Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
Anonymous User
Posts: 273508
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:07 pm

Giving serious consideration to trying to clerk and thinking through money stuff. wondering if ya'll expect clerkship bonuses to go up sometime in the next 2-3 years? Seems plausible to me.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22870
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:10 pm

Why?

User avatar
Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
Posts: 14444
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:15 pm

Doubt it. Lit isn't hot.

Clerkship hiring isn't all that hot. Most just go to the same firm they sa'ed at.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273508
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:49 pm

Yeah that seems reasonable. It seems plausible to me because there's a lot of stuff firms do to show that they're big dogs that they honestly don't really need to do (eg Davis Polk topping Simpson thacher this year, firms maintaining 100% offer rates in a previous years with an iffy economy despite there almost certainly being at least a few bozos who don't really deserve offers).

User avatar
rpupkin
Posts: 3864
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah that seems reasonable. It seems plausible to me because there's a lot of stuff firms do to show that they're big dogs that they honestly don't really need to do (eg Davis Polk topping Simpson thacher this year, firms maintaining 100% offer rates in a previous years with an iffy economy despite there almost certainly being at least a few bozos who don't really deserve offers).

NYC clerkship bonuses to 90. You read it here first.

User avatar
KD35
Posts: 948
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:30 am

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby KD35 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:40 pm

But I feel like there is the potential for movement. I know some firms give $70k for certain courts (like Fed Circuit). Also, if the SCOTUS clerkship amounts keep going up, why is it unlikely to think that the clerkship bonuses for certain circuits/districts might go up as well? I know that might be a big presumption, but I can see the potential for it maybe going up.

User avatar
VulcanVulcanVulcan
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:50 pm

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby VulcanVulcanVulcan » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:26 pm

I think there's a reasonable argument to be made that there is some upward pressure on compensation for elite litigation associates even if litigation generally is slow. First, there is an increasing number of very selective litigation boutiques with above-market compensation: BuckleySandler, Hueston Hennigan, Kellogg Huber, etc. Second, the insurgent litigation-driven biglaw firms like Quinn, Kirkland and Boies are doing quite well. Those firms also pay above-market compensation. In fact, you can argue that pretty much every firm that pays above-market compensation is a litigation-focused firm rather than a corporate-focused firm.

The question is, if there is upward pressure on compensation for non-SCOTUS clerks, whether that will be expressed in clerkship bonuses or just salaries/annual bonuses. Would a firm like Cravath, sensing it is losing top COA clerks to Kellogg Huber, try to compete on the clerkship bonus or the salary? It seems the clerkship bonus is more logical because it is targeted. Cravath would have to raise salaries for everyone just to target judicial clerks, which makes little sense.

The problem with this analysis, though, is that it's not really clear that the litigation boutiques and Quinn/Kirkland/Boies are really affecting Cravath's recruitment enough to really force Cravath to do anything.

User avatar
Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
Posts: 14444
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:36 pm

VulcanVulcanVulcan wrote:I think there's a reasonable argument to be made that there is some upward pressure on compensation for elite litigation associates even if litigation generally is slow. First, there is an increasing number of very selective litigation boutiques with above-market compensation: BuckleySandler, Hueston Hennigan, Kellogg Huber, etc. Second, the insurgent litigation-driven biglaw firms like Quinn, Kirkland and Boies are doing quite well. Those firms also pay above-market compensation. In fact, you can argue that pretty much every firm that pays above-market compensation is a litigation-focused firm rather than a corporate-focused firm.

The question is, if there is upward pressure on compensation for non-SCOTUS clerks, whether that will be expressed in clerkship bonuses or just salaries/annual bonuses. Would a firm like Cravath, sensing it is losing top COA clerks to Kellogg Huber, try to compete on the clerkship bonus or the salary? It seems the clerkship bonus is more logical because it is targeted. Cravath would have to raise salaries for everyone just to target judicial clerks, which makes little sense.

The problem with this analysis, though, is that it's not really clear that the litigation boutiques and Quinn/Kirkland/Boies are really affecting Cravath's recruitment enough to really force Cravath to do anything.


Quinn doesn't pay above market, if anything they pay below market. 2050 hours gets you half Cravath. 2399 gets you Cravath.

The elite boutiques area a drop in the bucket compared to regular lit. How much of the clerkship pool is going to an elite boutique? Clearly is it significant for SCOTUSclerk pool because that is rising.

Cravath won't even match Kirkland bonuses, someone who is probably pulling a ton of lateral talent from them.

User avatar
minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby minnbills » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:57 pm

I just wish bankruptcy clerks could get bonuses.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273508
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:20 pm

Bankruptcy clerks get bonuses.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273508
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:36 pm

Anyone know what the typical "stipulation" is on a judicial clerkship bonus in major markets? Do firms like Gibson, Munger, Skadden, Weil, etc, require you to work for a year or else you have to pay back a pro-rated portion of your bonus? Or do you get to keep the money straight up?

User avatar
rpupkin
Posts: 3864
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby rpupkin » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know what the typical "stipulation" is on a judicial clerkship bonus in major markets? Do firms like Gibson, Munger, Skadden, Weil, etc, require you to work for a year or else you have to pay back a pro-rated portion of your bonus? Or do you get to keep the money straight up?

