lax11570 wrote:My game plan is to get one of these clerkships (wherever) and then try to leverage it into another clerkship in a bigger market, like Minneapolis or even Chicago.
That's not the worst idea in the world (I know a few people who have done it), just remember that you will need to start applying for the next clerkship almost immediately after you start the first one.
Anonymous User wrote:Ultimately, what I would really love to do is get in with a boutique Ch11 firm in a midsize market, like Minneapolis. I'd like to go to Chicago or NY too but I just don't think I'm competitive for that.
I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't need to be doing bankruptcy work with Kirkland and Ellis, but I would like to do Chapter 11s with smaller companies (I think it would be pretty rewarding to guide a small business through a successful reorganization.)
That's a smart attitude to have. Despite what many people post, biglaw is not the end all be all of the practice of law. Moreover, I would never suggest that someone who wants to practice bankruptcy law go to K&E (or Weil for that matter). Sure they get the biggest debtor representations, but their associates are just cogs in machine that end up spending all their time on one small aspect of the case. You will develop better skills and become a better attorney if you practice at a less prestigious shop because you will get the opportunity to work on many different aspects of the case. At a boutique, they simply cannot afford to not have you work on every aspect of a matter. Keep in mind that most law firms (boutiques or big firms) are also working on the mega-cases representing creditors (Lehman is the gift that keeps on giving associates billable hours all these years later). Unfortunately, bankruptcy boutiques are a dying breed (at least in NY) because most of them were swallowed up by large firms.
This leads me to my next point. Don't assume that you are out of contention in a big market like NY or Chicago. Bankruptcy is as blue collar as it gets in the practice of law. Most partners did not go to an ivy league law school. Take John Rapisardi who is head O'Melveny's bankruptcy (and formerly of Cadwalader). He went to Pace Law School, yet he also represented the Treasury Department in the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies. Don't sell yourself short, especially if you can demonstrate an interest in bankruptcy.
Finally, have you considered applying to St. John's LL.M. in Bankruptcy program. It is well respected by bankruptcy professionals throughout the country and routinely places graduates into big law, boutiques and S.D.N.Y./D. Del. bankruptcy clerkships.