Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

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Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 26, 2014 8:21 pm

I'm in a bit of a unique position. I am a 2L who only has one semester of grades (I'm a 2-year JD student at NU), and I was thinking of pursuing a clerkship when I graduate in 2016. I will be externing for a district court judge this spring, and I was hoping to wait until I can get a recommendation from someone in those chambers.

Do I have it right that it is already too late to get a 2016 CoA clerkship? Should I apply for 2016 district clerkships and start applying for 2018 CoA clerkships?

Many thanks.

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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:00 pm

It's not that it's too late; it's that I sincerely doubt any judge will hire someone with one semester of grades/one semester of law school under their belt. Even a district court clerkship for 2016 will be super difficult to obtain. You are best served doing well in your classes, doing LR if AJD students are allowed to, and applying for 2017 clerkships.

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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:06 pm

Thanks for weighing in.

What if I wait until after fall grades come out? Would 2 semesters of grades be enough? If I clerk, I'd like to start upon graduation so I can defer my big law offer. I don't know if would pursue a clerkship after starting at the firm.

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bk1
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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby bk1 » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:24 pm

A not insignificant portion of CoA judges have hired for 16-17, but it's not too late to get a CoA clerkship. 2 semesters of grades, while not ideal (though sufficient for some judges who hire 2Ls in the fall), is realistically all you will have. Your best bet is to start applying to judges who are hiring once you get your fall grades back in January. If you wouldn't want to leave a firm job to clerk, then I don't see why you would apply to anything other than 16-17 clerkships. If you're unsure whether you would want to, then you have to ask yourself whether your desire to clerk outweighs the inconvenience of clerking after already working at a firm. I also don't think waiting several months into the spring semester (at least) to get a letter from the district judge would be worthwhile. First, you don't know whether you will be able to get one, or if you were whether it would be any good. Second, a decent number of judges would fill their clerkship spots while you were waiting to get a letter.

It sucks that you have to plan and make a decision so far in advance when you may regret the decision years later (e.g. if you didn't apply maybe your 2nd or 3rd year at the firm would come around and you would wish that you were starting a clerkship, or if you did apply and your clerkship was about to start you would regret that you were leaving your firm). Nobody can know for sure which decision your future self would prefer, especially people on the internet. You are in the best place to at least guess what your future self would prefer and then act accordingly now by either applying or not applying to 17-18 and beyond clerkships.

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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby Shaggier1 » Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:40 am

I don't know if would pursue a clerkship after starting at the firm.


Why not? Increasingly common.

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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby Jchance » Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:18 pm

Shaggier1 wrote:
I don't know if would pursue a clerkship after starting at the firm.


Why not? Increasingly common.


No clerkship bonus (they are treated as laterals?) and skills gained from clerkship are less relevant.

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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby KD35 » Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:25 pm

Jchance wrote:
Shaggier1 wrote:
I don't know if would pursue a clerkship after starting at the firm.


Why not? Increasingly common.


No clerkship bonus (they are treated as laterals?) and skills gained from clerkship are less relevant.


I know some firms require people coming back to have to re-interview for a position at a firm (although that's more procedure than actually being concerned about not getting a spot). Just what I have heard from some practitioners.

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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby GOATlawman » Thu Nov 27, 2014 3:50 pm

Shaggier1 wrote:
I don't know if would pursue a clerkship after starting at the firm.


Why not? Increasingly common.


Apologies if I'm derailing here...but really why would you want to? The only reason I could imagine is if you are not happy with the firm you ended up getting at OCI

Idk of any other reason you would want to leave your work to take significantly less pay, unless it was to go to try to leave your firm and go somewhere else. And how would you know you want to go to a new firm 2 years ahead of time, unless you really didn't want to be there in the first place?

Do some people honestly find the clerkship "experience" is really worth paying $100k+ for?

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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:47 pm

A lot of people do value the clerkship experience highly, but from what I've seen, clerking after being at a firm for a couple of years is often a way to move out of firm work to some other kind of work, or at the least change firms or practice areas.

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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby GOATlawman » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:23 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:A lot of people do value the clerkship experience highly, but from what I've seen, clerking after being at a firm for a couple of years is often a way to move out of firm work to some other kind of work, or at the least change firms or practice areas.


But with how far out clerks are hiring, how could you possibly know this at the time you are applying? Or is it like, apply now because I want out, and then if I get a clerkship, I'll just try to bide my time for the next 2.5 years until my clerkship comes up?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:52 pm

I think a lot of people don't ever intend to stay in biglaw for life, it's just a stage to get through on the way to government work or in-house (for clerks, probably government work, since it's not that relevant to in-house). I think people often work 1-2 years then decide to apply, so end up 3-4 years in biglaw and then clerk. (The people who do this at all, I mean, I don't know mean that most people in biglaw are doing this.)

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Lincoln
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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby Lincoln » Thu Nov 27, 2014 6:42 pm

I'll give you my reasons for (and/or benefits I've noticed with) clerking 1+ years out.

First, unlike when you're straight out of school, after a few years in Big Law, a year of doing something else--i.e. clerking--can be a really nice change of pace and a chance to take a breather and reassess your options, even if you end up returning. My billables have been pretty insane, so I'm in much greater need of a 9-5 job now than I was when I graduated.

Second, many firms do pay clerkship bonuses even for associates coming from a clerkship more than one year out of school.

Third, although you do lose out on a year of pay, that's true no matter in which year you do it, and the pay bump for clerks with at least a year of practice is pretty substantial.

Fourth, having the firm give you an advance (i.e. pay for your bar trip), pay for your bar prep, relocation expenses, broker's fee, etc., is pretty damn convenient. Many firms don't do that if you're clerking right after.

Fifth, a clerkship is actually decent training for, and more similar to, some of the things you end up doing more as a senior associate. As a junior, I don't get a lot of exposure to drafting summary judgment briefs or appellate briefs, but the senior associates do a fair amount of that (and often get evaluated based on that stuff). That level of drafting is something you get more exposure to as a clerk. Same with running your own cases/docket.

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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:56 pm

Second, many firms do pay clerkship bonuses even for associates coming from a clerkship more than one year out of school.




Which major firms don't pay out bonuses to clerks who started 1+years out? And which firms do pay the bonus?

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Lincoln
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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby Lincoln » Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Second, many firms do pay clerkship bonuses even for associates coming from a clerkship more than one year out of school.




Which major firms don't pay out bonuses to clerks who started 1+years out? And which firms do pay the bonus?


I don't know of any firms that don't (but that doesn't mean there aren't any); I am pretty sure all the major NYC firms, at least, do pay bonuses even for clerks more than a year out. I was more responding to Jchance's assertion that there's no clerkship bonus when you clerk later.

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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:03 pm

Definitely not too late. I'm a current COA clerk and most judges in my circuit still have openings for 2016.

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bk1
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Re: Is it too late to get a 2016 CoA Clerkship?

Postby bk1 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:46 am

I mean, I think we can all acknowledge that having to plan several years in advance not knowing what your exact position will be at that time and possibly moving across the country for 1 year after already starting at a firm (or merely leaving a job you like for a year) is pretty damn inconvenient and a decent reason for people not to want to apply for a clerkship so far out. I'm not saying it's not worth it, just that the calculus varies from person to person and the inconvenience is generally higher than it is for clerking straight out of law school.




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