicago/Boston/LA/SF) outside of the coasts, an AIII clerkship is a huge credential. For example, I just got off the phone with the MP for a satellite office of a NLJ 100 firm (my home market -- think like Minneapolis or Seattle or Denver). He basically said that although they really need someone now, they'd be willing to wait until the fall because AIII clerks don't come along very often in that market.


I've never heard of clerkships being an "implicit requirement" for partnership. Also, your points, if true (which I doubt because I don't think any firms have a hard and fast rule that everyone in their lit department has to clerk), only stand for the proposition that people who want to work in super elite lit practices who already have the credentials to get themselves in the door should clerk. This group probably overlaps significantly with people who want to be professors, work in BIGFED, or do other things that require a clerkship, so it really doesn't address the same group of people I was addressing in my OP: people who are set on biglaw as a long-term career. Bottom line: your points barely apply to anyone, even if they are true. They only apply to people with tippy top credentials who are dead set on making partner at a biglaw firm. That's a very small group of people.


I agree with this assessment. I used to think that at some/a lot of/top end firms, clerkships were an implicit requirement for partnership, mainly because of reading TLS. I was discussing clerkships in an interview and somehow this came into the conversation, and the partner basically said that's just incorrect, at least at his/her firm. Basically, if you have enough of a book of business, or are talented enough, or other otherwise qualified where it makes economic sense to promote someone to partner (and that's basically the only situation where people make partner), then it doesn't really make sense to reject that person simply because they are lacking one credential on their resume.

Obviously, this excludes firms that more or less require a clerkship to get a job or strongly prefer clerks. But I think in general it is inaccurate to say that it is an implicit requirement at a lot of firms. It certainly would help you get a foot in the door (although we should be careful not to overstate this, i've talked to clerks coming off great clerkships that still have trouble getting jobs), but once you're in, it's about your abilities as a lawyer.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:44 pm

See, I guess I've never really seen people say that clerking helps you make partner at a biglaw firm - apart from getting you into the firm in the first place, of course, but that's only the very first step in a very difficult process. (I mean, if it's an elite lit boutique where de facto everyone has clerked, then all the partners will have clerked, too, but making partner can't be about your clerking experience if everyone has done it.) So I kind of reacted to the OP as to a strawman - Clerking doesn't help you make partner? I never knew anyone thought it did. It just seemed an odd criteria on which to evaluate clerking.

(Though I suppose it could be a useful corrective to the idea that the only prestigious lawyering path MUST include clerking.)

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:04 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:It's almost getting sad at this point; OP's "argument" has been so overwhelmingly repudiated so many times now. /thread


You have a knack for hyperbole and cantankerousness. I predict you will be a very successful TLS poster.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:05 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Though I suppose it could be a useful corrective to the idea that the only prestigious lawyering path MUST include clerking.


This is what I meant this thread to address more than anything. I know some of you will be like, "LOL, NO ONE REALLY THINKS THAT!" to which I respond: you're full of shit. Many top law students view clerking as another box to check on the way to a prestigious career without really thinking about whether it's worth it for them personally.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:36 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Though I suppose it could be a useful corrective to the idea that the only prestigious lawyering path MUST include clerking.


This is what I meant this thread to address more than anything. I know some of you will be like, "LOL, NO ONE REALLY THINKS THAT!" to which I respond: you're full of shit. Many top law students view clerking as another box to check on the way to a prestigious career without really thinking about whether it's worth it for them personally.

Yeah, I get that. But if someone ends up clerking because of this attitude, it's not like it's going to hurt them.

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nevdash
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby nevdash » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:14 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Though I suppose it could be a useful corrective to the idea that the only prestigious lawyering path MUST include clerking.


This is what I meant this thread to address more than anything. I know some of you will be like, "LOL, NO ONE REALLY THINKS THAT!" to which I respond: you're full of shit. Many top law students view clerking as another box to check on the way to a prestigious career without really thinking about whether it's worth it for them personally.

