Bar Stipend and Post-Clerk employment

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Bar Stipend and Post-Clerk employment

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:42 pm

3L with post-grad two-year federal clerkship here. Judge appears to be alright with accepting offers, but also mentioned during interview that they might have connections in the relevant market. Trying to figure out what the protocol is about accepting SA offers when not 100% about returning to SA firm (and therefore contemplating the possibility of seeing judge's connections/sending out some applications during the clerkship). It's hard to get a feel from other threads what all parties involved think if you accept the SA firm offer but also actively search for other options during clerkship. Is it preferred to forego bar stipend/bar class covering and ask for an open offer or is accepting the offer and then applying elsewhere an accepted enough practice?

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rpupkin

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Re: Bar Stipend and Post-Clerk employment

Postby rpupkin » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:47 pm

If your judge doesn't mind your SA firm paying your bar expenses and keeping an offer open for you (I'm continually surprised by how many judges allow this), then I don't see the problem. If you end up accepting an offer with another firm post-clerkship, you'll have to reimburse your old firm for expenses/stipend.

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Re: Bar Stipend and Post-Clerk employment

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:34 pm

What of the situation where firm won't pay upfront bar stipend/expenses without a full acceptance of the offer, and so you're left with: 1) ask firm to leave offer open (and swallow bad expenses yourself), or 2) take offer but shop around during clerkship. Core question, I suppose, is how bad of form is it to full-on accept a SA offer only to conduct a search during the clerkship?

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Re: Bar Stipend and Post-Clerk employment

Postby rpupkin » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What of the situation where firm won't pay upfront bar stipend/expenses without a full acceptance of the offer, and so you're left with: 1) ask firm to leave offer open (and swallow bad expenses yourself), or 2) take offer but shop around during clerkship. Core question, I suppose, is how bad of form is it to full-on accept a SA offer only to conduct a search during the clerkship?

What does "full acceptance of the offer" mean?

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Re: Bar Stipend and Post-Clerk employment

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:08 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What of the situation where firm won't pay upfront bar stipend/expenses without a full acceptance of the offer, and so you're left with: 1) ask firm to leave offer open (and swallow bad expenses yourself), or 2) take offer but shop around during clerkship. Core question, I suppose, is how bad of form is it to full-on accept a SA offer only to conduct a search during the clerkship?

What does "full acceptance of the offer" mean?


A signed and returned offer with a start date immediately following the clerkship.

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rpupkin

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Re: Bar Stipend and Post-Clerk employment

Postby rpupkin » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What of the situation where firm won't pay upfront bar stipend/expenses without a full acceptance of the offer, and so you're left with: 1) ask firm to leave offer open (and swallow bad expenses yourself), or 2) take offer but shop around during clerkship. Core question, I suppose, is how bad of form is it to full-on accept a SA offer only to conduct a search during the clerkship?

What does "full acceptance of the offer" mean?


A signed and returned offer with a start date immediately following the clerkship.

I don't see how this is any different than looking to lateral while you're working at a particular firm, or doing 3L OCI after accepting an offer from your 2L SA firm.

I'll say this: if you're reasonably sure you're not going to return--if your likely intention is to accept employment elsewhere if offered--then I personally wouldn't commit to returning to the firm. But that's just me.

I guess I'd suggest asking your judge what he or she thinks about you signing a commitment to return to the firm at a particular date even though you intend to apply to other firms during your clerkship. Let his reaction be your guide.

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Re: Bar Stipend and Post-Clerk employment

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:54 pm

rpupkin wrote:I don't see how this is any different than looking to lateral while you're working at a particular firm, or doing 3L OCI after accepting an offer from your 2L SA firm.


As someone in a similar boat I'm also concerned about this. To be fair to OP, doing 3L OCI after accepting an offer doesn't seem to be categorically well regarded around these parts. If worse comes to worst, how much better is clerkship reneging/interviewing/etc. post-acceptance than 3L OCI reneging? How much worse is it than lateraling?

Ultimately foregoing the bar stipend to keep the offer open is obviously the cleaner move (and then taking a different offer sounds fine, if I'm reading the climate correctly). But that's $10+k you have to swallow for, what, two years on a clerkship vow of poverty? I guess you could do loans but still, ouch.

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Re: Bar Stipend and Post-Clerk employment

Postby wwwcol » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't see how this is any different than looking to lateral while you're working at a particular firm, or doing 3L OCI after accepting an offer from your 2L SA firm.


As someone in a similar boat I'm also concerned about this. To be fair to OP, doing 3L OCI after accepting an offer doesn't seem to be categorically well regarded around these parts. If worse comes to worst, how much better is clerkship reneging/interviewing/etc. post-acceptance than 3L OCI reneging? How much worse is it than lateraling?

Ultimately foregoing the bar stipend to keep the offer open is obviously the cleaner move (and then taking a different offer sounds fine, if I'm reading the climate correctly). But that's $10+k you have to swallow for, what, two years on a clerkship vow of poverty? I guess you could do loans but still, ouch.


I don't know what your expenses look like but Barbri/Themis costs 1k-2k depending on what kind of discount you get, and budgeting 8-9k for June, July, and maybe August (depending on your start date) and moving costs seems excessive. I think my out-of-pocket was closer to 4k, which I didn't mind sucking up in order to feel like my options were open.

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Re: Bar Stipend and Post-Clerk employment

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:39 pm

wwwcol wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't see how this is any different than looking to lateral while you're working at a particular firm, or doing 3L OCI after accepting an offer from your 2L SA firm.


As someone in a similar boat I'm also concerned about this. To be fair to OP, doing 3L OCI after accepting an offer doesn't seem to be categorically well regarded around these parts. If worse comes to worst, how much better is clerkship reneging/interviewing/etc. post-acceptance than 3L OCI reneging? How much worse is it than lateraling?

Ultimately foregoing the bar stipend to keep the offer open is obviously the cleaner move (and then taking a different offer sounds fine, if I'm reading the climate correctly). But that's $10+k you have to swallow for, what, two years on a clerkship vow of poverty? I guess you could do loans but still, ouch.


I don't know what your expenses look like but Barbri/Themis costs 1k-2k depending on what kind of discount you get, and budgeting 8-9k for June, July, and maybe August (depending on your start date) and moving costs seems excessive. I think my out-of-pocket was closer to 4k, which I didn't mind sucking up in order to feel like my options were open.


In a similar boat (have an offer and want to look elsewhere during my clerkship). The firm was willing to keep the offer open and my judge was ok with that. It sucks to have to front all of your own costs, but it is a lot cleaner if you decide not to go back. I think the $4k out-of-pocket bar/bar prep/moving cost is accurate, but obviously does not include living expenses over the summer, which would be covered by a firm stipend if your firm provides one.



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