Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:BK clerk here. With filings down, I think I'm going to broaden my job search to include general commercial litigation as well. Does anyone have any tips on how to craft a cover letter that express interest in both bankruptcy specifically but also commercial litigation without sounding like "omg just give me a job in anything"?


I'm a district court clerk with a lot of bankruptcy experience (2L SA doing BK, comment on BK, etc). I think the way to go is emphasize that you enjoyed adversary proceedings and the litigation-flavored aspects of the bankruptcy process. If you're willing to expand to corporate, feel free to make one that goes the other way (reorg and contract analysis or whatever).

If you're in one of the 11 filing districts, you could even work in a financial regulation angle. As you're very aware, BK is kinda a hybrid of litigation and corporate work, so just relate whatever the job posting is to something that happens during BK. Bonus points if you can point to a particular piece of litigation. For example, I worked on a Ponzi scheme case that involved fraudulent securities, and I always highlight that case when I apply to jobs that are financial regulation or white collar positions. Even though it's not directly applicable, it's still something.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:36 am

Received email rejection from Gibson Dunn (DC) today. Trying not to get dispirited, but this is all I've heard from a slew of applications submitted in January. Somehow I thought this would get easier once I became a top 10% HYS grad and a 2/9/DC clerk.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby seizmaar » Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:39 am

mass mailing sucks dick in that regards, but it's worth it. I would say re-spam anyone you didn't hear from, and maybe try to find partners/associates with backgrounds similar to yours. i always started with the hiring contact person, and if i didn't hear something positive back, i hunted for partners who were veterans or went to my undergrad and law school. you'd be surprised how receptive many of them will be.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:33 am

seizmaar wrote:mass mailing sucks dick in that regards, but it's worth it. I would say re-spam anyone you didn't hear from, and maybe try to find partners/associates with backgrounds similar to yours. i always started with the hiring contact person, and if i didn't hear something positive back, i hunted for partners who were veterans or went to my undergrad and law school. you'd be surprised how receptive many of them will be.


Thanks for the encouragement. So when you just email random partners, whose only connection with you is that they went to the same law school, it works? I guess I'd be worried about annoying a busy person, but if you say it works, maybe it is worth a try. I've been trying to work connections through my judge, but he's been a judge for a long time, and before that he was in government, so his connections to the law firm world are somewhat limited.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby RSG » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:54 am

Reaching out to alumni is a great idea, but you can do one better. I took an approach that many had suggested in similiar threads, and it has worked so far. Find someone at a target firm with a similar background - ideally, from your law school, however, it can be anything from hometown, to undergrad, to proclaimed interest in college basketball. Send them a kind, professional e-mail in which you, "having seen all the success they have had with [insert similar background trait]," want to get their ADVICE. <-This is key. Ask for help, you might get it 2 times out of 10. Ask for advice, you'll get help 8 times out of 10.

And when I say ask for advice, I mean ask them to meet for coffee, lunch etc. Or if you are in a different area from your target location, a phone call. It's not bad - people are interesting, and if you want to litigate, you need to learn how to network. That person is more likely to pass your resume along to a hiring partner once they can put a face or story with it.

This has worked for me. Too many firms with stacks of resumes for mass-mailing to work. Set yourself apart.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:09 am

RSG wrote:Reaching out to alumni is a great idea, but you can do one better. I took an approach that many had suggested in similiar threads, and it has worked so far. Find someone at a target firm with a similar background - ideally, from your law school, however, it can be anything from hometown, to undergrad, to proclaimed interest in college basketball. Send them a kind, professional e-mail in which you, "having seen all the success they have had with [insert similar background trait]," want to get their ADVICE. <-This is key. Ask for help, you might get it 2 times out of 10. Ask for advice, you'll get help 8 times out of 10.

And when I say ask for advice, I mean ask them to meet for coffee, lunch etc. Or if you are in a different area from your target location, a phone call. It's not bad - people are interesting, and if you want to litigate, you need to learn how to network. That person is more likely to pass your resume along to a hiring partner once they can put a face or story with it.

This has worked for me. Too many firms with stacks of resumes for mass-mailing to work. Set yourself apart.


Dispirited Gibson Dunn rejectee here again. Thanks. Do you say what you want advice on? Advice on getting hired by their firm? Advice on becoming a litigator in X city? (I guess the "exploiting the shared background trait" thing makes sense. So much of the recruitment mail I get includes a list of attorneys at the firm who clerked on the same court as me, so I guess if they can do it to recruit me, it makes sense for me to do it to try to get their attention.)

