Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

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Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:53 pm

Assuming I've got the LS credentials to acquire a clerkship, is this a good move? Will I be able to get back into biglaw if I leave after 2 years to do a clerkship? Or is it difficult to do so?

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rpupkin
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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby rpupkin » Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Assuming I've got the LS credentials to acquire a clerkship, is this a good move? Will I be able to get back into biglaw if I leave after 2 years to do a clerkship? Or is it difficult to do so?

You should be fine. If you were a senior associate, I'd be more worried.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:23 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Assuming I've got the LS credentials to acquire a clerkship, is this a good move? Will I be able to get back into biglaw if I leave after 2 years to do a clerkship? Or is it difficult to do so?

You should be fine. If you were a senior associate, I'd be more worried.


Considering leaving as a 4th year. Would be a sixth coming off district and 9th circuit. Death sentence? Literally have looked at LinkedInprofiles galore and found basically zero people going back to firms but also haven't found a single AUSA or DOJ person without a clerkship

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby Cogburn87 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:27 pm

I know a couple people who clerked as 4th years. Went back to the same firms, though.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:50 pm

Cogburn87 wrote:I know a couple people who clerked as 4th years. Went back to the same firms, though.


This may be a possibility but I'm not sure. And probably not with a huge bonus. Fuckkkk

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby rpupkin » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Cogburn87 wrote:I know a couple people who clerked as 4th years. Went back to the same firms, though.


This may be a possibility but I'm not sure. And probably not with a huge bonus. Fuckkkk


I know a guy who left to clerk at the end of four years with a firm. He found a couple of firms willing to hire him (and pay him a clerkship bonuses) post-clerkship, but the firms wanted him to start as a fourth year associate. In other words, he actually lost seniority by going to clerk. Clerking proved to be a costly sacrifice, though he says he would do it again. (He hated his old firm and doesn't think he could have lateraled to the firms he got offers from post-clerkship.)

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:10 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Cogburn87 wrote:I know a couple people who clerked as 4th years. Went back to the same firms, though.


This may be a possibility but I'm not sure. And probably not with a huge bonus. Fuckkkk


I know a guy who left to clerk at the end of four years with a firm. He found a couple of firms willing to hire him (and pay him a clerkship bonuses) post-clerkship, but the firms wanted him to start as a fourth year associate. In other words, he actually lost seniority by going to clerk. Clerking proved to be a costly sacrifice, though he says he would do it again. (He hated his old firm and doesn't think he could have lateraled to the firms he got offers from post-clerkship.)


I'm not sure you really losing much by having your seniority retarded. That just slows down how soon your get pushhed out.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby rpupkin » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:15 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I know a guy who left to clerk at the end of four years with a firm. He found a couple of firms willing to hire him (and pay him a clerkship bonuses) post-clerkship, but the firms wanted him to start as a fourth year associate. In other words, he actually lost seniority by going to clerk. Clerking proved to be a costly sacrifice, though he says he would do it again. (He hated his old firm and doesn't think he could have lateraled to the firms he got offers from post-clerkship.)


I'm not sure you really losing much by having your seniority retarded. That just slows down how soon your get pushhed out.

That was basically the idea. As the firms explained it, they wanted more time to evaluate him before making a partnership decision. Still, it means between the lower salary while clerking and the seniority demotion, the guy lost over $150K.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:49 pm

rpupkin wrote:That was basically the idea. As the firms explained it, they wanted more time to evaluate him before making a partnership decision. Still, it means between the lower salary while clerking and the seniority demotion, the guy lost over $150K.


Yea the money hit would be rough but at the same time this would almost be ideal for me. Give me additional years of gainful employment while trying to get to AUSA or something. I have no delusions of partnership - I really have no desire to do it. Could imagine worse so thanks for the anecdote.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby run26.2 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:59 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I know a guy who left to clerk at the end of four years with a firm. He found a couple of firms willing to hire him (and pay him a clerkship bonuses) post-clerkship, but the firms wanted him to start as a fourth year associate. In other words, he actually lost seniority by going to clerk. Clerking proved to be a costly sacrifice, though he says he would do it again. (He hated his old firm and doesn't think he could have lateraled to the firms he got offers from post-clerkship.)


I'm not sure you really losing much by having your seniority retarded. That just slows down how soon your get pushhed out.

That was basically the idea. As the firms explained it, they wanted more time to evaluate him before making a partnership decision. Still, it means between the lower salary while clerking and the seniority demotion, the guy lost over $150K.

