fed clerkship after first year of law

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MoonDreamer
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fed clerkship after first year of law

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:34 pm

Marketable for fed clerkship after one-year of law firm experience? Is this done?

GertrudePerkins
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Re: fed clerkship after first year of law

Postby GertrudePerkins » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:51 am

MoonDreamer wrote:Marketable for fed clerkship after one-year of law firm experience? Is this done?
This is relatively common. Often the way it happens is that a rising 3L interviews with a judge, but the judge doesn't have an opening for the immediately following term, so the judge makes an offer for a year out. Some firms (maybe most?) are willing to let people come for a year, knowing that they're then heading off to clerk.

MoonDreamer
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Re: fed clerkship after first year of law

Postby MoonDreamer » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:02 am

GertrudePerkins wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:Marketable for fed clerkship after one-year of law firm experience? Is this done?
This is relatively common. Often the way it happens is that a rising 3L interviews with a judge, but the judge doesn't have an opening for the immediately following term, so the judge makes an offer for a year out. Some firms (maybe most?) are willing to let people come for a year, knowing that they're then heading off to clerk.


What if my grades sucked but now I'm at a good firm?

Anonymous User
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Re: fed clerkship after first year of law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:01 am

MoonDreamer wrote:
GertrudePerkins wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:Marketable for fed clerkship after one-year of law firm experience? Is this done?
This is relatively common. Often the way it happens is that a rising 3L interviews with a judge, but the judge doesn't have an opening for the immediately following term, so the judge makes an offer for a year out. Some firms (maybe most?) are willing to let people come for a year, knowing that they're then heading off to clerk.


What if my grades sucked but now I'm at a good firm?


Do good work and after a year or so ask partners if they'd be willing to go to bat for you.

Anonymous User
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Re: fed clerkship after first year of law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:33 am

Derp - Misread OP
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

GertrudePerkins
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Re: fed clerkship after first year of law

Postby GertrudePerkins » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:35 am

MoonDreamer wrote:
GertrudePerkins wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:Marketable for fed clerkship after one-year of law firm experience? Is this done?
This is relatively common. Often the way it happens is that a rising 3L interviews with a judge, but the judge doesn't have an opening for the immediately following term, so the judge makes an offer for a year out. Some firms (maybe most?) are willing to let people come for a year, knowing that they're then heading off to clerk.


What if my grades sucked but now I'm at a good firm?
I don't think being at a good firm* is in itself especially helpful for getting a clerkship. There are way more associates at good firms than there are slots for federal clerkships, so judges inevitably have to look at other factors, grades obviously being one of (if not the) biggest. I suppose at some point impressive on-the-job experience will significantly counteract bad grades, but that point is likely not a single year. Also, note that the hiring timeline for federal clerkships is roughly a year in advance; i.e., the hypothetical average judge will fill slots for the term starting summer 2015 in the summer of 2014. So you won't have actually worked for your firm yet (or at least not for long) at the time you apply. Not that judges won't consider the fact that by the time you arrive in chambers you'll have had a year of experience, but I don't know how much it can do to overcome grades.

Edited to Add: OP, I see now from your other posts that you are already a year into working at a firm, so obviously some of what I said doesn't apply to your situation. I still think it's generally true, though, that it would take significantly impressive work at the firm to overcome crappy grades, especially if not from an impressive school. Just not clear why a federal judge is going to take the risk when there are so many candidates from great schools with good to great grades. (Consider the fact that these days even having pretty good grades from, say, HLS, is no guarantor of a federal clerkship.)

* -- I guess it's possible you and I have a different definition of "good firm." I take that to mean something like V100. If that's what you mean, then I stand by what I said above. Maybe (and I emphasize that this is rampant speculation) you would stand out if you were going to work for someone like W&C, Susman Godfrey, Kellogg Huber, etc. But then you just have a chicken-and-egg problem, because I'm pretty sure it's somewhere between hard and impossible to get jobs with those firms without a federal clerkship.