Apologies for clogging this message board with these questions, but I'd imagine others have them too, so this might be helpful to more than just me. I'm just so awful at networking--it is a wonder I've gotten as far as I have.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby RSG » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
RSG wrote:Reaching out to alumni is a great idea, but you can do one better. I took an approach that many had suggested in similiar threads, and it has worked so far. Find someone at a target firm with a similar background - ideally, from your law school, however, it can be anything from hometown, to undergrad, to proclaimed interest in college basketball. Send them a kind, professional e-mail in which you, "having seen all the success they have had with [insert similar background trait]," want to get their ADVICE. <-This is key. Ask for help, you might get it 2 times out of 10. Ask for advice, you'll get help 8 times out of 10.

And when I say ask for advice, I mean ask them to meet for coffee, lunch etc. Or if you are in a different area from your target location, a phone call. It's not bad - people are interesting, and if you want to litigate, you need to learn how to network. That person is more likely to pass your resume along to a hiring partner once they can put a face or story with it.

This has worked for me. Too many firms with stacks of resumes for mass-mailing to work. Set yourself apart.


Dispirited Gibson Dunn rejectee here again. Thanks. Do you say what you want advice on? Advice on getting hired by their firm? Advice on becoming a litigator in X city? (I guess the "exploiting the shared background trait" thing makes sense. So much of the recruitment mail I get includes a list of attorneys at the firm who clerked on the same court as me, so I guess if they can do it to recruit me, it makes sense for me to do it to try to get their attention.)

Apologies for clogging this message board with these questions, but I'd imagine others have them too, so this might be helpful to more than just me. I'm just so awful at networking--it is a wonder I've gotten as far as I have.


Advice like this: I would like to hear your story, how you have come to find success, and what you think my next steps (in becoming a litigator, etc.) should be.

Disclaimer: Do not be surprised when some of the conversations immediately turn to them saying, without actually saying, "Let's cut the BS - you want a job, I'll pass your resume along." Yet, you should take a take (or fake) a serious interest in their career if you want the conversation to be fruitful. Attorneys like to talk about themselves.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby seizmaar » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:11 pm

i agree with RSG--they like feeling like they're helping a kindred soul and you are boosting their ego by reminding them how successful they are. it's a winner. regarding bothering busy partners, there's just no down side. if they're really bust, they'll delete your email. but i found many who took the time to email back and forth or even have phone conversations with. a lot of them will just refer you to the hiring contact, but even then, you have their imprimatur to differentiate your resume from the stack. just go out there and don't give a fuck about wasting people's time until they're paying you a goddamn salary, bro. good luck.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:40 pm

seizmaar wrote:i agree with RSG--they like feeling like they're helping a kindred soul and you are boosting their ego by reminding them how successful they are. it's a winner. regarding bothering busy partners, there's just no down side. if they're really bust, they'll delete your email. but i found many who took the time to email back and forth or even have phone conversations with. a lot of them will just refer you to the hiring contact, but even then, you have their imprimatur to differentiate your resume from the stack. just go out there and don't give a fuck about wasting people's time until they're paying you a goddamn salary, bro. good luck.


Thanks. I guess I'll confront my fears and contact the one partner who seems most like me--same law school, clerkship at the same court--and who seems to have had a pretty interesting career.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
RSG wrote:Reaching out to alumni is a great idea, but you can do one better. I took an approach that many had suggested in similiar threads, and it has worked so far. Find someone at a target firm with a similar background - ideally, from your law school, however, it can be anything from hometown, to undergrad, to proclaimed interest in college basketball. Send them a kind, professional e-mail in which you, "having seen all the success they have had with [insert similar background trait]," want to get their ADVICE. <-This is key. Ask for help, you might get it 2 times out of 10. Ask for advice, you'll get help 8 times out of 10.

And when I say ask for advice, I mean ask them to meet for coffee, lunch etc. Or if you are in a different area from your target location, a phone call. It's not bad - people are interesting, and if you want to litigate, you need to learn how to network. That person is more likely to pass your resume along to a hiring partner once they can put a face or story with it.

This has worked for me. Too many firms with stacks of resumes for mass-mailing to work. Set yourself apart.