I think there are other benefits to him: more time for him to develop the internal relationships necessary, more time to develop client relationships at the new firm. So while it is good for the firm, in addition to having a longer shelf-life, there are other benefits to him as well.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:05 pm

You do lose 2 years of bonus though. Which hurts.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby newlawgrad » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:13 pm

Desert Fox wrote:You do lose 2 years of bonus though. Which hurts.


I guess the equation has to take into account the thought that you may be pushed out, with little recourse without those years. Let's say you lose about ~130k (hard to say exactly with taxes, bonus, etc) by clerking for two years, but you gain 2 years at the end of your biglaw line. If you are pushed out, it probably equals out. If you are making partner, yea, you lost a ton of money.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby run26.2 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:04 pm

Desert Fox wrote:You do lose 2 years of bonus though. Which hurts.

Agreed. Certainly the short term financial impact is higher. But you also gain skills and extend your time at biglaw. Hopefully that means something career-wise, such as you have greater odds to go in house because of more skills or simply more chances. It's difficult to say which is the best path, but the extension of a career before an event whose outcome is highly uncertain (partnership election) seems like the better play to me.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:10 pm

newlawgrad wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:You do lose 2 years of bonus though. Which hurts.


I guess the equation has to take into account the thought that you may be pushed out, with little recourse without those years. Let's say you lose about ~130k (hard to say exactly with taxes, bonus, etc) by clerking for two years, but you gain 2 years at the end of your biglaw line. If you are pushed out, it probably equals out. If you are making partner, yea, you lost a ton of money.


Do you really gain two years though. I don't think so in most cases.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby run26.2 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:16 pm

Not sure what it is in most cases, but it's up to the clerk to negotiate it with the firm.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:18 pm

run26.2 wrote:Not sure what it is in most cases, but it's up to the clerk to negotiate it with the firm.


I don't think you can negotiate when you get pushed out.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby newlawgrad » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:25 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
run26.2 wrote:Not sure what it is in most cases, but it's up to the clerk to negotiate it with the firm.


I don't think you can negotiate when you get pushed out.


No, certainly not. But if you are clerking as a midlevel and come in as, say, a 4th year, it's pretty unlikely you are going to get pushed out before year 6. If you are anywhere close to competent it doesn't make too much sense for them too, either. They are paying you a 4/5/6 year salary when you have been practicing for 6/7/8 with clerkships.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:38 pm

My firm has a policy of giving a maximum of 1 year of credit for clerkships.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby run26.2 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:30 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
run26.2 wrote:Not sure what it is in most cases, but it's up to the clerk to negotiate it with the firm.


I don't think you can negotiate when you get pushed out.

I meant negotiate that you have extra years of consideration before partnership when you are hired. That effectively gives you a longer period. Obviously, though, in either case the firm can push you out earlier.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:34 am

I'll be leaving to clerk (a second time) about halfway through my second year. Leaving to clerk after a year or several is pretty common at my firm, but we also have a strong clerk focus.

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:07 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
run26.2 wrote:Not sure what it is in most cases, but it's up to the clerk to negotiate it with the firm.


I don't think you can negotiate when you get pushed out.


A couple of points:

1) A lot of firms don't push people out, particularly the more prestigious firms that hire a lot of clerks.

2) Firms that push you out do so based on your class year, because your class year determines your billing rate and the firm makes lateral hiring and partnership evaluation decisions based on your class year. You can negotiate your class year coming out of a clerkship, so you can, in effect, negotiate when you get pushed out. For-cause firings in biglaw are generally uncommon, or at least they are a lot less common than getting pushed out once your time comes (which is based on class year).

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:00 am

nvm, gonna just start a thread, prolly in law school grads
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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DELG
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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby DELG » Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:57 am

lol @ firms saying with a straight face they are cutting your seniority to give them more time to evaluate you for partnership

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:57 pm

DELG wrote:lol @ firms saying with a straight face they are cutting your seniority to give them more time to evaluate you for partnership

Fair. But my old firm had a lockstep class year evaluation schedule. No one got "the talk" until the end of their sixth year (and typically didn't get the boot until at least end of seventh).

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Re: Clerking after two years of BIGLAW

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:57 am

Why do you want to do a federal clerkship after several years of biglaw at a firm to which you want to return ? Whether or not this is a good career move depends upon the partners at your particular law firm since you want to return to that firm after the clerkship.

Many clerk to get a biglaw position. You already have biglaw at your targeted firm.

It would make sense to clerk if long-term prospects of remaining with your current firm are not good since you would be more attractive to other firms with a clerkship. Although a good relationship with a particular judge is an asset as is knowing the inner workings of judicial chambers, good relations with clients are even more important to private law firms--so why interrupt this type of personal development ?

Again, it would be helpful to know your reasons for wanting to clerk at this stage of your career.




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