MoonDreamer
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Re: fed clerkship after first year of law

Postby MoonDreamer » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:08 am

GertrudePerkins wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:
GertrudePerkins wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:Marketable for fed clerkship after one-year of law firm experience? Is this done?
This is relatively common. Often the way it happens is that a rising 3L interviews with a judge, but the judge doesn't have an opening for the immediately following term, so the judge makes an offer for a year out. Some firms (maybe most?) are willing to let people come for a year, knowing that they're then heading off to clerk.


What if my grades sucked but now I'm at a good firm?
I don't think being at a good firm* is in itself especially helpful for getting a clerkship. There are way more associates at good firms than there are slots for federal clerkships, so judges inevitably have to look at other factors, grades obviously being one of (if not the) biggest. I suppose at some point impressive on-the-job experience will significantly counteract bad grades, but that point is likely not a single year. Also, note that the hiring timeline for federal clerkships is roughly a year in advance; i.e., the hypothetical average judge will fill slots for the term starting summer 2015 in the summer of 2014. So you won't have actually worked for your firm yet (or at least not for long) at the time you apply. Not that judges won't consider the fact that by the time you arrive in chambers you'll have had a year of experience, but I don't know how much it can do to overcome grades.

Edited to Add: OP, I see now from your other posts that you are already a year into working at a firm, so obviously some of what I said doesn't apply to your situation. I still think it's generally true, though, that it would take significantly impressive work at the firm to overcome crappy grades, especially if not from an impressive school. Just not clear why a federal judge is going to take the risk when there are so many candidates from great schools with good to great grades. (Consider the fact that these days even having pretty good grades from, say, HLS, is no guarantor of a federal clerkship.)

* -- I guess it's possible you and I have a different definition of "good firm." I take that to mean something like V100. If that's what you mean, then I stand by what I said above. Maybe (and I emphasize that this is rampant speculation) you would stand out if you were going to work for someone like W&C, Susman Godfrey, Kellogg Huber, etc. But then you just have a chicken-and-egg problem, because I'm pretty sure it's somewhere between hard and impossible to get jobs with those firms without a federal clerkship.


This is good advice. I am just looking for strategies to enhance my lateral options and compensate for my crappy LS performance. Ppl are saying that GPA will matter at the lateral stage and that freaks me out.

ClerkAdvisor
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Re: fed clerkship after first year of law

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:49 pm

MoonDreamer wrote:This is good advice. I am just looking for strategies to enhance my lateral options and compensate for my crappy LS performance. Ppl are saying that GPA will matter at the lateral stage and that freaks me out.


Honestly, an AIII clerkship is probably a substantial longshot and possibly not a good idea. The only way clerking would be helpful for you is if you have an offer to return to your firm. The clerks who I have seen struggle with the post-clerkship job search tend to be those who had weaker grades or didn't have an offer to return to their firm.

Moreover, the best thing for you to do to improve your lateral chances is to develop expertise. For example, an ERISA expert with crappy grades is going to have a far easier time than a general litigator, because the ERISA expert has a relatively unique skill set.

In summary, I would work on developing expertise at your firm and would focus less on trying to clerk if your main concern is your future ability to lateral.

MoonDreamer
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Re: fed clerkship after first year of law

Postby MoonDreamer » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:58 pm

ClerkAdvisor wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:This is good advice. I am just looking for strategies to enhance my lateral options and compensate for my crappy LS performance. Ppl are saying that GPA will matter at the lateral stage and that freaks me out.


Honestly, an AIII clerkship is probably a substantial longshot and possibly not a good idea. The only way clerking would be helpful for you is if you have an offer to return to your firm. The clerks who I have seen struggle with the post-clerkship job search tend to be those who had weaker grades or didn't have an offer to return to their firm.

Moreover, the best thing for you to do to improve your lateral chances is to develop expertise. For example, an ERISA expert with crappy grades is going to have a far easier time than a general litigator, because the ERISA expert has a relatively unique skill set.

In summary, I would work on developing expertise at your firm and would focus less on trying to clerk if your main concern is your future ability to lateral.