Dispirited Gibson Dunn rejectee here again. Thanks. Do you say what you want advice on? Advice on getting hired by their firm? Advice on becoming a litigator in X city? (I guess the "exploiting the shared background trait" thing makes sense. So much of the recruitment mail I get includes a list of attorneys at the firm who clerked on the same court as me, so I guess if they can do it to recruit me, it makes sense for me to do it to try to get their attention.)

Apologies for clogging this message board with these questions, but I'd imagine others have them too, so this might be helpful to more than just me. I'm just so awful at networking--it is a wonder I've gotten as far as I have.


100% agree with previous poster. I've done the same thing and gotten very good response rates. I usually send off an email saying that I'm interested in the firm's structure/place in the market (I like boutiques, so lots of boutique founders take great pride in talking about how they got to where they are in the market), their practice area (with specifics and try to mention a case that I've worked on in the same area), or their career path (if they bounced around firms or switched between government and firms).

I'd say I get a response 90% of the time. Most lead to meetings, probably 30% lead to multiple meetings, and 25% lead to a referral with another attorney or an interview.

The big thing I'd say is don't be scared to reach out to partners. They can do way more for you, have a more developed career arc, and tend to share more valuable information.

edit: So here's what I'm sitting on right now:
1. scheduled interview with a solid lit boutique
2. potential interview with Amlaw 100 firm
3. working on scheduling an interview for an inhouse position (I know, weird but sounds like a really cool opportunity)
4. potential interview with a lit boutique that I interviewed with last year.

I started sending out apps in earnest about 3 weeks ago. Gonna keep setting up info interviews and pounding pavement. Seems like the litigation market in my district is sloowwwwww, so I'm gonna see how it looks in a month and possibly expand to transactional positions.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:42 pm

Has anyone heard from Keker or Munger-SF for Fall 2015 hiring yet?

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:34 pm

As far as applying to law firms, what's the best approach to take? Just finding the hiring contact on the website and sending them your resume and cover letter?

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone heard from Keker or Munger-SF for Fall 2015 hiring yet?


I have not heard anything from either.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:09 am

So I've poked around a little bit about post-clerkship Big Law options and see that it actually seems a little dire in terms of getting interviews. But assuming one does get interviews, does anyone have any idea about how often they end in offers (in DC, to the extent that it matters)? Thanks!

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:23 am

Has anyone interviewed with and heard back from Williams & Connolly? I interviewed at the end of January and still haven't heard. Assuming it is a ding at this point.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone interviewed with and heard back from Williams & Connolly? I interviewed at the end of January and still haven't heard. Assuming it is a ding at this point.


I interviewed much more recently and haven't heard, but it sort of sounded like they planned to interview all the clerks they'll interview before making the decision so I wouldn't rule it out. I'd be curious to know if you've interviewed elsewhere in DC and how that's been going!

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:12 pm

I'd be curious to know if you've interviewed elsewhere in DC and how that's been going!


Actually, I didn't apply anywhere else. I have an offer to return to the firm I worked at for a year before my clerkship and I see no way to distinguish it from all of the other similarly large and similarly leveraged firms so I figured I'd just go back there for the sake of continuity. W & C, being smaller and less leveraged, appealed to me enough that I would consider switching firms, so I applied. But that was it.

How about you?

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I'd be curious to know if you've interviewed elsewhere in DC and how that's been going!


Actually, I didn't apply anywhere else. I have an offer to return to the firm I worked at for a year before my clerkship and I see no way to distinguish it from all of the other similarly large and similarly leveraged firms so I figured I'd just go back there for the sake of continuity. W & C, being smaller and less leveraged, appealed to me enough that I would consider switching firms, so I applied. But that was it.

How about you?


Are you guys in DC? I'm going to be clerking in August in a semi flyover (but barely) district with desires to come back east (most likely). I'm closer to a midlevel but am worried about the post-clerkship market if I can't snag a government position or come back to original firm. Just wondering how the national market will be, though it seems neither of you know yet.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I'd be curious to know if you've interviewed elsewhere in DC and how that's been going!


Actually, I didn't apply anywhere else. I have an offer to return to the firm I worked at for a year before my clerkship and I see no way to distinguish it from all of the other similarly large and similarly leveraged firms so I figured I'd just go back there for the sake of continuity. W & C, being smaller and less leveraged, appealed to me enough that I would consider switching firms, so I applied. But that was it.

How about you?


