Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

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Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:22 pm

I briefly searched this topic to see if it has been discussed already (I'm sure it has), but then I realized I'm not even sure what I am trying to ask yet, and I need some guidance from you guys.

I am a c/o 2015 2L who just accepted a biglaw offer for next summer. However, this firm's particular office doesn't have a great offer rate, and due to the office largely doing IP work and me heading into their tiny corporate department, I think my chances of getting no-offered might be even higher. (Obviously I'm going to work as hard as possible, not be a douchebag, and do everything I can to get an offer).

Would it make sense for me to try to apply for a clerkship in order to insulate myself from the chance I do get no-offered? And would it be possible to get no offered -> do clerkship -> then go back to biglaw post-clerkship? Also - say I do find a clerkship position but also get an offer (not sure how the timelines work/which offer I would receive first), what are the considerations that counsel in favor of choosing each option?

FWIW, I'm not assuming getting a clerkship would be easy at all. I'm median at a lower T14, secondary journal, so I presume getting a clerkship would be very challenging - I am just trying to find out whether it would even be worth taking on this challenge.

Sorry if my questions are basic and if I seem paranoid about getting no-offered - I'm just trying to be proactive and protect myself from a worst-case scenario.

Thanks!

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bk1
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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby bk1 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:00 pm

If you think there's a decent chance you may get no offered then pursuing a clerkship may help you hedge your bets (heck even if your chance of getting no offered is low, hedging with a clerkship might still be worthwhile considering how devastating a no offer is). A no offer would likely still haunt you even with a clerkship, but you would have a decent shot of getting back to biglaw, though of course it wouldn't be guaranteed. That said, while clerking may get you back to biglaw, it wouldn't necessarily get you back to corporate biglaw.

Is it worth doing? You may as well. It's not like there's a bunch of other stuff that will help your post-grad employment prospects that you could be doing with your time as a 2L (though you could also spend time networking). Of course having median grades means that your odds aren't great and there is a high chance that you spend a lot of time and get nothing out of it. Not that people at median haven't gotten clerkships because that has definitely happened.

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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby lolwat » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:02 pm

1. Sure it makes sense.
2. Yes you can get no offered, do clerkship then go to another firm. Shopping around / trading up during a clerkship is common even if you do get an offer from the firm.
3. You'll likely get your clerkship first, which basically means you will accept it, talk to your firm to determine their policy on clerkships, go do the clerkship and go back to the firm (or look for another firm in the meantime if you want).

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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:04 pm

Can't you also apply as a 3L if you are no offered. That way, you can focus on class and get that GPA to top 1/4 or something.

Accidental anon... pokemon.

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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby lolwat » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can't you also apply as a 3L if you are no offered. That way, you can focus on class and get that GPA to top 1/4 or something.

Accidental anon... pokemon.


Used to be able to with the September hiring plan, but not anymore with the June one. Most interviews are probably going to happen during the summer, so you can't wait until you see if you have a permament offer before applying to clerkship (if you want any reasonable shot at a clerkship anyway).
Last edited by lolwat on Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby bk1 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:11 pm

lolwat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can't you also apply as a 3L if you are no offered. That way, you can focus on class and get that GPA to top 1/4 or something.

Accidental anon... pokemon.


Used to be able to with the September hiring plan, but not anymore with the June one. Most interviews are probably going to happen during the summer.

This. If you waited to 3L you would mostly be applying to clerkships that started the year after graduation.

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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:18 pm

OP here. Thanks much for the quick and helpful replies!

My dumbest question yet: Which "cycle" would I be applying in, and when do the applications open? If there is a particular thread I should read, please let me know. This subforum is all Greek to me right now.

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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby bk1 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks much for the quick and helpful replies!

My dumbest question yet: Which "cycle" would I be applying in, and when do the applications open? If there is a particular thread I should read, please let me know. This subforum is all Greek to me right now.

