Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

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: 299616
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:40 am

I know this issue has been touched on in other threads, but I was hoping to start a more focused discussion. Namely, has anyone successfully negotiated a non-market or non-standard clerkship bonus with any major market firm?

I understand that most firms do 50k for a year and 70k or 75k if there is a second clerkship involved, but is that ever negotiable? Particularly if you are coming from particularly strong non-SCOTUS clerkships? What about successfully leveraging offers from different firms in order to increase bonus?

I'm coming from SDNY + 2nd Circ. with one prior year of experience at a DC v5 firm. I'd like to leverage that into either a larger bonus or some greater autonomy in terms of choosing cases, but from what I hear this is pretty hard to accomplish.

User avatar
bruinfan10
Posts: 587
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:25 am

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby bruinfan10 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:I know this issue has been touched on in other threads, but I was hoping to start a more focused discussion. Namely, has anyone successfully negotiated a non-market or non-standard clerkship bonus with any major market firm?

I understand that most firms do 50k for a year and 70k or 75k if there is a second clerkship involved, but is that ever negotiable? Particularly if you are coming from particularly strong non-SCOTUS clerkships? What about successfully leveraging offers from different firms in order to increase bonus?

I'm coming from SDNY + 2nd Circ. with one prior year of experience at a DC v5 firm. I'd like to leverage that into either a larger bonus or some greater autonomy in terms of choosing cases, but from what I hear this is pretty hard to accomplish.

I'm planning to attempt this during the upcoming firm hiring cycle. Maybe I can report back in Feb/March? A TLS poster was also kind enough to reply to a similar question I posted that they had negotiated 75 instead of 70, but my general impression now is that you just need to find a firm that pays 70.

Anonymous User
Posts: 299616
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I know this issue has been touched on in other threads, but I was hoping to start a more focused discussion. Namely, has anyone successfully negotiated a non-market or non-standard clerkship bonus with any major market firm?

I understand that most firms do 50k for a year and 70k or 75k if there is a second clerkship involved, but is that ever negotiable? Particularly if you are coming from particularly strong non-SCOTUS clerkships? What about successfully leveraging offers from different firms in order to increase bonus?

I'm coming from SDNY + 2nd Circ. with one prior year of experience at a DC v5 firm. I'd like to leverage that into either a larger bonus or some greater autonomy in terms of choosing cases, but from what I hear this is pretty hard to accomplish.


I'm planning to attempt this during the upcoming firm hiring cycle. Maybe I can report back in Feb/March? A TLS poster was also kind enough to reply to a similar question I posted that they had negotiated 75 instead of 70, but my general impression now is that you just need to find a firm that pays 70.


OP here. I'll be in the same boat as well come Feb/March. I guess there are enough clerks on prominent District Courts and CoAs that most firms don't really have to bend the rules in terms of bonus. Oh well. Would be very interested to hear from anyone who managed to swing it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 299616
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:23 pm

What type of bonuses should someone be seeking from large regional firms?

User avatar
bruinfan10
Posts: 587
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:25 am

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby bruinfan10 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:What type of bonuses should someone be seeking from large regional firms?

In my experience, market-paying firms will offer bonuses, firms that pay below market often will not offer them. In Minneapolis, for example, the big regionals give you literally nothing for having clerked CoA, d.ct, etc etc.

Anonymous User
Posts: 299616
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:17 pm

Are the 70ish bonuses only for 2 different clerkships, i.e., a d. ct. and a COA?

My judge says I can stay for 4 years and, really, the only reason I wouldn't do it is financial. I can get by fine, but those firm salaries sure do look nice sometimes.

User avatar
John_Luther1989
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:10 am

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby John_Luther1989 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are the 70ish bonuses only for 2 different clerkships, i.e., a d. ct. and a COA?

My judge says I can stay for 4 years and, really, the only reason I wouldn't do it is financial. I can get by fine, but those firm salaries sure do look nice sometimes.


I can't think of a single firm that is willing to give more $ for years after 2. Plus, there is literally no way you would get 4 years of class credit (3 maybe), although some may view that as a positive.

Anonymous User
Posts: 299616
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:29 pm

What about 2 years at a d. ct.? Would that still give me a chance at the above-$50k bonuses?

User avatar
bruinfan10
Posts: 587
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:25 am

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby bruinfan10 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:What about 2 years at a d. ct.? Would that still give me a chance at the above-$50k bonuses?

Unlikely in my experience but you never know. It can't hurt to ask recruiting right?

Anonymous User
Posts: 299616
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:08 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What about 2 years at a d. ct.? Would that still give me a chance at the above-$50k bonuses?

Unlikely in my experience but you never know. It can't hurt to ask recruiting right?


Does anyone else have thoughts on how common it is to offer 70k for a two-year position? Looking around websites of firms that publish clerkship bonus info (like PW), at least some expressly say 70k for a "two-year clerkship or two one-year clerkships."

User avatar
rpupkin
Posts: 5445
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby rpupkin » Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are the 70ish bonuses only for 2 different clerkships, i.e., a d. ct. and a COA?

My judge says I can stay for 4 years and, really, the only reason I wouldn't do it is financial. I can get by fine, but those firm salaries sure do look nice sometimes.

Don't clerk for four years unless your specific goal is to work as a career clerk.

Anonymous User
Posts: 299616
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:50 pm

Potential 4-year clerk here.

Why not? I have heard some of that in the TLS echochamber, but I haven't really explored it or thought about it too hard (I'm barely past year one). I love the job, but I don't want it to pigeonhole me. I don't know how clerking for a DJ could ever really pigeonhole you, but I know it's a concern.

User avatar
rpupkin
Posts: 5445
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby rpupkin » Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Potential 4-year clerk here.

Why not?

Because most market-paying firms won't interview you.

Anonymous User
Posts: 299616
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:36 pm

Why do you say that?

Anonymous User
Posts: 299616
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Negotiating Clerkship Bonsuses

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Why do you say that?

My firm (V50 major market) is currently recruiting for a litigation associate and we are not considering anyone who's coming out of more than two years of clerkships. It signals that you don't want to be in private practice and it means you either don't have any practical experience whatsoever, or, if you worked for a firm before you clerked, you haven't had practical experience in a very long time. Anyway, there's just no reason for us to consider someone with a weird resume like that when we have so many quality applicants with more traditional (read: reliable) credentials.




Return to “Judicial Clerkships”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.