Year Gap Between Graduation & Clerkship

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Year Gap Between Graduation & Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:27 pm

I wanted to see if I could find any helpful input from the members of this forum on this matter involving a clerkship.

Just recently, I was asked to interview for a bankruptcy clerkship. Due to my prior experience, I believe that I may have a fairly decent chance at the position. However, the position has a term starting in 2014 and ending in 2016, and I have just graduated this May. I am concerned with the fact that if I were to get a clerkship that I would have a problem filling the gap between now and 2014 with legal employment. Even so, I do not want to pass up a chance at a federal level clerkship because of the prestige it brings and the wealth of opportunities that will be available after its completion.

Does anyone have any advice for what options I may have for the time in between? I hear that some law firms will hire new lawyers knowing that they are committed to a future clerkship. Is this true?

Thanks for the help.

lolwat
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Re: Year Gap Between Graduation & Clerkship

Postby lolwat » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:33 pm

I did this -- the gap year thing.

You're going to have a hard time finding a firm that will hire a lawyer knowing they are going to leave in a year for a clerkship. Also unfortunately most 1-year positions would have taken applications before--fellowships and the like.

I think firms that hire temporarily exist though, so I'd definitely look into it. Maybe even just a staff/temporary associate position. I interviewed with a firm that occasionally hires people for temporary help--got a callback and everything, just never heard from them after that. I'd also ask the judge--if you're hired--about possibilities. Sometimes they'll know people and can potentially help set you up with something.

Personally, my advice is that if you don't already have something lined up, take the clerkship if you're offered it, so that you have guaranteed employment from 2014-16, and THEN worry about what you're going to do in the meantime. It's better than turning down the clerkship and then being worried about what you're going to do--not only in the meantime but for the foreseeable future.

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Re: Year Gap Between Graduation & Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:51 pm

lolwat wrote:I did this -- the gap year thing.

You're going to have a hard time finding a firm that will hire a lawyer knowing they are going to leave in a year for a clerkship. Also unfortunately most 1-year positions would have taken applications before--fellowships and the like.

I think firms that hire temporarily exist though, so I'd definitely look into it. Maybe even just a staff/temporary associate position. I interviewed with a firm that occasionally hires people for temporary help--got a callback and everything, just never heard from them after that. I'd also ask the judge--if you're hired--about possibilities. Sometimes they'll know people and can potentially help set you up with something.

Personally, my advice is that if you don't already have something lined up, take the clerkship if you're offered it, so that you have guaranteed employment from 2014-16, and THEN worry about what you're going to do in the meantime. It's better than turning down the clerkship and then being worried about what you're going to do--not only in the meantime but for the foreseeable future.


OK. This is reassuring. I have been doing some research, and I suppose that this is more common than what I had initially thought. I see that many biglaw firms actually promote clerkships and allow their lawyers take absences for clerkships if they are hired by a judge. I guess I should continue to pursue the clerkship, and if I were to get the position, I could continue apply to other firms explaining that I have a planned clerkship in a year.

Additionally, it seems the benefits of the clerkship in the long run would outweigh any inconveniences that I may encounter finding jobs for the upcoming year. I was completely unaware that some firms award bonuses upon hiring for lawyers that have clerked for federal judges along with the vast array of jobs that become available because of clerkship experience. Moreover, I would estimate that some firms may view this as a "plus" on my resume since it is a prestigious position. Maybe it would be possible to get a temporary position at a firm with the hopes of getting more permanent employment following my clerkship?

Either way, I do not have any other job options lined up now. As such, clerkship seems like the way to go, but I guess this isn't something worth worrying about right now since I am only interviewing. Nevertheless, I thought it was worth pondering the options.

Myself
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Postby Myself » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:17 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

lolwat
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Re: Year Gap Between Graduation & Clerkship

Postby lolwat » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:31 pm

Hm. I would keep in mind that it's a bankruptcy clerkship, so the prestige factor is likely limited more towards firms with a large bankruptcy practice and the like. I am not sure how firms view it for general hiring purposes. Everything else you mentioned is basically correct, though.

And ajax adonis's advice is pretty solid. I didn't do research but one of my profs did hook me up with something to do for a short time.

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Re: Year Gap Between Graduation & Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:52 pm

lolwat wrote:Hm. I would keep in mind that it's a bankruptcy clerkship, so the prestige factor is likely limited more towards firms with a large bankruptcy practice and the like. I am not sure how firms view it for general hiring purposes. Everything else you mentioned is basically correct, though.

And ajax adonis's advice is pretty solid. I didn't do research but one of my profs did hook me up with something to do for a short time.


I Google'd the judge's name along with the search term "clerk." It looks like the clerks are employed at fairly prestigious bankruptcy firms in the area. For reference, I have bankruptcy experience and enjoy this area of the law, and an opportunity for a bankruptcy related job following the clerkship would be phenomenal.

Myself
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Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:36 pm

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Postby Myself » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:01 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Year Gap Between Graduation & Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:02 pm

Current bankruptcy law clerk here. Can you give me an idea of the district? Are we talking SDNY or DE? TX or FL or MI?

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Re: Year Gap Between Graduation & Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:04 pm

You have bk experience, like bk and want to do bk. Paper every bk firm in town and tell them exactly what your situation is. If there are former clerks of your judge at the firm, send the letter to them directly and ask to meet if possible to discuss your options. Most are likely to meet with you, even to tell you things are tough.

You never know what will work unless you try it.




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