You should apply for the term that starts after graduation (if you applied for the term starting 1 year after graduation you would have to find something to fill that year if you got no offered, but if you do get no offered then it may be worth it to apply for the term that starts 1 year after graduation). So if you are currently a 2L that would the 2015-16 term. Most judges will start reviewing apps from 2Ls during the spring of 2L. They don't technically "open" since a majority of judges don't follow the Plan and just decide to start interviewing when they feel like it. For judges that are on the Plan, applications go live to judges on the Plan date (which this year was late June but it could be earlier or later next year). Some judges will review 2L applications during 2L fall but they are few in number and incredibly selective.

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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:31 pm

bk1 wrote:You should apply for the term that starts after graduation (if you applied for the term starting 1 year after graduation you would have to find something to fill that year if you got no offered, but if you do get no offered then it may be worth it to apply for the term that starts 1 year after graduation). So if you are currently a 2L that would the 2015-16 term. Most judges will start reviewing apps from 2Ls during the spring of 2L. They don't technically "open" since a majority of judges don't follow the Plan and just decide to start interviewing when they feel like it. For judges that are on the Plan, applications go live to judges on the Plan date (which this year was late June but it could be earlier or later next year). Some judges will review 2L applications during 2L fall but they are few in number and incredibly selective.


Truly appreciated.
So I should at least be able to bolster my GPA with my Fall grades for non-Plan judges that review in the spring, and will be able to bolster my GPA with Fall + Spring grades for Plan judges (assuming the Plan date is in June again)?
With my SA lined up, I'm pretty much just focused on raising my GPA this year anyway.

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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby bk1 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:Truly appreciated.
So I should at least be able to bolster my GPA with my Fall grades for non-Plan judges that review in the spring, and will be able to bolster my GPA with Fall + Spring grades for Plan judges (assuming the Plan date is in June again)?
With my SA lined up, I'm pretty much just focused on raising my GPA this year anyway.

Yes, you will be able to have your fall grades boost your apps with most judges and your spring grades boost your apps with a decent number of judges. Getting good recommenders is important as well.

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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby ph14 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:51 am

It's a smart idea. I agree with the posters that suggest you focus hard on classes this semester and apply after fall grades. Only a minority of judges start to hire in the fall, and even those that do don't always fill up before the spring.

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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:08 am

Based on my experience, a clerkship can cover a multitude of sins, especially an Article III one. It not only looks great, but it gives you more time to apply for permanent jobs and some breathing room. I didn't even have a 2L SA, but I got a clerkship and hustled after getting one, and now I also have a job lined up after I finish my clerkship.

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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Based on my experience, a clerkship can cover a multitude of sins, especially an Article III one. It not only looks great, but it gives you more time to apply for permanent jobs and some breathing room. I didn't even have a 2L SA, but I got a clerkship and hustled after getting one, and now I also have a job lined up after I finish my clerkship.


How about a SSC or a SCOA?

Assuming of course that you want to practice in the same state where you clerk with those courts.

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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Based on my experience, a clerkship can cover a multitude of sins, especially an Article III one. It not only looks great, but it gives you more time to apply for permanent jobs and some breathing room. I didn't even have a 2L SA, but I got a clerkship and hustled after getting one, and now I also have a job lined up after I finish my clerkship.


How about a SSC or a SCOA?

Assuming of course that you want to practice in the same state where you clerk with those courts.


Sure. Why wouldn't it? I know several attorneys that clerks for state trial and appellate judges who later went on to work in government agencies and law firms around the area. If the state judge is well-connected and has a good reputation, it can be especially helpful.

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Re: Clerking as a safety net for 2L SA no-offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:02 am

ph14 wrote:It's a smart idea. I agree with the posters that suggest you focus hard on classes this semester and apply after fall grades. Only a minority of judges start to hire in the fall, and even those that do don't always fill up before the spring.

Competely agree. Just finished this process for the 2014 term. Apply late January / early Feb for the 2015-16 term.




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