I think the clerkship bonus is usually contingent on a one-year commitment. If someone does leave early, however, I have no idea how aggressive the firms are about demanding a return of a portion of the bonus. Also, someone on here mentioned that at least one big law firm (maybe Quinn?) doesn't pay your clerkship bonus until the end of your completed year.

brick_wall
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:48 pm

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby brick_wall » Fri May 08, 2015 9:37 pm

deleted
Last edited by brick_wall on Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

elipad
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:36 pm

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby elipad » Sat May 09, 2015 8:49 pm

Strange, I was under the impression that $75k (in a major city) was the standard for two federal clerkships. In my case, my summer firm has offered that (and that was also true when I was a 2L). I've only seriously looked at a couple of other firms and they seemed to match that number. These are V10 firms btw, but I'm not talking about Wachtell or Cravath.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273508
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 13, 2015 11:25 am

From my experience interviewing with firms after my clerkships, 70k was "market" for two clerkships, with a few outliers offering 75k.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273508
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 15, 2015 11:24 am

Wait, really? I thought market was 75k as well. Going to ask for it anyway...

dingus
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:22 am

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby dingus » Thu May 28, 2015 4:05 pm

What's the market for one A3 clerkship? And how does class rank go if you did non-big law stuff for a couple years, then clerked?

I'm a class of 2012 grad who worked as a random gov't agency for two years and then landed a two-year A3 clerkship, which started in late 2014. So in 2016 I'll have 4 years post-grad experience, 2 years clerking.

User avatar
rpupkin
Posts: 3864
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby rpupkin » Thu May 28, 2015 4:44 pm

dingus wrote:What's the market for one A3 clerkship? And how does class rank go if you did non-big law stuff for a couple years, then clerked?

I'm a class of 2012 grad who worked as a random gov't agency for two years and then landed a two-year A3 clerkship, which started in late 2014. So in 2016 I'll have 4 years post-grad experience, 2 years clerking.

For big law offices in major markets, $50K for one A3 clerkship is pretty standard.

As for your class year, I think it's unlikely that any firm would start you as a fifth-year associate in fall of 2016. Depending on the government agency your worked for and its relevance to the firm's practice, you might get two years of credit for your work there. But I doubt any firm will give you two years of credit for the government agency and two years of credit for your clerkship. My guess is that most firms will want you to start as a third-year associate, with maybe a couple willing to bring you in as a fourth-year. But this kind of thing varies a lot by firm, so it's hard to know what to expect.

dingus
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:22 am

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby dingus » Thu May 28, 2015 7:47 pm

rpupkin wrote:
dingus wrote:What's the market for one A3 clerkship? And how does class rank go if you did non-big law stuff for a couple years, then clerked?

I'm a class of 2012 grad who worked as a random gov't agency for two years and then landed a two-year A3 clerkship, which started in late 2014. So in 2016 I'll have 4 years post-grad experience, 2 years clerking.

For big law offices in major markets, $50K for one A3 clerkship is pretty standard.

As for your class year, I think it's unlikely that any firm would start you as a fifth-year associate in fall of 2016. Depending on the government agency your worked for and its relevance to the firm's practice, you might get two years of credit for your work there. But I doubt any firm will give you two years of credit for the government agency and two years of credit for your clerkship. My guess is that most firms will want you to start as a third-year associate, with maybe a couple willing to bring you in as a fourth-year. But this kind of thing varies a lot by firm, so it's hard to know what to expect.


Thanks. This was my understanding but, as you can see, I haven't researched it much. I'm pretty certain I wouldn't (and shouldn't) get class credit for my fed govt job. It was more or less useless, esp. for any big law lit practice.

What is standard market for 3rd years? Or does this vary? (I had no interest in big law until financial reality recently sunk in.)

Anonymous User
Posts: 273508
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 31, 2015 6:47 pm

The above is really similar to the situation I'm going in to. I had honestly been worried about being "too old" for firm work.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273508
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:36 am

I'm an A3 clerk and my co-clerk, who is 5 years out and has no firm experience (though is still pretty young), just got two big law offers.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273508
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:00 am

What's relatively young? What did he do before hand?

middlemarch
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:39 pm

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby middlemarch » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:11 pm

I understand the market bonus is $50K for one A3 clerkship, and $70K for two. Has anyone successfully negotiated a higher bonus? Would you be willing to disclose the firm, and share any tips for doing so?

User avatar
bruinfan10
Posts: 510
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:25 am

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby bruinfan10 » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:40 pm

middlemarch wrote:I understand the market bonus is $50K for one A3 clerkship, and $70K for two. Has anyone successfully negotiated a higher bonus? Would you be willing to disclose the firm, and share any tips for doing so?

I'd similarly be interested to hear if anyone has managed to negotiate a firm up on clerkship bonuses. There are firms that say they pay out bonus amounts determined on a case by case basis, and hearing how that process goes would be great, but I'm especially interested in whether anyone has been able to tell a firm that another is offering them a higher bonus to leverage a better offer from the first firm.

User avatar
DELG
Posts: 2936
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 7:15 pm

Re: Clerkship bonuses -- going up?

Postby DELG » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah that seems reasonable. It seems plausible to me because there's a lot of stuff firms do to show that they're big dogs that they honestly don't really need to do (eg Davis Polk topping Simpson thacher this year, firms maintaining 100% offer rates in a previous years with an iffy economy despite there almost certainly being at least a few bozos who don't really deserve offers).

While that's true, the lit market is so shitty i don't think clerkship increase is likely, at all.




Return to “Judicial Clerkships”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.