Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

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Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:27 am

When is it appropriate to tell the firm you'll be working for this summer that you've accepted a clerkship commencing right after graduation?

exitoptions
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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby exitoptions » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:57 am

I wouldn't tell them until after you have the offer to come on permanently in hand.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:08 pm

I wonder if firms will be dealing w/ clerkships differently this year b/c of the new plan dates. They will undoubtedly have some SAs missing work to go interview following June 28th, so maybe they will be more up front about their clerkship policies, etc.

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bk1
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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby bk1 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:17 pm

As I said in another thread, my suspicion is that since they are willing to pay you 50k to do it, I doubt you really need to tiptoe around the issue.

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ph14
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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby ph14 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:20 pm

bk1 wrote:As I said in another thread, my suspicion is that since they are willing to pay you 50k to do it, I doubt you really need to tiptoe around the issue.


I'm guessing that this is probably correct. Plus there's really no point springing it on them, as they are going to find out at some point anyways. And a lot of firms look really positively on clerking.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:37 pm

ph14 wrote:
bk1 wrote:As I said in another thread, my suspicion is that since they are willing to pay you 50k to do it, I doubt you really need to tiptoe around the issue.


I'm guessing that this is probably correct. Plus there's really no point springing it on them, as they are going to find out at some point anyways. And a lot of firms look really positively on clerking.


This is true MOST of the time. Most firms will be excited about a summer going for a clerkship. Many firms (I don't even know if it is most) are willing to pay the $50k bonus. You see this mainly in the big five markets (NY, DC, Chicago, LA, SV) and the higher ranked firms. When you get past those markets and firms, bonuses tend to be smaller and firms tend to be more idiosyncratic in their desire for clerks. If you summer at a satellite office in Charlotte or a top firm in Boise, they might not be able to just suck up the deviation from their planned hiring.

My advice is if you have a class of ten or more summers in a big city, don't worry about it. If it's some other situation, maybe do some feeling out first. Look at how many current associates have clerked. Talk to some associates about their perception of clerking. That can give you an idea of when you should bring it up.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Green Crayons » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:04 pm

Larger firms like clerkships. It isn't something to be ashamed of, and you should let your recruiting coordinators know sooner rather than later because, on balance, it makes you a more attractive candidate.

Further, some practice groups have a "clerkship required" or "strongly preferred" standard. So if you want to be seriously considered for those practice groups, you need to let them know that you're in the running while they can get some face time with you / send you summer projects / see how you mesh with the practice group.


The exception to the rule would be to keep the good news close to your chest.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby rad lulz » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ph14 wrote:
bk1 wrote:As I said in another thread, my suspicion is that since they are willing to pay you 50k to do it, I doubt you really need to tiptoe around the issue.


I'm guessing that this is probably correct. Plus there's really no point springing it on them, as they are going to find out at some point anyways. And a lot of firms look really positively on clerking.


This is true MOST of the time. Most firms will be excited about a summer going for a clerkship. Many firms (I don't even know if it is most) are willing to pay the $50k bonus. You see this mainly in the big five markets (NY, DC, Chicago, LA, SV) and the higher ranked firms. When you get past those markets and firms, bonuses tend to be smaller and firms tend to be more idiosyncratic in their desire for clerks. If you summer at a satellite office in Charlotte or a top firm in Boise, they might not be able to just suck up the deviation from their planned hiring.

My advice is if you have a class of ten or more summers in a big city, don't worry about it. If it's some other situation, maybe do some feeling out first. Look at how many current associates have clerked. Talk to some associates about their perception of clerking. That can give you an idea of when you should bring it up.

This

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:25 pm

bk1 wrote:As I said in another thread, my suspicion is that since they are willing to pay you 50k to do it, I doubt you really need to tiptoe around the issue.

I have heard this 50k figure before. This is DC/NYC only right? And does it apply to district clerkships too or only COA?

Curious since other firms that I have interviewed or summered with put the figure more at 10k per year.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Citizen Genet » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
bk1 wrote:As I said in another thread, my suspicion is that since they are willing to pay you 50k to do it, I doubt you really need to tiptoe around the issue.

I have heard this 50k figure before. This is DC/NYC only right? And does it apply to district clerkships too or only COA?

Curious since other firms that I have interviewed or summered with put the figure more at 10k per year.


Yes. This is mainly for the five biggest markets (NYC/DC/Chicago/LA/SV). Even then, not all go for the full $50k. I think some people go in expecting that any Vault 100 or AmLaw 200 firm will give out a $50k bonus regardless of office. That's just not the case. The largest firms in those top five cities will, but outside of that, it varies significantly. If you're in a large secondary market (Boston, Dallas, Miami, Orange County, Atlanta) you will see a wide range going from no bonus to the full $50k. (I should note that I don't know that there's a $50k paying firm in each of those markets, but I do know there are in some of them - I assume it's the same for the others. And really, it's just to highlight the point that the bonus varies significantly.)

Usually clerkship bonuses apply regardless of District or COA. Bonuses for bankruptcy, state supreme court, and magistrate all occur much less often.

Some firms will only pay for one year. Some pay a smaller bonus for a second year of clerking. Really, it depends.

Key is, don't plan on $50k unless you're going to a market leader in a big market. Outside of that, you'll have to do some groundwork to find out or negotiating after an offer.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:24 pm

Does anyone know the Kirkland D.C. and Gibson D.C. bonus amounts for doing both a federal district court and then a federal COA clerkship? I have heard widely variant speculation.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:02 am

bump. Any speculation? Any knowledge of "peer" firms?

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 19, 2013 8:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:bump. Any speculation? Any knowledge of "peer" firms?

