2L @ T6: Should I Clerk?

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Should I clerk?

Apply to clerkships now
5
36%
Work for a couple years and reevaluate
2
14%
No
7
50%
 
Total votes: 14

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

2L @ T6: Should I Clerk?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:27 pm

-2L at CLS/NYU with a ~3.65
-Secondary journal, no publications
-Summering at a V5
-Interested in transactional work
-Long term goal is government, in-house or something else with sane hours

Until a few weeks ago, I had decided to pass on a clerkship. But whenever I look at how many HYS grads clerk (whopping ~35% at YLS), I wonder if there's some huge career benefit that I'm missing.

So here's my question -- what would a clerkship do for my career? Will it open up exit options down the line? If not, is it worthwhile as a standalone experience? It seems like a fantastic entry-level job and people rave about their clerkships, but I'm not sure if it's worthwhile.

I'm also open to working a couple years and reevaluating, if that makes more sense. And obviously this all depends on actually getting a clerkship, which is not easy.

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

Re: 2L @ T6: Should I Clerk?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:32 pm

Particularly interested in the 'transactional' side of this question

Anonymous User
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Re: 2L @ T6: Should I Clerk?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:46 pm

For transactional lawyers, clerking will provide very little career benefit. It's not seen as much of a beneficial experience or a prestige signaling mechanism in the way that it is in litigation. Source: I worked at a V10 and was considering transactional work at the time I locked down a clerkship, and talked to several corporate associates / partners about this.

That said, it won't really hurt you, either. Your V5 will probably give you a year of class credit for your clerkship, even though the skills aren't particularly transferable; you'll have to bust your butt to catch up to your class once you get there, but a year or two in you should be indistinguishable from everyone else in your class.

So the question is: Do you want to clerk? It's pretty much universally seen as a better job than biglaw in terms of interesting work / hours (the extent to which it is may vary depending on judge). It's less lucrative than biglaw, but not that much less so if you're in a low COL area and especially less so if your school's LRAP covers clerkships. Personally, even if I were going into corporate, I would have no regrets for taking time off to clerk.

Also, if you want transactional work, I definitely wouldn't take a year off to clerk. Your firm may not even let you come back if you try to do that. You have the one shot -- immediately after you graduate. If you want a 2016 clerkship, you need to get moving ASAP.

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Shaggier1
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:57 am

Re: 2L @ T6: Should I Clerk?

Postby Shaggier1 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:08 am

-Interested in transactional work


Nope. Don't clerk.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2L @ T6: Should I Clerk?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:45 pm

OP here. Thanks for all your help. After thinking about it this weekend and talking it over with a few people, I decided to forego clerking. It seems like a cool experience, but doesn't really jive with my professional goals or personal life right now.

NYSprague
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Re: 2L @ T6: Should I Clerk?

Postby NYSprague » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:01 am

Shaggier1 wrote:
-Interested in transactional work


Nope. Don't clerk.

And don't count on a year credit for doing litigation.




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