What should I do?

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Anonymous User
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What should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 02, 2013 9:16 pm

So I'm a decent employment candidate, but by no means coveted; a bit outside of the top 10% at around a T25 school, with no law review. I have a firm job for after graduation, but it's not a great firm nor is it in an ideal location. I would love to clerk, but again, judges aren't knocking down my door to hire me.

Here's my question: If I were to receive an offer to clerk at the District Court level (at another less than ideal location) and my firm would not approve of me clerking at this late in the game, which option should I choose? Clerking sounds pretty rewarding, but is it really such a great opportunity to risk my employment? Basically, I know that I'm not a top student at a top 10 school, so it's not like I can count on someone always being willing to hire me. The risk adverse part of me says to work and not make waves at my firm. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What should I do?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu May 02, 2013 10:26 pm

Has your firm told you they don't want you to clerk?

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Re: What should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 02, 2013 10:35 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Has your firm told you they don't want you to clerk?


They seemed to sort of begrudgingly supported the idea at the end of last summer. If they felt that way then, I would assume that they would really dislike/hate it now.

wisdom
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Re: What should I do?

Postby wisdom » Thu May 02, 2013 11:53 pm

So you are a 3L and you'd be looking for a district court offer for a year out (in other words, you would try to go work at the firm for a year, and then leave to clerk)? I know some firms don't like that and will basically tell you to figure out something else to do for the year, since they don't want to staff you on cases for such a short time window (realistically you'd be transitioning into the firm for a month or two, and then would be winding down for the last month or so you were there, so you'd be on a case for maybe 8 months). So keep that in mind as an additional consideration against clerking.

This is a tough call. Personally, I would be risk-averse and take the big law job. If you look at the clerk job hunting thread a little bit down the page, you'll see that people who have district court clerkships are scrambling to find work -- it's no guarantee coming out of clerking. Clerking is probably more rewarding work, and better experience, and a better resume line, all in all. But unless you have your current firm's blessing, their agreement to work in the interim year, and an understanding that you can return after the clerkship, I wouldn't do it.

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Re: What should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 03, 2013 10:23 am

wisdom wrote:So you are a 3L and you'd be looking for a district court offer for a year out (in other words, you would try to go work at the firm for a year, and then leave to clerk)? I know some firms don't like that and will basically tell you to figure out something else to do for the year, since they don't want to staff you on cases for such a short time window (realistically you'd be transitioning into the firm for a month or two, and then would be winding down for the last month or so you were there, so you'd be on a case for maybe 8 months). So keep that in mind as an additional consideration against clerking.

This is a tough call. Personally, I would be risk-averse and take the big law job. If you look at the clerk job hunting thread a little bit down the page, you'll see that people who have district court clerkships are scrambling to find work -- it's no guarantee coming out of clerking. Clerking is probably more rewarding work, and better experience, and a better resume line, all in all. But unless you have your current firm's blessing, their agreement to work in the interim year, and an understanding that you can return after the clerkship, I wouldn't do it.


Thanks for the thoughtful advice. In the mean time I saw the clerkship hiring thread too and realized that there is decent danger in taking the clerkship, losing the job, and then be left holding the bag. I think I'll just work for a few years and then try to clerk as a transitional job. I have to believe that I'll be more marketable in a couple years anyway.




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