I told someone at my firm that I'm doing a COA clerkship after law school. Not only were they happy for me, they told me in so many words that I'm now a lock for an offer at the end.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 19, 2013 9:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:bump. Any speculation? Any knowledge of "peer" firms?

I told someone at my firm that I'm doing a COA clerkship after law school. Not only were they happy for me, they told me in so many words that I'm now a lock for an offer at the end.


I think he meant knowledge and speculation as to the amount of a clerkship bonus.

For my part, the standard I have heard for most big firms is $50k for either a federal district or CoA clerkship, and $70k for 2 clerkships (either district -> CoA or vice versa). Some firms include some state supreme courts as bonus eligible. Additionally, clerks seem to be generally treated as equal to all other members of their graduating class year in terms of yearly salary raises so that someone who works for a year, then clerks for a year would return at a 3rd year level, and someone who left to do two year long clerkships would return at a 4th year level etc. That all being said I have no idea how 2 year clerkships are treated for any or all of the above.

Again, Disclaimer: this only seems to be the information I've heard repeated or confirmed anecdotally the most. Best solution for curiosity is to really just ask your firm about their specific policy.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous Loser » Sun May 19, 2013 9:39 pm

If you've already accepted the clerkship, what possible advantage is there in waiting to inform the firm? If the firm is unwilling to hold open your offer while you pursue the clerkship, you're already fucked.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Citizen Genet » Sun May 19, 2013 10:08 pm

Anonymous Loser wrote:If you've already accepted the clerkship, what possible advantage is there in waiting to inform the firm? If the firm is unwilling to hold open your offer while you pursue the clerkship, you're already fucked.


Here's the deal. Not all firms are above board about everything they do. (Surprise, surprise.) If they have to no offer someone in a small group, they might do it to the individual with a clerkship, thinking she can land on her feet or that she'll have other options. Is this common? Absolutely not. Can it happen? Yes. What does not telling them get you? It helps you avoid the black mark of a no offer and also gives you more bargaining power since they've already established that they want you.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 20, 2013 9:50 am

Look, given the changes in the Plan dates especially, it's going to be hard to avoid letting your firm know that you either have one or at least are looking for one. Some will ask at the beginning, too, and I wouldn't really recommend lying. But ultimately, if you're lucky, you're interviewing mid-summer this time around. Which means you'll be taking a day off from work.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 20, 2013 3:58 pm

My V10 is specifically going to be holding a session about how to get a clerkship and is installing special billing provisions to work around interviews. So obviously some firms are 100% for you getting a clerkship.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby phillywc » Thu May 23, 2013 1:39 pm

Citizen Genet wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
bk1 wrote:As I said in another thread, my suspicion is that since they are willing to pay you 50k to do it, I doubt you really need to tiptoe around the issue.

I have heard this 50k figure before. This is DC/NYC only right? And does it apply to district clerkships too or only COA?

Curious since other firms that I have interviewed or summered with put the figure more at 10k per year.


Yes. This is mainly for the five biggest markets (NYC/DC/Chicago/LA/SV). Even then, not all go for the full $50k. I think some people go in expecting that any Vault 100 or AmLaw 200 firm will give out a $50k bonus regardless of office. That's just not the case. The largest firms in those top five cities will, but outside of that, it varies significantly. If you're in a large secondary market (Boston, Dallas, Miami, Orange County, Atlanta) you will see a wide range going from no bonus to the full $50k. (I should note that I don't know that there's a $50k paying firm in each of those markets, but I do know there are in some of them - I assume it's the same for the others. And really, it's just to highlight the point that the bonus varies significantly.)

Usually clerkship bonuses apply regardless of District or COA. Bonuses for bankruptcy, state supreme court, and magistrate all occur much less often.

Some firms will only pay for one year. Some pay a smaller bonus for a second year of clerking. Really, it depends.

Key is, don't plan on $50k unless you're going to a market leader in a big market. Outside of that, you'll have to do some groundwork to find out or negotiating after an offer.

Is Philly generally closer to Boston and those cities in terms of bonuses?

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 23, 2013 1:51 pm

Clerking with a USDC as an alum. Going to a firm in my home market post-clerkship. Working for a satellite office of a quasi-national firm (not AmLaw 100, but solidly NLJ 250, with offices all over the country). The market is probably best described as a small secondary or even tertiary one -- think like Seattle or Denver or Minneapolis. They're paying a $10k bonus, with $5k up front and $5k at year-end 2013. They said that it's to cover moving expenses and the fact that I won't be eligible for a merit bonus until year end 2014.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby bruinfan10 » Fri May 24, 2013 1:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:Clerking with a USDC as an alum. Going to a firm in my home market post-clerkship. Working for a satellite office of a quasi-national firm (not AmLaw 100, but solidly NLJ 250, with offices all over the country). The market is probably best described as a small secondary or even tertiary one -- think like Seattle or Denver or Minneapolis. They're paying a $10k bonus, with $5k up front and $5k at year-end 2013. They said that it's to cover moving expenses and the fact that I won't be eligible for a merit bonus until year end 2014.

I'm not sure you know what a secondary market is, if you think Denver and Minneapolis are tertiary. But that's good to know re: bonus amounts.

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Re: Informing Summer Firm about Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 24, 2013 10:06 am

I'm not sure you know what a secondary market is, if you think Denver and Minneapolis are tertiary. But that's good to know re: bonus amounts.


Oh, I just meant that it's not one of the bigger secondary markets (i.e., Boston or Philadelphia or Dallas/Houston or Atlanta) that pays close to NYC/DC/Chicago/California scale. I'm actually coming from one of those big cities pre-clerkship, and I'm probably taking a 30% or so salary hit. Lower cost of living though, and my family is there.




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