Are you guys in DC? I'm going to be clerking in August in a semi flyover (but barely) district with desires to come back east (most likely). I'm closer to a midlevel but am worried about the post-clerkship market if I can't snag a government position or come back to original firm. Just wondering how the national market will be, though it seems neither of you know yet.


I've done very well getting interviews in DC, though it's too early (for me) to know about offers. It seems like most are hiring, and soon. Not sure that's helpful, sorry!

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I'd be curious to know if you've interviewed elsewhere in DC and how that's been going!


Actually, I didn't apply anywhere else. I have an offer to return to the firm I worked at for a year before my clerkship and I see no way to distinguish it from all of the other similarly large and similarly leveraged firms so I figured I'd just go back there for the sake of continuity. W & C, being smaller and less leveraged, appealed to me enough that I would consider switching firms, so I applied. But that was it.

How about you?


Are you guys in DC? I'm going to be clerking in August in a semi flyover (but barely) district with desires to come back east (most likely). I'm closer to a midlevel but am worried about the post-clerkship market if I can't snag a government position or come back to original firm. Just wondering how the national market will be, though it seems neither of you know yet.


I'm a d.ct. clerk in semiflyoverland on the west coast. Almost all of my co-clerks (and other judges' clerks) were out a few years, clerked for 2+ years here, and moved on. None of them had much trouble finding anything it seems. Sure, offers weren't coming in left and right, but they all seemed to only look for jobs in earnest for a couple of months, and they all got jobs they wanted. Their current jobs range from AUSA to big law (where he missed the big law boat at OCI) to obscure gov't agency I had never even heard of before.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a d.ct. clerk in semiflyoverland on the west coast. Almost all of my co-clerks (and other judges' clerks) were out a few years, clerked for 2+ years here, and moved on. None of them had much trouble finding anything it seems. Sure, offers weren't coming in left and right, but they all seemed to only look for jobs in earnest for a couple of months, and they all got jobs they wanted. Their current jobs range from AUSA to big law (where he missed the big law boat at OCI) to obscure gov't agency I had never even heard of before.


Thanks for this- really good to hear. Since it sounds like I will be clerking in the same or very close District, how do you think a 9th circuit clerkship following would be viewed (I guess, just asking how the 9th circuit clerks have done from there). Have some interviews but Have been slightly worried since I'll be 5 years out at that point.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a d.ct. clerk in semiflyoverland on the west coast. Almost all of my co-clerks (and other judges' clerks) were out a few years, clerked for 2+ years here, and moved on. None of them had much trouble finding anything it seems. Sure, offers weren't coming in left and right, but they all seemed to only look for jobs in earnest for a couple of months, and they all got jobs they wanted. Their current jobs range from AUSA to big law (where he missed the big law boat at OCI) to obscure gov't agency I had never even heard of before.


Thanks for this- really good to hear. Since it sounds like I will be clerking in the same or very close District, how do you think a 9th circuit clerkship following would be viewed (I guess, just asking how the 9th circuit clerks have done from there). Have some interviews but Have been slightly worried since I'll be 5 years out at that point.


I have no idea, really. The only people I know who have clerked on the 9th were right out of law school, had big firm jobs lined up, and have incredible credentials. But there are a few 9th Cir. judges who hire exclusively people with 3-5 years of experience so it might be worth doing so Linkedin stalking.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:12 pm

Anyone else trying to snag DA jobs post-clerkship? I'm really only interested in crim work, and I clerk for a D.Ct. in a district with a lot of criminal work, so I thought that DA's offices wouldn't be difficult targets even though my clerkship isn't in my target region. Unfortunately, I haven't had the reception that I wanted at this point, so I'm beginning to branch out to white-collar defense positions, and even general lit positions, in firms. Do less traditional post-clerkship applicants (i.e. ones who may have decent enough credentials for big law but no experience in it and who aren't primarily targeting it) generally experience better results closer to their end dates in August?

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone heard from Keker or Munger-SF for Fall 2015 hiring yet?


I have not heard anything from either.


I got a snailmail rejection from Munger about a week after I applied. Still nothing from Keker, but I'm not optimistic after getting the Munger rejection.

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Re: Post-Clerkship Job hunting (fall 2015 hiring cycle)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:24 am

I don't think it is unusual not to have heard from Keker yet. They only started their recruiting process a couple of weeks ago. It takes time to figure out who they want to interview because multiple people are involved in the process.



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