How/When to tell my firm I will be leaving to clerk?

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Anonymous User
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How/When to tell my firm I will be leaving to clerk?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:17 pm

I am a current 3L and will be starting at a V20 firm in a major market in the fall. I also just accepted a federal district clerkship in the same city as my firm to start in the fall of 2014. How/when should I tell my firm that I will be leaving to clerk? I would like to maintain a good relationship with my firm in case I want to go back but also don't want to be a lame duck for the year before my clerkship. Anybody have experience with this?

Thanks!

Anonymous User
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Re: How/When to tell my firm I will be leaving to clerk?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:27 pm

Others may disagree, but I say tell the firm now unless you have reason to think it will look unfavorably on leaving to clerk. Somehow hearing about your clerkship second-hand would make the situation far more awkward than it would be otherwise.

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Borg
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Re: How/When to tell my firm I will be leaving to clerk?

Postby Borg » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:30 pm

Options:

A) Write it on their Facebook wall
B) Don't tell them and just don't show up at the office in 2014
C) Give them notice of it now by calling recruiting like a normal professional attorney

Up to you.

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Re: How/When to tell my firm I will be leaving to clerk?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:49 pm

Trust me, your firm will not treat you any different for the year you're there just because they know you're leaving for a clerkship. That sort of thing is par for the course, the firm will almost certainly welcome you back with arms wide open. If anything, withholding that information from them for a long period of time might make things awkward when you finally do tell them, as they might wonder why you didn't disclose earlier. As a junior, you won't be working on matters that necessarily carry over longer than a year (which is to say, your discrete tasks are fairly short, even if you're on the same case for a while). When I started with my firm, they knew I was leaving for a clerkship before my first year was up. My assignments were no different from other juniors in my class except for the last few weeks or so (at which point I kicked up my feet and didn't give two hoots about my hours).

theaccidentalclerk
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Re: How/When to tell my firm I will be leaving to clerk?

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:54 am

Keep in mind that while at the firm, you will be working with, well, lawyers. They know that clerkships hire a year or more in advance. If you don't tell them that you have a clerkship in the next few months, they'll know to a 95% certainty that you kept that information from them. And while a clerkship won't make them mad (probably the opposite!), withholding information that you'll be out for a year or two will.

Bottom line: Tell them ASAP. You might even couch it as "I just wanted to make sure it was OK with you," but that's a little risky, because there is a slight chance that they might say it isn't, in which case you are kind of screwed. But if it's a V20, that's unlikely (because the only reason they would say it isn't is if they really need a body for some reason, and a firm that size probably wouldn't be in that predicament).

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: How/When to tell my firm I will be leaving to clerk?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:18 pm

If your firm thinks clerking is a bad idea, why would you worry about burning bridges (although you can hardly call this "burning bridges") with them (since you would likely have to seek employment with another firm anyway)? Alternatively, if they don't think it's a bad idea, they would probably be happy for you if you told them. Either way, you should just tell them.




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