Is employment law an expertise or is that too broad?

ClerkAdvisor
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:38 pm

Re: fed clerkship after first year of law

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:01 am

MoonDreamer wrote:
ClerkAdvisor wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:This is good advice. I am just looking for strategies to enhance my lateral options and compensate for my crappy LS performance. Ppl are saying that GPA will matter at the lateral stage and that freaks me out.


Honestly, an AIII clerkship is probably a substantial longshot and possibly not a good idea. The only way clerking would be helpful for you is if you have an offer to return to your firm. The clerks who I have seen struggle with the post-clerkship job search tend to be those who had weaker grades or didn't have an offer to return to their firm.

Moreover, the best thing for you to do to improve your lateral chances is to develop expertise. For example, an ERISA expert with crappy grades is going to have a far easier time than a general litigator, because the ERISA expert has a relatively unique skill set.

In summary, I would work on developing expertise at your firm and would focus less on trying to clerk if your main concern is your future ability to lateral.


Is employment law an expertise or is that too broad?


Employment law is a bit broad -- that encompasses everything from individual Title VII suits to ERISA.

MoonDreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Re: fed clerkship after first year of law

Postby MoonDreamer » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:04 am

ClerkAdvisor wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:
ClerkAdvisor wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:This is good advice. I am just looking for strategies to enhance my lateral options and compensate for my crappy LS performance. Ppl are saying that GPA will matter at the lateral stage and that freaks me out.


Honestly, an AIII clerkship is probably a substantial longshot and possibly not a good idea. The only way clerking would be helpful for you is if you have an offer to return to your firm. The clerks who I have seen struggle with the post-clerkship job search tend to be those who had weaker grades or didn't have an offer to return to their firm.

Moreover, the best thing for you to do to improve your lateral chances is to develop expertise. For example, an ERISA expert with crappy grades is going to have a far easier time than a general litigator, because the ERISA expert has a relatively unique skill set.

In summary, I would work on developing expertise at your firm and would focus less on trying to clerk if your main concern is your future ability to lateral.


Is employment law an expertise or is that too broad?


Employment law is a bit broad -- that encompasses everything from individual Title VII suits to ERISA.


employment law is more like Title VII stuff...ERISA is employee benefits (which by the way im sure is incredibly boring).

Anonymous User
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Re: fed clerkship after first year of law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:26 am

MoonDreamer wrote:
ClerkAdvisor wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:
ClerkAdvisor wrote:
Honestly, an AIII clerkship is probably a substantial longshot and possibly not a good idea. The only way clerking would be helpful for you is if you have an offer to return to your firm. The clerks who I have seen struggle with the post-clerkship job search tend to be those who had weaker grades or didn't have an offer to return to their firm.

Moreover, the best thing for you to do to improve your lateral chances is to develop expertise. For example, an ERISA expert with crappy grades is going to have a far easier time than a general litigator, because the ERISA expert has a relatively unique skill set.

In summary, I would work on developing expertise at your firm and would focus less on trying to clerk if your main concern is your future ability to lateral.


Is employment law an expertise or is that too broad?


Employment law is a bit broad -- that encompasses everything from individual Title VII suits to ERISA.


employment law is more like Title VII stuff...ERISA is employee benefits (which by the way im sure is incredibly boring).


You'd be surprised how interesting ERISA is. And it is not just employee benefits. That is one component, but lots of it deals with corporate and securities law as well. Also, depends on if you are doing ERISA transactional reg work or litigation.

Oh and ERISA is definitely lumped under employment law.

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Wholigan
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Re: fed clerkship after first year of law

Postby Wholigan » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:11 am

You said in your other thread you were bottom third at a T3, right? If that's accurate, I don't know if clerkships are worth exploring at this point as the way to improve your lateral options. There are a lot of associates with a year or two of experience with good academic credentials who apply for federal clerkships, so I think it would be difficult to get your app out of the pile. If the main idea is that it's part of a plan to get to a different firm, what others suggested about getting experience at your current firm in a marketable practice area is probably the better way to go.




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