So maybe I misinterpreted your argument (I think the thread title might have led me to read your comments differently than you intended). If that's really what you meant, I totally agree, and I'm sorry for reacting so negatively.

Anonymous User
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:07 pm

It's also worth pointing out that 98-99% of the people who "just want biglaw" stop wanting biglaw after about a year and fully hate biglaw by year 3. The idea that you just want a career where most people don't last 5 years is completely silly. Even the people who have dreamed of seeing their names on a Latham business card since they were toddlers should be thinking about the post-biglaw step before they accept their first position. Clerking opens doors for after biglaw (academia, etc.), and the overwhelming majority of law students who "just want biglaw" will end up doing something else.

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bruinfan10
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby bruinfan10 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:26 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:You have a knack for hyperbole and cantankerousness. I predict you will be a very successful TLS poster.

You're right I'm afraid, except for the part about being successful.

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Though I suppose it could be a useful corrective to the idea that the only prestigious lawyering path MUST include clerking.

This is what I meant this thread to address more than anything. I know some of you will be like, "LOL, NO ONE REALLY THINKS THAT!" to which I respond: you're full of shit. Many top law students view clerking as another box to check on the way to a prestigious career without really thinking about whether it's worth it for them personally.

That is an entirely legitimate point. Saying "if you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk," is not. Obviously clerking has questionable value for transactional people, etc etc, all the stuff ph14 pointed out. What posters have repeatedly explained though is that claiming you can get a biglaw job without clerking, and therefore clerking isn't worth it if you just want biglaw, is shortsighted and incorrect.

005618502
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby 005618502 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:51 pm

mephistopheles wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:No one really answered this, but if you are going into corporate, like M&A or Securities, is there any benefit to clerking?



interested


Last time I bump this, I promise

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mephistopheles
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby mephistopheles » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:54 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:
mephistopheles wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:No one really answered this, but if you are going into corporate, like M&A or Securities, is there any benefit to clerking?



interested


Last time I bump this, I promise



unashamedly still interested.

arizonairish
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby arizonairish » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:09 pm

mephistopheles wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:
mephistopheles wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:No one really answered this, but if you are going into corporate, like M&A or Securities, is there any benefit to clerking?



interested


Last time I bump this, I promise



unashamedly still interested.


I am just a 2L but I asked some of the partners at my summer firm I have networked and become close to. They told me that it was useful because "everything a corporate lawyer does could be subject to litigation." and somehow clerkship prepared you for that.

Honestly had no idea what that meant, but I viewed it as an endorsement.

JusticeJackson
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby JusticeJackson » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:06 pm

.
Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

005618502
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby 005618502 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:10 pm

JusticeJackson wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:
mephistopheles wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:No one really answered this, but if you are going into corporate, like M&A or Securities, is there any benefit to clerking?



interested


Last time I bump this, I promise


I've been told yes. First, it can be a good transition between jobs no matter what your role is (lit or transactional). So if you don't like your summer firm it can be a good move. Some firms seem to appreciate it. And, if you think about a lot of lawsuits, litigation can be avoided if the contracts attorney had thought of the exact factual scenario, so it's a good lesson in that sense. I'm a 3rd year lit associate snd former clerk, so I'm a huge proponent of clerking. I'd admit it's more directly applicable to lit attorneys than transactional attorneys.


I guess one reason I am aiming for Corporate over litigation is because I have heard the exit options are better and its easier to stay in biglaw longer (I know people :roll: at me thinking thats my goal). But I guess if you have an Art. III clerkship first, your exit options from lit are probably pretty good/not to hard to lateral to another firm.

Anonymous User
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Re: If you just want biglaw, it's not worth it to clerk.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:32 am

But I guess if you have an Art. III clerkship first, your exit options from lit are probably pretty good/not to hard to lateral to another firm.


Just noting that AIII clerkship or not, your exit options are just different from lit (compared to corporate). They're much more government-centric. That's not necessarily a bad thing -- in house and firms certainly pay more, but government work is very interesting with great hours. And there's something to be said about doing sexy work from 8:30 to 5:30 five days a week for $75k.




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